This breed isn’t always fast and furious. Italian Greyhounds love nothing more than a relaxing afternoon snuggled on the couch.


Italian Greyhounds – basically miniature Greyhounds – date back as far as Ancient Egypt. Like Greyhounds, they are known for their speed, but also their couch-potato tendencies and a casual laid-back approach to life. They love snuggles and are small enough to curl up in your lap. Loving and gentle, they are usually friendly with strangers (trespassers will, at most, be ignored). However, they will alert you by letting out a small bark or perking up their ears upon hearing approaching sounds.

Loyal to their owner, they love being around people, even children, provided the child’s favourite game is ‘reading a book while I pat you’ and not ‘tumbling on and off the lounge’. Greyhounds suffer from separation anxiety if kept alone for long hours. You can expect your friend to be around for a while too, as Italian Greyhounds live for 13-15 years. They won’t grow very large at all, measuring around 35cm tall and weighing less than 5kgs when fully grown.

Fun fact: Italian Greyhounds are adept at seeing moving objects,

but have serious trouble seeing still objects.

Italian Greyhounds are intelligent and can be trained, but they enjoy using their brains to please themselves. They can be difficult to house-train and difficult to recall. They have a strong hunting instinct and tend to chase smaller animals. Socialise them well and early to prevent shyness. Italian Greyhounds don’t do well in cold environments.

Grooming their smooth, short-haired coat (which comes in more colours than the common grey) is super easy. Just brush and comb daily and dry shampoo when necessary. Italian Greyhounds shed little hair. Trim their nails regularly and with care, as well as cleaning their ears carefully. Do no insert anything into their ear canal. If your buddy is averse to saying ‘cheese’ to the camera, it’s because there’s tartar build-up on their teeth. Greyhounds suffer from poor dental health, so regular brushing is a must.

Scheduled six monthly health check visits with your vet are important to ensure that your dog is healthy and happy throughout all life stages. An Italian Greyhound’s legs are very fragile and prone to breaking. They tend to be hypersensitive to flea control medicine and anesthetics. Together with your vet, you can determine and maintain a preventative health care program based on the individual needs of your canine companion.

How big do Italian Greyhounds get?

An Italian Greyhound is a toy-sized breed weighing between 3.6-4.5kgs, with a height between 32-38cms.

How much space do Italian Greyhounds need?

They suit apartment dwellings as well as bigger spaces.

How much energy do Italian Greyhounds have?

They have bundles of energy, but can also be a couch potato. Daily walks and some games are ideal for keeping an Italian Greyhound fit. Always keep your dog on a leash when out and about.

How difficult are Italian Greyhounds to train?

They are intelligent and easy to train, if they listen to you.

Are Italian Greyhounds suitable for families?

They are great family pets and loyal companions.

Are Italian Greyhounds compatible with other dogs and animals?

They love to meet new friends.

How much company do Italian Greyhounds need?

They have a moderate to high need for company and enjoy spending time with their family.

Are Italian Greyhounds a hypoallergenic dog breed?


What coat and grooming needs do Italian Greyhounds have?

This breed is low-maintenance. Simply wipe the coat down weekly. They have a short smooth coat in black, fawn, red, cream or blue.

Do Italian Greyhounds shed?

They shed little hair.

Do Italian Greyhounds have a tendency to bark?

They have a moderate tendency to bark, so don’t expect frequent conversations.

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