The Italian Greyhound is a favorite companion of the honorable women in the Middle Ages, particularly in Italy


Italian Greyhound Spotlight

  • Needs to be protected against larger dogs and rough children
  • Small, slender legs
  • Needs lots of exercise in puppy years
  • Very easy grooming with little to no shedding
  • Impetuous nature
  • Difficult to housetrain
  • Enjoys sports like agility, rally and weight pulling
  • Known for injuring their selves
  • Purposes to be your best friend & very affectionate


For centuries, the Italian Greyhound has been known for being a companion. The Italian Greyhound is known to have originated as far back as 2,000 years ago, in Turkey and Greece. The sighthounds were particularly common in Italy within the 16th century. Within the Middle Ages, the breed was distributed throughout Southern Europe and then became the favorite of Italians in the sixteenth century. Where miniature dogs were high in demand.

Today the Italian Greyhound is prized for sophistication and charm. Several artists included the dogs in painting such as artists, Velazquez, Giotto and Pisanello. This breed is especially popular with royalty. Some include, Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Victors, Maud, Catherine the Great and Frederick the Great.

They react decently around children only because they are small and delicate, it is very important to teach children that they are dogs and not a toy. They need respect and love and to be treated right. It doesn’t matter if the dog is friendly they should never be left along unsupervised with children. They get along with other pets but you will need to keep an eye on them.

Personality & Temperament

The Italian Greyhound can be both zestful and restful. They do appreciate their comforts but at the same time loves to be playful outdoors. The Greyhound has more energy than most people think. When not outside playing, running or chasing down insects, the Italian Greyhound enjoys to be up close to his owner or even laying in their lap. Whenever there are no people together the Greyhounds will snuggle up together.

They will not accept being petted by just anyone. He prefers to make the initial advance towards liking a person. Always look for a puppy who is outgoing as shyness is not known of an Italian Greyhound.

All though the Italian Greyhound is extremely intelligent, it is not easy to train them. You will need to work it out with their short attention span. Try to keep the lessons short, sweet and fun. Never use force.

Appearance & Grooming

The greyhound, fully grown will anywhere between thirteen to fifteen inches, seven to fifteen pounds with a lifespan of twelve to fifteen years.

The Italian Greyhound has a short, smooth and fine coat, if it is properly taken care of. They are one of the easiest breeds to groom thanks to the short hair. Sheds very little. The coast comes in all kinds of shades, cream, red, black, fawn and solid or white markings.


The Italian Greyhound has an average life span of 13.5 years. As with many dogs there are health problems here are a few for the Italian Greyhound.

  • In canines, epilepsy in IGs is an inherited condition. Animals with epilepsy have seizures, these are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. These can come with issues like, low blood sugar, kidney or liver failure. Anti epileptic medication is used for treatment.
  • A liver shunts is a bypass of the liver by the circulatory system. It is congenital or an acquired condition. Extra hepatic shunts in small breed dogs are inherited on a polygenic basis. Usually surgical treatment is the best.
  • Cataracts are opacities on the lens of the eye. This makes seeing very difficult. They dog’s eye will appear to have a cloudy presence. Cataracts usually only appears in older dog and requires surgery as the only treatment.
  • With their scissor-bite and small jaw bones, they will most likely develop periodontal disease. This can easily be avoided by regular brushing.

    Exercise & Care

    Italian Greyhounds have short coast and get cold very easily. So, they are not for outdoors. They need to be inside dogs particularly in bad weather. In the summer, be sure to protect their skin with special sunscreen made for dogs. Italian Greyhounds have a history of developing skin cancer, this is mostly due to being in the sun without sunscreen. Bathe them when needed. Other than that, it is just some basic care like rimming nails and brushing teeth.

    The littlest has lots of energy. Going on a daily walk will help keep your dog get his energy out, just make sure to keep the dog on a leash. Even since they are small he has the same instinct the chase after other animals such as squirrels, rabbits or any other animals that run by.

    They do not house train easily. You can have all the patience in the world and it may never be completely trained.

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