The Ultimate Italian Greyhound Puppy Ownership Guide

11 minute read By Lucy Hughes
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
September 12, 2023

3 happy Italian Greyhounds walking on leashes

Italian Greyhounds are a unique and endearing breed with a rich history, delicate physique, and a gentle disposition. Their combination of elegance and athleticism, along with their affectionate nature, makes them a captivating choice when looking for puppies for sale. 

Italian Greyhounds exhibit a delightful and quirky personality. Their penchant for blanket burrowing, spontaneous "zoomies," and charming sunbathing sessions showcases their endearing and often comical nature, adding a touch of silliness to their regal appearance. Italian Greyhounds go by several names. They’re often called “Iggys” and IGs. In Italy, they’re known as Piccolo Levriero Italiano.

Find out what it’s like to live with Italian Greyhound puppies for sale with our tidbits about their personality, activity requirements, and more.   


A small Greyhound depicted in Giotto di Bondone's Scenes from the Life of Joachim: 2. Joachim among the Shepherds

Are Italian Greyhounds Really From Italy? 

Italian Greyhounds boast a rich history dating back over 2,000 years. This enchanting canine has roots in ancient Egypt, Greece, and the Turkish Empire, where small greyhounds similar to the modern Italian Greyhound were cherished companions and trained to hunt small game. 

During the Renaissance in Italy, these dogs found favor among aristocrats as prized companions and were often depicted in artworks, including works by Pisanello and Giotto di Bondone. The name "Italian Greyhound" stuck, even though their ancestry extends far beyond Italy. 

Italian Greyhounds made their way to England in the 17th century, gaining popularity among the nobility. They were favorites of Mary, Queen of Scots, Charles I, Queen Victoria, and Frederick the Great of Prussia and continued to enchant the European elite.

Despite their popularity, Italian Greyhound numbers diminished after World War II, leaving the breed nearly extinct in England. A small number of Italian Greyhounds found their way to America in the 1800s, where they were discovered to be noble dogs worthy of acceptance into the American Kennel Club in 1886. 

Italian Greyhound racing exploded in popularity in the early and mid-1900s with the invention of a mechanical lure. Their slender, incredibly fast build and speed made them ideal canine candidates for chasing after hares. Puppies began training right before their first birthdays. Around 18 months, they would run their first race and experience a short track life. Retired Italian Greyhounds were often euthanized after their careers ended. At the peak of Italian Greyhound racing, it was one of America’s popular spectator sports. 

However, racing Italian Greyhounds for sport has seen a significant decline in recent years. Concerns about the welfare of racing dogs and ethical issues surrounding the sport have led to its diminishing popularity.

Animal welfare organizations and increased awareness of the physical strain on these delicate dogs have led to stricter regulations and bans on Italian Greyhound racing in many regions. This decline reflects a broader shift towards more humane treatment of animals in the realm of canine sports, promoting their well-being over competitive entertainment.

Today, Italian Greyhounds remain cherished pets known for their affectionate nature and graceful stature. Despite their diminutive size, they carry a regal history that's as interesting as their presence in modern households. You’ll find entire social media accounts devoted to the silly antics and loveable mannerisms of these special puppies. 


What Do Italian Greyhound Puppies For Sale Look Like? 

While Italian Greyhounds may look delicate, they’re swift, hardy, incredibly athletic, and resilient tiny creatures. 

As a member of the Toy group, Italian Greyhound puppies for sale will only grow to be 7-14 pounds and stand 13-15 inches tall, a perfect size to fit on your lap. They may look like their Greyhound and Whippet relatives, but they stand as their own separate breed featuring unique characteristics.

Italian Greyhound puppies are extremely slender, graceful, and elegant. Their short, smooth, glossy coats minimally shed and show the bone structure and muscles beneath due to a lack of fat. They have long, fine-boned legs, a slightly arched back, a long, slender muzzle, and a long tail. 

Even though their name has “grey” in Greyhound, did you know they come in a huge range of colors of which none of them is officially called grey? Italian Greyhound puppies for sale come in 5 markings and 22 solid or combination of colors – that’s right, 22! Their colors include seal, fawn, red, cream, blue, black, tan, brindle, sable, and solid colors mixed with white with or without black masking and markings. There truly is an Italian Greyhound puppy for sale for everyone’s color preferences.

What’s it Like To Be an Italian Greyhound Puppy Owner?

Italian Greyhound puppies for sale need a certain type of household in order to thrive. These quirks, combined with their elegance and affection, make Italian Greyhounds utterly charming and cherished companions for those who appreciate their unique brand of canine silliness. 

Court jesters

Italian Greyhound puppies for sale tend to deliver plenty of hilarious moments to constantly keep you laughing. They get the zoomies in bursts quite often. They'll suddenly sprint around the room in spontaneous fits of excitement, resembling a tiny greyhound on a racetrack.

When they're excited or anticipating something, Italian Greyhounds may exhibit "chattering" teeth. It's an adorable display of their enthusiasm. These dogs often perk up one or both ears in response to intriguing sounds or when they're inquisitive, giving them an endearing appearance acting as though they understand every word you say.


The fastest couch potato 

Italian Greyhound puppies for sale are unique because they are a contrast between lazy little couch potatoes and the need for speed. In fact, Italian Greyhounds can run up to 25 miles per hour and are among the fastest dogs in the canine kingdom. They’re lively dogs that love to play and will need 30-45 minutes of playtime. Keep them on a leash unless you give them a secure space to run. Italian Greyhound puppies for sale have a natural prey drive and will take off if they catch a scent or see an interesting small creature to pursue, so controlling them on a leash is a best practice. They are true hounds, after all.

Statue mode

Italian Greyhounds have a talent for transforming into living statues. They'll freeze in amusing positions, often resembling elegant sculptures, as they observe their surroundings with curiosity.

italian.greyhound.cover (1).webp

Special blankies

When you bring home an Italian Greyhound puppy for sale, you might as well buy soft blankets for every room of the house. Italian Greyhounds love to burrow into their blankets and stay snuggled up in a fuzzy cocoon.  If you’re not sure where your Italian Greyhound went, always check the covers first because they’re probably lying around in their cozy cave. 


Even though Italian Greyhounds are zippy dashers, you’d hardly know due to their love of lounging in the sun. These cat-like dogs will spend hours on their special blankets sunbathing in sunny spots. They also love soft beds and will stay right by your side on their bed if they’re not on top of you invading your space. 

Adaptable and versatile

Italian Greyhounds are known for their sweet and gentle nature. Italian Greyhounds for sale are tiny, relatively quiet, and don’t require lots of grooming or long periods of exercise. This means they are an ideal companion as emotional support animals and fit well into apartment living. A well-trained Italian Greyhound is a fun errand buddy as well.

Singing serenades

Some Italian Greyhounds are known to "sing" along with sirens or high-pitched sounds, adding their own melodious notes to the cacophony.

Minimal grooming needs

An Italian Greyhound’s short, fine coat is easy to groom. They shed minimally and require only occasional brushing to keep their coat in good condition. Their low-maintenance coat is a plus for those seeking a low-shedding dog. They’ll only need baths when they start to get that doggy odor. 

Meeting new friends

Italian Greyhound puppies for sale are lively with their families and love to play. They tolerate and play with children well, but it’s crucial to instruct your children on how to play gently since Italian Greyhounds are delicate and can get injured easily. They can be shy and nervous at first around strangers, but once they warm up, unfamiliar people are accepted as one of the pack. 

Italian Greyhounds tend to be great with other dogs. Just like the need for gentle play around children, monitor the dogs’ energies to make sure they don’t get hurt or too hyper. Large dogs can easily bulldoze over the dainty Italian Greyhound.


Velcro dogs

Important to know this if you are looking for a more independent dog. They will want to be in your lap and sleep with you in your bed, often tucking themselves into random places like behind your bent knee. You’ll never go to the bathroom alone in your own home again! 

Separation anxiety woes

Italian Greyhounds are prone to separation anxiety and can act out with undesirable behaviors when feeling stressed or afraid, so make sure you work with them to reduce anxiety if you have to leave them for a period of time. Create a safe enclosure with crate training your puppy to give a sense of security. 

A bit stubborn

Training an Italian Greyhound requires a gentle yet consistent approach because they can be very stubborn. You can “trick” them sometimes into making them think it was all their idea. Positive reinforcement techniques work best, using treats, praise, and affection as rewards for desired behaviors. Due to their sensitive nature, avoid harsh training methods or scolding, as it can lead to anxiety.

@tikatheiggy Trying out some new styles, thoughts? @lorenapages #italiangreyhound #dogclothes #fyp ♬ original sound - Lorena Pages

Delicate physiques 

Keeping an Italian Greyhound warm is vital due to its thin, delicate skin and lack of body fat. These factors make them highly susceptible to cold temperatures, leading to discomfort, shivering, and even health issues like hypothermia. Ensuring their warmth is essential for their well-being and overall health.

Clear your closet for their clothes

Making sure your Italian Greyhound puppy stays comfortable in cold and rainy weather is all part of the fun of owning this vulnerable breed. In addition to practical clothing to keep them protected from the elements, such as raincoats and sweaters, people love dressing up their Italian Greyhounds in all sorts of silly outfits including red carpet attire and Halloween costumes.


Caring For Your Italian Greyhound Puppy

Italian Greyhounds are generally a healthy breed, enjoying a long lifespan of 14-15 years. However, like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues. Common health problems in Italian Greyhounds include: 

  • Injuries: Because Italian Greyhounds have fine, delicate legs and love to jump like kangaroos from underneath their blankets, they can experience serious leg injuries. Try to monitor when they are tangled up in blankets so they do not suddenly bolt and hurt themselves. 

  • Dental Issues: Italian Greyhounds are susceptible to dental problems, including tooth decay and gum disease. Their jaws are tiny, but they still have the same amount of teeth as any dog, causing potential crowding and other issues due to their anatomy. Regular dental care, such as teeth brushing and dental check-ups, is essential.

  • Eye Conditions: Cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and other eye disorders can occur. Regular eye exams are crucial for early detection.

  • Skin Sensitivities: Their thin skin makes them susceptible to cuts, bruises, and skin irritations. Protection from rough play and environmental hazards is important.

  • Obesity: An Italian Greyhound puppy has a slight, skinny body type that shows every ounce of extra weight. It’s crucial to avoid overfeeding your Italian Greyhound puppy, which can be difficult to do when they are so stinkin’ cute. Obesity can cause all sorts of health problems for your Italian Greyhound, such as cardiovascular issues, musculoskeletal problems, organ failure, and more. 

  • Allergies: They may develop allergies to various environmental factors or food ingredients, leading to skin issues and digestive problems.

  • Heart Problems: Some Italian Greyhounds can develop heart conditions, such as mitral valve disease. Regular veterinary check-ups can help monitor cardiac health.

Proactive healthcare, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and responsible breeding practices can significantly reduce the risk of these health issues. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are crucial to catch and address any potential problems early, ensuring a long and healthy life for Italian Greyhound puppies for sale.


Find Healthy Italian Greyhound Puppies For Sale at Pawrade 

Pawrade is proud to offer healthy Italian Greyhound puppies for sale with a robust health guarantee for every puppy. We work closely with our reputable Italian Greyhound breeders who prioritize their Italian Greyhound puppies’ well-being by giving precedence to the special needs and nuances of the breed. 

We’ve done the hard work finding trustworthy Italian Greyhound breeders so you don’t have to. We actively fight puppy scams by using a secure transaction management system for a calm and stress-free purchasing process. Our Puppy Concierge team builds a relationship with you, from the moment you select your puppy to the day you receive your puppy in your loving arms. Browse our Italian Greyhound puppies for sale to have your very own cuddly jester to give you unconditional love. 


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Lucy Hughes

Lucy Hughes has been teaching and writing professionally for half her life. She has a passion for helping people choose a puppy and lead an exciting life with their new furry companion. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and her beloved Golden Retriever, Bowie.

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