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Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound dogs are the smallest of all sight hound type dogs. This ancient dog breed was particularly favored by Greek, Roman and Egyptian noblemen in earlier times. In Italy, the breed is also known as Piccolo Levriero Italiano.

Interestingly, in the 19th century, an African chieftain was so impressed by this breed that he was ready to trade 200 cattle in exchange for merely one Italian Greyhound.

Characterized by a strong instinct to hunt and chase, Italian Greyhound breed dogs were originally used for hunting small game. But, in recent times, they are being preferred as lively and amusing companion dogs. Young Italian Greyhound puppies are more energetic and boisterous as compared to the older dogs.

Physical Appearance

Italian Greyhound breed dogs are fine boned dogs with lean build. The head is narrow and long and the skull is almost flat. The eyes are medium in size and dark in color.

The nose is usually black or brown in color. The small sized ears are generally folded back along the head. However, the ears tend to fold at right angles to the head when the dog is alert. The low set tail that is carried low as well tapers to a curve at the end.

Color: These dogs are available in a variety of colors such as white, blue, black, red, fawn, cream, grey etc.
Height: The average height of both male as well as female Italian Greyhounds is about 13 to 15 inches.
Weight: The average weight of Italian Greyhound dog breed ranges between 8 to 12 pounds.

Health Problems

Italian Greyhound puppies are quite fragile and hence should be engaged in strenuous activities at least up to 18 months. Therefore, do not encourage the behavior of excessive jumping in these dogs in order to avoid the chances of developing leg injuries.

They are prone to fractures. Other common health problems in these dogs are Patellar Luxation, Legg-Perthes, Hypothyroidism, Seizure disorders, Bleeding disorders, Epilepsy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and other common dog diseases.

Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of these dogs is around 12 to 15 years.

Grooming Requirements

Italian Greyhound grooming is quite an easy task requiring occasional brushing and combing of the short and fine hair coat to maintain it in perfect glossy condition. The soft Italian Greyhound hair coat does not shed much. They are relatively clean and need not be bathed frequently.

Wipe the hair coat with a soft towel or chamois when needed to keep it clean and beautiful. Plus, clean the dog’s teeth periodically to avoid periodontal diseases. Besides, trim the nails and check and clean the eyes and ears on a regular basis to avoid infections.


Italian Greyhound breed dogs are intelligent, sweet, playful, well mannered, reliable, submissive, loving and sensitive in temperament. They are highly energetic yet peaceful dogs. They can be reserved with strangers.
These dogs love to play with small children.

However, as these little dogs are quite fragile, they should not be left unsupervised around mischievous children. Besides, Italian Greyhound dogs generally get along well with smaller pets. Train and socialize your beloved companion right from the beginning to keep the dog disciplined and avoid overly timid behavior.

Key Points

The highly active Italian Greyhound dogs require vigorous exercise. Therefore, give your adequate physical and mental stimulation through interactive plays and daily walks and runs. However, of all the activities, the only activity that interests these dogs the most is jumping.

Therefore, when leaving your dog in the yard, make sure that the yard is properly fenced. They are sensitive to extremely cold weather and hence require special winter pet care.

The dogs can be made to wear sweaters or jackets to protect them from the cold outdoor environment. They are well suited for apartment situation, even without yard. Being small in size, Italian Greyhound dogs can be difficult to housebreak.


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