Finding a good dog breed for an apartment dweller can be challenging. The ideal breed should be small, comfortable in confined spaces, non-shedding, and quiet. Say hello to the Italian Greyhound.
The Italian Greyhound is a diminutive version of their larger cousin, the Greyhound. They rarely get any taller than 15 inches at the withers, and they only weigh 7 to 14 lb. They are adored for their beauty, affection, convenience, and companionship. Keep reading to learn more about this fantastic breed, and why they are such a great apartment dog…
Italian Greyhound History
The Italian Greyhound was bred during the middle ages to be an entertaining companion dog. It was common across southern Europe, and in the 16th century, Italians became particularly fond of this breed, hence its name. The breed has been popular ever since, and is still common today.
Italian Greyhound Behavior
The Italian Greyhound is a true lapdog. If you’re sitting on the couch watching TV, they’re either going to be on your lap or laying right beside you. Remember, this breed was bred to be a companion dog. They want to be by you.
Even though Italian Greyhounds are the smallest of the sighthound family, they are still hunters through and through, and they will chase any small animal they see. It’s important to always have your Italian Greyhound on a lead whenever you leave the apartment. They will run away from you if their instincts takeover.
Italian Greyhounds are perfectly content in small spaces, but they are an active breed that enjoys regular exercise and playtime. You should take them on a long walk every day, and spend some time playing with them. However, it’s not a good idea to take them to a dog park. They are simply too small, and could easily get injured by larger dogs. If you can find a fenced-in open space where they can run around alone, that would be ideal.
Italian Greyhounds are not barkers, so you don’t have to worry about them bothering the neighbors. They are affectionate dogs, but can be skittish around strangers. They enjoy being held and stroked, but you shouldn’t coddle them too much. It can increase their stress and anxiety, and lead to behavioral issues, such as snapping.
Italian Greyhound Grooming
Italian Greyhounds are a hypoallergenic breed, so they do not need to be brushed since they barely shed any hair. They do, however, need to have their teeth brushed on a regular basis. They may also need annual dental checkups and cleanings. Click here to learn how to brush your dog’s teeth. Lastly, you should file the tips of their nails as needed, but never to the quick – the blood vessel in the nail. Bathing is only necessary if they get dirty playing outside.
Italian Greyhound Health and Lifespan
Italian Greyhounds are a long-living breed with an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years. They are a cold-sensitive breed, so be sure to bundle them up in the winter. Italian Greyhounds typically have few health problems, though the Italian Greyhound Club of America recommends having them evaluated for the following:
Note: If you plan on breeding your Italian Greyhound, these tests should be performed annually.
Crazy as it seems, at one point in history, “designer breeders” actually tried to make the Italian Greyhound even smaller. They did not succeed.
American Kennel Club. Italian Greyhound. Retrieved from: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/italian-greyhound/
Medibank (March 27, 2013). The perfect apartment dog. Retrieved from: https://www.medibank.com.au/livebetter/be-magazine/wellbeing/the-perfect-apartment-dog/
Wikipedia. Italian Greyhound. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Greyhound
Barber, Lilian S. Health Testing Recommendations from the Italian Greyhound Club of America, as approved by the club’s Board of Directors. Retrieved from: http://cdn.akc.org/Marketplace/Health-Statement/Italian-Greyhound.pdf