The Italian Greyhound
Italian Greyhound puppy The Italian Greyhound’s ideal height is between 13 to 15 inches at the wither. Weight isn’t addressed in the AKC standard, but they typically range from eight to 15 pounds. Activity level: A natural-born athlete, the Italian Greyhound loves to run and play, and has done well in agility, lure coursing, and other canine sports. He’s also happy to serve as a couch potato, though! Grooming: As easy as it gets! That short coat is silky smooth to the touch and virtually odourless. Teeth, ears, and toenails require basic maintenance. Heritage: Hunting and Companion Animal The I.G. was definitely created as a companion animal, but given his sighthound roots it’s likely he was also initially developed to chase small prey. For info on Italian Greyhound rescue in the U.S., visit italiangreyhound.org/IGCA-Rescue. In Canada, visit www.helpitaliangreyhounds.com. If you like the Italian Greyhound, you might also give some consideration to the Manchester Terrier, Saluki, and Whippet. Italian Greyhound adult affectionate and loving dog, but known for being shy around strangers. He’s famously playful— delighting his people with hilarious antics well past the puppy stage. Because of his shy nature, early socialization is important with this breed. Getting your I.G. out to meet new people and pets, and to experience a variety of surroundings will help him come out of his shell and build confidence. Basic good manners can be taught with obedience training, and these dogs are fast learners. One caveat: extra patience will likely be needed when it comes to potty training. Like many of the Toy breeds, the Italian Greyhound may take a while to get the hang of going potty outdoors—and he’ll need plenty of breaks throughout the day. Positive reinforcement methods only, please! The I.G.’s sweet and sensitive nature is a mismatch for harsh words or actions. Love him, be patient, and you’ll reap rewards for many years to come.
By nature the Italian Greyhound is athletic and agile, but he’s also fine boned. Keeping nails trimmed is important to avoid slips and spills—broken bones are a concern for this breed. In puppyhood, safety precautions should be taken to ensure that the I.G. can’t jump on or off high surfaces.
His sighthound genetic make-up means that the I.G. has an innate instinct to chase moving objects. For this reason, these dogs should be on-leash when out of doors or else kept in a properly-fenced yard. Watching these tiny performance athletes in their double-suspension gallop is a sight to behold—the Italian Greyhound loves to run! On the other hand, with his size he’s well-suited for apartment life. Daily walks are an absolute minimum, as are play sessions and, of course, cuddles—lots and lots of cuddles for these doting dogs.
Speaking of cuddles, I.G.’s are heat-seekers. You’re far more likely to find one on your lap than at your feet. They’re not built to withstand cold climates, so a stockpile of sweaters and coats for inclement weather is a must.
Elegant and graceful, playful and loving, the Italian Greyhound packs a tremendous amount of personality in such a tiny package. The dogs that once belonged only to the nobility are now available to the masses—but rest assured your I.G. will still worship you like a king or queen.
Manchester Terrier Saluki Whippet