Italian Greyhound History

Itallian Greyhound PlayingItalian Greyhounds are a member of the gazehounds. They are known to hunt by sight. A very hardy breed, they can be traced back 2000 years ago in the Mediterrean Area. In the middle ages, evidence suggests that they existed in Southern Europe. Among the Italian people, they were considered a favorite!  Royal families in Europe treasured them for their beauty, and their small size. In 1886, The American Kennel Club registered the very 1st Italian Greyhound.

The Italian Greyhound is very fond of his human family and can be shy around strangers. He is very affectionate and does not enjoy spending time alone. He loves to cuddle in your lap or snuggle in your blankets. Following you around is one of his favorite pastimes. He does have short bursts of energy and enjoys playing the role of “clown” and making you laugh. He enjoys running and particularly jumping. For this reason, a fenced yard is strongly recommended. Even in old age, he still enjoys playing!

Italian Greyhounds are strictly housepets and cannot survive being left alone outdoors to fend for themselves. Their coat is very thin and they are perpetually cold, even inside. They must have blankets inside or a doggie heat pad to lay on, indoors. If it is cold outside, doggie clothing is recommended to keep them warm while they go for a brisk walk. On summer days, they can be found laying in the sun, soaking up the rays.

Italian Greyhounds function best in families that are harmonious and peaceful.  Strife, yelling and tension make them very uneasy. They love to be pampered and treated like a baby. They do enjoy children, but older, well behaved ones are appreciated. Little toddlers and little children can easily mishandle them and mistreat them because of their small size. For this reason, I recommend families with older children or teen-agers.  In addition, they function very wells with senior citizens. 

Barking is very infrequent in this breed. They are very quiet and almost cat-like.  When I first obtained mine, I wondered how long I would have to wait to actually hear them bark. 

I do recommend training with this breed. It makes life much easier to manage for everyone. House training should be done with a crate, in order to teach them the value of holding their bladders. Indoor potty pads are highly recommended. Here at our place, they  have been used to pottying on papers. They have a strong aversion to cold temperatures, rain, snow, and sleet. For this reason, I do not encourage outdoor potty training. Success is much easier to obtain inside.

The breed is very hardy and doesn’t seem to have many health issues. However,  a few areas needs to be taken into account. Their toe nails grow very fast and should be trimmed every 2 -3 weeks. Teeth need to be checked by a veterinarian every 6 months for tarter buildup. The vet will recommend when the teeth need to be professionally cleaned. Always provide plenty of nylabones and chew toys to discourage tarter build-up on the teeth. Dry dog food is highly recommended for this reason.