The Italian Greyhound is a charming little dog of grace and beauty. They are usually jolly little guys. This is a breed that was kept in England as far back as the 17th century. They enjoyed the royal favor of many while in Prussia. The famous Frederick the Great simply adored his Greyhound pets and even left instructions in his will that his body should be buried among his pets in the Greyhound cemetery in the Park of Sans Souci.
The Italian Greyhound comes in colors of all shades of fawn, mouse, white and red. Of interesting note is that the old-time dogs were found in a variety of shades because at Hampton Court, in a painting of the Queen of James I., there are several greyhounds in the colors of fawn, blue, blue and white. So that even as far back as those days the Italian Greyhounds were of a variety of colors.
As with most of the toy breeds we find that they started out much larger in size, the original Italian Greyhound weighed somewhere around 14 pounds.
In appearance the Italian Greyhound of today should resemble the original version just in miniature size. Sometimes it is difficult to produce smaller versions without impairing their health. However, when discussing the point of elegance of the Italian Greyhound, there is virtually none who matches this beautiful creature, who’s every movement, indicates “grace personified,” and his peculiar prancing action is a distinct characteristic belonging only to the Italian Greyhound.
The Italian Greyhound should have the tulip or prick ears; these are considered “bad” faults, which should be very carefully avoided. He should not be compactly built as shown in his terrier crosses, which were sometimes used to reduce his size. The terrier crosses have also been known to create the bulging eye and the apple head, both of which are very undesirable.
There is further evidence of the terrier crosses to reduce size found in some puppies when first born. They will usually be a black and tan, while in purebred animals they are whole-colored or fawn-and-white.
The Italian Greyhound is gentle and affectionate and not quite a delicate as his fragile form suggests. In cold weather, you need to keep your Italian Greyhound in the house. He should sleep in an area free of drafts and when taken outside in cold weather dress your Italian Greyhound with a warm sweater or coat.
To keep your Italian Greyhound in good physical shape he requires a good deal of exercise. Take care not to over feed your Italian Greyhound. The Italian Greyhound must never be allowed to become “fat,” in order to retain their beautiful lines and graceful form.
Don’t expect your Italian Greyhound to serve as a domestic alarm or protector, although he is capable of being a very sharp watch-dog and hear the slightest of sound. He is more dedicated to the comforts of the tea table, the fireside carpet, and the luxurious indulgences of the sofa and a warm lap of his mistress or master.
The general appearance of an Italian Greyhound is that of ideal elegance and grace of shape, symmetry and action. He has a flat skull, long and narrow, muzzle very fine, nose dark in color, ears rose-shaped placed well back, soft and delicate and should touch or nearly so behind the head. His eyes are fairly large, bright and full of expression.
His neck is long and gracefully arched. His thighs are muscular, feet are long with arched toes and well slit up. The Italian Greyhound has a tail that is rather long, fine with low carriage. His hair is thin and glossy like satin. One of the most prized colors of the Italian Greyhound is the golden fawn color, but he comes in all shades of fawn, red, mouse, blue, cream and white, blacks, and brindles. His weight today is around 8 pounds average and he prances about with a high and free step.
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