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Italian Greyhound

italiangreyhound

Athletic and Agile

Gentle, Sensitive, Timid

Italian Greyhounds are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Italian Greyhounds, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Italian Greyhound and some can be quite irritating!

Understanding their unique needs will help you keep them healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where they came, which health conditions are a risk to to the breed and how to keep them feeling their best.

Breed Details

Height:13-15" Weight: 7-14 lb Lifespan:12-15 years

Size
1

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Italian Greyhounds are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and frequent play sessions. With a strong chase instinct, they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must.

Grooming: Low grooming needs. Brush coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Italian Greyhounds often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

Ear Care: Clean ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


Italian Greyhounds are a faithful and affectionate pet that forms strong bonds with their family. The breed can be fragile and easily injured, so they do best with gentle care.

Positive Traits:

Sweet, playful, and friendly

Trusting and affectionate

Good around other pets and dogs

Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark

Athletic and agile

Alert, curious, and busy

Negative Traits:

Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

Can be difficult to housetrain

Can be willful and difficult to train

Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

Likes to dig

Standoffish toward strangers



Whether you are considering adding a new Italian Greyhound to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Italian Greyhound will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Italian Greyhound you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues an Italian Greyhound could encounter:

Eye Problems

Cataracts

Glaucoma

Blindness

Liver Problems

Bleeding Disorders

The Italian Greyhound originated more than 2000 years ago in what is now called Greece and Turkey. Their name is in reference to the breed’s popularity in Renaissance Italy. Iggys are the smallest of the sighthounds and were originally bred as companion dogs that could hunt small game. Italian Greyhounds demand attention and can become possessive of their owners. They are comfort-loving dogs, often found hiding under blankets. Iggys are emotionally sensitive and prefer to stay out of wet or cold weather. They will be your constant companion and lovingly follow you from room to room.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Italian Greyhound shows signs of the following:

Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

Cloudiness to eye lens

Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

Puppy teeth alongside adult teeth

Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

General reluctance to run or play

Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Care

    Routine Care: Italian Greyhounds are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and frequent play sessions. With a strong chase instinct, they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must.

    Grooming: Low grooming needs. Brush coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Italian Greyhounds often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

    Ear Care: Clean ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Italian Greyhounds are a faithful and affectionate pet that forms strong bonds with their family. The breed can be fragile and easily injured, so they do best with gentle care.

    Positive Traits:

    Sweet, playful, and friendly

    Trusting and affectionate

    Good around other pets and dogs

    Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark

    Athletic and agile

    Alert, curious, and busy

    Negative Traits:

    Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

    Can be difficult to housetrain

    Can be willful and difficult to train

    Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    Likes to dig

    Standoffish toward strangers



  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Italian Greyhound to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Italian Greyhound will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Italian Greyhound you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues an Italian Greyhound could encounter:

    Eye Problems

    Cataracts

    Glaucoma

    Blindness

    Liver Problems

    Bleeding Disorders

  • History

    The Italian Greyhound originated more than 2000 years ago in what is now called Greece and Turkey. Their name is in reference to the breed’s popularity in Renaissance Italy. Iggys are the smallest of the sighthounds and were originally bred as companion dogs that could hunt small game. Italian Greyhounds demand attention and can become possessive of their owners. They are comfort-loving dogs, often found hiding under blankets. Iggys are emotionally sensitive and prefer to stay out of wet or cold weather. They will be your constant companion and lovingly follow you from room to room.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Italian Greyhound shows signs of the following:

    Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    Cloudiness to eye lens

    Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

    Puppy teeth alongside adult teeth

    Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

    General reluctance to run or play

    Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

    Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

    Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

Italian Greyhound Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Italian Greyhound breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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