Dog Breeds 101: Italian Greyhound

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Dog Breeds 101  – Italian Greyhound
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 2.0

The graceful and elegant Italian Greyhound is an active dog which is always on the move. It is a smaller version of the typical Greyhound and was very popular during the Victorian Era. These dogs are fond of chasing and running around but once inside the house, they become calm and somewhat sensitive. Due to their high predator instincts, they chase after anything that moves and so they should always be on leash or within an enclosed area. Italian Greyhounds are fast runners and have the potential to do well in dog sports. In order for them to be well-adjusted pets, they need to be given lots of exercise and early socialization. [1][2]

The breed has an average life span of 12 to 15 years and can grow up to 15 inches at the withers weighing between 7 to 15 pounds. The Italian Greyhound has a short coat which is silky in texture. The coat is almost odorless (making grooming very easy) and comes in a variety of colors. [2]

For centuries, Italian Greyhounds have been devoted companions. They are considered to be the smallest of the sighthounds and it is believed that they originated in Greece and Turkey around 2,000 years ago. They were especially popular in Italy in the 6th century, hence the breed’s name. At some point, they found their way to the United States and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. Although the population of the breed in the US was relatively small, it was able to save the Italian Greyhound from extinction numerous times. During the World Wars, their numbers in Europe became dangerously low and breeders would always use the American-bred Italian Greyhounds to raise the breed’s numbers in Europe. [3][4]


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