By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 22nd October 2022

Italian Greyhound


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 22nd October 2022

Smallest of the sighthounds, the toy breed Italian Greyhound is a commendable watchdog and companion dog. This deep-chested, slender-waisted, long-legged canine is popular in dog shows and has given company to man since a long, long time.

Italian Greyhound Pictures

Quick Information

Also known asGalgo Italiano, IG, Iggy
ColorBlack, white, brown, gray, blue, red
Breed TypePurebred
Group (of Breed)Southern, AKC Toy
Lifespan12-15 years
Weight8-18 pounds
Height (size)
Medium; 13 – 15 inches
TemperamentIntelligent, quiet, loyal, social, cheerful, alert
Good with ChildNo
Litters3-5 puppies at a time
Health ConcernsMajor: Peridontal disease; Minor: Patellar luxation, epilepsy, PRA, leg fractures
Originated inMight be Greece and Italy (practically unknown)


Mentioned in different popular cultures, they are seen in art, statues, sketches and in paintings by popular artists, and as pets to European royals and the monarchs, and said to have even been mummified in Egypt.


Although they prefer quiet environment, they are adaptable to both the city and the country households, and hence good for elderly people or childless couples. They bark at strange noises or passers-by, nor safe for young children, but grown-up ones. The Italian greyhounds are athletic, agile and active and being gazehounds, have strong predator drive, chasing smaller animals or even hunt them down, and hence, keeping them leashed or in an enclosed area is recommended.



Exercise routine includes long daily walks, and to run and play in a spacious yard. Take care while leashing since they might slip out with their head and neck having the same diameter, or else, a martingale collar is best. Take care that they do not get strangled or injured if this acrobatic pet tries to escape.


Brush the coat and wipe down by a moist cloth after walks etc., rather than bathing them frequently, since it might catch seeds, dirt and dust. A full line of apparel, clothing and accessories meant for Italian greyhounds, including sweaters, jackets, jammies, collars, boots, jewelry, harness vest etc. are available in stores and over the internet.

Health Problems

They are prone to catching oral (periodontal/dental) disorders, and hence a regular brushing of their teeth is recommended. Their bone is brittle, with a low density, and hence might suffer orthopedic issues like leg break. Other common diseases are ear problems, skin allergies, epilepsy, slipped stifle, fractures, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) etc.


Give them 15-20 minutes to eat, as also provide them with enough drinking water. Dry healthy dog foods twice a day is recommended.


Although AKC claims it is easy to train them, but housetraining is difficult. Important for them to be socialized, getting along with strangers, animals, kids, since their puppyhood, else they might learn to take their own decisions and define the owner’s position in its own way. Teach them to respect its family. These intelligent dogs would catch easily the meaning of “go to potty”, especially if they are paid for their achievements and good behavior.

Italian Greyhound Crossbreeds

  • Italian Grey Min Pin – Italian Greyhound and Miniature Pinscher mix
  • Italian GreyhuahuaChihuahua and Italian Greyhound mix
  • Italian Papihound – Italian Greyhound and Papillon mix
  • Italian Tzu – Italian Greyhound and Shih Tzu mix
  • Italian-Bichon – Bichon Frise and Italian Greyhound mix
  • Boston Iggy – Italian Greyhound and Boston Terrier mix
  • Italian Chihuahua – Italian Greyhound and Chihuahua mix
  • Italian Greagle – Italian Greyhound and Beagle mix
  • Italian-Bichon – Italian Greyhound and Bichon Frise mix
  • PootalianPoodle and Italian Greyhound mix
  • Puggit – Pug and Italian Greyhound mix
  • Whippig – Italian Greyhound and Whippet mix
  • Greybull – Italian Greyhound and Pitbull mix
  • Italian Greyhound and Labrador mix
  • Italian Greyhound and Rat Terrier mix

Interesting Facts

  • The Italian Greyhound got recognition from the AKC in 1886.
  • Being bred for hunting, the Italian Greyhounds still have the hunting instinct and would chase just anything moving, including vehicles.
  • Though intelligent, these dogs have a short attention span.
  • The Italian Greyhound is sensitive to drugs like the organophosphate insecticides and anesthetics of the barbiturate class.
  • ‘Miniature Italian Greyhound’ is a term used to describe the very Italian greyhound breed for its resemblance to the bigger greyhounds but with small or shorter features. However, this term is derogatory to the Italian greyhound enthusiasts.
  • In a weekly video, an Italian greyhound “Kermit” (A.K.A. “Cermet” or “Kermie Wormie” or “Silver Unicorn”) was featured by Jenna Marbles, a YouTube sensation, along with her chihuahua named “Mr. Marbles”.

Difference: Italian Greyhound vs. Whippet

Points of Difference

Italian Greyhound


Weight3.6 – 8.2 kg6.8 – 14 kg
Height33 – 38 cm47 – 57 cm
TemperamentCompanionable, Intelligent, Affectionate, Athletic, Agile, MischievousFriendly, Quiet, Lively, Gentle, Affectionate, Intelligent

6 responses to “Italian Greyhound”

  1. Abbie says:

    You can call it an Italian Shorkie.

  2. Abbie says:

    You can call it an Italschund. What would an Iggy enviroment be?

  3. Danny Marvin says:

    I have a Bostalian male that has been nuetered and looking for a female to help occupy his time! He needs a playmate! Any info as where I can get one would be greatly appreciated….Thanks

  4. Steve says:

    What would you call an italian greyhound/daschund mix?

    • Karen says:

      Lol an Italian Dasher?
      Or a GreyHund?
      I’ve been trying to find out what an Italian Greyhound/Shorkie (Full Yorkei & Full Shitsu) mix would be called!

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