Italian Greyhounds Are Dog Supermodels


Yes, we know the model comparison is often thrown at Italian Greyhounds, or Iggys for short, but it really just works. This petite but perfectly proportioned creature manages to exhibit graceful lines in a toy-sized body. They look great in clothes, and also always kind of look cold so are often happy to wear them. Although, remember not all dogs are fashionistas.

Thriving on attention, Iggys want lots of physical contact while in couch potato mode. But when the switch is flipped, they love wide open spaces with things to chase. After all, you can’t keep this kind of speed indoors all the time.


Miniature greyhounds have been found in Turkey and Greece for over 2,000 years, with similar looking dogs hanging out in Egypt before that. But they got their name due to their popularity with Italian nobility in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Although, nobles all over Europe loved them. As their personalities suggests, they were bread to be a companion lap dog and small sighthound for hunting game. During the First and Second World Wars they nearly disappeared from Europe and had to use American animals to help restore the breed. Now they are regaining popularity around the world.

Weight: 3.5 – 5kg. But some can be 8kg or more.

Colour: Variety of colours, often with white markings.

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Italian Greyhound

What You’ll Love about Italian Greyhounds

  • Fun: There’s a big personality in that small body. They’re playful, smart, loving and ok a bit demanding.
  • Easy to care for: Thanks to their short hair they only really need a bath if they decide to roll in something.
  • Quiet: Unlike many other small dogs they’re generally not prone to excessive barking. But when they do make noise, they have a full bark rather than a yap.
  • Lazy: Although they make up for it with bursts of intense energy, most of they time they’re happy being lap dogs.
  • Great apartment dogs: Just make sure you give them regular visits to the park.

What You Might Find “Challenging”

  • Feel the cold: Their sensitivity to the cold is why you often see them dressed up so smartly. But it could also mean they refuse to go outside on miserable days. They need to live inside rather than in the back yard, and enjoy digging under as many layers of soft furnishing as possible to get snuggly.
  • Nervous: Because they’re prone to separation anxiety if left alone and general anxiety if not socialised early, they will want to follow you everywhere. Absolutely everywhere.
  • Tricky to toilet train: They’re probably the hardest breed to toilet train. But crate training can help.
  • Adventurous: Despite their size they like climbing and jumping up or or down from everything possible.

Common Health Issues for Italian Greyhounds

  1. Broken bones: Their love of jumping can lead to broken legs–mainly in their first 18 months
  2. Dental health: This can be managed with regular brushing, lots of dental toys or treats, and regular check-ups.
  3. Sensitive to medications: Especially be careful with anaesthetics and flea and tick medications. Chat to your vet before giving them any treatments.

Instafamous Aussie Italian Greyhounds

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Deep in thought🤔🍑

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There is an Iggy Rescue group on Facebook that you should check out if you think this is the right type of dog for you. Also, read more about adding a dog to your life.

Written by on for Off The Leash

Article last updated on February 17, 2022

Doug never had a dog growing up but as soon as he stopped moving around knew he needed a dog in his life. Enter Snoop the Beagle. Doug worked for 7 years designing and making dog treats and food for some of Australia's best brands. Now a Co-Founder of Scratch Pet Food.
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