Italian Greyhound


Basic Information

Breed Group
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches



The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the "sight" hounds and they were once the preferred dog of royals and nobility. There are some people who believe the mummified remains of similar dogs found in ancient Egyptian tombs may well be the breed's ancestors. They are fragile looking dogs being a much smaller version of their larger Greyhound cousins. Today, they are popular choice with people both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world as companions due to their charming, delicate looks and affectionate, loving natures.

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It was the Romans who bought these small hounds with them to other areas of Europe as they marched across the lands during the 6th century BC. It is thought the Italian Greyhound was developed some 4000 years ago in countries we now know as Greece and Turkey, a theory that is helped by decorative arts from this period in history and the skeletal remains of small greyhound-type animals found in these regions of the world. There are mummified dogs found in the tombs of Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt which are thought to be the ancestors of the breed although this is yet to be proved.

Later during the 16th and 17th century, the hounds were often seen in many courts both in Europe and here in the UK, with Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I both owning them. Often depicted by the masters in their paintings, the Italian Greyhound although often used to hunt rabbits, were in the main really bred as companion dogs.

Miniature dogs were held in high esteem by Italians in the Renaissance period and the breed spread further south as its popularity grew throughout the land. The Italian Greyhound as a breed suffered when unscrupulous breeders attempted to cross them with smaller dogs with an end goal being to create even smaller greyhounds. Fortunately, the breed was saved by enthusiasts who through careful and selective breeding managed to rescue these lovely dogs from the brink of extinction. Today, the Italian Greyhound remains a popular choice as companions all over the world, including here in the UK thanks to their adorable looks and kind, loyal natures.

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