The Italian Greyhound is extremely slender and barely over a foot tall but has all the grace and sweetness of his taller Greyhound relatives. There is debate as to whether they were originally bred for hunting small game or meant to be simply a companion. In all likelihood, both are true, as they are adaptable to city and country life. The Italian Greyhound’s coat can be any color, except brindle and classic black and tan.
Playful and intelligent, the Italian Greyhound is generally easy to train and prefers to spend most of his time with his owner. They like attention and affection, and are a peaceful, gentle friend to adults and children. Italian Greyhounds are an active breed that loves to run and play and requires daily walks. Their small size makes them ideal for an apartment and his short, smooth as satin coat makes him one of the easiest breeds to groom.
The Italian Greyhound does require regular bathing and grooming. This lively and intelligent little dog can be bathed as frequently as every week up to no more than every six weeks depending on his lifestyle. With this smooth coated breed, regular bathing is essential to maintain healthy skin and coat. Selecting the correct products to match your pet’s skin and coat is essential to achieve optimal results.
Before bathing your Italian Greyhound, it is recommended to go over the dog’s entire body with a high velocity dryer in order loosen any dirt and dander from the skin and remove any excess loose coat. Lightly card the coat to help accelerate shedding. Once you have selected the best products for your IG, it is bath time!
Finishing the Dog: Tools and Finish Grooming
This affectionate dog should be bathed and groomed on a regular basis. In order to keep the short, smooth coat in prime condition, it is always beneficial to use a hydrating spray following the bath and drying process. This allows the skin and coat to lock in moisture in order to maintain perfect hydration. As a finishing touch, before using a hydrating spray, use a grooming mitt and massage in a circular motion to stimulate the release of natural oils in addition to the removal of any excess loose hairs. Then finish with a hydrating spray.
General Health Care
Prep work is the foundation of all grooming. Prep work includes ear cleaning, nail trimming, anal glands, and proper dental hygiene. Mastering these skills sets the professional pet stylist apart from the rest. Prep work should be done before every bathing and grooming appointment. All dogs need to have their ears checked and cleaned on a regular basis. Proper nail care is also very important. Long, unsightly nails are uncomfortable for the dog, as well as anyone they might jump on. Long nails also compromise the shape of the foot. Trimming the pads of the foot helps give the dog good traction on different surfaces and can minimize the amount of dirt the dog tracks into the house. It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions. Anal glands should also be checked and expressed if they are full. Some caring pet owners prefer to have the anal glands done by their veterinarian. Good dental hygiene is essential for a healthy pet as well.
In order to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as overall health, it is important to provide good nutrition to your dog through a well-balanced diet, vitamins, and healthy treats.
Do they require a lot of grooming?
If you are not a fan of cutting hair, then you have made the right selection of choosing an Italian Greyhound. This smooth, short haired bundle of joy requires minimal grooming. This breed is generally clean with few odor problems.
What is a common problem in Italian Greyhounds?
As with most purebred dogs, IG’s do have their fair share of health concerns. Some do have a skin problem known as color mutant alopecia. Other issues in the breed are deafness and hypothyroidism, which is a hormonal disease.
Do IG’s shed or cause allergies?
Shedding is minimal with Italian Greyhound’s due to their short, smooth coat. This breed produces less dander than many other breeds. However, the amount of dander a dog produces is different, and depends on the health of the skin and coat, as well as nutrition. However, before bringing an IG into your home if you suffer from allergies, you should spend some time around the breed to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction.
Are Italian Greyhounds good with children?
Due to their fine bone structure and sometimes timid or sensitive personality, IG’s in general do not make good household pets for people who have very young children or rambunctious children or large, active dogs.
What if I have a show dog?
Whether you have a show dog or a companion quality dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene. The difference is the conditioning of the dog and conformation training. It is always quite helpful if your breeder can help mentor you to lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of dog shows. A great place to start is with the national breed club like the Italian Greyhound Club of America, www.italiangreyhound.org