Italian Greyhounds look exactly like Greyhounds only in miniature, but they are not greyhounds even if the resemblance is striking; however, they possess the same elegance and poise as their bigger cousins.
Inseparable from their owners, they love to give and receive affection like there’s no tomorrow. Italian Greyhounds are not aggressive dogs and get on well with all family members, including children.
Italian Greyhound History
As mentioned, it’s unclear why dog fanciers bred the tiny Greyhound; usually, dogs are bred for specific reasons but not so this dog.
They might have been little, speedy hunters of small game or just as a companion, although why anyone would want such a quick companion dog is anyone’s guess.
During the 5th to the 15th century, the dog was famous throughout southern Europe. The Italians took the dog to heart and gave the dog the name Italian Greyhound, at least the translation of the term.
The Italian Greyhound became a firm favorite to the Royalty, nobility, and wealthy of the 16th century.
Even allowing for the dog being a rarity in the US, the AKC (American Kennel Club) registered the first Italian Greyhound in 1886. Currently, it ranks number 73 of the most popular dogs in the United States.
Italian Greyhound Characteristics
The Italian Greyhound grows to a height of 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 7 and 14 pounds. Italian Greyhounds have a life expectancy of 14 to 15 years, and the AKC has placed them in the Toy Group.
Italian Greyhounds are blessed with the body perfect for the speed merchants they are; the slim, almost wiry body has a slightly curved back, a deep chest as you would expect for a sighthound, and well-defined but slim legs. The dogs carry their tails slung low, and it has a whippy look.
The Italian Greyhound has a smooth and glossy coat close to the skin and feels very soft to the touch.
The ears are pretty small and half folded except when they are alert, then the ears fold at right angles to the dog’s head. A feature of most sighthounds is the long head and narrow muzzle.
Italian Greyhound Temperament
Italian Greyhounds are tremendously lovable, sweet, and gentle dogs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy playtime; they love a romp around playing catch and generally burning off their surplus energy.
They love to jump up on the couch and really snuggle down, and you’ll very often find them burrowed under a throw or blanket fast asleep.
But that’s only half the story because hidden away in this snuggle bunny is a swift-moving and vigorous dog. Italian Greyhounds can quite suddenly burst into life and hare around the house or garden at breakneck speeds.
If you’re intent on getting an Italian Greyhound prepare yourself for the epitome of the velcro dog. They will constantly seek out your attention, and if you should leave the room for any reason, your shadow won’t be far behind.
Owners often comment you can’t even get a quiet moment alone in the toilet with an Italian Greyhound in the house.
Italian Greyhounds – Final Thoughts
Italian Greyhounds are exceptionally demanding dogs; they need a reasonable amount of daily exercise to run off any frustrations; they don’t want to be left alone and will follow you relentlessly around.
They can be sensitive to any harsh commands and certainly wouldn’t cope with being yelled at; you shouldn’t physically correct any dog, but certainly not an Italian Shepherd; they’re far too sensitive for that.
The Italian Shepherd makes a beautiful, affectionate family dog, and if you’re at ease with their demanding nature, you should be happy together.
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