The miniature Italian Greyhound is a an elegant, fine-boned dog with a high-stepping gait. Like their larger Greyhound counterparts, they have an arched back, a tucked abdomen and long, straight forelegs. The neck is long and slender, with a a graceful arch. The chest is deep and narrow, the shoulders long and sloping. The ears of the Italian Greyhound are narrow and fold back against the head, but raise up when the dog is alert. The tail is set and carried low and is slender, tapering out to the end.
Size and Weight
The ideal height for both male and female Italian Greyhounds is 13-15 inches at the withers. The average weight for this breed is about 8 pounds.
Coat and Color
The Italian Greyhound wears a short, very lightly shedding, glossy coat that is soft to the touch and feels like satin. They come in shades of cream, fawn, blue, red, or black. They may be solid or have white markings on the body. Black and tan or brindle markings are a disqualification in the show ring, but they are not a disqualification for a family dog. The specific allowable markings per each canine associative vary greatly, so rules should be consulted before showing a parti-colored Italian Greyhound.
Italian Greyhounds are a snap to groom. They don't shed much, but regular brushing will help remove dirt and keep the coat looking healthy. Only bathe as-needed, but this breed enjoys rolling in the dirt, so the individual dog will determine bathing needs.
Check the ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.