Small Italian Whippet

Description:
It has been said the small Italian whippet, also known as Piccolo, looks like a greyhound, but it is smaller and thinner. The head of this dog is narrow and longish, and stretches down to the muzzle. The nose is long and fine looking. The eyes are dark and have a medium size. The ears are small, highly inserted, fine to the touch, and should bend in a straight angle when the dog is alert or excited. The ears should not stick straight up though or have a button shape to them. The neck of this dog is very long and thin and should arch gracefully. The body is compact, has a medium length, should be tall in the wichers and its back should descend on the posterior part of the dog. The inferior line of the dog should be retracted on the sides. The shoulders are long and inclined; the chest should look long and narrow. The front legs are long and straight, and the hind legs should look long and parallel. The movement of this dog is somewhat fast and both the front and hind legs should move in a straight line. The tail is lowly inserted, is thin, and narrows at the tip. The feet should look like a rabbits' and its toes should be well arched. The coat should be short, shiny, and soft to the touch. The colors of this dog can be black, blue, crème, golden brown, red or white. The average weight if around four kilograms although it can vary anywhere from two and a half to seven and a half kilograms; the ideal height is between thirty-three and thirty eight centimeters.

Ideal owner:
This little "pocket dog" is ideal if you live in a flat or apartment; it is also an excellent family dog that gets along well with everyone in the family, although it will maintain its loyalty to one person specifically. These dogs are excellent with children, however it is always necessary to keep an eye on them when they are with the children because of the small size of this dog; remember it is very small and can get easily hurt. Children should never handle puppy small Italian whippets. Because of its size, this dog is very resistant and agile, it is capable of running, climbing and is an excellent jumper. This dog is not shy either and has a very amicable character.

Growth:
Despite its size, the small Italian whippet has pretty big size litter of around four or five puppies that weigh anywhere from 85 to 200 grams each. At around eight weeks a puppy should weigh around one and a half kilogram and you should be able to notice its ears standing upwards. If you are interested in getting one of these dogs make sure to choose one that looks strong, robust, that listens to you and that is extroverted and affectionate. The small Italian whippet grows very quickly and can reach its maximum height when it is around six months old, however this process can also take up to year in some cases, but it will continue gaining body substance during the next twelve months. The growth of the skull and the jaws might continue until the dog is around two years old. At adolescence this dog might become very gluttonous for its size and the owner will need to feed it smaller portions of food throughout the day so that it grows correctly and to avoid it from becoming obese. Breeders have noticed that it is a little more difficult to train this dog to be clean in the house than other dogs. The right type of socialization and consistency is very important to avoid it from becoming shy and reserved with strangers.

General health:
The small Italian whippet is one of the healthiest toy dogs that exist and it has very few congenital defects and problems. Breeders are concerned about thyroid problems in this breed. There are cases of insufficiency, followed by hair loss as well as hyperactivity of the thyroids. This problem does not seem to be evident though before the first year of life, and can be treated with medication. Incorrect teething is also common (inferior and superior prognathism etc) as well as retracted gums. Breeders suggest for owners to be very careful with possible bone fractures especially during the first years of growth. The care its coat requires is very minimal and they do not seem to have a problem with skin or ear infections. Some are sensitive to anesthetics, anti parasite medication and other insecticides. The life span of this dog is around fifteen years or more, the average is twelve though.

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