The Italian Greyhound (nicknamed the “Iggy” or “IG” for short) is a smaller version of their more popular cousin that features a non-shedding coat in a wide variety of colors. Similarly to their cousin, the breed came into existence during the times of Ancient Egypt, and was originally used for the purposes of both hunting and companionship. Their highly sensitive temperament, hypoallergenic qualities and love for running help make the Italian Greyhound a suitable breed of dog for active owners or allergy sufferers who can provide them with gentle loving care.
Origins Of The Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean as far back as 6,000 years ago before they made their way to Europe. Images that resemble them are seen depicted in ancient Egyptian and Roman art. They were also in high demand in Italy during the 16th century as a companionship dog as well as for occasional hunting purposes and this is what led to them being given their official name.
Average Size Of The Italian Greyhound
Italian Greyhounds are classified as a small to medium-sized breed. The recommended standard size for the Italian Greyhound male and female is 13-15 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 8-12 pounds.
Temperament Of The Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound is well-known for their gentle and sensitive manner as well as their love for running like their larger relatives. They are often timid with strangers, which along with their size means they are not very suitable as a guard dog.
The Italian Greyhound is also demonstrated to be fairly intelligent – placing 60th compared to other dogs in terms of their ability to be taught obedience commands.
They are known to be good with kids so long as they are taught to handle them carefully – which means they are somewhat suitable as a family pet. The Italian Greyhound is not very good with other animals such as dogs, cats and other smaller animals due to their natural prey instinct.
Living Requirements Of The Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound enjoys having a large well-fenced yard to play in, but they can be suitable for living in an apartment so long as they are taken for daily walks and occasional runs. They enjoy warmer weather, and they will be less comfortable if it gets too cold due to their short coat – so special clothing will usually be required to keep them warm.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Italian Greyhound
Similarly to a lot of small-sized dog breeds, the Italian Greyhound is by and large long-lived possessing a life expectancy of 13-15 years. The leading health concern for Italian Greyhounds is universally recognized to be their fragility and vulnerability to broken bones – particularly early on in their life. They are also vulnerable to conditions such as epilepsy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), luxating patella, cataracts, hyperthyroidism and periodontal diseases. They are, however, among the least affected by hip dysplasia of all dog breeds.
Exercise Needs Of The Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound enjoys hobbies which include a sprint around the yard, playing fetch and using their natural hunting instincts to find hidden items. They possess a high quantity of energy which gradually decreases as they grow older and have a need for exercise each day in the form of long walks and occasional sprints to keep them happy, motivated and healthy.