Italian Greyhound - Dog & Puppy - Information & Characteristics

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhounds are sweet, intelligent, and elegant dogs that have a contagious personality and can boost your mood in a jiffy. These dogs love playing with their family and are happy to be around children as well. If you are looking to raise a puppy that makes for the perfect family dog and gets along well with children and guests, you've found your match. Let’s keep reading to know more about this breed’s ancient origins, personality traits, grooming needs, and more. 

Key specifications of an Italian Greyhound

Keep these factors in mind before you bring an Italian Greyhound dog home: 


3 to 7 kg


12 to 15 inches


14 to 15 years 


Single coat 

Note: The weight and height mentioned on the table is of a full-grown Italian Greyhound and not of an Italian Greyhound puppy.

Physical appearance of the Italian Greyhound dog breed

Italian Greyhounds sport elegant and stoic features. Their iconic arched back and deep-chested physique is enough to set them apart from other breeds. Their short yet soft fur can be found in multiple colours such as: 

  • Fawn 
  • Red 
  • Red fawn 
  • Blue 
  • Blue fawn 
  • Black 
  • Sable 
  • Seal 
  • White and fawn
  • White and blue 
  • White and black 
  • White and red 
  • White and red fawn 
  • White and blue fawn 
  • White and sable 
  • White and seal 
  • White 
  • Brindle 
  • Black and tan 
  • Blue and tan 
  • Chocolate 
  • Cream 

Found a cream-coloured Italian Greyhound? Consider yourself lucky since this is the rarest coat colour ever found on this breed. 

Do you also confuse the Italian Greyhound dog breed for the classic Greyhound breed or the Whippet breed? That’s because all three sighthound breeds are very similar in terms of appearance, but can be told apart through their height, build, and other features. To make sure you’re bringing a purebred Italian Greyhound dog home, look out for these features: 

  • Small and thin, folded ears 
  • A long and narrow nose
  • A slender tail that tapers to a curved end 

Italian Greyhound personality traits

The Italian Greyhound’s temperament is very fascinating since they enjoy the best of both worlds. They can, at times, use their Greyhound speed and enter a frenzy if they see a small creature or just casually want to do the zoomies. On the other hand, these dogs can also be your snooze buddy, refusing to leave the couch. 

Italian Greyhounds are playful and mischievous (in a good way), and they love being around their family. This breed gets along really well with children and enjoy playing with them. However, Italian Greyhounds have a tendency to chase pets like cats, thanks to their high prey drive. And socialising them at an early age will help you control them better in the future. 

Do Italian Greyhounds need training?

Yes, Italian Greyhounds do need some basic training. This sweet and intelligent breed responds well to praises and treats. You don’t need to enroll your Italian Greyhound puppy for training classes, but you will need to make sure that your pup does not make a habit of jumping from tables and chairs. This dog breed can sometimes suffer from leg breaks, resulting in big jumps.

Stick to the basic commands such as sit, stay, come, etc. Always use positive reinforcements like toys, praises, treats, and since these dogs love doing zoomies, you can also race them sometimes. 

How to care for Italian Greyhounds?

Here’s all you need to know when preparing to look after an Italian Greyhound: 

  • Health

While this dog breed is generally healthy, as a fragile breed, they can encounter some diseases as they age. Conditions like epilepsy, broken legs, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, hypothyroidism, and other autoimmune disorders can affect an Italian Greyhound. It's always best to be aware of your Italian Greyhound puppy’s health by scheduling regular health check-ups and reporting anything out of the ordinary to your vet. 

  • Grooming

The Italian Greyhound dog breed barely sheds, thanks to its unique short coat. Brush your floof’s coat with a soft bristle brush once or twice every week and depending on their lifestyle, bathe them every one to six weeks. If you hear your dog’s nails tapping on the floor, it’s time to get them trimmed. Most importantly, your Italian Greyhound must get its teeth brushed every single day since this breed is prone to several dental issues. 

  • Physical activity

Italian Greyhounds need to run around every single day since their prey drive is so high. Smallest of the sighthounds, this breed can be taken to a small dog breed park for some exercise. They need to run around for at least 40 to 60 minutes each day. Don’t even think about walking them on a tight leash, it will take one small bird or a squirrel to set them off (and they will drag you along). 

  • Nutritional requirements

Just like any other dog, make sure you choose a good quality commercial-grade dog food formula and factor in your dog’s age before making any purchases. If you are set to make your dog’s meals at home, consult a veterinarian about what type of food will aid your floof’s growth the best. Consulting a veterinarian before deciding your dog’s meals is always highly recommended. 

A brief history of Italian Greyhounds

The story of this breed starts in the Mediterranean region, ruled by the Roman Empire 2,000 years ago. Today, that region is known as Greece and Turkey. The Italian Greyhound was originally bred to serve as companions and as small game hunters in Southern Europe. During the Italian Renaissance, just after the Middle Ages, the Italian Greyhound gained popularity among the aristocrats. James I, Queen Victoria, Anne of Denmark, and Frederick the Great were fans of this tiny breed.  

Frequently asked questions

Are Italian Greyhounds good with children?

Italian Greyhounds get along well with children as long as they are not too harsh with this toy breed. 

What is the Italian Greyhound’s temperament like?

What is the Italian Greyhound's lifespan?

Do Italian Greyhounds need a lot of exercise?

Are Italian Greyhounds easy to train?

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