Call us on Skype

About the Italian Greyhound

IGs are Greyhounds in miniature—more slender, but a Greyhound’s equal in grace and elegance. Standing ideally 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder, they present the sleek, curving lines common to all coursing hounds. Distinguishing features are the long, fine-boned legs.
IGs combine the attentiveness of lapdogs with the complexity of ancient, aristocratic hounds. Bred for centuries to be doting companions and jesters, these high-stepping charmers refuse to be ignored. “On the whole,” writes an IG expert, “the breed would much rather be in your lap or bed than on the floor.” They are, though, true sighthounds and will bolt after quick-moving prey at the drop of a cat. A short-coat, low-fat breed, IGs require extra care in cold weather.


Origin: the Mediterranean basin.Year Recognized: 1886.Breed History & Job Description: Archaeological evidence suggests that IGs were bred as noble companions some 2,000 years ago, at the height of Roman power in the Mediterranean. The breed came into its own in Renaissance Italy, where owning mini versions of popular breeds was a fad among the wealthy. IGs were nearly wiped out by the depredations of World War II. American breeders, an ocean away from the ravages of war, kept the breed alive and helped repopulate its numbers in peacetime Europe.

Breed Description

Small in size, but big in spirit, the Italian Greyhound is an ancient breed, beloved for his sweet, loving nature. Smaller and slimmer than their larger Greyhound relatives, the breed has a natural elegance and grace, with long slender legs and a shining intelligence. While they may seem like delicate indoor dogs, the sighthound genes are strong and your Italian Greyhound puppy will love playtime and opportunities to run. Most of all, he’ll want to be with you, thriving on attention and affection.


Italian Greyhounds are generally a healthy breed. Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like hip dysplasia/Legg-Calve-Perthes, autoimmune thyroiditis, patellar luxation, and eye disease. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Italian Greyhounds are healthy dogs. A short-coated, low-fat breed, IGs need extra attention in cold weather.
  • Personality: Sensitive and alert, playful, highly affectionate
  • Energy Level: Somewhat Active; IGs are dainty housedogs, but at heart they’re still flash-and-dash coursing hounds
  • Good with Children: Better with Older Children
  • Good with other Dogs: Yes
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Occasional
  • Trainability: Responds Well
  • Height: 13-15 inches
  • Weight: 7-14 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 14-15 years
  • Barking Level: Barks When Necessary