Italian Greyhound

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    History & Overview

    The little Italian Greyhound descends from small-sized greyhounds which already existed in ancient Egypt at the court of the Pharaohs. Passing through Laconia (Greece), where numerous representations on vases and bowls confirm this, the breed arrived in Italy at the outset of the 5th century BC.


    Italian Greyhounds have an above-average intelligence, and they need lots of attention. They move quietly and will follow you throughout the house, so be careful not to step on these little fellows if you did not notice they were right at your feet. IGs enjoy a luxurious living and are very suitable to apartment living provided they get plenty of outdoor exercise. They love warm weather and are reluctant to go outdoors when the weather is cold, wet or windy, which presents a challenge when housebreaking.


    Italian Greyhounds look like miniature Greyhound dogs. They are elegant and slender dogs with a smooth and glossy coat. Italian Greyhounds are sighthounds (dogs that hunt by sight), and they love to run. Their high-stepping gait makes them look very graceful. They are mostly bred to be loving companions.

    At A Glance

    Other Names:


    Country of Origin:



    Racing & Companion Dogs


    FCI Classification: Group 10: Sighthounds. Section 3 – Shorthaired Hounds (without working trial)
    AKC Classification: Toy Group


    Small (13 – 15 inches at shoulders)


    Any color and markings are acceptable except that a dog with brindle markings and a dog with the tan markings are disqualified.

    Litter Size:


    Life Span:

    12 – 15 years

    Grooming Requirements:

    Rub their coat with a soft cloth. Bathe when necessary and dry thoroughly. Trim nails monthly and brush their teeth daily to prevent gum disease.




    IGs are quiet and extremely affectionate dogs with high energy. They crave attention almost to the point of obsession.

    Social skills:

    Usually get along with other household cats and dogs.

    Suitability for Children:

    If children understand this is not an indestructible Tonka Truck toy. The breed does better with children older than 8 years of age.

    Exercise Needs:

    The high energy Italian Greyhound needs daily exercise.

    Train Ability:

    Very intelligent and respond well to soft voices and positive reinforcement.

    Health & Behavioral Issues:

    Weak and fragile leg bones until the puppy reaches maturity at about 12 – 18 months. Very sensitive to cold weather.

    Video Credits: NYC Emily


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