About the Italian Greyhound

Welcome to my English page about Italian Greyhounds! In England and America the breed can have attractive white markings, that we here in Denmark and the rest of Europe are "not allowed" to have, as decided by the FCI. In Europe, we are governed by the FCI standards for dogs and IG's must be just one color all over.

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
intelligent expression.
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.

A Danish IG
A beautiful and very winning Danish IG: Vindhauses Othello.
The Italian Greyhound has been used for hunting and chasing in the past and in Germany and Finland I know they nowadays race on race tracks just as keenly as Greyhounds! I have had the pleasure of seeing two Finnish dogs race on the track here in Denmark.
But why Italian Greyhounds have survived through the centuries is no doubt not so much for their hunting abilty as their great entertainment value for the ladies left back at home whilst the men were out hunting deer etc! They can also kill mice - once very abundant in people's homes - and dreaded by the ladies!

Denmark is a member of the FCI who have decided that IG's must be all one colour! Only very tiny "bibs" at the throat and/or tips of toes is allowed. If you don't intend showing your dog, you can be lucky and get a puppy that is otherwise "perfect" where its only fault is a little too much white! IG's hair is fine and silky and easy to keep. They do not smell of dog! In the home, their needs are simple: Plenty of love and attention and the comfort of the family's best sofa. They love to be warm and to be cuddled. They have a great need for love. At the same time they are immensely decorative sitting tastefully arranged in the furniture, like living works of art, which indeed they are!
A little history:
The Italian Greyhound is a very old breed, obviously related to Greyhound and probably tracing it's past right back to Egypt and the Pharaohs. There have been found mummies of small dogs very like the IG in some of the tombs. There have always been very small Greyhound-like dogs, as one can see in art all through the ages. The name is not so much because they come from Italy as the fact that the Italians have depicted them in all art forms far more than any other nation. They have always been popular with royalty and all over Europe there are histories and statues, paintings and tapestries showing IG's together with their royal masters and mistresses.
The Italian Greyhound should be exercised every day, just like any other breed of dog. They are definately NOT just "lap-dogs"! If the owner has time, they can easily run around on a 1 1/2 - 2 hour walk running free on a beach and arrive home seemingly just as fresh as when they left! I really recommend plenty of exercise.
See my two Solo and Dasher in August 2014:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUBeSC4L0Tg - after Whippet Bobby's run and almost 2 mins into the video.
They are brilliant at Lure coursing! But then I do keep them in top form.
They hate cold, wind and rain because they lack the fat layer, (just as Greyhounds and the other sighthounds), which would otherwise protect them. It is best to have a variety of coats for every weather condition!

If you would like to have a very lively and loving little dog who is very intelligent, which you can take with just about everywhere and who will entertain you constantly all your waking hours, then choose an IG!
(Track suit from: Togs for Dogs! A must in the winter for every IG.)

Now you should see jackiebrownsrun.htm

Back to CHOOSER or NEXT PAGE about an IG called Bill
Read my IG blog: dashersIGblog22.htm
Any questions for me? E-mail: janetfm@sighthound.net