The Italian Greyhound makes an excellent apartment dweller but does need plenty of activity and space for freedom of movement. They enjoy a good walk, and will bond especially well with their owners after exercise. These dogs enjoy playing with other Italian Greyhounds and can get quite rough; they should not necessarily play with larger dogs since they can hurt themselves without realizing it. They enjoy rolling in the grass and tumbling in the sand; they are very sensitive to cold temperatures and will need to wear warm clothing such as a sweater, in colder weather. These dogs do not need to be chained up all day.
The Italian Greyhound is very similar to a fine-boned Greyhound but with some distinct qualities that differentiate from the latter breed. The Italian Greyhound has a thin coat and long head with a thinning, gradually pointed muzzle. These dogs have fine narrow ears that fold back on the head, but they will rise to a perpendicular state when the dog is alert, anxious, or excited. The abdomen is usually tucked in and the back is arched; the dog has a dark nose and thin lips with a generally healthy scissors bite.
The eyes on the Italian Greyhound are dark and expressive; the tail is straight and ends in a slight curve. The coat is easy to manage and is solid gray, slate, cream, black, or blue; white markings usually accompany the main colors and flecked versions are common throughout many countries. The Italian Greyhound is famous for its skipping, high-stepping gait. It is the smallest of sight hounds and weighs only between 7-11 lbs. The dog tends to stand tall but has withered shoulders that make it almost petite. They are in the "toy" group of dogs because they do not occupy much physical space. Owners may have difficulty finding the appropriate clothing for this dog given its height and weight proportions.
The chest is deep and the legs are long and slender. Long legs make this dog a natural sprinter, racer, and runner. They are miniature Greyhounds for the most part, and also will display the elegant trot of a horse. Top speeds can run up to 25 mph, and they are a result of multiple breeding throughout Europe, Austria, and Germany.
The dogs are well-balanced and make excellent companion dogs. They are exceptionally vigilant and are a postiive influence for children and pet owners alike.
The Italian Greyhound has a short coat with a soft, natural texture. The undercoat does not offer them much protection during harsh weather, but it is easy to maintain with a simple wipe down. The most common colors are grey, slate, black, and dark blue.
The Italian Greynound is one of the oldest Greyhound lines and a similar dog has been found in the Egyptian tombs of over 6000 years ago. This breed was brought to Europe by the Phoenicians and was later developed and trained by the Romans. The Greyhound was found in the ancient artifacts of Pompeii, Italy and has since become a popular dog throughout the royal families in Europe. These dogs quickly became popular companion dogs but have also been used for hunting purposes. The Italian Greyhound has often appeared in old paintings and artifacts, and has historically been favored by Catherine the Great of Russia, Anne of Denmark, and Queen Victoria among others. The name of the breed is actually a reference to the breed's popularity during the Renaissance period in Italy.
The Italian Greyhound has been known to be a companion at war; Frederick the Great of Prussia reportedly took his Italian Greyhound with him during the battle period in Europe because he liked it so much! His dying wish was to be buried with his Italian Greyhound in Sands Souci Palace.
These graceful dogs have also been a part of the nineteenth century African cattle exchanges; they were at one time exchanged for 200 cattle during the trading periods. These dogs are the smallest of the family of gazehounds and most likely originated from Greece or Turkey. They have often been depicted in the natural arts and distributed throughout Southern Europe when miniature dogs were in high demand.
The Italian Greyhound is naturally gentle and submissive by nature, but also very affectionate. They are reserved and will listen to their masters; they rarely exhibit destructive behavior except when they are bored, abused, or distressed. Playful and intelligent, these dogs make wonderful companions for families. They can be particularly observant, vigilant, and perceptive. They are not difficult to train and are best trained at an early age. It is important to not be too firm with these dogs since they tend to take directions and tone very seriously. Learning how to overcome their shy and timid nature will help provide the proper handling.
The Italian Greyhound can also be very high strung and timid; they do need to be handled gently and are well suited for a household that does not have lively children or pets with a lot of energy. These dogs will sense the owner's state of mind and personality fairly easily; they will adapt best to calm and natural settings, and they may even need reassurance by stroking during a stressful situation. They are naturally independent but also are dependent on their owners and caretakers for peace. These dogs tend to become snappish if they are frightened, anxious, or disconcerted. They may be difficult to housebreak since they can become so anxious easily.
The Italian Greyhound is a natural runner and will run at very high speeds when needed. They are highly active, and can climb wire fencing, jump from tabletops, and even jump over small walls in the backyard. They do not do well with larger dogs as they can become very protective and hurt themselves very easily. In general, these dogs are not easy to get along with; although they may show affection to their owners and become companions easily, they do have moments where their patience is tested and can become quite self-centered.
These dogs do, however, get along with other Italian Greyhounds and will do well as a pair in the family. The dogs are fine breed but can be fairly destructive if they are not well trained. Sleek and short, they can get into a lot of trouble with ease! They have a natural propensity for gentleness and do well with children and even infants. However, they are also quickly agitated and may overreact if they are in a stressful situation.
Still, these dogs are reasonably good watch dogs and will bark at unfamiliar sounds. They do nto get along with cats or other small dogs and may even scare other animals away with their harsh bark. They are very reliable and will rarely run far from home. A natural gazehound, these dogs instinctively hunt by sight and they also exhibit characteristics of being strong with a prey drive.
It can be difficult to housebreak these dogs since they have small bladders; however, with the appropriate amount of attention, patience, and consistency the smallest challenges can be overcome.
Even though these dogs look quite fragile and delicate, they are much hardier than they seem. Until about 18 months of age, the bones of the Italian Greyhound are especially fragile and they may break a leg or their tails very easily. However, they are much stronger after 18 months of age. A few special conditions to be aware of include:
Slipped stifle: they have a proneness to stress fractures and slipped vertebrae.
Fractures: again, these dogs are likely to break their fragile bones.
Since the Italian Greyhound has such a short coat and silky coat, it is very easy to maintain their luster and shine. The Italian Greyhound is one of the easiest dogs to take care of and groom, and will only need to be bathed when it has been playing in dirt. To keep the coat silky and clean, all that is needed is a piece of toweling rubbed against their skin. Making sure the dogs are dry and warm will make bathing much easier since they are so sensitive to cold and heat changes. The teeth will need to be brushed on a regular basis to prevent tartar buildup, and this can be completed by a professional or Vet. The toenails need to be kept trimmed so the dog does not acquire health problems. The Italian Greyhound rarely sheds hair and will require little maintenance or attention to this area.Bathing and dry shampooing only when necessary is a good idea since these dogs do not enjoy a lot of temperature shifts and changes. These dogs need to be checked for fleas, ticks, and other health conditions on a regular basis. The ears also need to be checked on a regular basis so that they stay clear of disease and other health concerns.
Since the Italian Greyhound is a natural runner with plenty of energy, they will need to be outside at least once per day. These dogs thoroughly enjoy jogging and running with their owners, and will make good companions for short distances. However, they are much better walking companions; they do need to be supervised when playing with other dogs since they can get injured very easily. They need to prevent accidents from occurring by staying protected whenever possible.
Tehse dogs also fare well with playing "fetch" and finding hidden items. They do enjoy hunting by nature, and can look forward to a game of hide and seek with owners. They are intense and have a strong stamina, but they will not play well in cold weather unless they are kept warm and well protected.
These dogs are intelligent and will learn new skills fairly easily. Taking them to the park or dog playground will provide them with enough stimulation to keep them happy, motivated, and healthy.
The Italian Greyhound is a very quick learner and trains well during its puppy stages. A puppy that is left without support or security will have temperament problems and will have constant fears to manage during later years. Puppies left without their mothers or siblings for extended periods of time will have difficulty socializing, and need this attention during their formative years to become better socialized in the long term. They may exhibit behaviors such as hand biting, nipping, and excessive barking; however, with the appropriate amount of training, these behaviors can be overcome.
Housetraining is much easier during the period of 10-12 weeks; they cannot be expected to have control over their body functions until they are at least 10 weeks old, and waiting until they are too old can be a problem. Italian Greyhounds are extremely bright and paper training or litter box training will be the ideal choice. They are not good all weather dogs and making sure training takes place indoors will be your best option.
These dogs require attention and positive motivation. They may need frequent stroking or caressing if they are uneasy, and they do well with crate training during the housebreaking stages.
It's important to keep a firm grip on these puppies but also keep a gentle hand. Holding the puppies by wrapping them tight can help them stay safe and secure, and setting them on the floor requires that they have all four feet on the floor before letting go. The dog needs to be trained on how and when to climb furniture, and they should not be left unsupervised on a bed or couch whenever possible. It's important not to let the dog go unleashed in an unsecured area; they may have selective deafness where no amount of calling will let you be heard. These dogs need to be monitored on a regular basis as they can be easily distracted. Still, the dogs travel extremely well but do need to be crated for long car rides. They do have a tendency to leap out of cars or vehicles if they are not properly restrained.
These dogs take direction and instruction well, and will be especially obedient after only a short period of time.