Italian Greyhound: Italian Greyhound

An elegant and slender dog, looking like a standard greyhound but in miniature and with much finer bone. The coat is smooth and glossy and can come in a variety of shades. The head is narrow with a very fine muzzle and ears are softly folded and set high on the head. The spine slopes gently and there is a defined tuck up in the loins. The gait is high stepping and free. This can be a very fast dog when it is so inclined. An intelligent breed, but can be stubborn and wilful. They can be difficult to housetrain and, due to their hound instincts, can be difficult to train to recall. It is believed that the Italian Greyhound originated in Egypt; in fact mummified dogs very similar to today's breed have been found in the tombs of the Pharoahs. The Italian Greyhound was brought by the Romans to the Mediterranean area in the 6th century B.C. where it became a favourite of Greek and Roman nobility. It reached the height of its popularity in the 16th and 17th century where it adorned many courts. Among the famous owners you can find Mary Queen of Scots, Charles I, Frederick the Great and Queen Victoria. Great painters also found time for these little dogs as it was painted by Blake, Carpacio and Van Dyck. The Italian Greyhound may have been used to hunt rabbits but it is also the first dog bred primarily for companionship. (Pet Planet)

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