The Italian Greyhound: A Complete Guide

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If you are looking for a dog whose breed is ancient and once loved by the Italian high society, the Italian Greyhound might be just the breed you were looking for.

Even though classified as a lap dog, this small dog is much more than that.

He comes with enough determination, stamina, and speed to be a great small game hunter.

But, they are rarely used for hunting nowadays, and they are much more popular as family dogs that come with athleticism and beauty that is likewise appreciated in dog shows.

They are also great when engaged in rally competitions, obedience, and agility.

However, finding a healthy, high-quality puppy can be tricky because there are many “breeders” that are in the business just for the money.

You will more likely find a puppy that has a bad genetic heritage than one that comes from a healthy bloodline.

So, to help you out in your quest, we have decided to write this Italian Greyhound guide.

Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound loves being around his human family.

Here, you will get much more familiar with the breed and its traits, and find a puppy that fits the breed’s standards and your personal preferences will come much easier.

Also, we will teach you how to distinguish a reputable breeder from a backyard breeder or a puppy mill.

And, by the end of the article, you will know if this is the breed you want to welcome into your home.

Let’s start with the important things you need to know before buying the puppy.

The Italian Greyhound Puppies – Before You Buy…

Before you get to the part where you are entering your home with an Italian Greyhound puppy in your hands, there are certain important things you need to consider.

For example, will your budget be able to handle an Italian Greyhound puppy purchase?

What price are the Italian Greyhound puppies?

The average price for an Italian Greyhound puppy from a reputable breeder, with all the necessary paperwork (medical history, health clearances, breeding rights), isn’t that high as they go for around $500.

But, when you add the additional costs of vaccines, preventive medicine, heartworm testing, neutering and spaying, the actual cost of a puppy will climb up to $1000.

How to find reputable Italian Greyhound breeders?

You are probably aware of how important it is to find a reputable breeder when you want to buy a purebred puppy.

But, how can you know that the breeder you are talking to is experienced and reputable?

How can you be sure that his puppies are healthy and of high-quality?

Follow our DOs and DON’Ts to be sure you are choosing the right breeder and the perfect puppy.

We will start with the DON’Ts.


  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that always has many available puppies and numerous different litters – Puppy mills
  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that doesn’t seem interested in sharing the insights of the breed with you, but looks like he only wants to take your money and see your back
  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that doesn’t have the necessary paperwork (medical history, proof of shots, proof of parent health tests clearances)


  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that knows everything about the breed and offers you advice for proper puppy care and feeding regimes
  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that has all the medical history, parent health test clearances and proof of all the needed vaccines
  • Buy a puppy from a breed that is interested in finding out about your lifestyle and expectations from this breed so that he can help you choose the right puppy
  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that is clearly in love with the breed and is focused on making it even better and finding the right home for all of his puppies, and even stays in touch with all of the people who bought puppies from them
  • Buy a puppy from a breeder that offers you to contact and talk with people who already bought puppies from him so that you can hear their side of the story as well

Okay, now you are armed with all the needed knowledge to find the perfect breeder and a perfect puppy! Now, we can move on to getting to know how living with this puppy can be.

3 Little-known facts about the puppies

Italian Greyhound playing
The Italian Greyhound loves spending time outside.

Let’s get you more informed about the Italian Greyhound puppies so that you are sure you know what you are getting into and that you can handle it.

  • They are hunters

These dogs have hunting instincts in their genes, so don’t be surprised if your Italian Greyhound puppy chases everything that moves.

For this reason, you should always walk him on a leash, and let him run freely only in fenced areas.

  • They are not good with drugs

The Italian Greyhound, especially while they are just pups, can be very sensitive to anesthetics and insecticides.

So, make sure you know where you are letting him play, and remind the vet about his drug sensitivity if the need ever arises.

  • Puppies think that they can fly!

No, they do! Italian Greyhound pups have no fear of heights and are pretty sure they can fly like the birds.

No wonder bone fractures are common for this breed in the periods between the 4th and the 12th month of their lives.

Physical Traits of the Italian Greyhound

In this part of the guide, you can learn about the Italian Greyhound’s size and weight. A little hint, they are not big nor heavy.

How big is a full-grown Italian Greyhound?

The Italian Greyhound is not a big breed. They are quite small and on average, their height range goes from some 12 to 15 inches.

As for their weight, just by looking at them and their slim appearance once can immediately assume that they are quite lightweight.

And, it’s true. The average weight range for this breed goes from some 6 to 10 pounds. Pretty lightweight, aren’t they?

What is the life expectancy of the Italian Greyhound?

The Italian Greyhound is not a short living breed as his average lifespan goes from 12 to 15 years.

That’s plenty of time to have tons of fun and create many happy memories with your loyal, funny yet elegant companion.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Italian Greyhound

Cute Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound is suspicious of strangers.

The Italian Greyhound is a dog that has a very gentle personality that allows him to love and be affectionate towards his human family.

But, even though he has such a gentle nature, you will be surprised by how deep and big-dog sounding his bark is!

This allows him to be a great watchdog, but due to his size, he can only warn you of an approaching intrude and you will have to take over from there.

The Italian Greyhound is a very smart dog and, unfortunately, due to his high intelligence level, has an annoying “what do I get if I do what you ask?’ attitude.

Therefore, you will have to make the training interesting and fun so that you can outsmart him.

But, once you overcome that obstacle, your Italian Greyhound will do great in agility, obedience, and rally.

Thanks to his athletic body, this dog loves dog sports and is quite successful in them.

On the other hand, what these dogs are not good at is housebreaking. Just like many other small dog breeds, they can be complicated and you can never fully trust them when they are left alone in the house.

However, besides the house clean up from time to time, living with this dog can be both sweet and sour…

It is nice to have a dog that likes to snuggle with you, but it can be stressful when he just jumps without a warning and starts running around the house jumping on furniture and acting like a Tasmanian Devil.

Also, you need to keep in mind that they have a cat-like behavior when it comes to finding a high furniture spot.

This means that you will regularly find him on top of a windowsill, or any other high place in the house he can jump on.

But, as they age, their liveness tends to mellow out and they will spend more time laying beside you than having a dash through the house.

When the summer comes, you will find him getting his “tan” on, and have problems when the weather is wet outside as they don’t like to be wet or cold.

Many Italian Greyhound owners have covered areas where their dog can do his thing if the weather is wet. Yes, they can be that spoiled!

Furthermore, if you don’t give him enough attention, he will openly “ask” for it. So, be prepared to have zero privacy as this dog will follow you around the house until his owner-attention needs are fulfilled.

You will also discover that the Italian Greyhound loves exploring everything that might seem interesting to him. So, keep your low cabinets locked unless you want a mess in the kitchen.

All in all, this dog is small but comes with a huge personality, is affectionate but can likewise be very possessive, but will always find a charming way to get your attention.

With proper training, and with enough exercise, your Italian Greyhound will turn out to be a great, lovable member of the family that loves being loved and knows how to return the favor.

Italian Greyhound Diet

It’s no secret that this breed comes with a slim look, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need high-quality food.

You should feed your Italian Greyhound with high-quality dry kibble. Just make sure it’s nutritional value covers your dog’s needs.

As for how much they eat, an Italian Greyhound that is not that active will do fine with 360 calories daily. On the other hand, if he is relatively active, that number will jump to 450 calories per day.

And, in case your dog is super active, the calorie amount he needs each day can jump up to 700 or even more.

Make sure you consult the breeder and your dog’s vet when choosing his diet plan.

How much Exercise does an Italian Greyhound need?

Even though they love just warm, sunny weather, Italian Greyhounds want daily walks to the local dog park where they can have a 15-minute to half an hour running sessions, after which they will slowly walk beside you and be excited to get back home and take a nap on the sofa.

The Italian Greyhound Health and Conditions

Even though this breed is considered as a healthy one, there are a few health issues that can occur with them.

Not every Italian Greyhound will suffer from these problems, but it’s good to be prepared and know what to possibly expect.

The health issues that are associated with this breed include:

This is why you need to ask the breeder for the pup’s parents’ health test clearances for these conditions so that you can have a piece of mind and enjoy spending time with your dog instead of thinking about when will he get sick.

A Good Guard Dog?

You should be aware of the different physical and behavioral traits of an Italian Greyhound before employing it as a guard dog.

The physical traits of the Italian Greyhound do not make it a very good fit for a guard dog as it is quite small and skinny with an average height of 12 to 15 inches only.

Moreover, the dog is quite lightweight and only weighs around 6 to 10 pounds, which might be a disadvantage if it has to engage in a fight with an intruder.

However, the behavioral traits of the Italian Greyhound are very promising for a guard dog and make up well for its lacking physical ones.

The bark of this dog is very loud and the sound can travel to any part of your house which is good to alert you in case of any suspicious activity happening in or around your house.

Moreover, the dog is also quite intelligent so it might be able to stall the intruder until you take the required action.

Furthermore, this dog is quite athletic and agile which might be useful in chasing any unwanted arrival away.

Another trait that makes the Italian Greyhound a good guard dog is that it is a hunter by nature and will chase any animal or person it does not like or find suspicious.

This makes it an excellent choice of dog to watch your house as a very low amount of training will be required to teach it how exactly to protect you and your house.

As a result, the Italian Greyhound is an average guard dog that will quickly and loudly alert you to the presence of an intruder but will not be able to do anything significant to stop him/her, which is where you will need to take over from.

My final thoughts on the Italian GreyhoundItalian Greyhound face

As always, the health section marks the end of your guide.

After going through everything, you must have gained a valuable insight into everything that concerns this adorable breed.

Now, you are ready to look for that perfect Italian Greyhound puppy!

But, to be on the safe side and make sure you’ve covered everything, read our summary of all that you should know about this breed.

  • The Italian Greyhound is a lovable dog that loves being around his human family
  • He will demand plenty of attention and love
  • He will follow you everywhere
  • He has a prey drive so expect him to chase cats and other smaller animals
  • He doesn’t like cold and doesn’t like harsh treatment and can get easily offended
  • He loves spending time outside, especially on a warm sunny day
  • He is suspicious of strangers, but barks only as he is too afraid to attack

Now that we’ve covered everything, what is your decision? Are you going to be an Italian Greyhound owner? Do you think that this breed is the right one for you and your family?

Did our guide help you in making the right choice?

If so, please don’t forget to share it on social media so that your friends can get to know and appreciate this bred more.

Thanks for reading!

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