Italian Greyhound is the smallest in the family of gazehounds (dogs that hunt
by sight). The breed is very old and is believed to have originated over 2,000
years ago in the countries, which are now Greece and Turkey. Once a favorite
of royalty and others, the IG or Iggy, as he is called by fanciers, is found
in many paintings from the Renaissance period. Small breed dogs were in demand
during the 16th century, and due to it's popularity in Italy, the breed became
known as the "Italian Greyhound". In the early days, when there
was no household heat, the IG was taken to bed for the warmth he provided
to humans while they were sleeping (IG's tend to sleep at a temp of 102 degrees
Fahrenheit or more)..
Although the Italian Greyhound is light on his feet, and is fast for short
distances, the IG lacks the stamina and the will to run of his larger cousins,
the Greyhound. Many IG's are born to chase anything that moves, like squirrels
and rabbits. Others could care less if they ever chase anything...they are
content to sit and watch the world go by.
The Italian Greyhound is a very healthy breed, despite his fragile appearance.
The IG is the only odorless breed. He sheds very little, has a silky, almost
velvety coat, and is not yappy. The IG would be a good breed for people who
are allergic to the hair of other breeds.
Italian Greyhounds are very much "people dogs". They are bright,
imaginative, full of fun and spirit, and are passionately devoted to
their humans. IG's have an affectionate disposition, and love it best
when his owners return his affection. He is alert, sensitive, and very
intelligent and is very playful until well into adulthood. The IG adapts
quickly to most households, and gets along well with other pets and
children. He always wants to please, and learns very quickly. He has
done very well in obedience trials.
Ideal for a small house or an apartment, or even the country, the Italian
Greyhound will fit into nearly every household. The hound in him makes
him very happy when he has a place to run, or even accompanying his
owner on a walk. He gets along with other animals, and will play with
a much bigger breed not realizing he is much smaller than his buddy.
The Italian Greyhound thinks that he is ten feet tall!
The Italian Greyhound has an elegant gait...very high stepping and free.
His coat may be all shades of fawn, cream, red, blue, or sometimes even
black. It may be either solid or with various degrees of white markings
(European dogs are typically sold with very little white on the body.)