Species group: Toy Group dogs
Other name(s): IG; Iggie; Piccolo Levriero Italiano; Italienisches Windspiel; Galgo italiano
If you think of the Italian Greyhound as a toy version of the classic Greyhound, you won't go far wrong. It looks like a smaller, more slender version of the classic racing dog and-- since it was originally developed as a dog that hunts by sight-- the IG can easily be stimulated to chase or even to escape. They tend to be affectionate and enjoy spending a lot of time with their owner, but they also need to spend a certain amount of time sprinting.
Despite their small size, IGs can be a true challenge and they can't really be recommended to novice dog owners. They can be difficult to housebreak if you're not good at providing calm, consistent trainig. They can also be somewhat fragile and prone to breaking those long legs
According to the Italian Greyhound Club of America, IGs have lived up to 21 years-- and they demand regular tooth-brushing every day to maintain their oral health. They will love to be around you, but they will also demand some effort in return. They are not an "easy" breed just because they're smaller in size.
Appearance / health:
The Italian Greyhound is very similar to the Greyhound though much smaller and more slender. The muzzle is long and lean, and is equal in length to the skull. The rose-shaped ears are small and set high. The dark eyes are of medium size. The chest is deep and the legs are strong and straight.
The Italian Greyhound is an average shedder that sheds very fine, small hair. Owners may need to keep the teeth and toenails in good shape. Bathing is done only when required.
Long walks are ideal for the Italian Greyhound. Free running in an adequately fenced yard is ideal for these dogs.
The most common health problems facing Italian greyhounds are teeth and gum disease. Most IG's will develop severe periodontal (gum) disease at a relatively early age, if their teeth do not receive proper care. I'll say it again. The Italian Greyhound Club of America recommends you brush their teeth every day. If you do, your pet could live 14 - 21 years. If you don't, you could have a problem.
Italian Greyhounds are susceptible to Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function); a hereditary eye disease known as Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA); Idiopathic epilepsy; and luxating patellas (dislocation of the kneecap). Fractures of the radius and ulna (forearm) are also a common problem, particularly between the ages of 4 - 12 months.
Behavior / temperament:
Italian Greyhounds require ample amounts of socialization and training. Otherwise, they may develop shyness or excessive exuberance. They tend to bolt when a sudden, unusual object comes their way. Jumping and climbing is usual behavior with many Greyhounds. Their hunting instinct is strong and they love to chase any moving object. With their short attention spans, they easily develop boredom especially when kept alone for too long. Most Greyhounds may announce the presence of a stranger but are unlikely to attack.
They may be difficult to housebreak compared to other breeds. They have a good learning rate. Early training coupled with adequate socialization is necessary to prevent behavioral problems in these dogs.
They are not noisy.
low maintenance dog, sweet personalities, older children, Affectionate, wonderful companions
little bones, rough children, colder climates, Potty-training issues, separation anxiety, dental problems
sighthound mentality, tender spirits, silky soft coats, Leap Tall Sofas
I love Iggys!
She is such a great dog! I have been spoiled by this breed. The only bad thing I would guess is that she is quite fragile, so I'm not sure how she would do around smaller children as far as her safety goes. She is not smelly at all! In fact, people comment about how wonderful her natural "odor" is!!.
From lovedogs Jul 1 2015 1:59PM
The way your dog's body was meant to be fed
There are so many misconceptions about raw feeding and I hope to quickly properly educate you so making an opinion for yourself is easier. I am a certified nutritionist for dogs and cats and the moment I finished my education I knew I needed to make better choices for my own personal dogs in regards to how I fed them. There are pros and cons to any feeding method so I cannot say it's going to be easy to know exactly what choices to make. The doubtful mind always says no, so anyone unfamiliar with anything is always hesitant. I see that a lot with other professionals in the field, specifically veterinarians. I am fortunate to have an integrative veterinarian who 100% supports this feeding method. Lets talk about the pros as there are many. There is no possible way to dispute that a dog's (especially cats) digestive system and teeth are designed for a diet of animal tissue, they are carnivores. Having jagged teeth throughout their mouth and a very short digestive tract, their bodies are not equipped to properly process plant material. Think of a cow's or sheep's flat teeth, made for grinding plants, and their 4 chambered stomachs, made to digest and assimilate nutrients from plants. They are herbivores. Feeding a diet of dry dog food, which is very heavy in plant based ingredients of many varieties,synthetic vitamins, and taste additives reeks havoc on their entire body systems over time. Some say feeding raw is expensive and time consuming. I'm part of a group with thousands and thousands of raw feeders around the world and we completely disagree. If you can follow a simple recipe you can make raw food for your pet. Learning how to shop for ingredients on sale and making relationships with local butchers is all you need to make it affordable. I feed two dogs raw cheaper than I wold purchasing an average quality dry food. It CAN be done if your pet's lifetime of health is important to you. There are so many support systems out there for this approach, it truly couldn't be any easier. The shelf life of raw food is far longer than that of dry food. Did you know that the nutrients and quality of dry food diminishes with the passing of each day? My dog's food is kept in a deep freezer and put in the refrigerator for thawing each night, ready for the next day. Freezing locks in all nutrients and can be kept for years without spoiling. Does your dog suffer from chronic conditions like ear infections and skin issues? Did you ever think it could be food related? Well let me tell you that it is. I have assisted with completely eradicating a host of chronic health issues in dogs and cats with diet alone. To most recently include a chihuahua with disc disease and no use of his hind legs. He now climbs steps and runs. He is 12 years old. No other therapy than a raw diet, regular massage, and one veterinary acupuncture visit. Let's talk about the cons. Now, most freeze dried and premade raw can be expensive for the amount you get. Feeding freeze dried is mostly for convenience. I use it when I need convenience like a weekend camping trip. I enjoy making my dog's food. There a lot of satisfaction in it for me. There is so much talk about bacteria like salmonella and e.coli when someone references raw food. Can it be present in raw food? Of course! But, did you know that your dry food can and does have the same bacteria? Dry and canned pet food recalls are a very common for bacteria. I have 100% control over the ingredients, processing, and storing of my pets raw food. Proper handling and sourcing of raw ingredients can and does deeply diminish the probability of bacteria. What about parasites? Again, yes of course raw materials can have parasites. As can dry and canned mass produced pet food. And again, the proper handling and sourcing of these ingredients remove this concern. (As a note: I have been raw feeding for over 5 years and NOT ONE of my dogs or clients have been treated for parasites or bacterial issues) Proper formulation can be a con to raw feeding. Honestly, its ridiculously easy. But without the proper ratio of ingredients you can cause issues. Companies make you think it is hard. They want to make you buy their product. It's a marketing scheme that works and unfortunately affects our pets negatively. I hope this review can shed light into the seemingly scary world of raw feeding. Educate yourselves and don't be afraid to jump in head first. Your pet's health and quality of life will be all the proof you need to know this is without a doubt the best decision you have ever made. .
From Megan S 80 days ago
Sweet, but needs special care
Pirate was a bit of a special case. We rescued him from a very inexperienced owner on craigslist. He was a very playful and a sweetheart, but not without his particular issues:
-When he first moved in, we had another male Italian Greyhound. As a consequence, he would not stop marking his territory with urine. He eventually adjusted, but would sometimes revert to this behavior when stressed.
-He would sometimes have problems with separation anxiety.
-Italian Greyhounds have very delicate leg bones, so that was always a health concern.
-He often jumped onto people or countertops.
We were definitely not the perfect household for him, but he was a great companion nonetheless. He enjoyed fetching and running, and was very affectionate, even goofy. He shed very little and had a lovely soft coat that he loved to have petted. We eventually gave him to new home specializing in Italian Greyhounds, where his behavior improved significantly..
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