An Introduction to the Italian Greyhound

Hello and welcome to our little page that is dedicated to all things Italian Greyhound! For those of you that are new to this wonderful world allow me to give you a brief introduction. The Italian Greyhound (or Iggy or IG as they are sometimes called) is considered a small breed of dog, on average when measured from their feet to their “withers” (their shoulder blades) they stand between 33 to 38 centimeters or 13 to 15 inches tall. At first glance you may mistake them as a regular greyhound but they are much smaller. Weighing between 3.6 to 8.2 kg (around 7 to 15 pounds) these beautiful dogs are AKC registered as part of the “toy group” breed. They are also a sight hound type of dog meaning that they hunt using their speed and sight rather than by endurance and scent as a scent hound such as a beagle would.

If you are sensitive to animals or if you suffer from pet allergies then an IG may be the dog for you! Because of their short, sleek hair the Italian Greyhound carry’s just about no odor with it! Many pet owners that are allergic to animal hair have reported that they don’t suffer any problems living in the same house with them. One overhead of this short coat is that cold weather, especially extreme cold can leave them uncomfortable and even cause frost bite to their ears! If you expect to take your IG out in the cold you may need to invest in a little sweater and even boots if it is really cold.

Italian Greyhound introduction

The breeds slim build does make them susceptible to injury, especially with rough play. If you have some rough children that love to play and roll around with their dogs then perhaps this isn’t the breed for you as the kids may accidently hurt your Italian Greyhound. If children can be taught to be careful and gentle with your dog then they should be fine. In general however IG’s are considered a good companion dog and they work well with the elderly or quiet households.

In general Italian Greyhounds are inside dogs and this can make housetraining tricky in some cases. Being harsh during toilet training won’t get you too far with IG’s, you need patience and consistency, allow 1 to 12 months for the training to be complete. As mentioned earlier IG’s hate the cold and this can cause issues with toilet training during winter, you will be hard pressed to get them out of the house! If you are having trouble getting your pet outside then you may need to look into a litter box for inside, these dogs generally take to a litter box pretty easily which makes your life much easier.

Wide open areas are best for IG’s however they can be happy in both the city and country environments. Like most dogs they will be happiest with daily exercise, especially when they are young. Care must be taken with younger Iggy’s as they are prone to broken legs due to their poor bone density and genetics, make sure they don’t get too excited when they are playing!

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