Italian Greyhounds are a miniature version of the Greyhound in appearance, but not in spirit. These playful, alert sighthounds are just as graceful and love human companionship.
What about shedding? Italian Greyhounds are a low shedding breed with short, single coats, which means they do not shed seasonally like a double coated breed. They’re also the smallest sighthound on earth, so there’s just not much hair that can fall off of them. And to top it off, they’re super low maintenance.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how much shedding you should expect, what it takes to groom them and what makes these mini sighthounds so special.
Italian Greyhound Shedding
The Italian Greyhound (AKA Iggy, IG, or Italian Sighthound) is a low shedding breed.
They have short, smooth coats and do not have an undercoat which is one of the main reasons it sheds so little. Most dogs that have a double coat (top coat plus undercoat) tend to shed more during spring and fall.
But thankfully that is not the case with the Iggy or its close relatives, the Greyhound and Whippet, for that matter, who also have single coats. Being single coated means they are easier to groom, typically shed less and often shed about the same amount year round.
They’re also very small in size. In fact, IGs are the smallest sighthound breed in existence. So regardless of how fast it sheds, there’s only so much fur it can actually lose.
All in all, IGs are very suitable for people who can’t stand hair around the home, or who don’t have the time (or patience) to clean up after a heavy shedder. Which I for one, can totally understand!
Are Iggys Hypoallergenic?
Iggys are considered hypoallergenic by some, especially those trying to sell them as such, but they are not officially listed as a hypoallergenic breed by the American Kennel Club.
The term hypoallergenic is a loosely used term anyway. It is used to describe dogs that are “less likely to cause allergies”, but no dog is ever truly hypoallergenic, not even dogs without hair.
And the reason for this is because the allergens that make us sneeze don’t just come from the fur, they also come from the dogs dander (dead skin) and dried saliva, which clings to the hair.
So, naturally, when this hair falls out and fills your home, this dander is able to spread more rapidly than a low shedding dog.
My point being, Italian Greyhounds are “hypoallergenic” in the sense that they shed very little and are generally not as bad for allergy sufferers, but no dog is perfect in this respect.
Grooming Your IG to Keep Your Home Hair Free
Grooming your IG is fairly easy. In fact, they are one of the easiest dogs to groom that you will find, which is thanks to the same reason they shed so little – their short, single coat.
Brushing is the most important task when it comes to reducing shedding and keeping as much fur as possible from reaching your furniture and so forth.
Not only does it remove the dead fur from his coat, but it helps to promote a healthier coat by spreading the coat oils evenly over his skin. This matters because dryness of the skin and hair is a leading cause of excessive shedding.
What sort of brush is best?
The best brush to use on an Italian Greyhound is a rubber hand mitt or soft-bristle brush. These brushes are very gentle and well suited to a dog with such a short, smooth coat.
You could use a deshedding tool but in all honesty I think this would be overkill for such a low shedding breed like the IG.
Either way, brushing once or twice per week should suffice. And as long as you stick with this routine you should have an IG with a healthy coat, that stays where it should – on him.
When it comes to bathing, you don’t have to bathe them often as they’re a very clean breed as it is. And over bathing can actually cause dryness of the skin, which leads to shedding.
Also worth mentioning is that, according to the AKC, Italian Greyhounds need regular teeth cleaning sessions with a proper dog toothpaste, as well as regular nail trimming.
There are other simple ways to reduce shedding which you can learn about here if you’re noticing more shedding than normal and want to minimize this as much as possible.
What Makes Iggys Unique?
Some say Italian Greyhounds are just a tiny version of the Greyhound, which is true in some respects. They do look very similar and come from the same bloodline.
Just as some confuse IGs for the Whippet, because the Whippet is also a sighthound, and smaller version of the Greyhound, just not quite as small as an Iggy.
In any case, make no mistake about the IG, this “toy” version of the Greyhound is actually quite unique, and not just in size. For example, they shed less fur (bonus), don’t run quite as fast (meh) and are less about hunting and more about companionship (aww).
There is some debate over whether they were bred to hunt small game or bred as lapdogs for ancient royals and nobles, like Pugs and Shih Tzus for example. But at the end of the day, Iggys are still a typical sighthound.
As in, they are quick, have keen eyesight and love to chase small, fast moving animals. They’re also very energetic and loveably mischievous when they wanna be.
While the Greyhound loves fast, intense sprints and will happily lounge around outside of this, IGs are much more intense throughout the day. They’re kind of like other small dogs, such as Fox Terriers, in this respect. As in, they can go from zero to full throttle in about two seconds!
They also bark more than a Greyhound, so probably make better “alarm systems” for your home. Might pay to keep a stockier dog on hand to back him up though, if you’re wanting a guardian for the home that is. 😉
All in all, Italian Greyhounds make excellent family companions.
They are alert, playful and affectionate dogs that love humans. Not to mention, they shed very little and are one of the easiest dogs to groom. So you won’t be needing to spend hours cleaning up loose fur or brushing to maintain their coat.