The Italian greyhound, is a very old dog breed from the greyhound group. It is believed that the origin of the breed is in Ancient Egypt, about 4000-7000 years ago,

where small greyhounds were kept in the pharaoh's courts as pets, but were also sometimes used for hunting. It is believed that they came to Ancient Greece from Egypt, in the 5th century BC and from there to the ancient Rome.

The name of the breed - Italian Piccolo Levriero Italiano comes from the French word lièvre-hare. In the Middle Ages, European nobility hunted small game, including hares and partridges, with Italian greyhounds.

LThey became very popular in the 14th-17th centuries during the Renaissance. European monarchs and representatives of bohemians kept dogs by the dozens, highlighting their elegance, sensitivity and infinite loyalty to people. The Medici dynasty was especially fond of these animals. Levreschi's images can be found on the canvases of Titian, Paolo Veronese, Van Dyck, Albrecht Dürer and a whole lot more of other famous painters and engravers.

Italian Greyhounds were very loved and popular at the court of the Prussian King Frederick the Great (1712-1786) in Sanssouci Palace. It is said that the king kept around 200 representatives of this breed and always had 40-80 dogs with him. He was also with his little pet at the hour of his death.

17th century Italian Greyhounds "conquered" the royal houses of England and also Russia. The first Italian Greyhound standard was adopted by the English Kennel Club in 1873. In the 19th century, attempts were made to make the already miniature greyhound even smaller. This created complications in the breed due to the weakening of the gene pool caused by crossbreeding with ornamental dogs.

In 1900, the Italian Greyhound Club was founded and took it upon itself to help revive the IG in its original form. Unfortunately, during both World War I and World War II, Italian Greyhounds were nearly exterminated in England. Fortunately, IGs were introduced to America in the late 1800s, and breeding populations in the United States and Canada helped revive European populations after World War II.

Thanks to the "light" skeleton and highly developed musculature, these dogs can reach very high speeds, even 50 km per hour. Of course, today we don't go hunting with greyhounds, but we like to catch the mechanical "hare" with "sport hunting" in coursing.

The breed was finally recognized by the FCI in 1956 and the current breed standard was published in 2015. Despite its small stature, the Italian Greyhound fully corresponds to a miniature wind dog, it is a prototype of refinement, grace and elegance. Italian Greyhounds height at the withers 32-38 cm and weight is about 3-5 kg.

Italian Greyhound is a companion dog. Dogs of this breed are gentle, affectionate, playful, sociable and easy to train. The average life expectancy is 13-14 years, but many reach the age of 16-17 or even more.