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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Italian Greyhound


Italian Greyhound Facts

  • Group
  • Toys
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 13" - 15"
  • Weight
  • 7-15 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • White
    • Black
    • Blue
    • Cream
    • Fawn
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

piccolo levriero Italiano, IG, iggy


The Italian Greyhound originated in the regions now known as Turkey and Greece.

Date Of Origin

This breed was developed more than 2,000 years ago, however, it didn't become favored in Italy until the 1600's.


The Italian greyhound is the smallest of the sighthounds. Descended from dogs that are believed to have existed over two thousand years ago, it was found throughout southern Europe during the middle ages. It became popular in Italy during the sixteenth century and England during the seventeenth century. It was a favorite of royalty, including Catherine the Great of Russia and Princess Anne of Denmark. It has almost always been kept as a companion, although it may have originally been bred to hunt small prey. It was imported to the U.S. in the mid to late nineteenth century.


The Italian greyhound is a small, slender, and finely boned dog. It is similar to the large greyhound; smaller and finer but with the same long, narrow head, folded ears, deep chest, and tapering, curved tail. It has a short smooth coat that may be of any color. Brindle markings or tan points are not acceptable. Blue, fawn, red, seal, and white are the most common colors.


The Italian greyhound is an affectionate, needy, and somewhat needy dog. It is devoted to its owner but often aloof with strangers. It is intelligent and trainable but can be stubborn. It does well with older children.


It is a very peaceful companion dog that must be treated gently. It flees from rough children and loves serene people.

Health Concerns

Autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes disease, luxating patellas.

Additional Information

It is a notoriously sensitive to the cold and therefore needs a warm bed and temperate environment. In winter it should wear a jacket outside.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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