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Italian Greyhound

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Italian greyhound is a small playful dog breed that loves to please its owner. It is the smallest greyhound breed and also the oldest. It is thought the breed derives from Egypt. It is best suited for a home without children where there is peace and quiet.

Character and behaviour
The Italian greyhound is a lively and happy breed, which becomes closely attached to its owner. Even though it does not require a lot of exercise it will not be relaxing and sleeping all day. Instead, there need to be some activities going on.

The training of an Italian greyhound should be gentle but consistent. It is an intelligent breed and therefore easily trained. In spite of its vulnerable look it is in fact a robust dog. It is incredible fast and active outdoors. In addition, it is essential to socialise the breed given that it may be reserved towards strangers. The Italian greyhound does not like cold winter days thus equipping it with a dog blanket might be necessary.

History of the breed
The Italian greyhound is originally an Egyptian breed. It can be dated 5000 years back in that mummified greyhounds were found in the pharaohs’ tombs. The Romans brought these dogs to Italy thousands of years later.

Casts of the little dog were found at the excavations in Pompeii. In the 16th century the dogs became really popular in Italy thus making it natural to name it Italian greyhound. Later the breed became popular in royal circles around Europe.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Italian greyhound looks almost fragile with its thin legs and small head. The head is long and narrow. The eyes are large and dark. The chest is deep and narrow. The legs are long and thin. The tail is long and set low. The nose is either black or brown depending of the coat colour. The ears are thin and fold back. The lower back is arched.

The Italian greyhound is 12-15 inches and weighs 6-10 pounds.

The coat is short, smooth, and delicate. It is available in all colours and colour combinations. However, not all colours are allowed in the show ring. The coat hardly requires any grooming. It practically does not shed.

The Italian greyhound may be inclined to suffer from epilepsy. In addition, they can easily break a leg until the age of 18 months. Therefore being cautious without being overprotective is the right approach. Life expectancy is 14-16 years.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Friendly and lively
  • Loves to be the centre of attention
  • Does not tolerate extreme cold
  • May be reserved towards strangers
  • Suitable for apartment living if daily exercise is provided

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