/8 Facts About the Italian Greyhound

8 Facts About the Italian Greyhound

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Clean, dainty and graceful yet capable of impressive speed, the Italian Greyhound is one of dogdom’s aristocrats. The breed has captured the heart of artists, sculptors and royalty throughout history, yet will happily curl up and nap in more modest surroundings. Here are eight fascinating facts about the exquisite Italian Greyhound.
1. Greyhound in miniature
Italian Greyhound. Photography ©Petra Wegner / Alamy Stock Photo
With his deep chest, slender legs and long neck, the Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the sighthound breeds, standing 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder and typically weighing from 8 to 15 pounds. The American Kennel Club lists the breed in the Toy Group but international registries include the IG (or “Iggy”) in the Sighthound Group, along with taller relatives like the Afghan Hound, Irish Wolfhound and Whippet. While the IG has the distinctive, high-stepping movement of a show pony, they’ve been clocked at a top speed of up to 25 miles per hour and participate in the exciting sport of lure coursing. Many are also top performers on the agility course. They have pronounced prey drive and will chase — and catch — birds, lizards, rabbits and squirrels.
2. Italian Greyhound History
It is believed the breed originated some 2,000 years ago in the region known today as Greece and Turkey. In time, the breed became known throughout Southern Europe and by the 16th century became the darling of the Italian nobility. Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Victoria, Catherine the Great and Maud, Queen of Norway, are among the international royals who succumbed to the charms of the Italian Greyhound.
 3. IG Temperament
Italian Greyhounds love to be with you and will insist on being noticed. They are creatures of comfort and will snuggle with you at every opportunity. Privacy will be a thing of the past with an Italian Greyhound! Because of their short hair, they appreciate basking in the sun, sleeping under the covers in your bed and wearing a coat in cold weather. This is most definitely not an outdoor dog.
 4. How Long Does an Italian Greyhound Live?
Italian Greyhounds are a long-lived breed. Average is 12 to 14 years, but it is not unusual for an Italian Greyhound to live to 18 and sometimes even longer. They possess a zest for life and retain their playful ways well beyond puppyhood.
5. IG Colors
Italian Greyhound. Photography ©Petra Wegner / Alamy Stock Photo.
Italian Greyhounds come in a range of shades, from white, cream and golden to darker bronze, chocolate and slate gray. The American Kennel Club breed standard allows for