Italian Greyhounds: 101
All dogs are individuals. The page below will describe the characteristics of a typical Italian Greyhound.
How They Score
0 - 5 Bones
|General Breed Health|
|Good w/Other Pets|
Watch Dogs-Italian Greyhounds make keen watch dogs! They aren't normally yappy. If your IG (iggy to Italian Greyhound lovers) is barking, there's probably a pretty good reason.
Size- This dog stands about 12-15" high at the shoulders and will generally grow to around 6-10 pounds, but can get bigger, depending. Despite their small size, they're not great pets for apartment dwellers unless daily exercise can be provided.
Friendly- They possess their very own gentle and affectionate temperament. They're loving dogs in family life and enjoy the company of people... most of the time. Socialization is always a must, no matter the breed. Doing this will help to help alleviate any shyness that might be inherent with your iggy.
Trainability- They are quick learners who want to please, just like most other dogs. A lot of patience and consistency will go a long way. Along with these, exaggerated praise and treats are also good! Learn all the tricks and some great training techniques by clicking here.
Loyalty-Iggies are faithful, affectionate and loyal companions. They love being close to their owners, but they're not overly clingy. A lot of Iggies possess the rare quality of being affectionate while still maintaining some independence.
Non Shedding- We have included Italian Greyhounds on our non-shedding small-breed-dogs page. Anyone with dog allegies should first test their tolerance before making a commitment to own this breed. Learn all the way to beat dog allergies here!
Important: IG's are very sensitive to cold and may need a sweater for warmth and comfort, even while inside. The unique coat of this breed, though it doesn't shed, also does not provide any protection from the elements, so a coat when taken on short walks is also necessary if you live in a colder climate.
Side Note: Why not consider Adopting?
With the popularity of this breed increasing, so too has the number of substandard, oppurtunistic breeders (puppy mills) fixed on taking advantage of our desire for a pure bred dog. They are over-producing inferior puppies for the sake of profit while their breeding dogs suffer unimaginably from disease and neglect... Most of the time living their ENTIRE LIVES in tiny cages.
Please learn more about how to avoid puppy mill dogs by reading our FAQ page... Then please spread the word to help put an end to them.
There is very possibly an Italian Greyhound rescue group near you. Your dog could be waiting.
Learn to make your own dog clothes for your Italian Greyhound!
Learn to make your own dog clothes for your Italian Greyhound!
This dog clothes pattern was designed by me and it's perfect for pajamas or everyday wear! Italian Greyhounds need to be kept warm!
Start making your own dog clothes now with this easy dog hoodie pattern!
Housebreaking Difficulties- Small Breed Dogs are generally the hardest dogs to housebreak and Iggies are not an exception to this rule. You'll need to be very patient and consistent. I highly recommend these positive training techniques.
Separation Anxiety- is common with this breed. He will often show frustration by destructive chewing and barking or by hiking his leg on your potted houseplant. Click here to learn how you can stop these behaviors.
A 15+ Year Commitment-Buying or adopting a dog is a commitment to take care of him for his entire lifetime. If you're planning a move or a career or lifestyle change or if you're unsure of your financial ability to feed, vet, groom, house or properly care for another living creature, do the responsible thing (for yourself and the dog) and wait until you're ready.
Disregarding the hype- There is technically no such thing as a ‘tea cup’ Italian Greyhound. This is an invented term used to market tiny dogs and sell them for ridiculous prices.
High Speed- Being in the business of dogs, I notice this breed way too often in the "Lost" sections of classifieds and online Canine Amber Alerts. They are super fast and their shy personalities around strangers could send them bolting, never to be seen again. And all too often, that is the case. Never walk without a leash.
The most common and serious problem among IG's is dental related. Most IG's will develop severe periodontal disease at a relatively early age, so proper and preventative oral care is extremely important.
Idiopathic Epilepsy- Idiopathic epilepsy is a specific term referring to a seizure disorder that has no identifiable cause and IG's are unfortunately genetically prone to this disorder.
Color dilute alopecia (CDA) is also known as color mutant alopecia, blue Doberman syndrome or blue balding. Alopecia (hair loss) affects the colored areas of hair on dogs that have dilute coats. Dilute colors can include blue, blue-fawn, fawn, etc. The hair loss usually starts in the dorsal stripe (middle of the back) and spreads to include most of the body.
Patellar Luxation-A joint condition in which kneecaps dislocate. This is very painful for your dog and expensive to correct. This is a common complication among many small breed dogs.
Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome- A disease seen in varying degrees in many small breed dogs. It's degenerative and leads to bone loss and collapse of the hip joint which is obviously painful. Early treatment can help to prevent degenerative arthritis.
Hypothyroidism is a condition of the thyroid gland seen often in IG's. It can cause weight gain, hair loss and scaly skin.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a condition affecting the eyes of many Iggies. Often called night-blindness, it becomes far more serious as the disease progresses.
Leg Fractures are common in Iggies. They younger the dog, the more true this becomes. This dog is super fast and very athletic and agile. Please take our advice about the pet steps seriously to help cut down on the risk of accidents. Hard, slippery floors are not the most ideal for this fearless little dog.
NEW! Make Your Italian Greyhound a Star!
Make Your Italian Greyhound a Star!
Submit a favorite picture (or two) of your dog and we'll feature him on our upcoming IG Picture Page!
For more than 7 years (which is pretty old for a dog in a puppy mill),
Lily lived as a breeding dog in a tiny wire cage. She never walked on
grass, she was never shown basic human compassion, she never saw the
light of day, let alone a vet...
In fact, although she suffered from several medical conditions including a chest full of mammary tumors, a mouth that had literally rotted to point that she was completely missing her lower jaw, she was still being bred...
Read more about Lily and how she helped start the mission that has saved thousands of dogs at National Mill Dog Rescue.
Learn more about me, my art, the mission of this site and Rescue Dogs Are Better here.
We also welcome you to contact us if there are any other questions we can answer for you about anything you saw or read on this site.
New! CommentsLeave us a comment if you have something you'd like to share or add to what you just read here. Or contact us with questions or comments.