Italian Greyhound Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Overview and more

Italian Greyhound Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Breed Overview

Italian Greyhounds are elegant, small-sized dogs known for their slender build, overall grace, and gentle temperament. They belong to the sight hound group and are the smallest of this category. They have a distinctive curved back, deep chest, and long legs, which enable them to reach impressive speeds and excel in agility activities. Italian Greyhounds are affectionate and loyal companions, often forming strong bonds with their families. While they are sensitive to cold due to their short coat, they thrive in indoor environments and enjoy cozying up under blankets. These dogs are intelligent and trainable, making them a popular choice for families seeking a loving and low-maintenance pet.


Italian Greyhounds are known for their affectionate and gentle temperament, often forming strong bonds with their owners. They are sensitive and can be shy around strangers, but are loyal and loving towards their family members. Despite their small size, these dogs have a playful and energetic side, enjoying a good run around the yard or a game of fetch. Italian Greyhounds are also known to be quite sensitive to their owners' moods, offering comfort and companionship when needed. With proper socialization and training, they can be well-behaved and social pets, making them wonderful companions for the right owner.

Size and Appearance

Sleek and slender, this breed is known for its elegant appearance and small size, typically weighing between 7 to 14 pounds and standing at around 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. With a fine, glossy coat that comes in various colors, including shades of fawn, blue, red, and black, these dogs have a distinctive aristocratic look. Their long, narrow heads and alert, expressive eyes give them a graceful and delicate appearance, while their overall physique showcases a balance of elegance and athleticism. The breed's compact yet well-proportioned body exudes a sense of grace and poise, making them a true sight to behold.

Health and Lifespan

Health and Lifespan:
Italian Greyhounds are generally a healthy breed, with an average lifespan ranging from 12 to 15 years. However, they can be prone to certain health issues such as dental problems, patellar luxation, epilepsy, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and daily exercise are essential for maintaining their overall well-being. To maximize their lifespan and quality of life, it is important to monitor their weight, ensure they receive proper dental care, and provide a safe environment to prevent injuries. Early detection and treatment of any health concerns can help Italian Greyhounds live long, happy lives.

Family Compatibility

Italian Greyhounds are affectionate and loving companions, making them excellent family pets. They form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy being part of the family activities. Their gentle nature makes them great with children, albeit their delicate structure requires supervision around younger kids to prevent accidental injuries. Italian Greyhounds thrive on human companionship and prefer to be by their family's side most of the time. Providing them with adequate exercise, mental stimulation, and affection will ensure a harmonious relationship within the family unit. Their loyal and adaptable nature allows them to blend seamlessly into various family dynamics.

Exercise Needs

Italian Greyhounds are a high-energy breed, requiring regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy daily walks and play sessions, but it's important to keep them on a leash as they have a strong prey drive. Mental stimulation is also key, with puzzle toys and interactive games helping to keep their active minds engaged. Despite their small size, Italian Greyhounds have surprising endurance and love to sprint, so a secure, fenced area for off-leash running is ideal. Providing them with both physical and mental exercise will help prevent boredom and potential behavior issues.

Diet and Feeding

Diet and Feeding: The Italian Greyhound thrives on a high-quality diet tailored to their small size and sensitive stomachs. Regular, measured meals are crucial to prevent digestive issues, as overeating can lead to obesity. Opt for small, nutrient-dense portions to support their high energy levels and unique dietary requirements. Incorporating lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and essential fats into their diet promotes muscle maintenance and overall health. Fresh water should always be available, and owners should consult with a veterinarian to determine the best feeding schedule and dietary recommendations for this breed.
Italian Greyhound Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Living Environment

An Italian Greyhound thrives best in a home environment due to their need for human companionship. They are well-suited for apartment living but require daily exercise to prevent restlessness. A securely fenced yard is essential as they have a tendency to chase small animals. These sensitive dogs prefer a calm and quiet atmosphere as they can be easily startled by loud noises or sudden movements. Providing a soft bed and warm blankets is crucial as they are sensitive to cold temperatures and are more comfortable indoors. Ultimately, a loving and nurturing environment is key to keeping these delicate yet affectionate companions happy.


Italian Greyhounds are a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Their short coat only requires a weekly brushing to remove loose hairs and keep it glossy. Bathing is necessary only when they get dirty, as over-bathing can strip their skin of natural oils. Regular nail trimming is important to prevent discomfort and keep their feet healthy. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Overall, the Italian Greyhound's grooming needs are minimal, making them a great choice for owners looking for a low-maintenance dog in this aspect.

Training and Intelligence

Italian Greyhounds are known for their intelligence, but training them can be challenging due to their independent nature. Positive reinforcement techniques work best with this breed, as they respond well to treats and praise. Short training sessions focusing on consistency and patience are key to success. Because of their sensitive nature, harsh training methods should be avoided, as they can lead to anxiety and fearfulness. Italian Greyhounds are quick learners, but they may have a stubborn streak that requires a gentle yet firm approach from their owners. With proper training, they can excel in obedience and agility activities.

Exercise and Activity Requirements

Italian Greyhounds are a high-energy breed that thrives on regular exercise to maintain physical and mental well-being. They need daily walks or runs to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. Engaging in interactive play sessions, such as fetch or agility training, can help fulfill their need for physical activity. Despite their small size, Italian Greyhounds are agile and fast, making them excel in activities like lure coursing or sprinting. It's important to provide a safe and enclosed space for them to exercise off-leash, as they have a strong prey drive and may chase after small animals if given the chance.


Proper socialization is crucial for these sensitive and affectionate dogs, helping them develop into well-rounded companions. Introducing them to various people, animals, and environments from a young age can help prevent shyness or fearfulness. Positive experiences with socialization can also enhance their confidence and ability to adapt to new situations. Regular exposure to different stimuli can also prevent behavioral issues like aggression or excessive timidity. Overall, providing ample opportunities for socialization early on can contribute significantly to a happy and well-adjusted companion in the long term.


Italian greyhounds typically have a lifespan of around 13 to 15 years. This breed is known for its longevity, often living well into its teenage years with proper care and attention to health. Factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall quality of life play significant roles in determining the lifespan of an Italian greyhound. Regular veterinarian check-ups, dental care, and a balanced diet are crucial in ensuring these sensitive and delicate dogs live a long and healthy life. By providing a loving and nurturing environment, owners can help their Italian greyhounds thrive well into their golden years.

Common Behavioral Issues

Some common behavioral issues seen in Italian Greyhounds include separation anxiety, sensitivity, and timidity. They are known for being extremely attached to their owners, sometimes to the point of experiencing separation anxiety when left alone for too long. Additionally, Italian Greyhounds tend to be sensitive to loud noises and sudden movements, which can make them fearful in certain situations. Their timid nature may lead to shyness around strangers or new environments. Proper socialization and training can help address these behavioral issues and ensure a well-adjusted and confident companion.
Italian Greyhound Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Special Considerations

Special Considerations: As a sighthound, this breed is prone to chasing small animals due to their high prey drive. It's important to ensure they are always kept on a leash or in a securely fenced area when outdoors. Italian greyhounds are sensitive to cold weather and should wear a coat in chilly temperatures. Additionally, their thin skin is prone to injury, so gentle handling is crucial. This breed can be prone to dental issues, so regular dental care and a soft diet are recommended. Due to their slender build, special care should be taken to prevent injuries, especially to their fragile legs.

Guardian Instincts

Italian Greyhounds may not possess strong guardian instincts due to their gentle and affectionate nature. Their small size and delicate build make them more inclined to seek companionship rather than protection. While they may bark to alert their owners of potential intruders, they are unlikely to engage in aggressive behavior. It is important for Italian Greyhound owners to provide socialization and positive reinforcement training to ensure that their pet feels secure and confident in various situations. Despite their lack of traditional guarding instincts, Italian Greyhounds excel in providing emotional support and forming strong bonds with their families.

Allergies and Shedding

Italian Greyhounds are known for having low shedding levels, making them a suitable choice for individuals with allergies. Their short coats require minimal grooming, reducing the amount of loose fur in the environment. However, despite their minimal shedding, it's important to note that no dog breed is hypoallergenic and individual reactions can vary. Regular grooming and bathing can help manage allergens, and keeping the living area clean is also crucial. Overall, Italian Greyhounds can be a good option for allergy sufferers due to their minimal shedding, but it's essential to spend time with the breed to determine personal sensitivity levels.

Cost of Ownership

The cost of owning an Italian Greyhound can vary depending on factors such as breeder reputation, location, and health considerations. Initial expenses typically include adoption or purchase fees ranging from $500 to $2500, as well as essential items like bedding, food, toys, and grooming supplies which can total around $200-$500. Annual expenses might include veterinary care ($200-$600), food ($200-$500), grooming ($50-$300), and pet insurance ($200-$600). Miscellaneous costs may arise from training classes, boarding, or unexpected medical emergencies, so it's essential to budget around $1000-$3000 annually for a comfortable Italian Greyhound ownership experience.

Availability and Adoption

Italian Greyhounds are often available for adoption through breed-specific rescue organizations, as well as shelters and animal control facilities. Due to their sensitive nature, it's crucial to consider the commitment the breed requires before adopting. Rescuing an Italian Greyhound can be a rewarding experience, as many of these dogs are in need of loving homes due to various reasons. Adoption fees typically range from $200 to $500, covering initial vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and other medical expenses. Potential adopters should research reputable sources and be prepared to provide a secure and loving environment for these delicate yet affectionate companions.

Famous Examples

Some famous examples of this breed include Idina Menzel's beloved pup named Charley, who frequently appears on her social media, and Miley Cyrus' Italian Greyhound named Bean, known for being a constant companion in her daily life. Another well-known Italian Greyhound is Norman, who belonged to actress and model Emily Ratajkowski. Additionally, Taylor Swift has been seen walking her Italian Greyhound, named Bug, displaying the breed's popularity among celebrities. These famous examples highlight the Italian Greyhound's charm and appeal in the entertainment industry, showcasing their elegance and affectionate nature.
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