Saturday, December 26, 2015

Showdog Saturday, the Italian Greyhound

Since I make dog clothes, I see alot of Italian Greyhounds.  They are smooth coated and seem to always be cold so they are excellent customers!  As per usual, the internet is a great place to research stuff.  I use the AKC breed site and for much of my info.

I was curious about their history because, although Jessie is a Miniature Australian Shepherd, she reminds me alot of an Italian Greyhound with a long coat.  Can you see the resemblance?  Turns out there are some similarities!  

Turns out that Italian Greyhounds have been around for a LONG time.  There are images of dogs like these from 2,000 years ago.  They were favorites with the royals because of their elegant looks and small size.  IGs were often portrayed in portraits with their owners in the Middle Ages.


Experts debate about whether they were bred as hunters of small game or as companion animals. Being sighthounds, they have the instinct to hunt and can actually run around 25 miles per hour. They are also very affectionate and make excellent companions. Maybe they are bred for both.

Here is a comparison picture of the Italian Greyhound (left) with one of his larger relatives, the whippet (right).  Both, as sighthounds, are long and refined and built to run  However, the IG has a smaller head and chest isn't as deep in comparision to the rest of his body.

These guys are very loving to family but a bit reserved with strangers.  They do have a large bark so can be great watchdogs.  They are fairly delicate so small kids could easily cause injury and need to be monitored. Unfortunately the radius and ulna or "forearms" are prone to breaks. 

Iggies are good at being lap dogs; at least for a while.  They they want to run and play.  IGs are a bit catlike; enjoying high places to perch on.  The Italian Greyhound can be really good at coursing (picture below), as well as agility.  A dog that is fit can even be a great jogging partner.

They demand attention and are not so good alone for long periods of time.  Training can be successful if they can see what is in it for them.  Interest might be pretty low if they don't enjoy what they are doing, however.  And potty training............may never be complete.  Between needing to see the reason and hating to be cold, potty training may be pretty iffy.   

So..............Jessie is more delicately built, craves attention, has trouble with the idea of pottying outside, loves to run outside and sit in high places.  She also gets cold quickly even with her longer fur.  I know she is mini aussie because I know her parents, but sure does make me wonder sometimes.


  1. They're cute dogs! My old neighbor had a pair. Too lazy for me, but still sweet.

    1. The ones I've met are a bit more active. Jessie is probably as close as I'll ever be to owning one.