|Group:||Toys (Group 1)|
|Club:||Italian Greyhound Club of Victoria Inc|
|Contact:||Mrs Elizabeth Monahan|
Background The Italian Greyhound is a true miniature of the Greyhound, and probably goes back to the times of the Egyptian Pharaohs, as drawings of small greyhounds, very similar to the Italian Greyhound, can be found painted on the walls of their tombs. They were most likely taken by the Romans from Egypt to the Mediterranean, and became very popular in the European courts for a number of centuries. In England, the Italian Greyhound could be found in the courts of the Stuarts, and Queen Victoria also owned these dainty little dogs. They also featured in many paintings of aristocratic families. As a member of the sight hound group, the Italian Greyhound was possibly used in ancient times for hunting small game as well as a lap-dog and companion for the ladies.
Average Lifespan When considering an Italian Greyhound, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Italian Greyhounds live to about 13 to 14 years of age.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The Italian Greyhound is vivacious, alert, highly intelligent and very affectionate, especially when kept as a companion in the house, loving human companionship. They do not thrive well as kennel dogs. Easy to train, they are quick learners. Although they have a Dresden-like quality, they are by no means delicate, and are surprisingly hardy for such a finely built dog. They have a distinctive, high stepping prancing gait which adds to their elegant appearance. Italian Greyhounds are generally cheerful, brave and courageous, but as they are also sensitive to loud voices or harsh words from their owner, they may become quite timid in the wrong environment. The breed is not "yappy" but will give ample warning of intruders. They are usually good car travellers.
Compatibility with other pets They get on well with other pets but may need to be protected from larger, more boisterous dogs.
Care Requirements Well-fenced gardens are essential as there is a high risk of injury if allowed to roam free. Ideally, the Italian Greyhound is a house dog with access to the garden via a "dog door". A warm bed or basket is a must, away from draughts, and containing a soft blanket or rug, as most Italian Greyhounds love to wrap themselves up in their blanket, even in the hottest weather. It can become a "lounge-lizard" in the winter. The thin, glossy coat is easy to keep clean, sheds very little hair and is virtually odourless. After bathing, care should be taken to make sure it is thoroughly dried. Some Italian Greyhounds do feel the cold, and then a coat is recommended for cold weather, especially when out of doors. The Italian Greyhound is a lightly built dog and should not be allowed to become too fat. The breeders should be able to provide a recommended diet sheet. The Italian Greyhound does not need much exercise; running around in the house and garden is often sufficient, but nevertheless it is quite active and will enjoy being taken for walks, as much for the mental stimulation as for the exercise.
Please Take Note Although as previously stated the Italian Greyhound is quite hardy considering its fine build, it is not suited for rough play as bones may be broken. It is therefore better suited to a household with older children who can be trusted to treat the dog with care and consideration, and also makes an ideal companion for the elderly and the infirm.
Ideal Owner/s Families with older children, and people who can provide a loving, peaceful environment for this delightful little dog. Ideal for a small house or unit.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Italian Greyhound and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.