The Italian Greyhound, also known as the Piccolo Levriero Italiano, the IG and the “Iggy” to its admirers, is the smallest of all sighthounds (also called “gazehounds”) and has been a beloved companion animal for thousands of years. They are perhaps best known for their remarkably affectionate disposition. The Italian Greyhound is truly a Greyhound in miniature in virtually all ways, just being smaller and more slender than its larger relative and having a more high-stepping gait. The IG is adaptable to rural or urban life, enjoying plush indoor accommodations as well as the outdoors. Italian Greyhounds are far less fragile than they appear. In general, they are hardy, healthy and largely unbreakable companions. The Italian Greyhound was approved by the American Kennel Club in 1886 as a member of the Toy Group.
The ideal Italian Greyhound stands 13 to 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulder. They can weigh from 5 to 14 pounds, with the average being about 8 pounds. Their short, glossy coat is easy to care for and only requires an occasional wiping-down with a soft cloth. The IG sheds infrequently and is odorless, making it an exceptional house or apartment dog. Italian Greyhounds come in every color. Those with brindle markings or with the tan markings normally found on black-and-tan dogs of other breeds are disqualified from the American show ring. This breed has thin skin and gets chilled easily.