Breed Organization Italian Greyhound Club of America Website:
http://www.italiangreyhound.org Native Country Italy Other Names IG, Italian Greyhound, Miniature Greyhound, Piccolo Levriero Italiano Life Expectancy Approximately 12-15 Years Litter Size Average 3-5 Puppies Breed Group AKC Toy
Breed Appearance The modern Italian Greyhound's appearance is a
result of breeders throughout Europe, particularly Austrian, German,
Italian, French and British breeders, making great contributions to
the forming of this breed. The Italian Greyhound should resemble a
small Greyhound, or rather a Sloughi, though they are in appearance
more elegant and graceful.
Breed Description Head: Long, narrow. Flat skull. Stop not
very pronounced. Pointed muzzle. Cleanly cut cheeks. Thin lips. Ears: Set on high, small. Folded back on themselves and carried
against the upper neck. Eyes: Large, dark. Edge of eyelids pigmented. Body: Square build. Neck shaped like a short cone, without
dewlap. Fairly pronounced withers. Chest deep, well let-down,
narrow. Tail: Set on low, thin even at the base, tapering gradually
toward the tip. First half carried low and straight; remainder
curving. Hair: Close-lying and fine on entire body. Coat: Solid or any shade of black, grey, slate grey, slate, or
yellow. White is tolerated only on the chest and feet. Size: 32 to 38 cm. Weight: Up to 5 kg.
History This very ancient breed - possibly a mutated
Egyptian Greyhound - was brought to Italy via Greece as early as the
fifth century B.C., as evidenced by numerous representations on
vases and mixing bowls. The Italian Greyhound was very common in the
Roman Empire and throughout the Middle Ages but was most popular
with the nobility of Renaissance times. This dog was commonly
painted by the grand masters of Italy and abroad. The Italian
Greyhound charmed the elite of this period, from King Francois I to
Frederick the Great. Then interest in the dog waned, due to a
decline in the breed caused by miniaturization. After World War II,
the breed was revived, and its earlier traits were restored. A
standard was established in 1968.
Behavior This tiny Greyhound or miniature Arabian
Greyhound often quivers with excitement. Despite his dainty and
fragile appearance, he is lively, energetic, hardy, and agile. He
likes to hunt small game (including rabbit and hare). Affectionate,
intelligent, very loving, merry, and playful, he is a charming pet.
He is quiet, reserved, and distant toward strangers. He needs gentle
but firm training.
Health Italian Greyhounds are prone to epilepsy,
slipped stifle, fractures, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy). Dams
whelp easily. Adult dogs are fairly hardy, however puppies are more
fragile up until they are about eighteen months old, and they can
break a leg rather easily.
Advice He can adapt to city life but needs exercise.
He does not like being left alone and cannot tolerate cold weather
and rain. He requires regular brushing.