Temperament: Italian greyhounds are not a breed for those who expect dogs to stay off the furniture, they enjoy life’s comforts and love snuggling under blankets with their owners. These dogs are alert, sensitive and playful, but can be aloof with strangers or in new places. They are very fast and often chase prey, so must be kept on leash at all times for their own safety. Italian greyhounds are temperature sensitive and tend not to like very wet or very cold weather.
Height: 13-15 inches
Weight: 10-15 lbs approx.
Colour: All colours permitted with or without white markings, with the exception of black and tan, or brindle.
Coat: short, fine and smooth.
Grooming: Daily tooth brushing, weekly nail trimming, and regular cleaning of the coat with soft cloth or glove. Italian greyhounds do shed minimally, but are NOT hypoallergenic.
Exercise: 30-45 minutes per day of exercise, weather permitting. Any off leash exercise must be securely fenced, some Italian greyhounds are expert climbers and jumpers.
Food: Italian greyhounds generally do well on diets with moderate protein and moderate carbohydrates. Many owners use bones, dental kibble and/or specific toys to help reduce tartar build-up.
Housetraining: Owners must be patient and very consistent with house training, it can be difficult in inclement weather. IGs can be trained to use indoor litter or pee pads.
Crate training: Strongly recommended for travel and sleeping. Because Italian greyhounds are good climbers and jumpers, exercise pens and baby gates should be used very carefully. Long periods of close confinement (or time alone) is not suitable for Italian greyhounds.
Training: Italian greyhounds need positive, gentle and patient training along with happy social experiences throughout their lives. They are intelligent, versatile and agile and many become strong competitors in dog sports such as obedience, rally, flyball, agility, lure coursing, and racing, as well as new sports involving scent detection. The Italian greyhound’s gentle nature and ability to connect with people make this breed well suited to therapy work and many have gone on to become registered service dogs for health challenges like diabetes and autism.
Note: Because puppies are both active and agile, owners must be diligent to ensure their home is “puppy-proof”, including preventing injuries from a fall or jump. Many breeders recommend the use of pet insurance due to the potential for costly recoveries.