Italian Greyhound

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7-14 lbs
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. 

hunting, companion
Date of Origin
ancient times

Italian Greyhound Health

Average Size
Height: 13-15 inches Weight: 7-14 lbs
Height: 13-15 inches Weight: 7-14 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Periodontal Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Leg Fractures
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.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
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
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 - $1.2
Monthly Cost
$30 - $37.5

Italian Greyhound Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 6 lbs
Height: 10 inches Weight: 6 lbs
12 Months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 8 lbs
Height: 12 inches Weight: 8 lbs
18 Months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 10 lbs
Height: 14 inches Weight: 10 lbs

Top Italian Greyhound Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Italian Greyhound breeders of 2017.
Summerwind Kennel Italian Greyhounds
Sparta, Tennessee
Maplewood Italian Greyhounds
Phillips, Maine
Marchwind Italian Greyhounds
Vienna, Georgia
LittleLuv Italian Greyhounds
Los Angeles, California
About Time Italian Greyhounds
Edgewood, New Mexico
Laynes Italian Greyhounds
Brooksville, Florida
Voici Italian Greyhounds
Salt Lake City, Utah
MOSA Italian Greyhounds
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Aurelies Italian Greyhounds
Taylor, Arkansas

Italian Greyhound Owner Experiences