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Italian Greyhound

The miniature Italian Greyhound is an elegant, fine-boned dog with a high-stepping gait. They are alert, playful, and highly affectionate.

Overall Status

Height 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder
Temperament Playful, Alert, Sensitive
Weight 7 to 15 pounds
Life Expectancy 12 to 15 years
Coat Color Black, Blue, Brown, Gray, Red, White, Yellow
Barking Level Medium

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Italian Greyhounds are a snap to groom. They don't shed much, but regular brushing will help remove dirt and keep the coat looking healthy. Only bathe as-needed, but this breed enjoys rolling in the dirt, so the individual dog will determine bathing needs.

Check the ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal.

Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.

Exercise Tips

To keep your Italian Greyhound healthy and happy, you need to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercises. This is an energetic breed and it needs an outlet for its energy. Take time to take your Italian Greyhound out for a run or walk, or let it loose at the dog park where it can play with other dogs.

Dog parks can be a hazard unless well supervised and having separate areas for small dogs. Even obedience-trained IGs should not be allowed off lead outdoors in unfenced areas, since small, moving animals are a huge incentive to run, possibly into danger.

Feeding Tips

If you get an Italian Greyhound puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets.

You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again. It's also important that puppies be fed frequently throughout the day because they are susceptible to developing hypoglycemia.

Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements.

It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.

Health Tips

The average life span of the Italian Greyhound is 12 to 15 years. Breed health concerns may include autoimmune disease,dental problems, epilepsy,hypothyroidism,Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, degenerative eye conditions,cataractsandvon Willebrand disease.

Due to their delicate bone structure, IGs are at an increased risk ofbone fracturesand injuries if playtime becomes too rough or if they are allowed to leap from extreme heights.Italian Greyhounds have a greatly increased (and adverse) susceptibility to thiopentone.


Good news – this intelligent dog can be trained quite easily. Start training as early as possible in order to ensure that your dog will not pick up bad habits. Since this is a timid and shy breed, be affectionate toward your pup during training sessions.

When socializing your new Italian Greyhound, teach it to play gentle with other dogs and children. This is an energetic and playful breed, so it may get carried away with a child. As well, children need to be taught to speak in a regular tone of voice as loud pitch voices can startle the dog.

Because the Italian Greyhound is small, so is its bladder, which makes housebreaking difficult. Wait until the dog is at least 10 weeks old, but don’t wait past 12 weeks because it can make it much harder to train. You could even train your Italian Greyhounds to one paper train or go in a litter box.


The Italian Greyhound descends from the small sighthounds of ancient Egypt. The Romans further developed the breed after its arrival on the Italian peninsula around the 5th century BCE.

Its great popularity in Italy and other Mediterranean countries during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance gave the breed its current name. The Italian Greyhound has been prized by nobility throughout history.

Today, the Italian Greyhound is a small sighthound that is mostly valued as a loving companion. The Italian Greyhound was recognized by the AKC in 1886.

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