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Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is a worthy companion for a people known for exceptional culture, art and food.  While exquisite in its lines, the temperament of the IG is at least as appealing with a playful and enthusiastic nature that is far more entertaining than most.  Somewhat fragile with those delicate legs and small frame, this breed is really only suited for homes where mature responsible care can be guaranteed as even a jump down from furniture could be injurious. 

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General Information
Group(s): HoundsToySighthound Height: 13-15 inches
Weight: 11-18 pounds Longevity: high teens
Colors: any except brindle or tan markings and solid white (Albinism) Coat type: short, glossy and satin like, skin is very smooth and supple
Recognized Registries: NCA, UKC, FCI and others
Overall Appearance: The elegance and drama of the greyhound in miniature. The Italian Greyhound is not noted for its exceptional speed or athleticism as much as for its gentle nature, which makes it ideally suited as a companion, albeit one that is a bit fragile and tends to a chill.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate to high
General Nature: genail, gentle, sweet, intelligent, easily intimidated,
  with Children: temperamentally ususally quite good but too physically fragile with anyone younger than responsible teenagers
  with other pets: generally very good but again, fragile enough to be potentially injured
  with dogs: very good keeping in mind that they are best with those of similar size
Socialization requirements: moderate
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates fine art when it walks into the room and recognizes the special handling inherent in one that is this delicate and refined with special attention to keeping the dogs warm and comfortable and well socialized.
Temperament Notes: Building confidence via highly pleasant and successful socializing is critical to the IG's typical happy, outgoing nature. Happy, intelligent and vital, a veritable bundle of play.
Training requirement: minimal, socializing and basic manners
Trainer notes:

The companion of the IG that seeks to participate in any training or dog activity must have tools to allow them to see things from the dog's point of view and to offer training help from a very small perspective.  From there, protecting the IG from injury or scary situation is valuable in keeping the training process on track.  The IG is many things but intelligence combined with a nature that is well aware of their diminutive stature means that they will heed warnings of potential harm whether that is a loud noise or a fall off of a piece of Agility equipment.  Rebuilding the confidence of an IG can be a far more lengthy process than teacing the exercise ever was.

Background Information
Year range of first recognition: Of a type cherished by the Egyptians but early Romans perfected probably around 1000BC
Country of Origin: Italy
Original Function: companion
History: Seen as similar to the toy dogs cherished by the ancient Egyptians, the early Romans perfected and adored their tiny greyhound companions. It is even thought that the ancient adage
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: too small, too large, black/tan
Health Notes: eye problems, vWD, thyroid problems, Legge's Perth, hip dysplasia, luxating patellas
Health Testing: CERF, OFA, thyroid panel
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had IGs?
  • How long have you been breeding IGs?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • What health issues have you observed in the breed?
  • What health concerns do you screen for and how?
  • What titles do you seek for your breeding stock?
  • What attracted you to this particular breeding?
  • At what age do you send your puppies home?
  • Do you have any suggestions for socializing and training an IG?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • Do you microchip your puppies?
Web Sites: - Fabulous page and articles on Italian Greyhound rescue.  Contacts, stories, information and applications as well as listings of available dogs. - Custom design and have PetWear custom make, by hand, the next collar, harness or more for your Iggie from over 10,000 possibilities.  FREE Shipping!

Other Resources
Breed standard: Standard for the Italian Greyhound

Breeder Ethics: IGCA Code of Ethics

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