Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

Are you in search of a warm and kind-hearted, yet spirited companion with irresistible puppy dog eyes? Stop looking. Consider the Italian Greyhound your number one choice.

This loving and affectionate dog can’t resist snuggles, cuddles, and endless down time with their dog-loving friends and owners. Aside from the looks of this dog being a lazy love-bug, Italian Greyhounds can go from comforting snuggle time on the couch to racing and rolling around in the backyard jauntily in search of fun and fearless adventure. 

Since this dog has incredible jumping capabilities, it would be wise to install a high fence (at least 6 feet) to prevent the dog from hopping over and running free within a matter of seconds. In regards to this dog’s social aspects, the Italian Greyhound is mostly considered well mannered towards outsiders and can be a bit shy. In regards to relations with other animals, this dog gets along with others but may not be so kind to the squeaky squirrels and chipmunks running around in your backyard.

As wonderfully loving as these dogs are, the Italian Greyhound can also be hard-headed and demanding, thus making it a poor choice for new and inexperienced dog owners. They can be easily frightened by unanticipated touches and positively respond only to tender and energetic instruction. Another quality about Italian Greyhounds is that they are not so inclined to going outside in lower temperature or wet environments, therefore making it tough to housebreak them.

Potential Positive Factors

  • Minimal barking
  • Quickly alternates between being an olympic athlete and a lazybones
  • Minimal amount of shedding 
  • Is respectful and non-aggressive
  • Has a silky and minimal maintenance fur coat
  • Does not make loud movements 
  • Appears to be a Greyhound, but is much smaller in size

Potential Negative Factors

  • Not a hypoallergenic breed
  • Delicate-natured 
  • Will often become timid when not given enough attention
  • Ability to portray a stubborn and independent attitude, especially during coaching
  • Infamous housebreaking struggles
  • Constant need to keep the dog on a leash or enclosed space to prevent them from running away

How to Avoid Negative Characteristics

  • Select an adult dog rather than a puppy in order to avoid unexpected surprises.
  • If you insist on getting a puppy, make sure to be selective when picking the breeder and the specific puppy, although this would be an uncertainty considering most emotional and difficult personality traits are inherited.
  • An Italian Greyhound must be properly trained and taught to respect their owner


Italian Greyhounds are not a new breed and have been roaming around for quite some time. In fact, archaeologists have even traced their breed to over a thousand years ago, stretching all the way back to the Roman Empire. This breed was highly desired in Greece and Turkey for ages and became most recognized in Europe during the Renaissance era. 

The Italian Greyhounds were popularly known in European royal courts during the 16th and 17th centuries, including parts of western Asia, and many were even used frequently in various artistic pieces by legendary Renaissance artists. The breeding of the Italian Greyhound in America first started in 1886 by the American Kennel Club. After the harsh impact World War I and II brought upon Europe, the breeding of the Italian Greyhounds became apparent in the United States, which evidently saved the breed from extinction.


The Italian Greyhound has been known as the smaller version of the Greyhound breed, although certainly not considered one of the smaller dog breeds in general. If you’re interested in a dog that resembles the Greyhound but is not as large, then the Italian Greyhound will definitely meet your expectations. This dog stands 13-15 inches at the shoulder and can span anywhere between 6-10 pounds, with some reaching even 14- or 15 pounds.


For the most part, Italian Greyhounds are a healthy breed and come with low illness rates. That being said, like any other breed there are always health risks a dog may have or acquire. When it comes to Italian Greyhounds in particular, the following health issues should be cleared by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Elbow dysplasia

Italian Greyhound Summary

Every dog has its shortcomings and its outstanding features. Finding the right match for you is what makes searching for the perfect dog so difficult. That is why weighing out the pros and cons of any breed is so important in the decision making process.

If you love a dog who is energetic, fun, and loves to be snuggly and affectionate, then the Italian Greyhound is perfect for you. However, if you are strongly opposed to a dog with temperament issues, constant need of emotional support, and difficulty with housebreaking, then this dog may be the wrong choice for you. Your personality and the dogs’ must fit like a glove. But, in the end, we have to say that the long-known Italian Greyhound makes for a perfect cuddly and sporty best friend, even beloved by Queen Mary of Scots herself.

Written By: Michelle Aminov

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