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Italian Greyhound


AKC Height:

13-15 inches

AKC Weight:

7-14 pounds


Any color and markings are acceptable except for brindle and the typical black-and-tan markings.

Life Expectancy:

14-15 years


Toy Group

Italian Greyhound: The Graceful and Affectionate Miniature Hound

Welcome to the definitive guide on the Italian Greyhound, a breed renowned for its elegant appearance, loving nature, and lively demeanor. This page offers an in-depth look at the Italian Greyhound, a smaller version of the standard Greyhound, known for its sleek physique and affectionate temperament, making it a favored pet in households.

Physical Characteristics

  • Slender and Graceful Build: Italian Greyhounds are the epitome of elegance and grace, characterized by their slim build, fine bones, and tall, pointed ears.
  • Smooth and Glossy Coat: They possess a short and sleek coat, which comes in a variety of colors, making them a visually striking breed.

Temperament and Personality Italian Greyhounds are known for their affectionate, friendly, and sensitive nature. They form strong bonds with their owners and are known for their desire to be close, often cuddling and seeking comfort. Despite their delicate appearance, they can be quite playful and enjoy regular play sessions.

Training and Exercise Needs

  • Training: They respond well to gentle, positive training methods. Patience is key as they can be sensitive to harsh tones.
  • Exercise: Moderate exercise, such as daily walks and indoor play, is sufficient for this breed, given their small size.
  • Mental Stimulation: Mental engagement through light training exercises and interactive toys is beneficial for their active minds.

Health and Nutrition

  • Diet: A balanced diet suitable for a small, active breed is essential. Regular veterinary check-ups can help ensure their health and dietary needs.
  • Common Health Issues: Generally a healthy breed, Italian Greyhounds can be prone to dental issues and bone fractures due to their fine bones. Careful handling and regular health screenings are advisable.

Grooming and Care

  • Coat Maintenance: Their coat is low-maintenance, requiring only occasional brushing and bathing.
  • General Care: Due to their slender build, protection against cold weather and careful handling to prevent injuries are important.

Living with an Italian Greyhound

  • Family Compatibility: They are excellent companions for various types of families, including those living in apartments.
  • Adaptability: Italian Greyhounds adapt well to different living environments, as long as they are kept warm and comfortable.
  • Companionship: They thrive on companionship and enjoy being an integral part of family activities, often following their owners from room to room.

Responsible Ownership and Adoption

  • Selecting a Breeder: Opt for breeders who prioritize health, temperament, and the breed standard.
  • Adoption Options: Adoption from shelters or breed-specific rescues is a commendable option for those looking to provide a loving home to an Italian Greyhound.

Conclusion The Italian Greyhound, with its refined looks, gentle character, and loving disposition, is an ideal breed for those seeking a graceful, affectionate, and companionable small dog. Their adaptability and sweet nature make them a beloved pet in many homes.


The Italian Greyhound needs a moderate amount of room to exercise. Weekly brushing is sufficient to control slight shedding. IG’s become cold easily and a sweater will help them keep warm in cold weather.


The Italian Greyhound is an affectionate family dogs. They can be quite active and playful. They usually bark when a stranger comes to the door, but they are not aggressive.

Italian Greyhound Housebreaking

Housebreaking the Italian Greyhound requires consistency on your part. Dogs are creatures of habit, and knowing the tips and tricks of training will make the process so much easier and less stressful.

Puppy Housebreaking     Adult Marking & Retraining

Find a Puppy: Italian Greyhound

If you are looking for a puppy or adult dog, please read our important information on choosing a puppy from a breeder and adopting a dog from a rescue. There are good dog breeders and good dog rescues and there are bad dog breeders and bad dog rescues. Our information will help you to make an informed decision and will give you tips on what to look for and what to avoid.

Pet shops are not the best place to look for a puppy. Dogs from pet shops often come from puppy mills, and puppy mill dogs are often kept in unhealthy conditions. The best way to end puppy mills is to rescue or buy from reputable sources.


The Italian Greyhound can be picky eaters and benefit greatly from a high-quality dog food diet. Take care to avoid overfeeding, as this breed can easily grow overweight. A healthy Italian Greyhound should have ribs that are covered in a thin layer of flesh; visible ribs is not ideal. Talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog’s weight.


The Italian Greyhound is a slightly stubborn, sensitive breed. They tend to be wary in temperament. When training this breed, use treats and verbal praise to encourage positive behavior.


(Click here for Health Dictionary)

Epilepsy: This term refers to symptoms of repeated seizures over time. If the cause can be found, then the epilepsy is secondary. If the cause cannot be found, it is called idiopathic epilepsy. Some cases of idiopathic epilepsy may be hereditary in nature.

Legg-Calve Perthes: A deterioration of the head of the femur (thigh bone) due to insufficient blood supply.

Hypothyroidism: A disease in which the production of thyroid hormone is below normal.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A slow, progressive deterioration of the retina which can lead to blindness. Believed to be hereditary.