Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound Breed description: Character & Co


The Piccolo Leviero Italiano is a particularly graceful and special breed of dog, which is also known as Italian Greyhound. This dog breed is a breed that is recognised by the FCI. The Italian Greyhound is listed with the standard number 200 in the FCI group 10. Here they are listed as greyhounds in section 3 as short-haired greyhounds. If you want to buy an Italian Sighthound, you can look forward to a dog breed which is not common in our latitudes. Moreover, these four-legged friends are absolutely charming and fascinate not only with their appearance but also with their character.

What is the origin of Italian Greyhound?

The ancestors of the Italian Greyhound are the small greyhounds, which are said to have once lived in ancient Egypt at the court of the pharaohs. From there, these elegant dogs also came to Greece. On many vases and ceramics of the classical antiquity pictures of this dog breed are to be seen. From the year 500 B.C. on, this breed spread also in Italy and was, thanks to its graceful appearance, also absolutely popular there, especially at the courts of nobility. During the Renaissance this dog breed had reached its peak in popularity. On many paintings of famous painters of this time, these noble dogs can also be seen. Friedrich the Great of Prussia was also an absolute fan of this breed. Not only were these animals the king's closest confidants and were allowed to sleep in his bed, they were even buried in a marble sarcophagus at Sanssouci Palace.

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Alternate Name Piccolo Leviero Italiano
Origin Italy
Life expectancy 12 - 15 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level high
FCI group Short-haired Sighthounds
AKC group Toy Group
KC group Toy Group

What are the typical character traits of the Italian Greyhounds?

Italian Greyhounds are:

  • affectionate
  • lively, and yet very
  • docile

Therefore, these dogs are also absolutely suitable for beginners. Of course it is advisable to attend a dog school with these dogs already at puppy age. These four-legged friends are very sensitive dogs that are attached to their owners and view them with tender passion. They love to run, but also love to cuddle on the sofa. The little greyhounds are very playful and intelligent. They are full of energy and yet are easy to lead. These furry friends are considered to be very uncomplicated and not very aggressive, but they are also very alert and need some time until they make friends with strangers.


What are typical diseases of Italian Greyhounds?

In general, this breed is considered to be very robust and they are not very susceptible to diseases. However, these four-legged friends are

  • very sensitive to cold and need a sweater and also scarves on cold days, as otherwise they often suffer from colds and sore throats.
  • Sighthounds that are too small and too lightly bred are more susceptible to diseases. These dogs are also very easy to care for and the short coat only needs to be cleaned regularly with a burled glove.

What should be considered in regards to Italian Greyhound breeding?

It is always important that only approved breeders should mate dogs. Both parent animals must be examined for hereditary diseases before mating. It is important to pay attention to a healthy weight. Even if very small and petite sighthounds are in trend, this is not healthy and the life expectancy of these four-legged friends is decreasing. It is also important that the bitch should always be bigger than the male dog. Of course, if you adopt an Italian Greyhound in need, then you rarely know about the background of the animals. But with loving care and species-appropriate keeping these four-legged friends can also reach a high age.

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The Italian Greyhound are very slim and graceful four-legged friends with a square-shaped torso. Italian Greyhound puppies and adult dogs are complete miniature versions of a sighthound. They captivate you with their grace and elegance and conquer all hearts by storm due to their exclusive behaviour.

The head is long and the striking frontally set eyes are dark and bright. Even though Italian Greyhounds are nowadays often kept as family dogs, this breed is an excellent sprinter and sight hunter.

Appearance and coat of the Italian Greyhound

The coat of the Italian Greyhound must always be short, silky and fine. The Italian Greyhound's colour variations are always solid and the coat must not have any fringes according to the standard. The dogs are available in the colours black, grey, slate grey, light yellow and beige.

What is the average size of the Italian Greyhound?

Italian Greyhounds reach a withers height of 32 cm to 38 cm. Usually bitches are slightly smaller and also lighter than males.

How much does an Italian Greyhound weigh?

Italian Greyhounds can weigh a maximum of 5 kg. Nowadays, these dogs are often bred to be extra small and extra light. However, a competent Italian Greyhound breeder aims for their animals to reach these 5 kg. Too light and too small bred animals are exactly those which you see constantly trembling around. This is of course not necessarily positive for the health and life expectancy of these dogs.

What is the life expectancy of an Italian Greyhound?

Italian Greyhounds have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. If you adopt one of these four-legged friends into your home, you should be aware of the responsibility this brings with it. The life expectancy of course also depends on appropriate keeping. This consists of sufficient exercise and a diet appropriate for the species. In addition, genetically caused hereditary diseases should be excluded. Your breeder can give you detailed information on this.

Fur length short
Fur flat coated
Ear shape Tilt-ear
Tail lang
Anatomy slim, dainty, sporty
Size ♀ 4 - 5 cm
Weight ♀ 33 - 38 kg
Size ♂ 4 - 5 cm
Weight ♂ 33 - 38 kg
Suitable For -


Other medium dogs

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