Italian Greyhound Information

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(Piccolo Levriero Italiano) (IG)The Italian Greyhound is sleek and elegant.  This breed looks like a miniature Greyhound; however, there are many differences.  A tiny head leads to their long narrow muzzle.  Large round eyes cover most of their head.  Small ears sit back against their head and will become erect when they are alert.  A small, yet long, neck leads to their small bodies.  A deep chest leads to their sunken in stomach and long straight tail.  Long slender legs end with their tiny paws.  Short sleek fur covers their small body.  Mnay colors are acceptable for their coat including red, cream, fawn, gray, black, or blue. These colors often contain white markings.

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(Piccolo Levriero Italiano) Italian Greyhounds, also known as Iggies or IGs, are a sleek, affectionate, and elegant dog. They are similar to Greyhounds, but are smaller and more slender in all proportions. Their heads are narrow and long, and taper to their noses. Their eyes are medium sized and have a bright, intelligent expression. Their ears are small and are carried folded when at rest; when alert, they are carried at right angles to their heads (their ear shape is called a "rose ear.") Their necks are long and slender, which a graceful arch. They have a deep, narrow chest and a slender tucked-up waist. Their legs are long and well-muscled, with their feet having long, well-arched toes. Their tails are slender and curved. Their soft, silky coats can come in many colors, such as black, blue, seal, red, fawn. In the United States, white markings are often seen. Black and tan (like Dobermans) and brindle (like Greyhounds) are not acceptable IG colors. The Italian Greyhound's movement is unlike any other breed and has often been compared to a prancing horse.

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Italian Greyhounds are very loyal dogs who love their masters but who are standoffish with strangers.  Because of their intelligence, they can get into trouble easily and do require consistent discipline and early training.  Although gentle and playful, Italian Greyhounds can be a bit high-strung like other tiny breeds.  Be prepared for a dog that is very active but also fragile and hard to housebreak.

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12-15 inches
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6-10 pounds
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General Health

The Italian Greyhound is rather fragile until they are 18 months old because their bones are prone to break or fracture.  Some other health concerns are epilepsy, slipped stifle, and PRA.  Other than these concerns, they are rather healthy and live a long life of 12-15 years.

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The Italian Greyhound is a very ancient breed and may have lived in Egypt over 6,000 years ago.  These dogs came to Europe with the Phoenicians and later the Romans set about refining the breed.  The remains of an Italian Greyhound were even found preserved in Pompeii after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.  Later, nobles like Catherine the Great of Russia developed a fondness for this small breed and helped spread its popularity throughout Europe.

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The Italian Greyhound is easy to groom and does not shed.  To keep their coat sleek just wipe them down with a wet towel.  Other than that just trim their nails and clean their teeth.  Only bathe this breed when it is needed and make sure they dry well.  Since this breed has very short fur, in cold temperatures they need to were a doggie coat or sweater.  Exercise is fun and upbeat with the Italian Greyhound.  They enjoy playing and going for walks but not that much exercise is really needed. 

Like all dogs, the Italian Greyhound does shed but since its coat is short and with the lack of an undercoat, shedding is minimal.

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Ideal Environment

The best home for an Italian Greyhound is with adults who are willing to open their home to more than one of these small dogs.  Because of their fragility and high-strung nature, the breed does not do well around children and usually don't do as well with large dogs.  They do best in mild climates without any temperature extremes and should be kept indoors as a full-time companion.  Because they are active when young, you'll need to spend time playing or walking this small breed frequently so it doesn't end up getting into trouble in the house.

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Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

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Italian Greyhound Q&A

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How long do you wait to breed a female greyhound and when is the first time they come in heat, 6-8 months?

Most breeds of dogs come into heat around 6-8 months. Some dogs can have their first heat even later, sometimes as late as a year. Breeding a female dog on her first heat isn't healthy. While yes, they can get pregnant then, it would be like a 12 year old child getting pregnant...her body and mind just isn't mature enough to properly care for children! Other things should also be taken into consideration when deciding whether to breed a dog, not just her age. She and the sire should both be in prime condition, they should have passed all the health tests their parent breed club suggests, they should have compatible genetics (like not doubling up on physical or temperament issues), among other things. Also, based on the parents and their parents, have you considered whether these pups are likely be healthy, mentally stable dogs? Do you know the fine points of what your breed should look/act like, and will the pups be good representatives of their breed? Do you know how to find good homes for the pups? (Just having a credit card or cash in hand doesn't guarantee a good home!) Breeding and raising a litter of pups can be an absolutely wonderful experience, but it can also be heart wrenching: Are you prepared for the possibility that a puppy could die? Or all the puppies, or the mother? What will you do if there is a problem with the mother's milk? Do you know how to bottle or tube feed? Please do as much research as you can BEFORE you decide whether or not to breed! An excellent way to learn is to find someone with your breed who is willing to teach you the ropes. Then you can be confident that you're doing the right thing, one way or another. :)


When they are fully grown how big are they?

While some Italian Greyhounds are larger or smaller, a fully mature IG should ideally be between 12" to 15" high at the withers (the top of the shoulder), and between 8-12 pounds.


My dog Abbey was brought to me on the square almost a year ago during Gold Rush in Dahlonega ga. The owners said she was a wolfhound, but when i looked it up she did not match the description... She does resemble the italian greyhound except she is white/black spots/ black muzzle.. she kind of looks like she has a mask on with a white streak down the middle. I have been trying to figure out exactly what she is so I can breed her one day and know if I can breed her with another italian greyhound.. if she is a mix i know i cannot breed her... i want to also register her to make the breeding legal.. please let me know.. i am attaching a picture of her.. thank you. sincerely.. e. oleksy its the only one i have so far.. hope you can see her... she does have all the traits except for the color... P05-06-11_19.01 please let me know if you are unable to open it.. here is a description... ears.. upright when she is alert.. folded over when she is relaxed.. curled up tail / will go down when playing or relaxed.. it is up and curled when she is alert and excited... long sleek muzzle and face... tucked in tummy.. long sleek legs/very fragile.. we have to be careful when playing with her.. loud and exciting bark.. she barks all the time... very loyal and dedicated to me and my kids.. does not like strangers.. can be protective when other dogs are around.. coat is whit with small black spots.. face black with a white streak down the muzzle... she has the face, ears, tail and body of a grey hound...

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