A Few Facts About The Mini Greyhound
Yes, there really is a mini greyhound, a little dog that, when standing motionless, looks like a plastic model of the standard size greyhound. The mini greyhound, more commonly known as the Italian greyhound, is not a design dog or hybrid breeder's creation. This 8-pound bundle of athletic ability has been around for centuries; in fact was a faithful and loyal companion and lap dog of many inhabitants of Ancient Egypt.
Sometimes called a mini greyhound, and sometimes called an Italian greyhound, this little dog is often referred to as an "Iggy", or "I.G.", for short. This mini greyhound breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club, and the following brief descriptive summary is paraphrased from the AKC Breed Standard For The Italian Greyhound:
"The Italian Grey hound is similar to the Greyhound, though more slender and elegant in appearance. Its head is long and narrow, tapering to a slender nose, and features a nearly flat skull. The eyes are dark, bright, and intelligent, the ears, small and folded, except folded back when alerted. The breed has a long slender neck, and a medium, short-coupled body, which droops at the hindquarters. The breed is deep in the chest, has long narrow legs, and a slender, tapered tail."
Faster Than A Speeding Bullet - The mini Greyhound is the smallest of the sight or gaze hounds, standing between 13" and 15" high at the shoulder. Pay particular attention to the designation of "sight hound". If you should own one, you'd better keep it on a leash when out of doors. Otherwise, if it sees something that could be prey, which could be most anything, especially something small, off it goes, and there's just no ways you're going to catch it. While its shorter legs don't give it the speed its larger cousin is famous for, they are long enough, and it can very likely outrun just about any other breed of dog, and certainly any human.
While the mini Greyhound no doubt resembled the Standard Greyhound centuries ago, careful breeding over many years has resulted in a breed that resembles the Greyhound even more closely today, the main difference, besides size, is that the pint-sized version is generally considered to be much more elegant in appearance.
Affectionate And Loyal, Too Much So? - The mini Greyhound is known to be both affectionate and loyal. Very loyal in fact. If you own one, the song "I Will Never Leave You", will probably come to mind. If you like total privacy, you may have to alter your definition of privacy to one which includes a dog, constantly at your side, looking at you affectionately.
The mini Greyhound, though somewhat fragile in appearance, is a tough little dog, and a brave one as well. The breed can be rather territorial at times when other dogs are around, and may at times forget how small it is. As tough as it is, it does have long, slender legs, which when roughhousing with a much larger dog, or an overly rambunctious child, does run the risk of being broken.
A Reason For A Second Thought - If there is one undesirable feature of the breed, which is otherwise totally adorable, it's that as far as potty training is concerned, this extremely intelligent breed can appear as dumb a doorknob. We are used to taking a puppy outside when we see what it's thinking of doing, and before long the puppy gets the idea, and learns both to hold it, and to let you know when it's time. The mini Greyhound just doesn't seem to get it, at least for a long time. It doesn't seem to make the connection between being taken outdoors, which is neat, and peeing, which is also neat. It's not that it never can be housebroken, but the breed seems determined to set records with regards to how long it takes to become so.
If you're interested in this breed, the Italian Greyhound Club of America's web site is well worth visiting. There is a club in the U.K. as well with a web site, and a number of breeders advertise on the Internet.