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Italian Greyhound

Size: Small

Weight: 6 - 10 lbs.

Height: 13" - 15"

Life Span: 12 - 15 years

Health Problems: Fractures, slipped knees or broken legs -- especially during puppyhood. Epilepsy; progressive retinal atrophy (disease of the retina causing blindness); sensitivity to anesthetics (routine surgeries more difficult)

Origin: Italy (Ancient Times)

Also Known As: Piccolo Levrieri Italiani

Group: Sighthound

Category: Companion Dog

Exercise Needs

The Italian Greyhound will enjoy inside activities such as romping and playing, as well as outdoor exercise such as walking (long distances) and jogging (short distances). "Play groups" with other Italian Greyhounds are a plus. This breed loves to play by running and bumping into each other, but they should be well supervised to prevent injury.

Temperament

Affectionate, gentle and sometimes mischievous, the Italian Greyhound was bred to be a companion animal. Thus this breed tends to become quite attached to its owner. The Italian Greyhound can be high strung and occasionally naughty. It is not uncommon for Italian Greyhounds to climb fences or get into things they shouldn't. However, most will have a good nature and interact well with other small dogs and well-behaved children. Italian Greyhounds do not make good companions for large dogs or misbehaving children because this breed has a tendency to snap or bite when frightened. The breed has fragile bones that can be broken during aggressive play. Italian Greyhounds can be difficult to house train, so patience and consistency is necessary. These dogs usually are happiest if there is more than one Italian Greyhound in the family. Overall, this breed makes an excellent companion.

Compatibility with Kids

Good with kids, as long as the kids are good to them in return. Supervise play when naughty children are around.

History

Perhaps the oldest of any pure companion dog, the Italian Greyhound can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Egyptologists once found one of the mummified canines in a 6,000 year-old tomb. As with the English Greyhound, Phoenician traders are responsible for introducing the breed to Europe, where the ancient Romans began refining the breed.

Pet Facts

During excavation of Pompeii, diggers found an Italian Greyhound encased in a portion of hardened lava from the infamous volcanic eruption.

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