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Did you know that the Italian Greyhound dog was the favorite lapdog for noblewomen during the Middle Ages?

They may be petite, but this hound breed has the beauty and athleticism worth an admiration. 

If you're looking to add this miniature Italian Greyhound to your furry family, you came to the right place. In this article, we'll discuss their:

  • Personality, traits, and appearance
  • Proper caring and grooming, and historical background
  • Common issues in the health and how to prevent it

So join us as we travel through the time and life of this miniature Greyhound to get to know more about them.

Let's start exploring their personality and traits one by one!

Italian Greyhound in the woods

What is Italian Greyhound Dog?

Italian Greyhound is a miniature of all Greyhound breeds. Sometimes people call them IG. 

And as said earlier, this dog was a favorite four-legged companion of the noblewomen in Italy during the Middle Ages.

This dog breed is small but has incredible speed, determination, and endurance in hunting small wild animals.

It's a tiny Greyhound that excels in performing in an energetic and agile way. They love lying down and hugging their owner's chest and playing with them and other dogs and cats.

IG's personality and traits

Italian Greyhound Personality and Traits

Training this Italian Greyhound is not hard because they are always eager to learn to please you. And IG doesn't require heavy activities to perform with.

A short time in running, walking, and playing is enough to maintain their body fit. 

As a watchdog, barking is part of their personality. But, they only bark in a particular situation and not all the time. 

Your Italian Greyhound dog should also have mental stimulation toys for them to play with. By letting them play with dog toys, they can maintain their mental health, stay active and happy.

This dog breed is very affectionate in every family member, even children, but still needs supervision. 

They treat other people like they have known them for a long time, even if they just met for the first time.

Italian Greyhound doesn't mind if there are other dogs or cats in your house. They enjoy playing with them. 

But, they're not just playful, loyal, lovable, and friendly, but also very adaptable. This Greyhound doesn't mind having a little space in your house.

Those characteristics make an Italian Greyhound indeed admirable for all dog owners out there.

Our next stop is the physical characteristics of this breed.

Italian Greyhound Appearance

Italian Greyhound Dog Physical Appearance 

Have you seen a real Italian Greyhound? If yes, then you might be able to identify them with just one look.

But if you haven't seen them yet, this description below might help you determine them physically.

Body

An Italian Greyhound is generally slim and fit, but they're a smaller version of their ancestors, the Greyhound.

They have a broad chest but a narrow and concave stomach, long and thin legs, and a long tapering neck.

Color and Markings

Italian Greyhound dog coats are very short, so they are not prone to excessive shedding. And its color and markings come in different variations. It can be:

Solid colors – Red, black, gray, red, fawn, black, or blue

Bicolor – Dark color with white, or red with white, fawn and blue, or any combination of two solid colors.

Tricolor – White and brindle tricked or any variety of three colors.

Head

The Italian Greyhound dog head is small with a pointed snout. It could measure the same width as their neck.

Tail

Their tail has an average length that is proportionate to their body as the other dog breeds.

Height and Weight

Compared to their descendants' Greyhounds, Italian Greyhounds are very small. They could grow taller up to 13 to 15 inches to wither. And they could weigh as light from 7 to 14 pounds. 

But despite their miniature size, these beautiful dogs have lots of qualities that can make you swoon for them.

Lifespan of an Italian Greyhound dog

Italian Greyhound Dog Lifespan

Like their ancestors, this energetic Italian Greyhound could also live from 10 up to 14 years. That's a long time for those dog lovers who want to spend time with them. 

But to let them live long, you should be responsible for caring for them. Giving your IG foods is not enough to keep them healthy.

It would help if you let them roam and play around until they get tired, and of course, training is vital.

Here are some tips you should consider when raising an Italian Greyhound puppy and dog:

Diet and Nutrition

Feeding is a thing that you should not skip even in a day. However, it's not simply just food. It also requires a proper diet and nutrition.

Whether the dog food for your Italian Greyhound is commercially manufactured or home-made, both food sources need to be checked.

You need to know first if it's good before feeding it to your Greyhound dog.

Exercising Italian Greyhound

Training and Exercise

Training and exercise are also crucial in keeping your Italian Greyhound stay active, happy, and healthy.

But, unlike giant dog breeds, IG doesn't require a high level of exercise. They could have just a moderate motion of training as long as they move their body freely.

A daily training would be excellent for them. Teaching your IG to socialize and show kindness and obedience early from being puppies would be a great start.

They would indeed carry that attitude and personality as they grow. 

Feeding Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound Dog Food

Picking dog food is not that easy. Aside from choosing an excellent brand, it would help consider its labels, nutritional facts, and many other factors.

Whether you prefer dry or wet foods, it's essential to know the brands you can trust. So, to give you some insights, here are 15 brands that sell the best dog food for your Italian Greyhound:

  • Merrick Chicken Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Nature's Variety Instinct
  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine
  • Wellness Core Natural Grain Free
  • Canidae Grain Free PURE
  • Orijen Six Fish
  • Castor and Pollux Organix
  • Iams Proactive Health Adult Minichunks Dry Dog Food
  • Horizon Legacy
  • Victor Active Dog & Puppy
  • Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium
  • Pinnacle Brothibbles
  • Crave Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Farmina Natural & Delicious
  • Weruva Caloric Melody

Checking the brands listed above would help you a lot. 

Our next stop is how to care for and groom your Italian Greyhound. Please remember these things for your good.

IG wearing sweaters

Italian Greyhound Dog Care

As an owner of an Italian Greyhound, it is your responsibility to take care of them. So, we prepared some ways that could help you how to groom your Italian Greyhound.

Grooming your Italian Greyhound Dog

Because of the short hair coat of an Italian Greyhound, they are not suitable outdoors. They quickly get cold in cold seasons.

And they could only play or walk outside if they were wearing jackets or sweaters

In warm seasons, giving them sunscreen designed for them will help protect their skin from the sun's rays.

It also helps avoid skin cancer which is a disease they're susceptible to.

But the advantage of their short coat is that they don't shed a lot, even in the regular annual shedding season.

So bathing and brushing their fur is not necessary daily unless they get dirty quickly.

Like the other dog breed, brushing your Italian Greyhound's teeth is very important. It helps to prevent periodontal diseases in dogs.

A dental cleaning every year from your vet is also beneficial for them.

The nails of your Greyhound need to be regularly cut for them to be comfortable when they move.

It would also prevent scratching your sofa when they're jumping and playing on it.

When you let them hop and play in your yard, ensure that your yard is covered with a fence.

Those fences would remind them that they're not allowed to go far unless you take them in a walk.

In every journey, there are many possible complicated situations that we might encounter. The same with the life of an Italian Greyhound.

So this time, we let us learn about the potential health issues that your Greyhound might encounter.

Italian Greyhound with Cataracts

Italian Greyhound Dog Breed Common Health Issues  

Although Italian Greyhounds are generally known to live longer, they are susceptible to different health issues. They include the following:

  • Cataracts

It is an opacity on your dog's eye lenses that could lead to difficulty in seeing. A surgical operation can sometimes remove this. However, cataract is preventable and treatable.

This is an inherited disorder in the blood. It happens when the Von Willebrand Factor cannot produce enough protein to help platelets clot the blood after an injury. 

Also, a chronic condition on your dog's eye, in the retina, to be specific, could lead to blindness.

  • Vitreous Degeneration

Others believed that it is inherited. It is also a condition on your dog's eye that could lead to impaired or loss of sight.

This abnormality on the Thyroid gland causes infertility.

This condition is prevalent in all dog breeds. It is a hereditary disorder on the hip bones of a dog. 

Because of the short coat of an Italian Greyhound, they are highly susceptible to many allergies, especially on the skin.

These conditions are mostly preventable with the recommended evaluation, such as:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation

If you can observe any signs of either of the health as mentioned above conditions, immediately approach your vet.

Italian Greyhound puppies

Where to Find an Italian Greyhound Dog

Adopting them from rescue organizations would be great if you plan to add Italian Greyhound to your family. Below are some organizations that you could genuinely trust.

You could also visit the American Kennel Club marketplace for some available Italian Greyhound puppies throughout America. 

Each organization is generally formed to protect and promote the high-quality breeding of an Italian Greyhound.

They also provide a comfortable temporary shelter for the rescued IG.

But before we conclude this journey, here's a little throwback to the time where and when this Italian Greyhound started.

IG wearing a victorian attire

Italian Greyhound Historical Background

This Italian Greyhound dog already existed 2,000 years ago. There was much Archeological evidence that this breed is the favorite noble companion in the Roman Empire Regime. 

This miniature Greyhound also appears in many artifacts in the region, now Turkey and Greece.

They were also featured in many Renaissance Master's paintings in the 16th and 17th centuries. And after that, they gain more fame as they are known to be a small-game hunter.

In the European days, owning a Greyhound miniature symbolized power and wealth, so they were popular among Aristocrats and wealthy strivers.

One of the royal blooded people was Queen Victoria of the UK, who owned two IG's as part of their family.

In 1875 and 1886, they were recognized by the Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club as another breed.

During World Wars, they suffered. Luckily, the American breeders continue to keep them alive, growing, and repopulating.

Until now, Italian Greyhound dogs have continued their journey and maintained their renowned reputation for being an excellent dog breed.

Italian Greyhound Conclusion

Though this Italian Greyhound is just a miniature of the original Greyhound breeds, they would never disappoint you. They're small-game hunters who are loving, loyal, and friendly. 

They have that desirable personality that would surely attract dog lovers out there.

However, having this Italian Greyhound means sacrificing some of your time for their physical and mental health.

Because of their short, smooth coats, they might quickly get irritated, so they need more extra care.

Letting your IG play and do what they want to would also help them stay active and happy at the same time.

And if you're planning to adopt one, you need to consider some health risks they might suffer from. By doing that, you would enjoy having them for a longer time.

To conclude this article, always remember that you need to cherish every moment you spend with them, no matter what dog breed you have.

Playing and bonding with your Italian Greyhound puppy and dog is beneficial for them and can serve as therapy for you.

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