Don't let the name fool you — the Italian Greyhound is originally from Greece and Turkey. But Italian aristocrats loved these small, sweet dogs so much so that they came to symbolize wealth in many Renaissance paintings. Today, this breed is still a cherished canine companion.
An Italian Greyhound's absolute favorite place is on your lap. They can be somewhat catlike: they love to sunbathe, and many use litter boxes so they don't have to go outside in the cold or wet. If you've ever cuddled one of these snuggly pups, you might be surprised at how athletic they are. This breed is very fast. They can run up to 25 miles per hour — the average dog can only do about 19! They also have acute hearing and sight.
This small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 7-14 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Toy group.
|Breed's original pastime||Companion|
|Average lifespan||14-15 years|
|Date of origin||Ancient times|
|Original function||Lap dog|
|Average size of male||Height: 13-15 Weight: 7-14|
|Average size of female||Height: 13-15 Weight: 7-14|
|Energy level||High energy|
|Affection level||Somewhat affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Shy|
|Ease of training||Moderately easy to train|
|Protection ability||Not very protective|
|Grooming needs||Low maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Low tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||High tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS AN ITALIAN GREYHOUND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Italian Greyhounds are just so sweet and gentle. While they get along just fine with other dogs and pets, Italian Greyhounds are best matched with single folks or couples without kids. They can be cuddly to the point of clinginess and are fairly fragile.
WHAT IS ITALIAN GREYHOUND BEHAVIOR LIKE?
In her heart, the Italian Greyhound is a sprinter. It's important to let this dog run while she's still little — if this breed doesn't run and jump while they're puppies, their bones can be fragile in adulthood.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN AN ITALIAN GREYHOUND?
Italian Greyhounds learn as fast as they run, but you'll have to work to keep her attention. These are sensitive souls, so be gentle while you're training. Some are slow to house train. They respond well to play or food treats.
Start early and be patient and consistent with your pup. Socialization with children and other dogs while they're still puppies is important to discourage shyness. Their prey drive makes Italian Greyhounds poor candidates for off leash play outside well-fenced areas.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO ITALIAN GREYHOUNDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
An Italian Greyhound's single coat is short, close, and smooth. They don't shed much and they don't smell doggy. While they're very easy to groom, be sure to get your thin-skinned friend a coat (or four) for chilly weather!
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO ITALIAN GREYHOUNDS HAVE?
Italian Greyhounds are an especially healthy breed. They can have delicate bones and thin skin, however. Discourage rough play and high jumping for their first year. Puppies will need crating while you're out of the house. As with other Toy breeds, it's important to feed young Italian Greyhounds often to prevent hypoglycemia.