Italian Greyhound originated more than 2,000 years ago in the regions now known as Turkey and Greece. By the 1600s, the breed was a favorite in Italy, and as the breed’s popularity spread, it became a favorite of many royal families in Europe, in countries including England, Prussia, Russia, and Denmark. The Italian Greyhound is very much a sighthound but in miniature.
Italian Greyhound dog breed Stands 13 to 15 inches tall and these delicate dogs weigh just 7 to 15 pounds. The head is long and tapered, the eyes are dark, and the ears are folded at half-mast. The back is curved, body is compact, and legs are those of a runner. The tail is slender and curved. The coat is short and fine and can be any color except brindle or black and tan. The fine coat needs weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush or soft curry comb.
Italian Greyhound puppies can be quite active and need daily exercise to prevent destructive behavior. The exercise can also help strengthen fine bones and build muscles. Italian Greyhound puppies should be prevented from jumping from heights (even a sofa), as they can break fragile leg bones. Italian Greyhound adults are not nearly as active, although they will always enjoy a good run. All exercise should be on leash or within a fenced yard.
Italian Greyhounds are affectionate and personable, but should meet a variety of people during puppyhood, as they can be aloof with strangers. Obedience training should be fun and fair. Housetraining can sometimes be a challenge. Italian Greyhound puppies need to eliminate often, and bowel and bladder control can take a few months to develop.
Italian Greyhound owners need to be patient and consistent in their training. This breed does not do well when left alone for many hours each day. This is an inside breed; the fine coat offers no protection at all from inclement weather. Italian Greyhounds usually get along with children and other small dogs but are fragile and should be protected from rough play. Health concerns included broken bones, dental problems, and drug sensitivities.