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Italian Greyhound Facts

Origin: Italy
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Breed Group: Toy
Coat Type: Short and fine
Coat Colours: Various Colours including black, fawn, blue, and more
Temperament: Affectionate, Playful, Alert
Height: 32-38 cm (12.5-15 inches)
Weight: 3.6-5.4 kg (8-12 lbs)

Introduction

Italian Greyhound for Sale Ireland

The Italian Greyhound, a member of the Toy category, is a small-sized sighthound known for its remarkable speed and agility. This breed’s size and energy levels can vary, influenced by its lineage. Despite its diminutive stature, the Italian Greyhound is far from a quiet house companion. With an insatiable thirst for adventure, this high-energy dog constantly seeks excitement. It can swiftly transition from a cuddly couch potato to a whirlwind of activity, bouncing off walls and furniture in the blink of an eye.

This breed’s unpredictable bursts of energy can be exhilarating yet nerve-wracking. Renowned for its lightning speed, an Italian Greyhound can vanish from sight in just eight seconds when running at its impressive top speed of 25mph. This hunting breed has a strong prey drive and will chase anything that moves.

A Brief History

An Ancient Heritage

The Italian Greyhound, often regarded as one of the most ancient dog breeds, can trace its lineage back to the days of the Roman Empire. This elegant and gentle canine was not only cherished by European royalty for centuries but also found popularity during the Renaissance era. The breed’s true origin remains a topic of debate and speculation among historians. Some believe it hails from Greece, Turkey, Italy, Persia, or even Egypt.

A Unique Heritage

While the Italian Greyhound is frequently mistaken for a miniature Greyhound, they are not directly related. Instead, the Italian Greyhound is thought to be a descendant of a now-extinct sighthound breed, carefully bred down in size. Evidence of this breed’s antiquity can be found in artefacts dating back at least 2,000 years in Greece and Turkey, featuring depictions of these small dogs. Furthermore, archaeological excavations have unearthed the remains of these diminutive canines.

The Italian Greyhound’s European Journey

The Italian Greyhound made its way to England from Italy during the 1600s, likely contributing to its name. In England, it garnered favour among royalty and aristocracy, with portraits by renowned artists of the Middle Ages immortalizing this breed. The Italian Greyhound enjoyed the admiration of historical figures such as Mary Queen of Scots, Frederick the Great of Prussia, Princess Anne of Denmark, and Charles I. During the late 1800s, Queen Victoria played a pivotal role in elevating its popularity to new heights.

Crossing the Atlantic

The Italian Greyhound’s journey continued across the Atlantic as it gained recognition in the United States. It was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1886, marking the beginning of its ascent in American dog circles.

Challenges in Europe

During both World Wars, Italian Greyhounds in England faced dwindling numbers. In these dire times, American breeders stepped in to help revive the breed in Europe, demonstrating the breed’s resilience and adaptability.

Italian Greyhounds in Ireland

Italian Greyhounds made their way to Ireland centuries ago, captivating the hearts of dog enthusiasts across the country. Their slender form and affectionate nature quickly endeared them to the Irish, making them a popular choice among dog lovers in various counties, including Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Kerry.

Italian Greyhound: Did You Know?

  • Aliases: The Italian Greyhound goes by various nicknames, including “Picollo Levriero Italiano,” “Levrette,” “I.G,” and “Iggy.”
  • Speed Demons: These petite sight hounds can sprint at astonishing speeds, reaching up to 25 mph (40.23 km/h) when running flat out.
  • Hunting Heritage: Originally bred to hunt swift game like hare and rabbits, Italian Greyhounds are the smallest of the sight hounds.
  • Superior Eyesight: With remarkable eyesight, they can spot movement from half a mile away, and their night vision surpasses that of humans.
  • Historical Significance: Sighthounds are believed to be the first historically recorded dogs, with a rich heritage.
  • Short Fur: The Italian Greyhound boasts fur shorter in length compared to most other dog breeds.
  • Not Mini Greyhounds: While often mistaken for miniature Greyhounds, they are a distinct breed.
  • Celebrity Companions: Notable figures who’ve shared their lives with Italian Greyhounds include President John Tyler’s gift to his wife, actress Sigourney Weaver’s Bacci and rock drummer Todd Trainer’s Uffizi.

Italian Greyhound Puppies

Raising Italian Greyhound Puppies in Ireland

If you’re considering bringing an Italian Greyhound into your life, you might be curious about the puppy-raising experience. These charming puppies are known for their playful and inquisitive nature. When looking for Italian Greyhound puppies in Ireland, it’s essential to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of the puppies.

Caring for Italian Greyhound Puppies

Italian Greyhound puppies require special attention due to their delicate frames. Ensure they receive a balanced diet and regular exercise to support their growth. As a small breed, Italian Greyhound puppies typically reach their full size within the first year of life.

Size and Weight

Petite Elegance

Italian Greyhounds are famous for their graceful and slender appearance.

  • Height: Italian Greyhounds typically stand between 32 to 38 centimetres (12.5 to 15 inches) at the shoulder.
  • Weight: On average, Italian Greyhounds weigh between 3.6 to 5.4 kilograms (8 to 12 pounds).

These compact dimensions make them perfectly suited to cozy homes and apartments throughout Ireland’s bustling cities and serene countryside.

Coat & Colors

A Sleek and Shimmering Coat

The Italian Greyhound’s coat is short, fine, and incredibly smooth to the touch. While their coat is low-maintenance, it’s important to keep them warm during Ireland’s cooler seasons. They come in an array of colours, including:

  • Fawn
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Cream
  • Red
  • And various combinations of these shades.

Solid Colours

Italian Greyhounds exhibit a spectrum of solid colours, including:

  • Black: A sleek, solid black coat, often adorned with a glossy sheen.
  • Blue: A unified bluish-grey hue, spanning from lighter to deeper shades.
  • Red: A rich, unblemished reddish-brown tone.
  • Isabella: A delicate, diluted brown shade, often likened to a fawn or champagne hue.
  • Cream: A gentle, pale cream colour, occasionally featuring subtle shade variations.

Patterns and Markings

In addition to solid hues, Italian Greyhounds may display various patterns and markings, such as:

  • Brindle: Characterized by dark stripes against a lighter background, examples include black brindle and blue brindle.
  • Pied: White markings artfully interspersed on a base colour, resulting in a parti-colored appearance.
  • White Markings: White patches or markings that can adorn the chest, paws, face, or tail.

Dilutions

Certain Italian Greyhounds may present dilutions of specific colours, leading to lighter or pastel variations. Notable dilutions encompass:

  • Blue Fawn: A gentler rendition of the fawn colour, creating a lighter, more subdued shade.
  • Blue and Tan: A softening of the black hue, complemented by tan markings.
  • Isabella and Tan: A dilution of the isabella colour, harmonized with tan markings.

Temperament

Graceful Companions

Italian Greyhounds are known for their affectionate and gentle disposition. Their loyalty to their owners is unwavering, and they thrive on human companionship. These dogs are social creatures and enjoy spending time with their families, making them ideal pets for Irish households.

The Irish Connection

Ireland, with its friendly and welcoming communities, is a perfect match for the Italian Greyhound’s temperament. Their adaptability and willingness to embrace new experiences make them great companions for exploring the charming towns and countryside of counties like Waterford, Limerick, and Kilkenny.

Pros of Italian Greyhound Ownership

  • Playful and Energetic: Italian Greyhounds are known for their playful and energetic nature, making them delightful companions.
  • Apartment-Friendly: Their smaller size makes them well-suited for apartment living, adapting easily to compact spaces.
  • Ease of Transport: Italian Greyhounds can be conveniently transported in a Sherpa bag, facilitating travel and outings.
  • Participation in Canine Sports: They enthusiastically engage in canine sports, providing opportunities for active bonding.
  • Long Lifespan: Italian Greyhounds enjoy a relatively long life, ensuring lasting companionship.
  • Trainability: These dogs are easy to train and eager to learn, making them ideal for obedience training.
  • Gentle with All Ages: They exhibit gentleness toward older children and seniors, fostering harmonious family dynamics.
  • Sociable Nature: Italian Greyhounds are social and get along well with other dogs and pets, though they have a high prey drive for smaller animals.
  • Ideal for Experienced Owners: While loving, they may not be the best choice for first-time dog guardians.

Cons of Italian Greyhound Ownership

  • High Activity Level: Owning an Italian Greyhound requires substantial daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being.
  • Potential Puppy Mill Concerns: Smaller-sized dogs like Italian Greyhounds are sometimes bred by disreputable puppy mill owners, necessitating careful selection of breeders.
  • Housebreaking Challenges: These dogs can be difficult to housebreak, demanding patience and consistent training.
  • Fragile Structure: Italian Greyhounds have a fragile build, making them susceptible to bone fractures.
  • Strong Prey Drive: They possess a strong prey drive and may chase after moving objects, requiring vigilant supervision outdoors.
  • Shedding: Italian Greyhounds shed and may not be suitable for individuals with allergies.
  • Sensitive Nature: Their highly sensitive disposition makes them unsuitable for noisy households.
  • Escape Artist Tendencies: They are known to be escape artists, necessitating secure enclosures and supervision.
  • Not Ideal for Young Children: Italian Greyhounds may not be the best choice for families with young children.
  • High Energy Demands: They are not suited for low-energy guardians or those who cannot provide ample daily exercise.
  • Avoid Long Alone Times: Leaving them alone for extended periods can lead to boredom-related issues such as destructive behaviour, excessive barking, digging, or escape attempts.

Italian Greyhound for Sale Ireland

Finding Your Perfect Companion

If you’re interested in adding an Italian Greyhound to your life in Ireland, you have several options to consider. Here are some avenues to explore:

Our Classified Ads

Check out our classified ads to find Italian Greyhounds for sale in Ireland. Do exercise caution and ensure that the seller is reputable and adheres to responsible breeding practices.

Reputable Breeders

Start by researching reputable breeders in your area. Ensure they follow ethical breeding practices and prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs.

Adoption and Rescue

Consider adopting an Italian Greyhound from a rescue organization or shelter. Many loving dogs are in need of forever homes, and adoption can be a rewarding experience.

Living with an Italian Greyhound in Ireland

When it comes to sharing your Irish home with an Italian Greyhound, you’ll find that this breed is well-suited to smaller living spaces, including apartments. However, it’s essential to remember that these dogs are lively, excitable, and bursting with energy, requiring ample daily exercise beyond the confines of your home.

This exuberant and swift companion thrives on both mental and physical stimulation, which can be readily provided through disciplined walks and regular outdoor activities. To keep a fully grown Italian Greyhound content in the picturesque settings of Irish counties like Cork, Galway, or Kerry, they should engage in at least three brisk walks lasting 30 minutes to an hour each day. Additionally, they’ll benefit from the opportunity to run freely, whether chasing a ball or Frisbee, playing with other dogs in local parks, or participating in canine sports.

In Ireland, your affectionate and gentle Italian Greyhound will yearn to be a part of your family’s activities. They’ll want to accompany you wherever you go, fostering their socialization, mental agility, and preventing boredom. Leaving these loving, sensitive, and loyal dogs alone for extended periods each day can be distressing for them, potentially leading to undesirable behaviours such as destructiveness or excessive noise.

To ensure a harmonious coexistence with your Italian Greyhound in  Ireland, it’s essential to cater to their need for physical and mental stimulation while embracing their desire to be an integral part of your family life.