The Italian Greyhound is similar to his larger Greyhound cousin, but on a much smaller scale. Standing between 13 to 15 inches, this smallest of sighthounds is the picture of intelligence and elegant grace. The breed has a long and noble history as a favorite of royalty, since at least the 16th century. His popularity endures today due to his affectionate, playful nature combined with athleticism. Are you a good match for the Italian Greyhound?
1. Despite his diminutive size and slender build, the Italian Greyhound (or the Iggy, as owners fondly call him), is a hunter. He has the speed and agility to hunt small game and can reach speeds up to 25 miles per hour, with a gait that is high stepping and free. He needs daily exercise and also does well in dog sports like agility and rally.
2. In spite of their love of the outdoors, Italian Greyhounds are very sensitive to cold and wet weather, or even slightly damp or cool weather. If you live in a cold environment, he'll need a jacket that completely covers his body and even water-repellent boots. Plan to spend some of your dog-care budget on coats, sweaters, and booties.
3. On the plus side, IGs seem to enjoy dressing up, and you can let your inner fashionista loose (although it's important to remember these tips first!).
4. Don't plan on ignoring an Italian Greyhound. They thrive on human affection and want to be the center of your world. Your dog wants to be near you, on top of you, next to you, wherever you go. And he'll let you know it.
5. With enough exercise and playtime, Italian Greyhounds are gentle, affectionate companions. They're world-class snugglers.
7. Two are better than one. IGs are very social and affectionate and love having another dog (or dogs) to play and snuggle with. They're not happy being ignored or left alone. If you can't be on call 24-7 for a cuddling emergency, consider adding another dog to the pack.
8. With their elegance and grace, it's no wonder Italian Greyhounds are a favorite subject of artists. This portrait of Katherine the Great by Vladimir Borovikovsky includes her Italian Greyhound.
Even today, posing seems to come naturally.
9. If all of these traits win your heart, you and the Italian Greyhound are a perfect match.