The popularity of Italian greyhounds as a household companion is on the increase. These diminutive dogs with their fragile features are the smallest species of the group of sight hounds. Sight hounds are dogs that used their vision in the past to hunt for prey. Although the need to hunt for their meals is no longer a necessity they still frequently make use of their exceptional vision to find things of interest.
Origin of the Italian Greyhound
Italian greyhounds or IGs are thought to have their origins about 2000 years ago. Skeletal remains of the dogs have been discovered in regions that are now known as Turkey and Greece. Their small stature made them well accepted and their popularity spread through Europe. The Italians in particular were enamored with this breed and it was not until the seventeenth century that these dogs made their presence known in England.
About Italian Greyhounds
The average Italian Greyhound weighs in at about 10 pounds and with their fragile bones means that the dog is not a good idea for homes where there are small children prone to rough play and antics. Their fragile frames are backed by fragile demeanors making it a definite no-no for homes where loud children or a loud environment is a commonplace.
Their sensitive natures also make it difficult to train this breed. If training must take place it must be light training from a trainer or owner who has a friendly and lighthearted approach to training. Rough words, actions and displays of frustration and anger will make the dog resistant to all your training efforts.
The IG is a loyal and loving dog that will alert your family to impending danger. Do not bring one into your home if you own larger dogs. If taking the dog outdoors do so on a leash or keep in an enclosed but free environment since it will be difficult to catch it if it does not want to be caught.
Issues With Health
Italian Greyhounds are a resistant breed when it comes to diseases but there are a few things that they are more susceptible to than other breeds.
- Bone fractures: Due to a fragile bone structure Italian Greyhounds are prone to fractures of the forearm especially in puppies. You need to watch them closely and keep them away from areas where they can injure themselves.
- Dental diseases: A regimen of brushing and use of other tools for preventing a buildup of plaque is important since these dogs are prone to dental diseases. Remove extra teeth if they do not fall off themselves when the adult teeth come in.
3. Sensitivity to certain drugs: If you need to have a surgical procedure done on your IG you need to proceed with caution since IGs are sensitive to some anesthetics. Your vet should know this and might recommend the use of isoflurane which will not have adverse effects.
These cute critters need to have vet checks regularly to make sure heart worm or other troubles arise. You can’t lose with a vet check!