The Italian Greyhound (in Italian: Piccolo Levriero Italiano) is a small breed of dog of the sight hound type, sometimes called an “I.G.” or an “Iggy”.
The Italian Greyhound is a slender, fine-boned little dog. The head is long and narrow, almost flat on the top with a muzzle that tapers to a point. It has a slight stop. The nose is black or brown, depending on the color of the dog’s coat. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The medium-sized eyes are dark. The small ears fold back along the head, and when the dog is alert they angle to the right. The long neck is arched. The chest is deep and narrow. The front legs are straight. Dewclaws may be removed. The long, low-set tail is thin, tapering to a point. The short, glossy coat comes in all colors, including gray, slate gray, red, fawn, blue, black, white or cream.
The Italian Greyhound makes a good companion dog and enjoys the company of people. However, the breed’s slim build and short coat make them somewhat fragile, and injury can result from rough or careless play with children. The breed is good with the elderly or a couple without any children for it prefers a quiet household but they are also generally fine with older children. They also are equally at home in the city or the country, although they tend to do best in spacious areas. They are fast, agile and athletic.
Like any dog, daily exercise is a must for a happier, well-adjusted pet. Italian greyhounds love to run. The young dog is often particularly active, and this high level of activity may lead them to attempt ill-advised feats of athleticism that can result in injury. Due to their size, and in some lineages poor bone density, they are prone to broken legs. Italian Greyhounds make reasonably good watchdogs, as they bark at unfamiliar sounds. They may also bark at passers-by and other animals. However, they should not be considered “true” guard dogs as they are often aloof with strangers and easily spooked to run.
Italian Greyhounds are often purchased without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are many IGs in need of adoption and or fostering. There are a number of rescues that we have not listed. If you don’t see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward an IG rescue.
- Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue
- Lifeline Italian Greyhound Rescue
- Midwest Italian Greyhound Rescue
- Indiana Italian Greyhound Rescue
- Triangle Italian Greyhound Rescue
- Missouri Italian Greyhound Rescue
- Rocket Angel Italian Greyhound Rescue