Italian Greyhound


The smallest of the sighthounds, the Italian Greyhound is believed to have originated more than 2,000 years ago in the Mediterranean basin. During the 16th century, the breed was in high demand in Italy and came to be known as the Italian Greyhound. Its appeal spread through Europe, and the breed was often depicted in Renaissance paintings. A true greyhound, the Italian Greyhound is as skilled at hunting as it is comfortable as a lapdog and companion.


Small to medium, 13 to 15 inches, 8 to 12 pounds.


Any color, but no brindle markings or the tan markings normally found on black-and-tan dogs of other breeds.


Gentle, sensitive, and timid with strangers but devoted to its family; like its sighthound relatives, likes to run and chase.

Energy level:

High, but mellows with age.

Best owner:

Family with gentle children, owners who can give daily exercise and plenty of attention.


Daily exercise, sprints in a fenced area, regular brushing of teeth.

Life expectancy:

13 to 15 years.