Italian Greyhound

7-14 lbs
13-15"
Italy
Galgo Italiano, Iggy, Italienisches Windspiel, Levrette d’Italie, Piccolo Levriero Italiano

The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the sighthounds; in fact, it is referred to as “miniature” in size. Ancient Egyptian artwork depicts dogs very similar to Italian Greyhounds. They are very affectionate and active. They were originally bred for hunting, but they make great lap dogs. They need to be kept inside or in a fenced-in area; they are known to chase cars, bikes, and people. They are extremely intelligent, yet they can be difficult to housebreak. They need lots of love and attention in order to be happy. They can be sensitive to insecticides and certain anesthetics. They are overall very healthy dogs. 

Purpose
Hunting, Companion
Date of Origin
Ancient Times
Ancestry
Sighthound

Italian Greyhound Health

Sketch of Italian Greyhound
Average Size
Male Italian Greyhound size stats
Height: 13-15 inches Weight: 7-14 lbs
Female Italian Greyhound size stats
Height: 13-15 inches Weight: 7-14 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Periodontal Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Leg Fractures
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Knee
  • Skeletal
  • X-Rays
  • MRI
  • Eye Examination

Italian Greyhound Breed History

The name Greyhound is generally believed to come from the Old English grighund. The word Greyhound is mentioned in the Bible. Some say that the English word does not reflect on the actual grey color, but means “fair dog.” The exact origin of the Italian Greyhound is unknown; however, we do have artwork dating back 2,000 years that depicts the breed. It is believed that the Phoenicians brought the Italian Greyhound to Europe, where it was developed strictly to be a companion animal. The Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans favored the dog; in fact, the Romans helped cultivate the development of the Italian Greyhound. Many royals were deeply devoted to their dogs of this breed; Frederick the Great of Prussia is rumored to have been buried beside his beloved Italian Greyhound. Around 1900, the breed began to decline in numbers as well as in popularity. Some breeders attempted to decrease the size of the already small dog; this led to a decline in the health of the  breed as well. Italian Greyhounds were brought to America in the late 1800s, and today, the breed is again growing in popularity.

Italian Greyhound Breed Appearance

The Italian Greyhound is a small-boned dog of small stature. Its head is long and narrow with a muzzle that tapers down to a point. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. It has medium-sized eyes with ears that fold back along the head. The dog has dewclaws that may be removed at the discretion of the owner. The Italian Greyhound’s color is varied; gray, slate gray, red, fawn, blue, black, white, or cream are all acceptable. Italian Greyhounds may also be white with markings or a color with white on its chest and feet.

Appearance of Italian Greyhound
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Italian Greyhound eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Italian Greyhound nose
Black
brown Italian Greyhound nose
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
brindle Italian Greyhound coat
Brindle
sable Italian Greyhound coat
Sable
pied Italian Greyhound coat
Pied
white Italian Greyhound coat
White
blue Italian Greyhound coat
Blue
fawn Italian Greyhound coat
Fawn
cream Italian Greyhound coat
Cream
red Italian Greyhound coat
Red
gray Italian Greyhound coat
Gray
black Italian Greyhound coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Italian Greyhound straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Italian Greyhound Breed Maintenance

One benefit of ownership of the Italian Greyhound is the fact that they do not shed much. Regular bathing is not required; regular brushing is not necessary either. Because Italian Greyhounds have a tendency to develop periodontal disease, it is imperative to brush their teeth two or three times a week; daily brushing is best for preventing gum disease. Their nails should be trimmed at least once a month; a good rule of thumb is if you hear their nails clicking on the floor, it is time to trim the nails. Check his ears weekly for strange odors or redness. Clean the outer ear with a cotton ball dipped in a gentle cleaner. It is best to begin a grooming routine when your Italian Greyhound is a puppy so that he is accustomed to it. Weekly checks for rashes, sores, or redness can help you catch possible infections in their early stages.

Brushes for Italian Greyhound
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Italian Greyhound requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Italian Greyhound Temperament

The Italian Greyhound is surprisingly quite submissive. It is playful, affectionate, and kind-mannered; he generally wants to please his owner. While they do not respond to harsh discipline, they will not listen to a handler that is not firm and consistent. An Italian Greyhound puppy should be socialized as soon as possible. Expose him to people, other animals, and children. This will prepare him for situations later in life. An Italian Greyhound that is not socialized properly may be timid as an adult. Italian Greyhounds are very peaceful dogs, and they may be somewhat dependent upon their owners. Unfortunately, too much pampering can make the Italian Greyhound an example of Small Dog Syndrome, a condition in which your Italian Greyhound may think he rules the home. You should be firm and calm in order for your Italian Greyhound to see you as a pack leader. The Italian Greyhound is very active, quick, and may even climb on your furniture.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Italian Greyhound Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1.3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.00 - $1.20
Monthly Cost
$30.00 - $37.50

Italian Greyhound Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Italian Greyhound at six months
Male Italian Greyhound size stats at six months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 6 lbs
Female Italian Greyhound size stats at six months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 6 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Italian Greyhound at 12 months
Male Italian Greyhound size stats at 12 months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 8 lbs
Female Italian Greyhound size stats at 12 months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 8 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Italian Greyhound at 18 months
Male Italian Greyhound size stats at 18 months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 10 lbs
Female Italian Greyhound size stats at 18 months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 10 lbs

Top Italian Greyhound Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Italian Greyhound breeders of 2018.
Top Italian Greyhound breeder Summerwind Kennel Italian Greyhounds
Summerwind Kennel Italian Greyhounds
Sparta, Tennessee
Top Italian Greyhound breeder Maplewood Italian Greyhounds
Maplewood Italian Greyhounds
Phillips, Maine
Top Italian Greyhound breeder Marchwind Italian Greyhounds
Marchwind Italian Greyhounds
Vienna, Georgia
Top Italian Greyhound breeder LittleLuv Italian Greyhounds
LittleLuv Italian Greyhounds
Los Angeles, California
Top Italian Greyhound breeder About Time Italian Greyhounds
About Time Italian Greyhounds
Edgewood, New Mexico
Top Italian Greyhound breeder Laynes Italian Greyhounds
Laynes Italian Greyhounds
Brooksville, Florida
Top Italian Greyhound breeder Voici Italian Greyhounds
Voici Italian Greyhounds
Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Italian Greyhound breeder MOSA Italian Greyhounds
MOSA Italian Greyhounds
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Top Italian Greyhound breeder Aurelies Italian Greyhounds
Aurelies Italian Greyhounds
Taylor, Arkansas

Italian Greyhound Owner Experiences

PolPot and Juliano!!!
7 Years
6 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Laying in the sun
Biting
growling
POL POT PART 3: THE FINAL ACT. These are the last legends I’m going to tell. One time Juliano pulled a meat net out of the trash bag and ate it whole. We rushed him to the vet. Juliano spent most of time arguing with the doctor ,but all was in the end. Because of this, he had really bad teeth! PolPot even ‘accidentally’ knocked some teeth out. Their legs were long, just like giraffes and they could reach high shelves. The Iggys broke bars off their $100+ cages and put their heads out like horses. Eventually, we got a 15$ cage and they somehow ruined that too. Now, I’m not saying all Greyhounds are bad, but you should just get a Papitese instead.
1 month, 2 weeks ago
PolPot & Juliano
7 Years
6 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
They used to bite me.
POLPOT PART 2 There are many tales of the Iggy Twins I forgot to tell you about. (By the way Iggy is their code name) PolPot and Juliano used to jump up on the dining room chairs and eat our dinner and they used to take fully warped chocolate from our hands. One time Juliano ate a whole thing of nachos we brought from a restaurant. Juliano was overall a nice ,but dim dog. When he grew older he became grumpy and nasty. He would no longer liked to be picked up and would try to bite our thumbs whenever we were near him ,but he loved his brother. PolPot was probably born a villain, he loved no one, not even his twin. Pollux P. Papitese tried to make peace between the three of them ,but that ended up with PolPot trying to strike at him, luckily Juliano blocked the vile attack. PolPot was probably angry because he had a nasty fang hanging out, he was pink all over and was obese. We gave much love to him even though he didn’t like us. I often wonder why and how he despised us so much. But PolPot wasn’t heartless, after all he did bark whenever someone knocked the door. I’m just glad we got a loving, fluffy dog like Pollux P. He never bit anyone, he cuddles, he plays and he protects us from harm. I would recommend you buy a Papitese.
1 month, 2 weeks ago
PolPot
7 Years
6 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
We got PolPot when he was 8 weeks old. He had a ‘twin’ named Juliano. My brother woke PolPot up from a deep sleep when we were driving home with him and he’s held a grudge since then. He peed on school books, bed sheets, blankets and his cage just to show his deep hatred toward us. One day him and his ‘twin’ got into a battle over who got the last piece of kibble and we had to separate them and they never ate together since then. Years later we got a wonderful pup named Pollux P. and PolPot paid no heed to him. Pollux tried and tried to show him the meaning of love ,but PolPot just growled. Juliano was like a father figure to him and got along pretty well. PolPot almost bit Pollux one day and we decided it’s time for him to go. We asked Julieno if he wanted to stay but he said “That Papitese was like a son to me for a couple of days, but I cannot leave my bro like this.” So off they went to a farm and lived happily ever after.
1 month, 2 weeks ago
riley
4 Years
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Running
Going on drives
Walk
Fetch
playing with stuffed animals
i love my italian greyhound riley so much, i never thought i could love a dog this much, they are the most affectionate and loyal dogs, she always puts her face up too me for kisses and puts her paw on my face and cuddles with me and is always by my side and i will no doubt always have an italian greyhound in my life
5 months, 1 week ago
18 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
chasing each other
My experience walking with the Italian greyhound babies was very enjoyable! They were in a cage when I arrived, and had so much energy when released, it was adorable to watch! They chased each other around the living room, climbing on the couches and nipping at each other playfully! It was chillier weather that day, so the owners requested that I clothe the nuggets with their under layer sweaters, and NYPD sweatshirts to protect their thin skins. We had a highly energetic walk, they kept their noses to the ground and smelled all the smells.They darted left and right from pee spot to garbage bags! I had a hard time getting them to pose for the photo, I’m not so sure these little puppets were treat trained, but they are so cute it was alright. These Italian greyhounds were a pleasure to walk with, and I hope to have the pleasure of walking with them again soon!
11 months, 3 weeks ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
nervous
racing
I seem to get a lot of young dogs to walk which is great towards getting them socialized but bad for me in that I have to double up as a walker and trainer as well. This greyhound mix I walked had heavy Italian greyhound traits both lookwise and personality wise. I couldn't tell what other breeds she was mixed with, but the greyhound part was very strong. She had long and lean features, from her body to her face, and long legs. She seemed shy, and did not warm up throughout the walk, but was not aggressive at all, just insecure and nervous. A lot of sounds scared her, especially skateboards, trucks, honking and motorcycles. And guess what? She lives in NYC where those sounds are ubiquitous even when your indoors. Bad owner!! This sweetie was very skittish but so sweet. She loved to be shown affection and although I didnt see it for myself, it seems she would make a nontraditional lap dog and would love to cuddle in bed. She was definitely introverted and an indoor dog which is great if youre a couch potato and live in the countryside. She is definitely not suited for the hustle and bustle of NYC (and there is nothing wrong with that, it just seems she was a poor match for her owner and city living). Leyla as she was appropriately called was very curious and liked to sniff anything and everything. She had a bad habit of trying to find food on the ground to eat but responded well when told to leave it/drop it. So she was obedient and intelligent, but very shy and unsure. She definitely could get along well with other dogs of a similar personality. Definitely not bigger breeds though or dogs with bold personalities. In addition, because of her brittle stature (thin, long boned), it would be wise to be careful with this breed when playing with young kids or other dogs. Definitely need to be kept watch over at the dog park, or even better avoid it if you have a fenced yard. Italian greyhounds are bred to race as well so you know they can be very very fast on their feet. For this reason, it is best to keep them on a harness, not a collar as it can slip over their small, narrow necks. They are endearing dogs for all.
11 months, 4 weeks ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I seem to get a lot of young dogs to walk which is great towards getting them socialized but bad for me in that I have to double up as a walker and trainer as well. This greyhound mix I walked had heavy Italian greyhound traits both lookwise and personality wise. I couldn't tell what other breeds she was mixed with, but the greyhound part was very strong. She had long and lean features, from her body to her face, and long legs. She seemed shy, and did not warm up throughout the walk, but was not aggressive at all, just insecure and nervous. A lot of sounds scared her, especially skateboards, trucks, honking and motorcycles. And guess what? She lives in NYC where those sounds are ubiquitous even when your indoors. Bad owner!! This sweetie was very skittish but so sweet. She loved to be shown affection and although I didnt see it for myself, it seems she would make a nontraditional lap dog and would love to cuddle in bed. She was definitely introverted and an indoor dog which is great if youre a couch potato and live in the countryside. She is definitely not suited for the hustle and bustle of NYC (and there is nothing wrong with that, it just seems she was a poor match for her owner and city living). Leyla as she was appropriately called was very curious and liked to sniff anything and everything. She had a bad habit of trying to find food on the ground to eat but responded well when told to leave it/drop it. So she was obedient and intelligent, but very shy and unsure. She definitely could get along well with other dogs of a similar personality. Definitely not bigger breeds though or dogs with bold personalities. In addition, because of her brittle stature (thin, long boned), it would be wise to be careful with this breed when playing with young kids or other dogs. Definitely need to be kept watch over at the dog park, or even better avoid it if you have a fenced yard. Italian greyhounds are bred to race as well so you know they can be very very fast on their feet. For this reason, it is best to keep them on a harness, not a collar as it can slip over their small, narrow necks. They are endearing dogs for all.
11 months, 4 weeks ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
Eating Snacks
This Italian Greyhound I walked was extremely nervous around new people. She would run and hide from me and shake. It took almost 20 minutes for her to warm up to me and to let me get close enough to put the leash on. However, once the leash was on, she was excited to walk. She walked very well on the leash at a steady pace. These dogs are generally very fast but she did not run. Throughout the walk she remained timid. She never got too startled, but she would watch people that we passed. She was well-behaved. Also, this dog was incredibly skinny, but I don't think she was unhealthy. Back at the house, she returned to her nervous state, but she did enjoy some treats. She was a shy but sweet girl.
11 months, 4 weeks ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
I've walked pure bred and mixed adult Italian greyhounds and both varieties have similar dispositions! When working with this gentle breed i've noticed very shy, standoffish temperaments, skittish is probably the best way to put it! But still hospitable, & once leashed they timidly get on with the walking business and mind their manners. Once they warm up to me they are more inclined to trust me with their leash but it takes a while! I would think a companion dog and or lots of exposure to people and other dogs would help these sweet dogs to build the confidence they need to trot fearlessly into the world!
11 months, 4 weeks ago
24 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Running
Cuddling
Dog Parks
Explore the city
Fetch
Frisbee
Little Dexter was such a sweet heart ! As a young Italian Greyhound he was very energetic. Italian greyhounds are known for being smart, loyal, athletic, affectionate and a little bit shy. Dexter fit this general description of his breed to the utmost degree. His lovely personality was only further emphasized by the nurturing care of his owner. She was a sweet woman from Brazil who had clearly given much love and care to this adorable little pup. This particular walk was assigned for an hour in total with the option of a 30 minute extension. No particular instructions were given by the owner other than to make sure he went #1 and #2 and to have a great time. After leaving the apartment, we ran several laps around the community. Periodically, he would stop for a quick pet or a cuddle and then we would continue with much gusto. The cul-de-sac had a large green circular lawn with plenty of room for play and exercise. We ran and walked for a mile or so, staying within the community as to avoid traffic and any other hazards. In addition, I felt that it was best to stay within a familiar area given that it was my first time walking this particular dog and this particular breed. He was quite friendly with everyone he met even though he was a little shy at first. Most of the neighbors in the community knew him by name and greeted him with much excitement. Even though Dexter was energetic and playful, he could be a little unstable on his adorable little legs. Though he often would stop and want to interact with his fellow canine companions, I was hesitant to allow him. As a compromise, I tried to limit him to play with dogs of a similar or smaller size as to reduce any risk. After a fun but energy consuming hour, we returned to the apartment. As a reward for such good behavior, his owner proceeded to give him a treat and thanked me thoroughly for bringing him home safe and sound. Given the excitable but delicate nature of Italian Greyhounds (also Dexter's young age), I was extra careful to be safe in our exercise and play. All in all, the experience was incredible and has permanently cemented my love for this breed. I sincerely hope that I get further opportunities to walk Dexter again. Working for WAG was allowed me to have many wonderful experiences such and this and am excited to have more to come.
11 months, 4 weeks ago
8 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Explore the woods
Eating Snacks
Nose work
Fetch
Frisbee
Run
Walk
Italian Greyhounds are the best. They’re tiny little miniatures of the large breed. They can be a bit skittish of strangers or dogs but they are quite small and frail, you can’t blame them. After they warm up to you they are so sweet. They love to walk. They love to play. I walk a set of brothers and they want to wrestle and play the whole time. It makes it tough to get a long walk in but as long as their having fun I’m happy. Hold on to the leash well though, they can lunge after small animals. And they’re incredibly fast. You’d never catch them!
12 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
She is very, very skittish. She doesn't like loud noises, traffic, etc. She one nipped my nose when I was taking her sweater off. Very high strung.
12 months ago
12 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
They are extremely high energy and get very cold in the winter since they are very thin and have no under coat
12 months ago
Romeo
3 Years
1 People
Studio
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
snuggling
Dog Parks
My 3 year-old IG mix (probably with Chihuahua) can be both affectionate and calm, and energetic and playful. He loves meeting and playing with smaller dogs, but so far has been rather shy and reserved around new people.
1 year ago
Monkey
11 Years
3 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Cuddling
Little cuddle bugs, very fast runners, very in tune to the way their owner feels, as they absorb the emotions of those around them, and, thats why anxiety plays a big part in some Italian Greyhounds that have difficult/ negative Behaviour...the most loving breed ever. Just don't try to get them out in the rain!
1 year ago
Tinkebelinos
7 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
She’s a puppy mill momma survivor
1 year ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd