Spotlight on...the Italian Greyhound

Matchmaker, Matchmaker



Grooming needs:  Very low; low shedding.

Exercise:  Medium

Environment:  Not tolerant of cold

Temperament:  Companionable, athletic

Life Expectancy:  15 years

Interesting Fact:  The Italian Greyhound is originally not from Italy, but is believed to have originated in Greece and Turkey more than 2,000 years ago. The breed has often been a symbol of wealth, and appears in many Renaissance paintings. These elegant dogs graced palaces and were given the moniker “Italian Greyhound” by Italian aristocrats who favored them.

Appearance:  Fine boned and just 7-14 lbs, the Italian Greyhound, or IG, is a smaller version of the Greyhound. Like their counterparts, they are well built for endurance running, with deep chests and long, curved, slender tails that serving as a rudder. Their long graceful neck tapers to a smaller head. They have beautiful almond eyes, and ears that “fly” propeller style, set high with dropped tips.

Personality:  The IG is known as a “velcro” dog, whose favorite place is their guardian’s lap. This breed was created to be a companion dog (and possibly for hunting small game) and they like to be snuggled right up to their person.  They are known to be gentle and affectionate with their owners.

They can be shy and high strung, so it’s important to socialize them with other dogs and children. They should be well trained in recall or kept on leash, as they will chase small animals. Traditional Greyhounds are faster than the Italian Greyhound, at 45 and 25 mph respectively, but IGs still typically run 6 mph hour faster than the average dog. 

Common Health Problems:  This exceptionally healthy breed must be safely confined or supervised until fully developed (12-18 months) as they can easily break a leg jumping.

Best Match:  This affectionate breed often likes to snuggle under the covers and will ask for attention. The ideal home may be with an adult person or couple.

Patience is may be needed in housetraining, especially as they may refuse to go outside in inclement weather. Some owners elect to use an indoor potty options. Either way, a sweater or jacket is advised for going out in the cold.

This breed can adapt well to apartment living. They need at least one walk per day and time to run. IGs often get daily “zoomies,” flying through the house or yard. Many guardians enjoy doing agility with their IG, and it’s a great way to provide them proper mental and physical exercise.

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Featured Adoptable:  Pookie is an adorable 1.5 year old Boston/Italian Greyhound mix weighing in at just 9 lbs. She is a prim and proper gal who is eager to bond, and have lots of cuddles and playtime! The big city is a bit overwhelming for Pookie, so she will do well in a quieter low-traffic neighborhood. She especially loves hanging out with mellower pups like herself, and having a dog friend around really helps her come out of her shell. She is okay with cats too. She needs a quiet home with another pooch and no kids as she is shy. Once she settles in and after a few play sessions with her new friend, she is eager for more lap time and snuggles. Pookie is eager to find a calm, quiet, loving person or couple to love and snuggle and nap with. Will that be you? To meet Pookie contact The Pixie Project at


Megan Mahan lives in New York City with her fiance Jacob, Frenchie Bulldog Nono, and the occasional foster dog or litter of foster kittens! She works for a major animal welfare organization and loves her former home in the Pacific Northwest.