|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
The Italian Greyhound without any questions is a miniature Sighthound, a refined and elegant little athlete unlike any dog we know nowadays.
The Italian Greyhound is considered a model of grace and excellence. As one can assume, its origins are from Italy; it is also known as Italian Sighthound or Piccolo Levriero Italiano, and it is recognized officially by the FCI (International Canine Federation). This dog breed combines elegance and muscle power in a harmonic and small body structure: it weighs only 11 lb. (5 kg.).
Besides appearing in numerous artworks, throughout time it has been the companion of many important historical figures and famous characters of the World, such as: Frederick the Great and Catherine II, empress of Russia. What aspects of this Little Italian Greyhound caused such an impression in these remarkable figures? Let’s find out!
Italian Greyhound: Origins
The origins of this dog breed are very ancient; some remains found in Egypt over 5000 years ago confirmed the existence of very similar dogs to the Italian Greyhound we know today. Perhaps it was imported from Egypt to Italy, which is considered its true homeland.
Around the 5th century BC, this dog breed spread through Laconia, a historical region of Greece, where it appeared in artworks, such as vases and pottery, and then it travelled to the Italian Peninsula where it rapidly gained popularity.
In fact, there are a series of representations of Italian Greyhounds in artworks throughout centuries, we can easily find them looking through the pages of an art history book, this is a sign of how highly appreciated and popular Italian Greyhounds were. The history of this dog breed is entangled with Italian characters, from the Roman and Etruscan civilizations, who portrayed this elegant dog in astonishing sculptures, engravings, and also wrote about it in novels, narrations and tales.
We can also find the Italian Greyhound in the Middle Age, portrayed by Giotto (Giotto di Bondone); during the Renaissance painted by Michelangelo, and then it passed brush by brush to the paintings Giambattista (Giovanni Battista Tiepolo). Nowadays, it is easier to see it in pictures on social media. The Little Italian Greyhound always looks good and in perfect shape.
Italian Greyhound: Common Uses
It has always been raised as a hunting dog, specially used to catch pheasants and hares, but during the 19th century its tasks changed to a more social role. Nowadays, it is a highly appreciated companion dog, but before the Second World War, it had a strong moment of crisis: an identity crisis; the Little Italian Greyhound had lost its hunting instincts, during this period it was smaller, fragile and delicate.
The situation was not good, until it was time to save this distinguished dog breed. The project was run by a brave and kind-hearted woman, the Marquise Maria Luisa Incontri Lotteringhi Della Stufa, owner of a historical dog breeding establishment. She rescued and saved the Little Italian Greyhound, and today it is a treasured dog that is in constant development.
Italian Greyhound: Physical Characteristics
Its height can be around 15 inches (40 cm.) and weighs 11 lb. (5 kg.): it is without question a small dog, an emblem of elegance and energy. A lot of people consider this dog breed as aerodynamic, and they are not wrong. Maybe it is because of its way of walking, which is very peculiar.
Its body structure is not as fragile as it seems, the back is square-shaped and as we said before it has a distinguished walk which is elegant and prestigious. When it combines speed and energy, it is very impressive; in short distances it can reach a speed of 40 mi (60 km) per hour. Among the other dog breeds, the Italian Greyhound is considered a refined, quiet, noble and beautiful little athlete.
Although it is not a weak dog, it has a small and dry bone structure; and it has a light and well-muscled build that is not too heavy. It can be defined as a sinuous, long and thin silhouette. The muzzle is long and pointy; it has big dark round eyes, V-shaped ears, and a black or dark-colored nose.
We can find the Italian Greyhound in the following colors:
The Italian Greyhound’s coat has the same length in all its body; it has gorgeous, soft, shiny, and silky hair. This dog breed does not have an undercoat, and the colors allowed by the standard are:
- Fulvous (beige or brownish-yellow) in all its shades;
- White is permitted only on the chest and paws.
The Little Italian Greyhound, whatever colors it has, is a joyful, affectionate and docile dog. You should not be deceived by optical illusions, sometimes its looks can give you the wrong impression; it is not a “snob”, unhealthy or fragile dog. This little Italian Greyhound can endure great physical and psychological tests, with its truly exceptional temperament.
Italian Greyhound: Temperament
This dog breed is joyful, smart, affectionate, obedient, faithful and docile. The Italian Greyhound is without questions, a long-life companion, even for families with children. It does not look like a particularly outgoing animal, it can give the impression of being cold or indifferent, but this could not be more wrong.
Maybe at first, it can be reserved and reflective with itself, but when it opens its heart, this little friend guarantees a life filled with love and loyalty 24 hours a day.
The Little Italian Greyhound is used to bond with one particular person, but it is very shy with strangers and other animals, on the contrary with its family is always available and affectionate. One of its most particular characteristics is that it keeps its tail between its legs; this is not a sign of submission or fear. In fact, this agile and quiet dog moves with a refined and harmonious style.
Italian Greyhound: Puppies
The Little Italian Greyhound does not have any breeding problems, or physical or hereditary conditions; it is athletic and has a determined temperament. This does not mean you should buy your puppy anywhere: you must always check that it is healthy, well-cared for and trained properly, with a pedigree certificate and all the necessary documentation.
Italian Greyhound: Price, Breeders, and Puppies for Sale
An Italian Greyhound puppy can cost around 1000-1600 dollars, 800-1300 English pounds, in a certified breeding establishment. You can always find lower prices, especially from improvised sellers, but be careful.
This dog breed is respected and appreciated; we are talking about a model of elegance and energy, and this title has its price. Professional breeders will make an excellent job of breeding and selecting the specimens that have great strength and resistance.
It is important to purchase from a reliable breeder, to insure that your puppy has been:
- Raised to have good character and good health;
- Carefully selected (its parents were chosen without any genetic diseases);
- Properly socialized, so that it is not too aggressive or fearful;
- Vaccinated and well-cared for.
When you adopt a puppy, a reliable breeder provides you with an official veterinarian certificate, in which it is formally stipulated that the animal is in perfect health and dewormed.
You can ask for a pedigree certificate, which allows you to check your dog breed´s purity. An animal with pedigree has certain characteristics that distinguish it among the others.
Now that we have mentioned the most important aspects, you can go to your new four-legged friend, who is certainly waiting for you.
In addition to the Italian Greyhound, there are other types of sighthounds recognized:
Long or wavy sighthounds:
- Azawakh (African Greyhound)
- Spanish Greyhound
- Polish Greyhound
- Magyar agár (Hungarian Greyhound)
- Miniature Italian Greyhound
- Sloughi (Arabian Greyhound)