Italian Greyhound: Dog Breed Facts and Information

Country of origin: Italy
Shoulder height: 32 – 38 cm
Weight: 5 kg
Age: 12 – 15 years
Colour: solid black, grey, slate grey, and light beige (isabelle), with or without white markings on chest and paws
Use: sporting dog, companion dog

The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the sighthounds. It is spirited, lively, and playful, but with loving consistency can be trained to be an obedient companion dog. 

Origin and history

The Italian Greyhound is descended from small Egyptian Greyhounds that arrived in Italy via Greece, where they were particularly popular and widespread in the courts of the nobility during the Renaissance. This is also proven by representations of this breed in the paintings of the great Italian masters.


The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the sighthounds. It is of slim stature and in approximately square format. Its head is elongated and narrow with prominent eyebrow bones. The eyes are large and round. The ears are set high, folded in on themselves, and falling backward. The tail is set low, thin, and straight with a slight curve at the end.

The Italian greyhound has smooth, silky fine, short hair all over its body, which is very easy to care for, but hardly protects against cold, wet, or heat. The color palette ranges from monochrome black, grey, and slate gray to isabell (light yellow, light beige).


The Italian Greyhound is a confident, spirited, and intelligent small dog. Its fragile and delicate appearance is deceptive, as these dogs are amazingly hardy and long-lived.

Italian greyhounds tend to be aloof to reserved towards strangers. They sometimes tend to overestimate themselves when dealing with strange dogs. On the other hand, they bond very strongly with their caregivers: they need close contact, a lot of love and attention, and are very cuddly. A greyhound is always in a good mood, happy and playful up to old age.

Outdoors, sparkle with temperament and joie de vivre and must also be able to live out their urge to move regularly. They are in top form on the racetrack or when coursing. With enough exercise, the small wind chime can also be kept well in an apartment.

The Italian Greyhound is also easy to train with loving consistency. Being very affectionate, they also show less inclination to rush off on their own.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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