Italian Greyhound Breed Information

Italian Greyhounds are a member of the ‘Toy’ breed group. Toy breeds are small companion dogs, commonly referred to as ‘lap dogs’. Most toy breeds love attention and can be very friendly and affectionate. They don’t require a large amount of exercise.

Italian Greyhounds are an intelligent breed, however they often prefer to do their own thing and can be difficult to train. They can also be quite timid, so early socialisation is essential. To learn more about socialisation and reward-based training for your dog, visit our dog behaviour page where you can pick up plenty of tips to help you and your canine companion better understand each other. 

Italian Greyhounds have a short coat and weekly grooming is sufficient to keep their coat in top condition. Due to their bone fragility during growth, they may not be the ideal breed to live with other pets or young children. They can be slow to form a bond but make a fantastic companion once the bond is established.

Breed-related health problems: 


Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Italian Greyhounds are prone to include:

  • Periodontal disease – infection and inflammation of the periodontium (tissues that surround and support the teeth). 
  • Epilepsy  – a brain disorder which can lead to seizures. 
  • Luxating patellas - the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place. 
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – gradual deterioration of the retina of the eye. Symptoms can start with night blindness and progress to total blindness.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line. 

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website

Exercise requirements:


Italian Greyhounds are full of energy, requiring around an hour of exercise per day. Although small they can run fast when they want to, and if they catch sight of potential prey you may find it hard to get them back so exercise in a confined area is recommended.

Estimated lifetime cost:


The likely lifetime costs for an Italian Greyhound are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include: 


The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Italian Greyhound with PDSA: 


1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Italian Greyhounds that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

    *Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.


By insuring your Italian Greyhound with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.
For more information on taking care of your dog please visit our puppies and dogs section. 

Rehoming from a reputable source:


Where you get a dog from can have a big effect on how healthy and happy it is for the rest of its life. Find out where our PDSA vet experts recommend you get your dog from.
Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs?
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train?
 
How much exercise?
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 12-15 years
Coat length Short
Possible health problems
  • Periodontal disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Luxating patellas (the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place)
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
Average purchase cost £300-£500
Estimated cost over lifetime £21,200-£25,400
Average weight 3kg-6.5kg
Size Small
Minimum garden size Medium

Not sure the Italian Greyhound is the right pet for you?