Italian Greyhound

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(53 Reviews)

Is the Italian Greyhound right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): IG; Iggie; Piccolo Levriero Italiano; Italienisches Windspiel; Galgo italiano

The basics:
If you think of the Italian Greyhound as a toy version of the classic Greyhound, you won't go far wrong. It looks like a smaller, more slender version of the classic racing dog and-- since it was originally developed as a dog that hunts by sight-- the IG can easily be stimulated to chase or even to escape. They tend to be affectionate and enjoy spending a lot of time with their owner, but they also need to spend a certain amount of time sprinting.

Despite their small size, IGs can be a true challenge and they can't really be recommended to novice dog owners. They can be difficult to housebreak if you're not good at providing calm, consistent trainig. They can also be somewhat fragile and prone to breaking those long legs

According to the Italian Greyhound Club of America, IGs have lived up to 21 years-- and they demand regular tooth-brushing every day to maintain their oral health. They will love to be around you, but they will also demand some effort in return. They are not an "easy" breed just because they're smaller in size.

Appearance / health:
The Italian Greyhound is very similar to the Greyhound though much smaller and more slender. The muzzle is long and lean, and is equal in length to the skull. The rose-shaped ears are small and set high. The dark eyes are of medium size. The chest is deep and the legs are strong and straight.

The Italian Greyhound is an average shedder that sheds very fine, small hair. Owners may need to keep the teeth and toenails in good shape. Bathing is done only when required.

Long walks are ideal for the Italian Greyhound. Free running in an adequately fenced yard is ideal for these dogs.

The most common health problems facing Italian greyhounds are teeth and gum disease. Most IG's will develop severe periodontal (gum) disease at a relatively early age, if their teeth do not receive proper care. I'll say it again. The Italian Greyhound Club of America recommends you brush their teeth every day. If you do, your pet could live 14 - 21 years. If you don't, you could have a problem.

Italian Greyhounds are susceptible to Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function); a hereditary eye disease known as Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA); Idiopathic epilepsy; and luxating patellas (dislocation of the kneecap). Fractures of the radius and ulna (forearm) are also a common problem, particularly between the ages of 4 - 12 months.

Behavior / temperament:
Italian Greyhounds require ample amounts of socialization and training. Otherwise, they may develop shyness or excessive exuberance. They tend to bolt when a sudden, unusual object comes their way. Jumping and climbing is usual behavior with many Greyhounds. Their hunting instinct is strong and they love to chase any moving object. With their short attention spans, they easily develop boredom especially when kept alone for too long. Most Greyhounds may announce the presence of a stranger but are unlikely to attack.

They may be difficult to housebreak compared to other breeds. They have a good learning rate. Early training coupled with adequate socialization is necessary to prevent behavioral problems in these dogs.

They are not noisy.


low maintenance dog, sweet personalities, older children, Affectionate, wonderful companions


little bones, rough children, colder climates, Potty-training issues, separation anxiety, dental problems


sighthound mentality, tender spirits, silky soft coats, Leap Tall Sofas

From shelters/rescues

Roozie- Beaumont area


Italian Greyhound

Bellaire, TX


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