Known for their sleek appearance, the Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the sight hounds and is a non-shedding, small dog that is gentle, submissive and affectionate. Due to their curiosity levels, they should remain on leash or in fenced in yards for their safety. Care should be taken when leaving one alone in a traditional chain-link fenced yard, as they have no trouble climbing one! IGs, as they are sometimes called, can be suitable for apartment living if given enough daily exercise. With their arched stomachs and sleek appearance, they look much like the miniature version of their Greyhound cousin.
Grooming: This non-shedding dog is very low maintenance. Occasional brushings.
Social Skills: IGs get along with other dogs and household pets. Can be reserved with strangers.
Personality: Very affectionate, playful and submissive. Can become attached to their master. High strung and timid.
Children: Very good with older respectful children.
Housing: Very active, will need room to exercise, and run. High fenced in areas are ideal for them. They are known to be escape artists and can climb traditional chain-link fences.
Exercise: Needs lots of exercise. They love to romp and play in the yard and neighborhood walks.
Training: Intelligent. Trains easily - begin early training. Needs consistency with training. Can be difficult to housebreak.
Health: Prone to slipped stifle, broken bones, PRA, epilepsy, and eye problems. More information on Italian Greyhound inherited health disorders.
History: The Italian Greyhound, often referred as "IG", is considered to be the first dog to be bred as companions and remain so today. They have been depicted in decorative ancient art and architecture of the Mediterranean countries dating 2000 years ago. Their name is a reference to the breeds popularity in renaissance Italy in the 16th century. It is debated whether the Italians and Southern Europeans sought these dogs for either companions or for hunting. By the 17th century Italian Greyhounds steadily gained popularity and made their way to England.