Country/Date of Origin: Italy/500 BC
The miniature version of the Greyhound has been known since the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Mummies of similar dogs have been found in royal tombs. It was popular in ancient Greece and in Rome where it found great favor. In Italy it was refined and flowered in the Renaissance. It is not known whether the original Italian Greyhound was used for hunting game. However, the modern dog is strictly a decorative, companion animal.
The list of monarchs that fancied the breed is long: James I of England, Anne of Denmark, Frederick the Great of Prussia, Catherine the Great of Russia and Queen Victoria of England.
Italians Greyhounds have been listed in the American Kennel Club stud books since 1886 but it was not until 1950 that as many as 50 were registered in a single year.