Italian Greyhound

Fun facts about the Italian Greyhound

A miniature version of a Greyhound, Italian Greyhounds are the pawfect companion dog. They love to run around in the park with other dogs and curl up at home under a blanket - this breed is very adaptable and just happy being with their owner.

In this article we’ve gathered some useful and interesting facts on these little pups with some extra help from the BorrowMyDoggy community.

Verity’s Italian Greyhound, Zucca.

What is an Italian Greyhound?


Italian Greyhounds are the smallest of the sighthounds, growing up to just 38cm tall and weighing up to 8.2kg! The history of this breed still remains unknown, although they are thought to have been bred for hunting due to having such high prey drives. They were also popular with Royalty and are seen in many paintings during the 16th and 17th century.


They have now become one of the more popular hound breeds in the UK - because of their size, they make the perfect companion for city living. They have an average lifespan of 12 - 15 years if well looked after.


As they are such a small breed, you will often find them in a jumper as they are not big fans of colder weather. They much prefer to be snuggled up in the warmth.


Some thoughts on Italian Greyhounds from owners in the BorrowMyDoggy community...


Sam describes her Italian Greyhound, Merlin, as:


“a very loving, well behaved and independent little pooch! He loves meeting new people and other dogs and really enjoys interaction. He's very much a lap dog who loves cuddles. He likes to snuggle under blankets and keep warm on your lap! When he's not being lazy, he can be very lively and energetic but in a very non-destructive way.”

Amos, the Italian Greyhound, is described as:


“A very energetic, friendly people lover. He has bags of character and a hilarious personality. He loves a nice walk and to play with as many new people/dogs as he can meet along the way. He's at his happiest when he's cuddled up with someone on the sofa, and loves to burrow down into the smallest gap he can find to get as cosy as possible.”


Sebastiano, an Italian Greyhound from London


How much exercise does an Italian Greyhound need?


Despite their size, they are energetic little dogs and need between 40 to 60 minutes exercise a day. Their dainty legs mean walks in grassy areas are preferred. When they are puppies, they need very minimal exercise to avoid any damage to their fragile bones and joints.


After they’ve played and had their exercise, they are just going to want to sleep for hours after.


Kyle, who owns Ralph, says he:


“loves playing with other dogs, cuddles, and chasing sticks & balls. Although Ralph loves playing with other dogs and running around, he is a couch potato at heart and his other favourite thing to do is snuggle up on the sofa and fall asleep watching tv beside humans.”



Here’s Dolly, a registered therapy dog who visits care homes.  


What is the Italian Greyhound's temperament?


Italian Greyhounds are full of character and will provide constant entertainment as they have a very playful personality. They are the pawfect companion dog and are happy with either city living or being in the countryside. They are very adaptable and as long as they have somewhere to warm to curl up, they are content just being with you.


Owner members, Louis and Fran, say their Italian Greyhound, Grayson, “loves company, stealing body heat and sleeping (on you or under a blanket)”



Dublin, deciding which deer to chase next!


Are Italian Greyhounds easy to train?


They are an intelligent little breed so can be well trained although will use this to get their own way - we said they were characters! There can be difficulty with housetraining them and teaching them recall as they are prey driven. With patience and consistency from a young age, they can be wonderfully well-behaved dogs!

High paws to our lovely community for letting us share these facts about their Italian Greyhounds. Paws crossed you found them helpful :)


  • Looking for a dog to borrow - how about an Italian Greyhound to join you on a walk or for a cuddle on the sofa?

  • Looking for an alternative to kennels or need some doggy day care?

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