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Italian Greyhound Care & Information

Italian Greyhound Colors & Markings

The Italian Greyhound is found in a wide array of colors and markings. The AKC breed standard states that any color and markings are acceptable except a dog with brindle markings and a dog with the tan markings normally found on black-and-tan dogs of other breeds. Oftentimes people are confused by the numerous terms for various colors, markings, and their combinations. This page is provided to present photos and simple descriptions of the colors and markings found in IGs, and the terminology commonly used.

Italian Greyhound Coat Colors

Photo Coming Soon

Sable (red with black hairs)

Red Fawn
Blue Fawn

The first description for any IG will be its color, the color of the dog's coat. Coat color examples are shown above and described briefly below:

  • Black - A black dog will have a completely jet black coat. Not to be confused with a seal coat as described below.
           * Photo Credit for black IG pictured above to Heesa Meesas Italian Greyhounds.

  • Seal - Often called "Off-Black" as well, a Seal dog will often appear to be almost black, but with a reddish cast to the coat. This is most frequently seen in slight highlights on the shoulder, flanks, and behind the ears. Other seal dogs have more of a reddish hue over their entire coat.

  • Red - A red dog will have a coat of deep red hair.

  • Sable - A sable dog will show a red coat with black hairs intermingled with the red.

  • Blue - A blue dog (sometimes referred to as grey) is a dilute of a black coat producing the well known blue/grey color.

  • Chocolate - Will be seen in a number of variations in shade. (Note that a brown nose is always present on a true chocolate IG).
           * Photo Credit for chocolate IG pictured above to Heesa Meesas Italian Greyhounds.

  • Fawn/Cream/Isabella - There are two variations of Fawn/Cream colors. A cream with a black nose, or a fawn which is a dilute of a deeper color and will display a lighter pigmented nose. Can be found in many varying shades. Referred to as an Isabella color in Europe.

  • Red Fawn - A red dog that displays a diluted color shading resulting in a variation of fawn shades to the red coat.

  • Blue Fawn - A blue dog that has been affected by a dilute gene, resulting in a variation of fawn shades to the coat, with a diluted blue mask.
Italian Greyhound Markings
Wild Irish

The next word used in the description for an IG (after the color) will describe its markings, the pattern of white on the dog's body. Marking examples are shown above and described briefly below:

  • Solid/Minimal - An Italian Greyhound that has no white markings, or minimal white markings is usually described only by its color.
    ("A Blue IG")

  • Irish - An Italian Greyhound that has a colored body, with full white markings - a complete white collar, white chest & white legs - is described as an "Irish" marked dog.
    ("A Blue Irish IG")

  • Wild Irish - An Italian Greyhound that has a colored body, with Irish markings as described above, AND shows additional white markings splashed up the legs and onto the body is described as a "Wild Irish" marked dog.
    ("A Blue Wild Irish IG")

  • Pied - An Italian Greyhound that has a white body with colored markings is described as a "Pied" dog. The markings can be as minimal as a couple specks on an ear, or as much as a solid colored head and numerous large colored spots on the body.
    ("A Blue Pied IG")

  • Ticking - Ticking is present in some lines, and not in others. Ticking is best described as freckles (of the dog's coat color) flecked thru the white areas of the dog's markings. Most commonly seen in some lines of Pied dogs. Not visible at birth, ticking shows up in a puppy's coat as the pup matures.

  • Split-Face - A split-face marking is what is described when an Italian Greyhound's face is "split" in half by the markings. One half of the face will be solid with the dog's coat color, the face will be split down the middle and the other half of the face will be white.

  • Masked - A masked IG will show a 'mask', generally of a deeper shade of it's coat color, around it's face.

In Europe and other countries that use the FCI breed standard, only minimal amounts of white markings on the toes or chest are allowed. The black and cream colors are much more common in Europe than in the US.


Italian Greyhound Colors & Markings - Additional Photos
Blue Irish Split-Face
Red Pied
Blue Wild Irish

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