Hi, my name’s Irena and I live on the beautiful island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea.
It’s a lovely warm and sunny day here and my animals aren’t doing a lot. The cats are lazing about while Sherlock, my dog, is resting after a long walk.
Today I’m going to tell you about Italian Greyhounds and whether or not they shed.
All dogs, apart from the hairless breeds, shed their old and damaged hair. However, not all dogs shed the same amount.
It all depends on their breed and other factors such as their diet and health. In addition, some dogs shed seasonally, usually in the spring and the autumn.
Interestingly, it’s not only long-haired dogs and dogs with an undercoat who shed. Some short-haired dogs also shed, but are Italian Greyhounds in this group?
What are Italian Greyhounds Like?
Italian Greyhounds aren’t used in racing like their larger cousins, Greyhounds are. However, they do like to hunt so they might not be the best dogs to have if you have cats or other small animals.
A Little History
They are believed to have originated in Egypt around 3,000 BC. Archeologists have found mummified remains of these dogs in the tombs in the Valley of Kings in Luxor.
The Romans brought Italian Greyhounds to the European countries in the Mediterranean in 600 BC. In the Middle Ages, they were popular with noblewomen, especially in Italy, hence their name.
They reached the height of their popularity in the 17th century. They were not just lap dogs but were used to hunt small game.
Nowadays they are not particularly used for hunting, being kept mainly as family dogs, but because of their speed and endurance, they do well in agility competitions.
Appearance and Characteristics
Italian Greyhounds are much smaller than Greyhounds, standing at 13 – 15 inches at the shoulder and weighing 6 – 15 pounds.
They are the smallest of the sighthounds, but they can still reach speeds of 25 miles an hour so they need owners who enjoy a good brisk walk and who can control them when they are in hunting mode.
Italian Greyhounds are deep-chested, have a tucked-up abdomen, long legs and neck, and a small head. They live between 14 and 15 years.
Italian Greyhounds love their families and enjoy a good snuggle. However, they are better off with older children rather than younger ones.
They are small and fragile and don’t like boisterous behavior which small children often exhibit. They are shy with strangers so they need early socialization.
Take them to obedience classes and have plenty of visitors over. They are easy to train, but not to housetrain. You will have to persevere but expect to have some accidents in the home.
They are cat-like in their behavior as they like to sunbathe and sit on the back of your couch. They particularly like high places.
However, keep an eye on them when they are sunbathing. They have short coats which can easily get sunburnt.
Italian Greyhounds are generally healthy dogs. They can, however, be prone to certain illnesses such as cataracts, hypothyroidism, and hip dysplasia.
They can also suffer from epilepsy and autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
What are their Coats Like?
Italian Greyhounds have short coats and don’t have an undercoat. Their hair is glossy and soft to the touch.
You’ll find them in a wide variety of colors including fawn, cream, red, blue, and black.
The color is either solid or with white markings. The only colors they don’t come in are black and tan or brindle.
Do Italian Greyhounds Shed?
The simple answer to this question is Italian greyhounds do not shed much. In fact, they are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs.
However, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, not even the hairless ones.
Most people think that allergies are caused by fur, but in reality, they are caused by a protein that is found in the saliva and urine.
This protein sticks to the dead flakes of dander from the skin of your dogs.
Grooming Your Italian Greyhounds
Because your Italian Greyhounds have such short hair there won’t be any mats or knots in their hair, not like my Sherlock.
It is not easy grooming him especially as he doesn’t like to sit still for long. However, grooming your Italian Greyhounds will be a breeze.
Even though they don’t shed much, to ensure that there is a minimum amount of shedding, brush your dogs daily.
This will help to reduce the number of hairs in your home and on your clothes. Your dogs will enjoy a gentle brushing as long as you start when they are puppies.
They get used to it from early on, so they regard brushing as a daily ritual. The good thing about bushing is that it distributes oil and removes dead hair.
In addition, it helps your dogs to regulate their body temperatures and prevents itching.
It is also a good idea to bathe them now and again as the dead hairs will end up in the tub, not on your furniture and floors.
Again, start giving them baths when they are puppies as then they won’t object to being splashed with water.
Causes of Shedding
As I have said, Italian Greyhounds don’t shed much, but some things can increase their chance of shedding a little more than normal.
You need to keep an eye on their diet and their health. Diseases like cancer can cause hair loss as can stress.
It’s best to feed your Italian Greyhounds a premium high-quality diet. Cheaper dog foods often contain empty fillers like wheat, corn, and soy which have few nutrients.
You want to look for food that has meat as the first ingredient as dogs need a good protein to keep them healthy.
They should also have some carbohydrates in the form of fruit and vegetables, as well as vitamins and minerals.
Omega-3s are also good for them and help to give them a shiny coat. It’s also a good idea to mix a little olive oil or flaxseed oil into their food as this too will give them a shiny coat and help to stop shedding.
Like people, dogs can have food allergies, and this may cause their hair to fall out.
You will have to try them out on different foods to find which one they are allergic to. Putting them on a limited ingredient diet might help as well or giving them a raw food diet.
Treats should only make up 10% of their daily diet, but instead of buying treats that possibly have few nutrients or even no nutrients whatsoever, give them healthy human treats.
Apples without the seeds are good as are bananas and lean meat.
Your Italian Greyhounds should always have access to a bowl of clean water.
If they don’t drink water regularly, they can become dehydrated which can lead to dry skin and eventually shedding.
If your dogs have a disease, it can lead to loss of hair. If they suddenly start shedding it is a good idea to go to see your vet.
Kidney, liver, thyroid and adrenal diseases can cause shedding, so it is best that your dogs are seen to promptly. Fungal and bacterial diseases can also be a factor in shedding.
In addition, some medications can lead to hair loss so again see your vet.
If they are pregnant, this again can lead to shedding and there’s nothing you can do about it. If they are itching all the time, check that they haven’t got fleas, lice or other parasites.
Excessive scratching can lead to hair loss. Make sure that you give your dogs flea and tick treatment about once a month.
Other Causes for Excessive Shedding
Perhaps your Italian Greyhounds have come into contact with an irritating or caustic substance.
Maybe they’ve been licking themselves excessively or perhaps they’ve got sunburnt.
Sunburn is always something you should keep an eye on with Italian Greyhounds as they love to be out in the sun. It can be worse if they are a lighter color.
Perhaps put sun cream on their ears as they are often the first part of the body to get burnt and this can lead to skin cancer.
Final Thoughts: Do Italian Greyhounds Shed
Italian Greyhounds make lovely family pets for people with older children. They love to get lots of attention and even though they enjoy hunting, they also enjoy lazing about in the sun.
They will make great dogs for people who have allergies as they don’t shed much at all. Just make sure that they get a good brush daily, preferably by a person who doesn’t have allergies.
If you are house-proud you won’t have a problem with these dogs as they leave very little hair around the place.
You won’t be spending all your time sweeping up like I have to do with Sherlock. I’m continually finding piles of hair all over the house, but I love him, nevertheless.