The Italian Greyhound is a slender dog that comes with long and fine bones. The head of the greyhound is long and narrow, coming to an almost flat region on top of the muzzle. The color of the nose may vary, as it may be black or brown. The teeth meet at a scissors bite. The dog has dark medium sized eyes. The legs are all straight and even giving the dog a flat top line. Dewclaws in this breed may be removed when the dog is of a tender age. The chest is narrow and deep. The neck is long and arched. The Italian Greyhound has a long low set tail.
The Italian Greyhound has a short and glossy hair coat. The hair coat of the greyhound comes in all colors including red, black, fawn, cream blue and white. In some of the greyhounds, there are white markings that appear on the chest and feet. A version of the greyhound has also been shown which has flecks.. In the AKC classification, brindle and black coated Italian Greyhounds are not accepted. The height of the dog is at 12 – 15 inches, with the weight ranging at about 6 – 10 pounds.
This dog is generally playful, jovial and enjoys the company of its master. Being an intelligent dog, it is fairly easy to train and can listen to the tone of the masters voice to understand what its being told. Harsh discipline when the dog is wrong is therefore not necessary as the dog from your tone can know you are not pleased. Training needs to be done consistently and at set times of the day, so that the dog can associate this to training. When it comes to strangers, the dog is reserved at the first encounter, though in subsequent meetings with strangers, it warms up to them.
Exercise is also a very important daily regime to accomplish for the dog to ensure it is well worked. This helps avoid behavior problems from developing.
Among the common health problems of the dog include epilepsy, fractures, slipped stifle and Progressive Retinal Atrophy PRA. Puppies are very fragile up until they are 18 months of age. Careful handling of the dog is recommended.
The Italian Greyhound is a generally healthy dog. There is however high mortality cases in young puppies under the age of 2 years. Care must be taken when handling the young ones to protect them from injury and opportunistic infections. These go on to live about 12 – 15 years.
This is quite easy as all that is needed is regular brushing of the short hair coat, once a week is more than sufficient. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary. Nail trimming should also be done once every 3 months.
This is an ancient dog that has been traced back as much as 6000 years. It is shown to be a dog of Egyptian origin. It was brought into Europe by the Phoenician civilization and became a common dog to be owned by the nobles. The Italian Greyhound was officially recognized by the AKC in 1886.