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The Italian Greyhound Tips And Facts you Must Know

Jun 27, 2008
The Italian Greyhound is a hound of diminutive size that has become the darling of the apartment dwellers in many large cities. Today It is often pictured in the arms of fashion models or carried by movie stars wearing fancy jeweled coats and collars. This is one of the first breeds in history to be exclusively bred as a companion dog. As early as the 16th century there are records of Italian Greyhounds being present in the royal courts of Spain and Italy.

Paintings and sculptures glorifying this dog have been done by such well known artists as Botticelli, Giotto and Bosch. The little dogs could be found in the courts of James I of England, Francis I of France, Catherine the Great, Queen Victoria and Frederick the Great of Russia. The high stepping little dog was much admired by the royalty of many countries and through many centuries. An Italian Greyhound named Djali can be found as a companion to the fictional heroine Madame Bovary in the novel by Gustave Flaubert.

The tiny Italian Greyhound for a time became almost too small (10 inches) and began to show signs of dwarfism in the late 1800s. However by the 1950s the breed began to "stabilize" and by 1968 the first Italian Greyhound standard was written and since then the breed has remained firmly true to form and structure as described in the standard.

Experts agree that the Italian Greyhound was bred down from the greyhound and in most respects is a smaller version of the Greyhound. The height is usually 13-15 inches. It has the typical Greyhound look of sleek "racy" lines, with a fine head and beautifully expressive eyes. In temperament it also resembles the Greyhound, for it is a dog that enjoys being with people and being pampered, it is a quiet and gentle dog that generally gets along with other dogs and is mannerly and affectionate.

The IG as it is often called is a small dog that is exceedingly fine boned. Obviously care needs to be taken that it never jumps off of furniture as it could damage itself easily. Also this is a breed that is prone to chills and it needs to wear a coat in winter and should be carried rather than allowed to wade through snow drifts in the wintertime and it should be exercised indoors. A benefit of its size is that it can be paper trained or litter trained much like a cat.. This is a dog that is quite delicate in some respects. Often with small breeds people do tend to carry the dog too much and it is important the the dog be allowed to exercise adequately.

Like all canines the dog needs to develop muscle power and needs to be allowed to explore its environment and "be a dog". However like many of the finer sight hound breeds from the Mediterranean, including its larger cousin the Greyhound, the Italian Greyhound is fine skinned and it should not be allowed to run in areas with thorns and brambles, as breeders report that its skin will easily tear when it runs into things.
About the Author
Get more info and advice on the italian greyhound or a full list of dog breeds at this Dog Behaviour website.
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