What kind of dog is the Italian Greyhound?

The Italian Greyhound is the smallest sighthound and a fascinating breed that is also a pet dog. We will introduce in detail the Italian Greyhound, which has excellent vision and leg strength generated from long limbs.

What kind of dog is the Italian Greyhound?

Meaning of Italian Greyhound Name

The Italian Greyhound is thought to be the ancestor of the Sighthound’s prototype dog breed, the “piccolo levriero Italiano” which means “small Italian Greyhound” in the country of origin Italy. Is named.

It is a breed of dog that is nicknamed “Italian Greyhound” in Japan and “IG” and “Iggy” in English-speaking countries.

Italian Greyhound History and Episodes

The Italian Greyhound was registered as a breed in the Kennel Clubs of the United States and the United Kingdom in the late 1800s, but it is actually believed to be a breed of dog that has lived with humans since prehistoric times.

Is it related to Egypt or the Mediterranean?

The walls of the tombs of the ancient Egyptian period have small greyhound paintings and sculptures that are believed to be the ancestors of the Italian greyhound, and from the ruins around 750 BC, a mummy with a skeleton similar to the Italian greyhound. Has been found.

What kind of dog is the Italian Greyhound?

Also, about 2000 years ago, several dog ornamental works of art that closely resembled the Italian Greyhound were found in archaeological sites around southern Europe, Turkey, and Greece when the mighty Roman Empire ruled the Mediterranean Sea. It can be seen that it was bred among the upper-class people at that time.

As a status symbol for aristocrats and wealthy people

As mentioned above, breeding small greyhounds has been a status symbol among the upper classes, such as aristocrats and wealthy people, since the Roman Empire, and finally, the Italian Greyhound varieties were born in Renaissance Italy. As a testament to this, many Italian Greyhounds can be found in Renaissance paintings. In particular, many portraits of upper-class people have an Italian Greyhound beside them. The Italian Greyhound may have embodied the elegance and harmony of the Renaissance.

Since then, the Italian Greyhound, which has become popular as a pet dog in the upper classes of European countries, will be loved by historic royal families such as King James I of England, Queen Anne of Denmark, and Empress Catherine II of Russia. became.

What kind of dog is the Italian Greyhound?

Beloved all over the world but in danger of extinction

Its charm has spread not only in Europe but all over the world. There is even a story of an African royal family seeking an Italian Greyhound in exchange for 200 cows.

The Italian Greyhound loved around the world, has been driven to the brink of extinction in Europe by two World Wars. Fortunately, the Italian Greyhounds have survived extinction and have been passed down to the present day as American breeders who fled the war helped re-breed the Italian Greyhounds in peaceful Europe.

Italian Greyhound size, weight, and illnesses

The Italian Greyhound, which has been loved by people for a long time, is characterized by its slender and long limbs, a slender and graceful body shape, and a comfortable coat. In addition, although it is a small breed suitable for indoor breeding, it has excellent muscle strength and endurance as a sighthound, and it is also a very active breed.

What kind of dog is the Italian Greyhound?

Italian Greyhound weight, body shape, constitution

The Italian Greyhound has a thin muzzle with a small head, large rounded eyes, and small folded ears that are also a symbol of grace. Its body shape is a slender square (the part excluding the head and neck and tail when viewed from the side is close to a square). The limbs are straight when viewed from the front, and the forelimbs and hindlimbs are almost in a straight line. When viewed from the side, the chest, which is deep enough to reach the elbows, is constricted in an arc toward the abdomen, and the tight waistline exudes elegance.

The dog breed standard at the Japan Kennel Club (JKC) is 32 to 38 cm in height and weighs at most 5 kg, and ideally, the length is the same as or slightly shorter than the height. Western standards tend to be a little larger in size and weight.

Also, the Italian Greyhound is a very cold breed. Because it is low in fat and has short hair, it is very vulnerable to the cold, so it is necessary to keep the air conditioner modest in the summer, heat it well in the winter, and wear warm clothes such as a coat when going out.

Italian Greyhound hair color, coat type, hair loss

Some Italian Greyhound coat colors are called basic colors, but the variety is very rich and various shades and color combinations are accepted. The exceptions are the brindle (also known as tiger hair, which is a mixture of other colors) and black & tan (a combination of black and yellow to brown).

The basic colors are “black (black)”, “red (reddish-brown or brown)”, “blue (bluish-gray)”, “phone (light brown like a fawn)”, and “seal (reddish black or brownish brown)”. There is black color). In addition, there are various colors such as “gray” and “cream”, and when a white pattern is included based on these colors, it is called “basic color & white”.

The length of the coat is as short as 1 cm and it is densely grown, and its texture is smooth enough to remind you of silk or satin, and there is little hair loss.

Italian Greyhound Lifespan / Diseases

The average lifespan of an Italian Greyhound is 12 to 15 years. A disease that is susceptible to Italian Greyhound is a periodontal disease from a young age. Because the muzzle is thin and small, it is easy to leave deciduous teeth, and regular dental care and veterinary examination are required.

Also, although it is not a common illness, there are some injuries and illnesses that you should be aware of when living with an Italian Greyhound.

① Fracture / dislocation

Long and slender Italian Greyhounds have been very active since they were puppies and tend to jump from high places, run and jump vigorously. I wish I could land well, but if I didn’t, I would have a fracture or dislocation at the time of landing.

Italian Greyhound has a thin bone for the length of the limb, and it takes a considerable amount of time to heal if it breaks. Make sure that the floor is not slippery and that the mat you are laying on is not easily slipped.

② Eye disease

Possible hereditary eye disorders include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and juvenile cataracts that develop before the age of six. In addition, although the genetic involvement is unknown, glaucoma and optic nerve atrophy at an early age have been reported in the Italian Greyhound.

Cataracts and glaucoma can occur in middle to old age. If something is wrong with your eyes or you start hitting something in the dark, see a veterinary clinic as soon as possible.

③ Brain disease

There is a disease called idiopathic epilepsy that causes seizures that cause a part of the body or the whole body to tremble or stretch. This is because there are no abnormalities in the internal organs or hormonal system, and no specific cause such as inflammation or tumor is found by examining the brain, and it generally occurs around 1 to 5 years old. Depending on the severity and frequency of symptoms, medication control may be required.

④ Skin disease

There are several “alopecia”. There is what is called Color dilution alopecia (CDA), which involves heredity. Progressive alopecia, which is seen in dog breeds with a pale coat color called fawn or blue, causes hair to fall out in the pale coat color area, where bacterial dermatitis is more likely to occur. Most develop before the age of one but may occur around the age of two to three.

In addition, there are patterns of alopecia in which hair loss is seen symmetrically in multiple parts of the body and auricular alopecia in which hair loss is seen only in the auricle. With this alopecia, there is no itching or inflammation, just the hair comes off and the next hair grows thinner. Pigments may be deposited on the hair loss area and darken. In the case of the Italian Greyhound, it develops before the age of 1 year.

The following hormonal illnesses may be hidden in alopecia, so it is important to have them investigate the cause.

⑤ Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a disease that lacks thyroid hormone, which regulates the body’s metabolism. In addition to skin symptoms such as hair loss, darkening of the skin, and increased dandruff, “I gained weight even though I didn’t change the amount of food”, “Somehow I got swollen”, “I’ve become sluggish recently” I have asymptomatic that makes me think. Thyroid hormone also regulates the movement of the heart, so if it is deficient, the heart rate will decrease and cause pulse depletion. Italian Greyhounds should also be aware that this disease can affect all breeds of dogs. If you have any symptoms you can think of, go to a veterinary clinic for a test.

Italian Greyhound has a mild personality but also a nervous side

The Italian Greyhound is a wise, loyal and family-friendly breed. If we can live together, it will bring a lot of happiness and fun to our family throughout our lives.

Mild and gentle personality

The affectionate Italian Greyhound, which basically has a mild and gentle personality to the family, treats other animals and children kindly, so you can live with peace of mind even in a family with children. I will.

On the other hand, the depth of affection is also the flip side of being lonely and spoiled. I love being with my family and playing with them, so this breed is not suitable for families with long answering machines.

A shy and nervous side

It is a breed of dog that is wary of strangers and animals other than family members. When you meet a stranger or dog, you may show a shy and nervous side, such as retreating or running away. It tends to take time to get used to other than the family, so don’t force it and watch it in the long run.

Also, since you were a puppy, it is a good idea to cultivate sociality by interacting with various people and animals. We recommend attending a Puppy class where you can spend time with puppies of the same size.

A basic way to grow Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound, a pet dog but a site-handed breed, can be bred in urban condominiums or suburban homes. However, since it is vulnerable to cold, indoor breeding is an absolute requirement.


For the cold Italian Greyhound, set the heating to a higher temperature in winter, and provide a blanket or a dive-type bed in the crate. On the contrary, the air conditioner in the summer should be modest, and the temperature should be adjusted so that the limbs can be stretched and relaxed.

If the humidity is too high or too low, it will be a burden to your body, so keep the humidity in the room around 50%.


Active Italian Greyhounds require regular exercise. Let’s take a walk for about 30 minutes to 1 hour at least twice a day. If there is a park on the walking course, it is also recommended to run together in it. Since the dog has a small face, the collar sometimes slips out. Let’s deal with it by matching the size exactly or using a harness type one.


As with all dogs, not just Italian Greyhounds, it’s important to have consistent discipline, timely compliments, and scolding. However, due to its delicate temperament, it tends to atrophy when severely scolded or emotionally angry. Focus on complementing and nurturing, and let’s discipline what you should hold down.


Italian Greyhound is a breed of dog that has little body odor and short hair, so it is easy to care for its coat. For daily care, it is enough to wipe your body with a steaming towel after a walk. Since the hair is short, brush it with a mild brush such as a rubber brush or animal hair brush about once a week. During the spring and autumn molting seasons, hair loss increases, so it is recommended not only to brush more often but also to shampoo.

How to live with Italian Greyhound for a long time

The Italian Greyhound is a breed of dog that has the supple body shape and agility peculiar to the Sighthound breed and is easy to breed even in urban areas. Indoor breeding is essential, and in the cold season, you will also need warm clothing, which is also an advantage of enjoying fashion together. It’s a breed that is loyal, affectionate, wise, and memorable for all kinds of training, so if you want to live with an active dog, consider welcoming this breed. I’m sure you can spend a happy time together.