This is a elegant and slender dog, looking like a standard greyhound but in minature. The coat is smooth and glossy and can come in a variety of shades. The head is narrow with a very fine muzzle and ears are softly folded and set high on the head. The spine slopes gently and there is a defined tuck up in the loins. The gait is high stepping and free. This can be a very fast dog when it is so inclined.
||The coat can be black, fawn, red, cream or blue. The coat can have white markings at the chest and feet. Brindle coats and black and tan coats are not allowed in show dogs.
||This is a long lived breed, with 13 years being the average life span, although some Italian Greyhounds have lived till they were 15 years old.
||Ideally both dogs and bitches measure between 32 - 38cms and weigh between 3.6 - 4.5kgs.
The primary problems with Italian Greyhounds are the tremendous fragility of their leg bones in adolescents. Once the dog is fully grown, at about 12 - 18 months, the bone is strong enough to withstand daily strains. However, until then, the dog must be kept from jumping on and off of furniture and children must be taught to handle the puppy very carefully. Italian Greyhounds are also known to have an idiosyncratic response to anaesthetics, making it very difficult to calculate doses and monitor sedation during a procedure. For this reason, the dog should only be operated on for essential procedures. The breed also has a known hypersensitivity to flea dips and insecticides so flea control must be handled with great care and observation.Common ailments: Bones (Acquired) - Fracture - Closed, Bones (Acquired) - Fracture - Complete, Bones (Acquired) - Fracture - Incomplete ("Greenstick"), Endocrine - Hyperthyroidism, Eye - Cataract - Hereditary, Eye - Glaucoma, Eye - Progressive retinal atrophy PRA, Gut - Anal sac tumour, Missing teeth, colour mutant alopecia, Mouth - Dental calculus, Mouth - Dental tartar, Mouth - Malocclusion (Overshot or undershot jaw), optic nerve hypoplasia, Poisons & Toxins - Organophosphates, thrombocytopaenia, corneal dystrophy,
||The Italian Greyhound is a member of the toy group. They have always been used primarily as companions.