The Italian Greyhound is one of the exceptions to the sighthound rule!
They are very lively, quick and intelligent small charmers, who fascinate and bewitch their family into being their slaves! One quickly discovers that first impressions are very deceptive. These small elegant, seemingly demure bodies hide some of the cleverest, nosiest, calculating and independent small devils,
who soon, when you get to really know them, win over everyone's heart!
Often, it's the woman of the house who decides to own one, whilst the man would much rather have a larger breed. However, this particular breed has a great number of devoted male followers! They cannot be denied and before the men know where they are, they too are just as entertained and fond of them!
Above: Friend Jimmy with his wife's "Augusta"!
An IG is not so interested in just lying around dozing and keeping an eye on you all day like many other sighthound breeds - they want things to happen and to be the centre of attention almost all day long. If necessary they create "happenings" and funny tricks and numbers and are so entertaining that they easily become the family's court jester! But a jester who is extremely intelligent. They can liven up the lives of any family!
As puppies they are naturally lively and active and one must mind out that they do not come to harm. They are extremely agile and can jump up onto high tables and chairs and think that they can just "fly" down again - sometimes with dire consequences because their fine bones CAN break, especially when young teenagers, inexperienced and "little dare-devils".
In the start it is best to keep them down on floor level, until their small bodies are better developed.
If you should surprise your IG up on a high table, do not scald, shout or panic but creep carefully up to him/her and gently lift him/her down again. A scream of fear or command to get down can cause the dog to jump down in panic and land badly... this is quite common.
One of the many great pleasures of having this breed is seeing their antics when they run around free. They can get up to amazing high speed and it is a joy to see them running about. They should have plenty of exercise to strengthen both muscles and bone. Unfortunately, it is often assumed that they do not need much exercise at all, as they are so small, but they can use equally as much as all the other sighthounds, if given the chance!
My IG "Gucci" went on daily walks of up to 5 kilometers every morning and was just as fresh as if he hadn't been out at all!
He remained in top form right up to his death, apart from dimmed eyesight and slightly shakey back legs. He was just 3 weeks from being 15 years old.
The Italian Greyhound is about the most extreme elegant of all the Sighthounds.
Long, fine boned legs, tucked up stomach, well chiselled head with rose ears and a beautifully loving and
They should look like a Greyhound in miniature and quite without the bulging eyes, apple-headed dwarf-look that many miniature and dwarf dog breeds suffer from.
Max. size for both sexes (here on the continent) is max. 38 cm at the shoulders and at least 33 cm.
The Italian Greyhound is known for its very special, elastic high stepping gait.
They can live to be quite old, 15-16 years is not unusual.