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  • Writer's pictureScarlett Bowman

Breed Spotlight: Italian Greyhound


Italian Grayhound

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A true Greyhound in miniature, the elegant Italian Greyhound is an alert, playful, and highly affectionate toy companion. IGs make decorative couch dogs, but at heart, they are flash-and-dash coursing hounds with an instinct for pursuit. IGs are Greyhounds in miniature'¿more slender, but a Greyhound's equal in grace and elegance. Standing ideally 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder, they present the sleek, curving lines common to all coursing hounds. Distinguishing features are the long, fine-boned legs. IGs combine the attentiveness of lapdogs with the complexity of ancient, aristocratic hounds. Bred for centuries to be doting companions and jesters, these high-stepping charmers refuse to be ignored. 'On the whole,' writes an IG expert, 'the breed would much rather be in your lap or bed than on the floor.'They are, though, true sighthounds and will bolt after quick-moving prey at the drop of a cat. A short-coat, low-fat breed, IGs require extra care in cold weather


Grooming

The most important grooming tip for the Italian Greyhound is that the teeth must be brushed on a regular basis, preferably daily. Dental cleaning by a veterinarian should be done yearly or as needed. Baths are rarely necessary unless the dog has gotten into something that can't be removed from the very short, smooth coat by gentle brushing. The nails need regular attention, preferably with a grinding tool. They should not be shortened all the way to the quick. This breed has a hare foot, and the two middle nails can be left slightly longer than the other two.


Nutrition

The Italian Greyhound should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian's supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog's age (puppy, adult, or senior). It's easy to allow these dogs to become overweight, so watch your dog's calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. On an IG in proper weight, the hip bones should just be seen. Ribs should not be visible but should be able to be felt under a thin covering of flesh. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


Exercise

Boxers are very playful, high-energy dogs. They need ample exercise every day, on a leash or in a securely fenced area. The Boxer must never be allowed to run loose. The breed's heritage as a chaser of wild game means that they spend a good deal of time jumping and leaping about as young dogs, they are constantly in need of reminders to teach them to stay 'down.' Because the Boxer is a powerful, active, and playful dog, he may not be the best choice for a very frail adult, nor for a small child who could be overwhelmed by a well-meaning but bouncy puppy.


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