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Meet the breed: Italian Greyhound

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for a four-legged friend that’s low on dander and easy on your allergies, find out everything you need to know about the lovable Italian Greyhound.


  • Easy grooming
  • Pleasant temperament
  • Soft-spoken
  • Attention driven
  • Long lifespan


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Bred to sit on the laps of royals, the ever-so-elegant Italian Greyhound was born to be a lap dog. Today, this breed is less picky and happy to sit on any commoner’s lap. This low-maintenance pup requires moderate activity and a quick bath every now and then. Their short and odorless coat make them excellent pets for allergy sufferers. Due to this breed’s dislike of extreme weather conditions, many owners choose to litter-train their Italian Greyhounds, making this breed among the most low-maintenance of all.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Toy
  • UKC group: Companion Dog
  • Average lifespan: 12 – 15 years
  • Average size:  6 – 10 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Short, smooth, fine
  • Coloration: Varies
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Other identifiers: Slender, delicate bone structure; elegant and graceful demeanor
  • Possible alterations: None

Is this breed right for you?

Due to their small body structure and fragile bone density, it’s best to keep this breed away from young children. Also, Italian Greyhounds only thrive with mounds of attention and therefore do better in a quiet environment where one-on-one time is spent cuddling and napping. Not a fan of cold weather, this breed must be provided with ample winter coats and booties if you live in a cold environment. This breed can be skittish and aloof; owners are encouraged to begin socialization and training early on.

italian greyhound breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of an Italian Greyhound

Whether out in the country or in the city, this breed loves to be alongside a loving human counterpart. They’re incredibly fast runners and a day that includes light exercise would suit this breed’s activity needs. On a cold day, an Italian Greyhound would prefer a warm coat and booties to stay comfortable but would rather be indoors, quietly enjoying a nap on a loving owner’s lap.

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