Italian Greyhound

Dog Breed Profile
Italian Greyhound

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• High energy level
• Low exercise needs
• Moderately playful
• Very Affectionate
• Very friendly towards other dogs
• Very friendly around other pets
• Shy around strangers
• Fairly easy to train
• Decent watchdogs
• Not very protective
• Low grooming requirements
• High tolerance to heat
• Low tolerance to cold


Popular as apartment and indoor pets, the Italian Greyhound is a miniature version of the full-size Greyhound. He’s sleek and graceful, even when he has the chance to run at full speed. He’s an elegant dog breed, with a curvaceous silhouette that is mesmerizing to watch as he does the double-suspension gallop through the yard.

He’s easy to train, affectionate and peaceful animals, great for families with children who can appreciate their delicate build and peaceful personality. The Italian Greyhound is a devoted pet, and care must be taken to avoid injury to their delicate legs. Because of his energy level he requires regular exercise and loves to go for walks.

  • Cannot be expected to live outdoors
  • Health conditions that need to be tested for are his knees and eyes
  • Grooming needs include occasional coat brushing and regular tooth brushing
  • The Italian Greyhound is a very affectionate and friendly, playful animal that is fairly easy to train
  • Has a great relationship with family members, young and old, not very protective but do make decent watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 7 to 14lbs and 13 to 15 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 7 to 14lbs and 13 to 15 inches tall

Care & Health:

Take your Italian Greyhound for a walk or a good romp in the yard, or in cold weather (he despises the cold) play with him indoors. The best way to burn of his energy is a good run in a fenced area.

Although his coat requires only the occasional brush, he needs regular brushing to ensure his dental health.

Major Health Concerns:

– peridontal disease

Minor Health Concerns:

– epilepsy, leg fractures, patellar luxation, PRA

Test for:

– knees and eyes

Life Span:

– 12 to 15 years

Additional information:

– leg and tail fractures are common, sensitive to barbituates and anesthesia

Breed History:

This ancient breed has been depicted in art dating back 2000 years, although it is not known exactly when the Italian Greyhound was first bred. The middle ages say the breed throughout southern Europe, but were most prized by Italian courtiers. In the 1600s they arrived in England, gaining as much favor as they had in Italy with nobility.

The breed peaked in Queen Victoria’s era, and then declined until he was almost gone from Europe after the 2nd World War. Because some of these dogs had made it to America in the late 19th century, some of the quality specimens remained and they were again bred in Europe and in the US.

  • Family history is sighthound, Southern (sighthound)
  • Originally from Italy
  • First bred in ancient times
  • Original purpose was lap dog
  • Today they are used for companions
  • Also known as piccolo Levrieve Italiani