Dog Breed: Italian Greyhound: Features & Care

Italian greyhound licking its lips

Italian greyhounds are a little with thin legs, a long neck, and a short coat. These attractive canines were developed as friends. They would also like spending time curled up on a warm lap if there was one available. Nevertheless, these dogs have the agility and quickness of hounds, and they also like playing.

Breed Overview


Height: 13 to 15 inches

Weight: 7 to 14 pounds

Coat: Short, smooth

Coat Color: Gray, black, fawn, chocolate, tan, cream, red, sable, or a combination

Life Span: 14 to 15 years

Temperament: Affectionate, playful, companionable

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Origin: Italy

Characteristics of the Italian Greyhound

Italian greyhounds generally have a sensitive and sociable personality. And playfulness is typical of their temperament. They love to be around people and even get along well with other dogs. 

Affection Level High
Friendliness  High
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness High
Energy Level Medium
Trainability Medium
Intelligence Medium
Tendency to Bark Medium
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Italian Greyhound

The Mediterranean area is where the more than 2,000-year-old Italian greyhound dog breed first appeared. The breed is depicted on local artifacts, and little remains of the dogs have been found in ancient digs. Most likely, both friendship and small-game hunting were reasons for keeping these dogs around.

The breed evolved into a wealthy person's lapdog in Renaissance Italy. It was adored by royal families and nobility, and some pictures from the Renaissance even show elites walking their dogs.

The breed made its way to North America in the 19th century. The American Kennel Club first recognized it in 1886.

Italian Greyhound Care

Italian greyhounds require daily mental and physical activity to release their pent-up energy. Additionally, kids need regular instruction and interaction. Typically, they don't require much time to groom.


Although Italian greyhounds like taking nice naps, they also require frequent exercise to stay healthy and content. Aim for at least an hour of exercise each day. Most of the time, a few quick walks and some fun spread throughout the day should be plenty. For both mental and physical excitement, you may also supply or sign your dog up for sports.

When going outside, keep in mind that this little dog has a high hunting drive. Always keep it on a leash or within a properly gated enclosure to prevent it from escaping to pursue perceived prey. Additionally, if you reside in a cold region, limit your outside time while it's frigid. This breed's short hair and little body fat make it susceptible to the cold. To keep their pets warmer, many owners have jackets and sweaters.


Every week or so, use a grooming mitt to spread skin oils and remove loose fur and dirt from the Italian greyhound's short, silky coat. Although the coat usually remains quite clean, depending on how dirty it becomes, you may want to bathe your dog every month or so.

As this breed is prone to dental problems, try to brush your dog's teeth every day. Talk to your vet about the necessity of regular professional dental cleanings. At least once each week, check your dog's ears for wax accumulation and inflammation. About once a month, examine its nails to see whether they require trimming.


With this breed, always employ positive, incentive-based teaching techniques. When given strong corrections, Italian greyhounds can be sensitive and resistant, perhaps shutting down and refusing to learn. Be consistent with your directions and immediately reward good behavior with praise and/or treats. To stop undesirable habits from taking hold, try to start training as early as possible.

Additionally, try to socialize your Italian greyhound as early as possible. Introduce it to diverse people, canines, and environments. This will increase its comfort and help it become a more flexible, well-behaved dog.

Common Health Problems

Italian greyhounds have a relatively long life span, but they are prone to some hereditary health issues, including:

Diet and Nutrition

Your dog should always have access to fresh water. Feed your dog a diet that is nutritionally balanced. Two measured meals each day are customary. However, you should always go over the suggested diet kind and quantity with your veterinarian. To stop your dog from overeating, keep a watchful eye on treats and other additional food. For a dog of this size, even a slight weight increase might be considerable and put undue strain on its joints.

Where to Adopt or Buy an Italian Greyhound

Despite the fact that Italian greyhounds are a rare breed of dog, it is still worthwhile to search regional animal shelters and rescue organizations for a dog in need of a home. Expect to pay between $600 and $1,200 for a puppy from a reputable breeder, however prices might vary greatly. Check out these resources for further details on having an Italian Greyhound:

  • American Kennel Club Marketplace
  • Italian Greyhound Rescue Foundation
  • Italian Greyhound Club of America

Italian Greyhound Overview

  • Affectionate and family-oriented

  • Adaptable to different living situations, including small homes

  • Simple grooming needs

  • Prone to dental problems

  • Doesn't tolerate cold weather well

  • Can be sensitive and stubborn about training

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Make careful to conduct adequate study to establish whether the breed is suitable for your lifestyle before taking home an Italian greyhound. Speak with breed owners, rescue organizations, reputable breeders, and doctors. If you can, spend some time among Italian greyhounds as well.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

  • Are Italian greyhounds good family dogs?

    Italian greyhounds that are well trained and socialized can be good family pets for children who understand how to be gentle with them. Rough handling can cause injuries, such as a broken leg.

  • Are Italian greyhounds aggressive?

    In general, Italian greyhounds are not aggressive as long as they have the right training and socialization. Although they tend to be fairly receptive to meeting new people, they do have some mild watchdog tendencies.

  • Are Italian greyhounds good apartment dogs?

    Italian greyhounds can be excellent apartment dogs thanks to their small size and moderate energy level. They also aren't usually excessive barkers.


"Italian Greyhound. American Kennel Club.", "Italian Greyhound Puppies and Dogs. Adopt a Pet." ;