Technically, the Italian greyhound can be considered a greyhound. However, this isn’t because it is a derivative of the dog breed called the greyhound. Instead, this is because it is a member of a related dog breed to the greyhound, which diverged a long, long time ago. This can be made clear with a single look because the Italian greyhound is much shorter and much smaller than its better-known counterpart.
Regardless, the Italian greyhound sprung up so long ago that its exact origins are uncertain, which is something that it shares with the greyhound. Eventually, it became very popular with people of Renaissance Italy who were very fond of small dogs at the time, which is how it winded up with its current name. From that point on, the Italian greyhound proceeded to spread to surrounding regions, which was helped by their surprising popularity with a number of royal figures. For example, Mary Stuart of Scotland is known to have been fond of them. Likewise, so are the contemporaries Frederick the Great of Prussia and Catherine the Great of Russia.
Nowadays, the Italian greyhound is a popular sighthound as well as a companion dog. In part, this is because of its affectionate nature towards their family members. However, it should be noted that they are intelligent dogs that are relatively easy to train. With that said, the Italian greyhound does have its own issues as well, with examples ranging from its hunting instincts to the fact that its small size makes it better-suited to familiesi with older children rather than families with younger children.
What Is a Whippet?
Like the Italian greyhound, the Whippet is a sighthound of small size. Furthermore, the whippet is a sighthound of small size that bears a fair amount of resemblance to greyhound, which is perhaps unsurprising because they are descended from that particular dog breed. It has been some time since the whippet came into existence, but not enough time for the resemblance between the two dog breeds to fade to a considerable extent.
Supposedly, the ancestors of the whippet were greyhounds that were considered to be too small to be useful in hunting deer by noblemen. As a result, they were returned to their peasant breeders, but not before they had been maimed by either cutting a tendon in one leg or by removing the toes on one paw so as to make them useless for hunting purposes because peasants were forbidden from owning hunting dogs. However, it is said that the peasants hanged onto these smaller greyhounds before breeding them, thus producing a smaller greyhound that turned out to be very useful for hunting rats as well as rabbits. Eventually, these whippets saw use for hunting when the laws that forbade peasants from owning hunting dogs were repealed, which was followed by them seeing use as racing dogs. In fact, whippets are still sometimes called the poor man’s racehorse, which is a term that speaks volumes about the extent of their involvement in dog racing.
Temperament-wise, the whippet can be a bit oxymoronic. On the one hand, they are racing dogs, which shows in their speed as well as their penchant for running around; on the other hand, when they are not moving, it isn’t much of an exaggeration to say that they are couch potatoes. On top of this, whippets are intelligent dogs that are also sensitive to being surprised by someone’s touch, which is something that interested individuals will want to keep in mind when thinking about raising one of them.
What Is the Difference Between the Italian Greyhound and the Whippet?
Summed up, the Italian greyhound and the whippet are different dog breeds. There are some similarities between the two, which can be attributed to their shared sighthound status as well as their shared origins. However, interested individuals should not mistake the member of one dog breed for a member of the other dog breed because they are very much distinctive from one another. Otherwise, they could be surprised when they find their pet defying their expectations, which is something that could led to a number of complications as well as the hassle of resolving them.