Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

Breed Description +

Italian Greyhounds are intelligent, playful, and alert. They enjoy dog sports such as lure coursing, racing, agility, tracking, and both rally and standard obedience as sport which gives them physical and mental stimulation while providing a fun way to bond with their families. Italian Greyhounds can also bond with people as animal-assisted therapy dogs. Because their small size makes the Italian Greyhound attractive to children, as with all dogs, extremely close supervision is needed to prevent accidental injury to the child or dog and avoid the possibility of the dog's subsequently developing fear-based defensive aggression.
  • AKC Name:

    Italian Greyhound

  • Common Name(s):

    Piccolo Levriert Italiani, Miniature Greyhound

  • AKC Group:


  • Genetic Group:


  • Observed Weight:

    5-14 lbs

  • Show Weight:

    6-11 lbs


Identifying Features:

Average Height: 9 - 10 in


The Italian Greyhound can trace its roots all the way back to Greece and Turkey some 2,000 years ago. Mummified Italian Greyhounds have been found in Egypt and pictures of the breed were found in the ruins of Pompeii. Italian Greyhounds were brought to Italy by the Romans during the sixth century and they became popular with royal families all across Southern Europe. The name "Italian Greyhound" stems from the breed’s immense popularity in renaissance Italy. By the 1600’s, Italian Greyhounds had made their way to England. They were first imported to the United States in the 1860’s. Following World War I, Italian Greyhounds faced extinction in Britain, but were repopulated with help from some of the American Italian Greyhounds. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. Italian Greyhounds are often referred to as I.G.s or as "Iggys" for short.

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