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Italian Greyhound

Miniature Greyhound, Piccolo Levriero Italiano

Family: Canidae Italian Greyhound, also called Miniature Greyhound and Piccolo Levriero ItalianoCanis lupus familiarisPhoto Wiki-Commons: Courtesy christina
Latest Reader Comment - See More
Hi.. I had one minature greyhound she was given to me and I had her 5 months and I got so attached to her and she loved my cat. She was so much fun but she kind of... (more)  Ann

   The affectionate Italian Greyhound is so playful that keeping them in pairs can provide a good outlet for all that energy!

The Italian Greyhound, also called the Miniature Greyhound, looks like a miniature version of the standard Greyhound. This miniature Italian Greyhound was developed by the Romans and highly favored by the nobility of that period. It is a toy sighthound breed, tall for a toy breed but within the weight standards. LIke all hound breeds it is a natural hunter and companion.

Italian Greyhounds are very gentle and affectionate, but they also have lots of energy and love to play. They will get along with everybody in the household, but can be territorial when strange dogs are around. These small dogs make good indoor pets as long as they get a daily walk to expend their energy. They are very intelligent and can be trained as watchdogs.

When selecting an Italian Greyhound, check bloodlines for eye problems, epilepsy, autoimmune disorders, von Willebrand's disease, and thyroid problems. This breed is also somewhat prone to hip and joint problems.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: lupus familiaris

Common Name(s) Italian Greyhound, Miniature Greyhound, and Piccolo Levriero Italiano.

Breed Type The Italian Greyhound is a toy sighthound breed. Tall for a toy breed but within the weight standards, the Italian Greyhound is a natural hunter and companion.

Background It is believed that the Italian Greyhound's roots go back to either ancient Egypt, Turkey or Greece. The breed arrived in Europe courtesy of the Phonecians, and became popular among the Romans. The breed was developed by them, and it became a favorite of nobility in the sixteenth century.
Breeders attempted to make the Italian Greyhound even smaller through crossbreeding, but their efforts only led to horrible mutations. This led to a decline in the breed until groups of breed loyalists worked together to restore it.

Description The Italian Greyhound looks like a miniature version of the standard Greyhound. Its head is long and tapering, with narrow, folded ears, a dark nose and thin lips. It has a deep chest and caved in abdomen with an arched back. Their straight tails are slightly curved at the tip. The legs are long and slender. Colors of the short, sleek coat include gray, cream, red, fawn, black and blue. White markings and flecks are allowed by some, but not all, kennel clubs.
Italian Greyhounds are 12 to 15 inches tall. The breed is broken down into two weight varieties: up to 8 pounds and over 8 pounds. Average weight is 6 to 10 pounds.

Care and Feeding Italian Greyhounds tend to eat only when hungry, so overeating is rarely a concern. The best foods for the breed include fish, poultry, lamb, and brown rice.
The Italian Greyhound's sleek coat is very easy to groom. No brushing is necessary, only regular rub-downs with a towel or chamois. Baths should be given only when necessary, and it is important to make sure the dog is dried thoroughly to keep him from chilling. Teeth need regular brushing, and nails should be trimmed as needed.
This breed needs annual checkups to screen for health problems. Vaccinations are due as follows:

  • 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
  • 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
  • 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
  • Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

Italian Greyhounds shed lightly. Their fine hair is easy to vacuum up, so little extra maintenance is needed.

Housing Your Dog Italian Greyhounds are well suited to living indoors. They are sensitive to the cold, so their environment should be kept warm and they should wear sweaters when outside in cold weather. Some owners in cold climates litter train their Italian Greyhounds and keep them inside at all times.

Social Behaviors The Italian Greyhound gets along well with everyone in the household, but may be frightened by rambunctious children. It does well with other dogs and cats that it is around on a daily basis. This breed can be territorial, so it is important to be watchful when strange dogs are around. Breeders often recommend keeping Italian Greyhounds in pairs or groups.

Handling and Training Italian Greyhounds respond well to gentle and consistent training. Housebreaking may be difficult.

Activities This breed needs a fair amount of exercise each day. A daily walk is a must, and time to run and play off-leash should be provided on a regular basis. Due to their delicate build, it is not advisable to allow Italian Greyhounds to play with larger dogs.

Breeding/Reproduction Italian Greyhounds usually have little trouble whelping. When selecting a mate for your dog, health problems to look for include eye disorders, joint problems, epilepsy, and bleeding disorders.

Common Health Problems The Italian Greyhound's bones are fragile, particularly during the first 2 years of life. For this reason, it is important to provide an environment in which injuries are unlikely. Good tooth care is also important for this breed, as it is prone to a number of tooth and gum problems.

Availability This breed may be difficult to find in some areas, but Italian Greyhound breeders can be located online. Prices are usually between $400 and $800..

References "Italian Greyhound", Dog Breed Info Center, Copyright 1998-2008
Cusick, William D., "What to Feed an Italian Greyhound", Referenced online, 2008
"Italian Greyhound Puppies for Sale", Copyright, LLC, Referenced online, 2008
"Italian Greyhound", Wikipedia, Copyright 2008

Lastest Animal Stories on Italian Greyhound

Ann - 2013-12-27
Hi.. I had one minature greyhound she was given to me and I had her 5 months and I got so attached to her and she loved my cat. She was so much fun but she kind of disappeared and I walked all over town searching and calling for her but didn't find her and a guy heard me calling for her and he asked me what kind of dog it was. I told him he said a man came by with a dog on his with a purple collar that looked like a greyhound that was hit by a car but I didn't believe him cause he told me where she was hit and it was right from where I lived and I would had heard it and I will always believe if he picked her up right at the road where I lived why didn't he come around and ask anybody if the dog belong to me or someone else here? There are only three on this street. But it broke my heart not knowing either way so I cried so much I got sick and had to go to the er but once I got back home the next day I got online and looked up minature greyhounds and found one in Ark. I bought her immediately, the lady said she would be put on a flight and she would be at airport in the afternoon so I was happy and I went to the airport went inside and told the guy at the counter what I was expecting and he said ok and he said the flight was delayed 30 minutes. So I went outside to watch the planes and then when I saw the plane coming in with Penny on it I got all excited with tears in my eyes and went rushing in the airport after I figured they had time for the luggage to come off and went to the counter and the guy said I am sorry but they were no pets on that flight. I broke down then he said please I'm sorry don't cry I got your little dog and he brought her out and it was so amazing to see her. When I got her to the truck I took out the carrier and held her all the way home and never let go of her and still today I hold her and play with her. She was 14 weeks old when I got her and she is now 5 years. Born August 18 and I wouldn't trade her for anything. I am an animal lover and when something bad happens to one I have or had it breaks my heart bad, like a part of me was taken too. I have lost many in the past. I had two cats from the lynx family with no tails, I had a brother and sister. My fluffy passed in 2007 when I was in Morroco and it was so sad cause I wasn't here but his brother is now 18 and he's slow but he is still doing good. I love my animals and they have anything they want and they are very well taken care of. Penny is now laying right against me at this moment we did our playing and she is resting and I'm on the computer but she is loved. She is truly amazing, I love her to pieces. Sorry I wrote so much but sometimes I get carried away about animals and I have my bearboy and penny girl now. They are my heart next to my two daughters too, which are grown and on their own so it is me and my bearboy and penny girl here now.

rona golbderg - 2012-08-20
Was just introduced to a minature today, so sweet, got along with my cats. Very sweet dog. I would just have loved to foster him, but with two cats, I can,t take him, s

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-20
    How come you can't have the pup with the cats if they got along?  Just curious - possibly youhave more sense thanme though.
Anonymous - 2013-07-18
Dear Christina we would like our dog back. The one in this photo. Been lost for 2 yrs and 2 months call us 1(414) 433-5701 or 1 (413) 433-5732 ask for Bob or Kim.

Anonymous - 2013-07-18
'LUIGI' got lost on the Mass pike....we never saw him again ran 35 miles an hour under a guardrail under a 53 foot trailer, made it to the other side and was gone. In the woods. Please contact me, we have his sister, 'PRINCESS POOCHANELLA'..I never gave up the search... Kim @(413)433-5701 or Bob @(413)433-5732.

Anonymous - 2013-07-18
This mini greyhound is Bob Mitchell's this photo taken from i guess a girl a girl christine...luigi ran off on us may 2,2011 ive text you described him too you he has family and a sister, princess-poochanella. We would like too give a reward for him, when he vanished he also had a red flea collar on wasn't neutered, all black nails but a few, has scares on both knees from when he was a pup, he tryed climbing the stairs, we bought him with a bent tail, his eyes are green, his nose is grey...we'd like too be 'UNITED'...with a happy ending. I dont have my email hooked up, so please from the bottom of our hearts... Call or bob (413)433-5701 or (413) 433-5732...Luigi drove in the big rigg with us all...

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-07-24
    The source of this photo is Wiki Commons. If you want to contact the author, try going to that site. It appears that this photo was uploaded in 2007 though, so I am not sure how much luck you will have proving this is your dog?

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