Italian Greyhounds

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Gentle and playful, this breed is a sweet and elegant companion. More hypoallergenic than many other short-coated breeds, they get along with gentle children and are ideal for families that value a clean and light-hearted small dog.

They do not appreciate cold weather and appreciate a good coat in winter. They can also shiver when nervous.

IGs come in all colors but brindle and black and tan. Given daily walks, they are a great apartment dog. They love nothing better than to hang out with their owners. However, their long and narrow legs are susceptible to breakage and they do not do well in a rough and tumble household.


They were miniaturized from Greyhounds in ancient times, as Roman mosaics attest to their presence. Perhaps they were originally bred to be small game hunters, but it's more likely that the big dogs were bred smaller to make an elegant and easy-care family companion.

Then the Renaissance Italians took to them and no noble household was complete without its regal little dogs.

In the 1700's English tourists discovered them and brought them home, where they have steadily gained in popularity ever since.

By the Numbers

Size: 13"to 15” at the shoulder.
Coat Care: 1 – Extremely Low; No brushing, an occasional bath.
Trainability: 6: Eager to please, the IG is an airy sprite and easily distracted.

Energy level: 5 They have a medium energy level. Above all else they want to be with their people. When nervous, they can shiver, like above.
Good with Children: 7 They love kids, but their legs break easily and they are not an ideal rough housing buddy.

Noise level: medium -- 5 They will bark to alert the family but rarely indulge in recreational barking.
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: 8 Low They are unusually hypoallergenic for a short coated breed.

To find a quality breeder, first read:

What Is a Responsible Breeder then start your search with the Italian Greyhound Club of America. Good luck in your search!

Tell Us About YOUR Dog!

People come to About Small Dogs to find a good dog, one that matches their lifestyle, their family and what they yearn for.

The best people to explain the finer points of what a breed is like are the people who own and are owned by them.

If you own this breed, this means YOU. What is your dog like? What stories can you tell? What would you like to say to someone who is considering your breed? What is your dog's sterling qualities? How about some of his or her not so great characteristics? Tell us a bit about the ideal owner for your breed as well.

People become good dog owners because they are educated. You know your breed better than any others. Share what you know!

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