Mini Italian Grey Hound: Sensitive Elegant, Docile

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 The Mini Italian Grey hound is a dog with a slender appearance whose trunk fits in the square: its shapes are reminiscent of those of the Greyhound and the Sloughi but with finer and more elegant lines. The head has a flat skull and a pointed snout; the stop is very little marked. The eyes are large, expressive, and dark. The ears are well set high, folded back on themselves, and carried around on the neck's nape and posterior part. The length of the trunk is less than, or at most equal to, the height at the withers. The chest is narrow, the croup very arched, and the belly tucked in. The tail is thin along its entire length, including the base, but more tapered towards the tip. The limbs are lightly boned but well muscled.

Hair: short, fine.

Colour: unicolor black, slate grey, Isabelle in all its shades

Height: 13 - 15 inches

Weight: about 7 - 14 lb

Origins and history of Mini Italian Grey hound

It is an ancient breed, and it is difficult to trace its origins. We know that the Egyptians had mini Greyhounds. It seems that these dogs, or at least their ancestors, have existed since 3000 BC.

Character and Abilities

Affectionate: Lively and cheerful, this little dog is very affectionate.

Player: Like his excellent greyhound, the Pli loves to play “coursing” and catch “prey”.

Calm: The Piccolo Levriero Italiano is a calm dog, quite fond of naps on his master's lap.Mini Italian Grey hound

Clever: Very sensitive, this dog is a natural emotional sponge, which allows him to always be in tune with his master's energy.

Hunter: He is now widespread as a companion dog, but we must not forget that it is still a Greyhound. Until the last century, he was regularly used as a dog for rabbit and hare hunting, and he has kept traces of it: he likes to run and pursue small prey.

Fearful/wary of strangers: The Mini  Italian Greyhound is reserved, even shy, with strangers.

Independent: He is a dog very dependent on his master, to whom he is particularly attached.

Behavior

Endure loneliness: He must be accustomed from an early age to living calmly and positively in the absences of his masters.

Easy to train / obedient: Very sensitive and often stressed by nature, the Fold must benefit from a very gentle education but consistent and diligent.

You must not let him do everything he wants; you must still impose rules and limits on him to make him a perfect daily life companion.

Barking: The Italian Greyhound is a very discreet dog.

Runaway: He rarely strays from his master or his familiar surroundings.

Destroyer: He can be left alone without making mistakes if he is well spent before each absence of his masters.

Greedy/gluttonous: Treats can be a great way to reinforce this greyhound's good deeds positively, but unlike other dogs, it's not always his favorite reward.

Watchdog: His small size and his great shyness make him unsuitable for the function of the goalkeeper.

First dog: Happy, affectionate, docile, and endearing, this little Italian greyhound suits many profiles, from the most novice to the most experienced.


Mini Italian Grey hound

Living conditions

Italian greyhound in an apartment: Its small size and moderate need for exercise allow it to live in an apartment without any problem. On the other hand, he will have to be socialized from an early age to the different stimuli the city environment offers.

Need for exercise/sport: Despite his appearance, he is an athletic dog and likes to run like all Greyhounds. It is, of course, necessary to pay attention to the environments where this little dog is released because, despite his small size, he is a real arrow; he overflows with energy.

Travel / Ease of transport: Its very light weight allows it to follow its masters everywhere, including on public transport, thanks to a suitable carrying bag.

 Compatibility

The Mini  Italian Grey hound and Cats:

The Mini Italian Grey hound can coexist with a cat without any problem.

The Mini Italian Grey hound and Other Dogs:

It is a rather sociable dog but pays attention to the differences in size between dogs during meetings. The  Mini Italian Grey hound and the Children:

He is a very sensitive dog, only suitable for children old enough to know how to play with him without hurting him.

The Mini Italian Grey hound and the Elderly:

This little dog can perfectly keep an elderly person company.

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Grooming and maintenance

The short coat of this Mini Italian Grey hound does not require any particular grooming. One brushing a week is enough for him.

Hair loss: Losses are moderate.

Feed

High-quality croquettes adapted to his age, weight, development, lifestyle, and daily physical activity are very suitable.

Health

Resistant/robust: Despite his fragile appearance, this little greyhound is quite robust. Of course, he has some health problems but keeps very good longevity.

Withstands heat: High temperatures do not bother him but beware of overexertion during heat waves.

Withstands the cold: It is not superficial to cover his Pli with a coat in winter because his short hair makes him very sensitive to bad weather.

Tendency to grow: Like many greyhounds, his slender build is maintained by daily activity and balanced meals.

Common illnesses:

Epilepsy

Dislocation of the patella

Retinal disease

Tartar (heaving, gingivitis)

Average life expectancy: about 14 years

Notes and Tips:

He was the favorite dog of many crowned heads (for example, Charles I of England and Frederick the Great, who had an almost morbid passion for this breed). Although Italian, this greyhound is not very widespread in this country, and it is difficult to find a puppy.

Other Greyhound Types

Greyhounds are one of the most cross-breed dog breeds, which is why we find so many families within this same type of dog. Originally they were called "hounds", which brings together dogs with a similar physical constitution in terms of their equipment for racing, height, length, and type of ears. However, each crossing has led to different physical peculiarities that are sometimes far from the traditional greyhound we have in mind when we refer to this breed.

Afghan greyhound

One of the biggest surprises when we stop to contemplate the different types of greyhounds is to appreciate how they look with hair, or rather: with a lot of hair. The Afghan greyhound is a very peculiar dog because he combines the slim and agile complexion of conventional greyhounds with a stylized coat that gives him an unparalleled presence. They are dogs that, for centuries, were used for royal hunting, as they differ from any other breed in their nobility and elegance, and at the same time, they are capable of running and catching prey at great speed. However, the Afghan greyhound has the misfortune of being considered the least intelligent dog breed; according to the ranking prepared by Dr. Stanley Coren, this greyhound ranks 79th, the last of all the breeds evaluated, for which it is estimated that it is a dog with poor memory, few faculties to solve problems and with a character that can sometimes be unpredictable.


Mini Italian Grey hound

Russian greyhounds

Another greyhound that differs notably due to his fur is the Russian greyhound; unlike the Afghan, he has enough hair to stand out from the common idea of greyhounds and yet be agile. The nobility has also considered it a dog close to the aristocracy due to his fine and defined features. In addition, it is estimated that this type of greyhound shows great courage, which only underlines its elegance. Finally, as its name suggests, this type of greyhound comes from Russia, so its anatomy is fully adapted to cold environments, and, on the contrary, heat causes health problems.

Scottish greyhound

This type of greyhound is one of our favorites, his appearance is very original and completely breaks with the image we might have of classic greyhounds. His fur makes the head of the Scottish Greyhound more typical of other types of dogs without this complexion. Not in vain, the Scottish greyhound is very similar to the Irish greyhound; in both environments, the temperature and humidity are identical, and both have Celtic origins, although the entities that evaluate the origin of dog breeds have always pointed out that this type of greyhound could also have started his lineage among the Phoenicians, in the Middle East.

Azawakh greyhound

What most attracts the attention of greyhounds, when it is not the most common type, is their face, which can give us reminiscences of other types of dogs due to the crosses to which they were subjected. When we look at an Azawakh greyhound, we can have the feeling that he is a cross between a greyhound and a dachshund (sausage dog) due to the shape of his face, the type of skin, and the long ears; however, they do not maintain apparent links, but yes a similar geographical origin. The Azawakh greyhound comes from Africa, his skin and fur are prepared to withstand very high temperatures. This type of greyhound did not enter Europe until well into the 20th century, he remained protected by the Tuareg, and it was not until the donation of a specimen to a European doctor in the late 1970s that this breed began to be seen on the old continent. 

Spanish greyhound

This breed is very familiar to us; with the English greyhound, he is one of the types we can see the most in Spain. In this case, he is estimated to come from a branch related to the Ibizan Hound, as can be seen by a certain similarity between their heads. However, if the Spanish greyhound stands out in something, unlike most other types of greyhounds, he is that their sociality is very accentuated. They are friendly, fun, and close dogs, perfect for family life and even with children (provided they are not too small).

English greyhound

We arrive at a very classic and representative type of greyhound, the very image that comes to mind when we think of greyhounds, also called "greyhound". However, despite his English bearing, its initial origin is considered to come from Egypt, since representations of this specific type of dog are already found in the pyramids of the pharaohs. Although, on the other hand, he is also estimated that he has a direct relationship with the Spanish greyhound, at first glance, he is tough to differentiate between them. A sure way to determine he is by doing a blood test; the English greyhound has a peculiarity in his blood: he has many red blood cells and few white ones.

Whippet greyhound

It is very cruel to admit it, but this breed of a greyhound was crossed with the sole intention of having a greyhound for tiny homes where a greyhound of the standard dimensions would not fit. The whippet is a smaller dog but inherits the greyhound's main morphological characteristics. For many decades he became popular in the United Kingdom and a perfect dog for urban and rural homes. Among his peculiarities, it stands out that it can raise its ears and keep them upright in a triangular shape, almost like a fox.

Irish wolfhound

If you liked the appearance of the Scottish greyhound before, we would present this other type of greyhound of Celtic origin, the result of the cross between the wolfhound and deerhound breeds. His ears are tiny, his tail is very long, and he stands out notably for his fur and hairy face, which gives it a very different personality from the typical greyhound. However, there is another peculiarity: they are very tall dogs. They were used for decades for grazing because they were able to run and maintain a sufficient height to scan the space above the herd. That's why they were called "lobes", because they protected the herds from the wolves.

The 'contradiction' of the greyhound: the king of speed is also the laziest

This breed can run up to 60 km/h, but they love to lie down and sleep up to 18 hours daily. Affectionate, independent, and very faithful, this breed of dog has become one of the fashionable pets today.

Mini Italian Grey hound

The 'contradiction' of the greyhound: the king of speed is also the laziest

It is often said in canine jargon that "the hare is a spark, but the greyhound runs faster than her". It is not for less. We are facing the fastest breed of dog in the world, capable of reaching 60 kilometers per hour at top speed, but with the paradox that it is very lazy. In fact, he can spend up to 18 hours a day sleeping, something that is hard to believe when seeing the explosiveness of his career. Some attributes to define his personality could be: noble, empathetic, clean, calm, elegant and independent, since he also likes his space to be respected. As if that were not enough, they have the peculiarity that they can 'laugh', since they are capable of gesturing with their mouth while playing as if they were laughing.

It is a race that even science scholars fall in love with. José R. Alonso, neurobiologist and professor at the University of Salamanca, maintains that the greyhound seems to be made for high speed. Its slender figure (long legs and sharp head) helps it to have remarkable aerodynamics. Also the enormous amount of blood (11%) and red blood cells that they have gives them rapid oxygenation of the cells and multiplies their lung capacity by 37 in the race.

The greyhound could well be the 'pharaoh' of dogs given its ancient history. Tutankhamun himself had it as a pet, and even asked to be embalmed with him. And it is that in ancient Egypt the dog was in charge of guiding and accompanying the souls on their way to the afterlife. In fact, among the ancient Egyptian deities is the god Anubis, who was represented with the body of a man and the head of a dog. Over the centuries they have continued to be one of the best pets, although it is true that they have been used especially for hunting rabbits or hares. This is where one of the great problems of these dogs is found.

The harsh reality: hunting and racing

Despite being sociable, homelike and faithful, this breed is one of the most mistreated, especially by some hunters who, when they consider that their greyhound is no longer worth hunting, abandon or sacrifice them. Spain is the only country in the European Union that continues to allow hunting with greyhounds, according to PACMA (Animalist Party Against Animal Abuse). Fortunately, there are many organizations that are dedicated to fighting against these injustices, such as the case of SOS galgos, which estimates that 150,000 animals are abandoned each year. Of these, a third of the abandonments correspond to greyhounds. These associations sometimes also serve as a refuge when they become homeless.

Another negligent use of greyhounds is for races in which there are often bets involved. Although they may be trained for the occasion, the animals suffer a lot because when they run, their heart goes from 60 to more than 300 beats per minute, with the risk of heart problems. Some countries have taken action on the matter. In Argentina this show has been banned, while in Florida (United States) this possibility is being studied judicially. By the way, this state was the first to give the green light to greyhound racing, in 1931.

Reasons and advice to have a greyhound

The first thing you have to know if you want to buy one is that they are divided into three main groups according to their hair: long/wavy (Afghan); hard (Irish and Scottish) and short: (Spanish, English, Italian, Hungarian…). If you have decided to have one, you should know that they are very calm, discreet dogs and that they will hardly bark. They have an independent character, but can become very sociable with a good education. Do not worry if you live in an apartment because, although the ideal for them is a rural habitat where they can run, they are capable of adapting to an urban environment, as long as they do not sleep outdoors because it is a very cold breed. For example, one of the known faces with the greatest passion for greyhounds is Jorge Javier Vázquez, who whenever he can boasts about them on social networks. 

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