DogNation Home DogNation Home

Italian Greyhound

Quick facts

Italian Greyhound AKC Group: Toy
Height: 13 - 15 inches
Weight: 7 - 14 pounds,
Colors: Any color except brindle or black and tan
AKC recognized in: 1886

Affectionately called "Iggy" by its legions of adorers, the Italian Greyhound (also known as the Piccolo Levrieve Italiani) has an interesting history on how it came to be one of the best loved breeds in the world today.

When the Phoenicians reached Europe, they brought along with them Italian Greyhounds, as these were highly adaptable and showed great promise as family dogs and as companions. True enough, the Romans themselves showed interest in the breed, and sought to develop them as companions both in the house and in their travels.

Being shy and timid, the Italian Greyhound submits to firm punishment, so make sure to handle it gently and correcting it with restraint whenever it becomes destructive, as is its way.

The Italian Greyhound does not like being kept in cages and kennels, as they shine when being companions and close friends. Always in search for affirmation, the Italian Greyhound needs constant reassurance that it is a good dog, lest it be driven to phases of high-strung motions.

The Italian Greyhound is indeed a very active dog and can be very swift, and this characteristic makes it ideal for agility trials, an activity it excels well in.


Italian Greyhound Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance one paw
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements two paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals four paws
Friendliness: Other Pets four paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness three paws
Protection Ability one paw
Watchdog Ability three paws

The Italian Greyhound makes for a wonderful companion, fitting in well within a family. However, being highly excitable, they should not be left in the company of small children, as their form of play may result to untoward incidents and unmeant accidents.

In addition, children may also be the source of traumatic experiences for the Italian Greyhound, who may interpret the children's curious natures and actions as threats, resulting to the withdrawal of the breed from contact with its human family.

Although the Iggy does well among the company of other dogs, its small size does not fare well among bigger, more massive dogs. It is best kept within a circle of like-sized dogs, to prevent injury and hurt feelings between them.

Health and Exercise

Italian Greyhounds live an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

This breed is susceptible to leg and tail fractures. Also, it is sensitive to barbituate anesthesia, similar to the sight hounds it resembles.

The Italian Greyhound's coat is composed of short, fine hair. Resembling the looks of its larger namesake, the Greyhound, they share the same type of coat texture, along with its shine. Supple skin is also characteristic of this breed. When one feels the Iggy, it usually is soft to the touch, and rarely course.

Having a very short coat can make the Italian Greyhound vulnerable to the cold. Care should be taken to keep it warm to keep it healthy. The Iggy's coat is easily groomed and taken care of. Shedding is minimal, if any, making for a coat that is almost zero maintenance. One simply needs to wipe the Italian Greyhound down with a soft, towelette to maintain its gloss and beauty.

Susceptible to tartar buildup and gum disease, the Iggy's teeth must be brushed regularly to prevent these occurrences. Also, clipping regularly of its nails is recommended.

Sensitive yet high-strung, the Italian Greyhound can be difficult to train. One may need to opt for professional training to insure the breed's optimal potential when it comes to tricks, and even housebreaking. Improper training and discipline may arise in the hands of an untrained owner when it comes to this breed, so training classes are indeed recommended.

To fully nurture the Italian Greyhound's lively and highly active nature, daily vigorous exercise is recommended. This breed does best when kept busy and active within a yard where it can run and play to its heart's content, zooming off into parts unknown in search of adventure if unwittingly let out of the yard, so it is best kept on a leash if there is such a possibility.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Italian Greyhound in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Italian Greyhound? Or maybe you have more questions that either or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.

Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!

Random Dog Quote

Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
Roger A. Caras

Site Navigation

Best Friend's Friend Rescue/Shelter Contest
I made the pledge!