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Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound Breed


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Energy Level

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Physical Characteristics:
Height: 13-15”
Weight: 8-11 lbs.
Energy Level: High
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Italian Greyhound in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Blue Fawn
  • Cream
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • Red Fawn
  • Sable
  • Seal
  • White & Black
  • White & Blue
  • White & Blue Fawn
  • White & Fawn
  • White & Red
  • White & Red Fawn
  • White & Sable
  • White & Seal
  • Black
  • Black & Tan
  • Blue & Tan
  • Brindle
  • Chocolate
  • White

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 12-14 years
Italian Greyhounds have been around for quite some time. So long in fact that almost everyone knows their breed name and companies have used their image as brand symbols. These quick, popular purebreds are usually healthy, but they do have several inherited health issues that often worsen with age. Italian Greyhound puppies are generally the perfect pictures of good health, but most of their health problems will become prevalent around 4 to 5 years old.

Luckily, long-time veterinarians and pet owners alike have discovered that a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and routine vet check-ups go a long way towards ensuring these purebreds remain in tip-top condition.


This condition occurs when one or both testicles fails to come down into the scrotum. A common birth defect in this breed, this requires surgery and removal of the testicles. If left untreated, the undescended testicles can become cancerous, causing more problems. The condition is painless.

Color Mutant Alopecia

Common in pups with blue or fawn-colored coats, this condition results in thinning hair and eventual hair loss in blotches. It can be itchy, but otherwise painless. Vet-prescribed cream is recommended to combat the effects of this condition.

Other health issues that your Italian Greyhound may encounter include hypothyroidism, deafness, age-related arthritis, juvenile cataracts, cherry eyes, glaucoma, and hip or elbow dysplasia. Italian Greyhounds are also prone to the usual health issues that every canine can develop, such as heart disease and some forms of cancer. On average, a healthy, happy Italian Greyhound lives for between 12 to 14 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

Naturally slender and dainty, the Italian Greyhound needs extra care during playtimes with other dogs and children. Too much roughhousing can severely hurt her, both mentally and physically, so make sure you place her in an environment where rough play is prohibited.

She wouldn’t do too well in a dog park, but she would love to walk around and explore a fenced-in backyard. She would also do well on long walks with her loved ones. On cold days, keep her indoors unless she needs to go outside. These pups, because of their short hair and slender builds, are intolerant of cold weather. Invest in a doggy coat if you live somewhere with snow and ice over the winter months.

Italian Greyhounds can be skittish, so they may always look for an out to explore the world on their own. Make sure fences are high and deep, and doors or low windows are always locked to avoid an escape. You will need to socialize your pup at an early age to build her tolerance and acceptance of other pets and kids. During training sessions, establish dominance with a clear, strong tone in a positive, kind voice. Ask her to comply with commands through praise and encouragement. Never use physical force or harshness to make her do what you want her to do.


Fine-haired, short, and sleek, the Italian Greyhound is naturally tidy and smooth. Brushing would suffice 1-2 times per week since these pups are also extremely low shedders. However, teeth problems are prominent in this breed. The most important thing you can do is brush their teeth 1-2 times per day, with either warm water or vet-prescribed toothpaste for dogs.

Other basic care needs that you should take note of for your Italian Greyhound include bathing him once a month, clipping his toenails every 3-4 weeks, and cleaning his ears once a week with warm water, or a vet-approved cleaning solution, and a cotton ball.


Often known as a delicate, and even dainty, purebred, Italian Greyhounds have small appetites to fuel slender bodies. They are light eaters, often munching lightly on their food in small mouthfuls. Divide 1 to 1 ½ cups of dry, high-quality dog food into two meals to keep your pup satisfied throughout the day.

These purebreds are rarely overeaters, so their nutrition matters immensely in the bites they get. Invest in a good brand that is rich in protein, complex carbs, and good fats. Whole grains, vegetables, and lean meats should be the top 3 ingredients on the label. If you spot any by-products or fillers, stay away from that particular brand. Every bite matters in the nutritional needs of an Italian Greyhound.

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There is an abundance of Italian Greyhounds in AKC shows, but bloodlines are specific and expensive. To register for one of these shows, you have to find a reputable, very reliable breeder with AKC documentation of guaranteed show-quality lineage. Anything below this is considered lower class, which has left many Italian Greyhounds abandoned.

Check your local animal shelter for an Italian Greyhound before you peruse the internet for a reliable breeder. These pups may be a little older than what you had in mind. But they need second chances at a happy forever home, and you could offer that to them. Adoption fees depend on the state and county regulations, but the common range is $75 to $250. Add on vaccinations, spay or neuter services, and a first vet check-up, and your adoption costs level out to around $500.

If you would prefer the breeder route, you can expect to pay around $500 for an Italian Greyhound puppy. This excludes the costs of vaccinations, wholesome kibble, toys, long-term vet check-ups, medical emergencies, a microchip, and all of the necessities and accessories that come with the commitment of owning and loving an Italian Greyhound.

If you want an AKC-guaranteed show-quality Italian Greyhound of documented pure bloodlines, expect to shell out between $2,000 to $3,000.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. Italian Greyhounds are a 1.5 on the integration scale. While they may be difficult when it comes to interaction with small children, they can be accommodating if socialized early enough. Otherwise, these purebreds are easily trained and managed with a loose grooming regimen. In other words, a great, well-behaved dog for singles, couples, and families alike.


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