Italian Greyhounds are odd looking dogs. They are skinny and look very fragile. They look like they are nothing but skin and bones. But they have tons of muscle and can run extremely fast. They are part of a dog family called “sighthounds.” Sighthounds are breeds of dogs that hunt with speed and sight, rather than scent and endurance. The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of all the sighthounds. They are only about 13 to 15 inches tall and weigh 8 to 18 pounds. They are taller than most toy dogs, so be careful when buying apparel for them. Their coats almost always have white on them. It is extremely rare to find one that is a solid color unless they are white. Occasionally they can be solid black. They are commonly found in different shades of fawn. They can also be mouse, seal, red, chocolate, sable, blue or cream.
They are extremely curious and love to get into trouble. It is smart to watch them and make sure they don’t try jumping off things, because they can hurt their legs and back. Italian Greyhounds are like cats in some ways. They enjoy sitting in the sun, or sun bathing. But you must remember to make sure your Italian Greyhound does not over heat or get sunburned. They also like high up places, like the back of chairs and couches. Window seats are their favorite though. They do not like getting wet, as slot of dogs are. If they have to use the bathroom, they will not do it while it’s raining. Some people resort to litter box training them. They are easy to not punish. They have big eyes that can melt your heart. But be careful, if you are too soft and not strict they will go wild and think they own the house. They do need early socialization to keep them from being aggressive towards strangers. They live about 12 to 15 years.
Italian Greyhounds are an old breed. They are seen in ancient artifacts dating back to 2,000 years ago. Most of these artifacts are found in modern day Greece and Turkey. Archaeologists have also found small greyhound skeletons. There was a small greyhound body found in the ancient city of Pompeii, a Roman city that was destroyed by a volcano. In the Middle Ages they started becoming popular in southern Europe. Italians were very fond of them, hence the name Italian Greyhound. In the 1600’s they started showing up in England. Like in Italy, they were very popular. They were especially popular with royalty and aristocrats. The American Kennel Club registered the Italian Greyhound in 1886, even though they were not as popular in the United States.