Miniature Greyhounds: A Unique and Fascinating Dog Breed

miniature greyhound

The miniature greyhound is a unique and fascinating dog breed that has captured animal lovers’ hearts worldwide. Despite its small size, it is an athletic and energetic animal that loves to run, play, and explore.

Dogs of this breed are known for their intelligence and easy-going nature, making them a popular choice for families and individuals. In this article, we’ll explore the history and characteristics of miniature greyhounds, grooming, and care tips to help you keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Read on to learn more about these adorable little dogs!

History and Origin:

The miniature greyhound, or Italian Greyhound as it is sometimes called, is a breed that has been around for centuries. This breed originated in ancient Greece, where they were bred to be hunting companions and pets of nobles and royals.

They descend from the larger greyhound and sighthound breeds but with slightly different appearances and temperaments.

The modern miniature greyhound came about as the result of breeding smaller versions of the standard greyhounds that were found in Middle Eastern countries. They quickly gained popularity in Europe during the Middle Ages, where they served as both pets and hunting companions for nobles and royals.

Although they were once kept as pets for royalty and aristocracy, their popularity declined over the years due to changing tastes and increasing industrialization.

Fortunately, the miniature greyhound was passed down from generation to generation and has experienced a resurgence of interest in recent years. Today, these dogs are more popular thanks to their friendly temperament, energy, and affectionate nature.

They are recognized by the American Kennel Club registered and considered a part of the toy group of dog breeds. The Italian Greyhound Club of America (IGCA) is also one of the oldest canine clubs and national breed club in North America and acts as a resource for miniature greyhound owners and enthusiasts.

Physical Characteristics:

The miniature greyhound is a small breed that typically weighs between 8-15 pounds. They have slender, elongated bodies with long legs and dainty paws. Their heads are narrow and long, tapering to a point at the nose. They have medium-sized dog’s ears that stand upright and are covered in fur, giving them an adorable appearance.

Their coats come in a variety of colors, including fawn, cream, red, black, blue, fawn, chocolate, and brindle. They also have masks on their faces that can be solid or spotted in color.

Their coats are short, smooth, and soft to the touch. The appearance of this breed can vary depending on which country or region they are from.

The size and weight of miniature greyhounds can vary by gender and even by litter, so there are no standards for this breed. They can range from 8 to 15 pounds in weight and 14 to 16 inches in height.

An Italian or miniature greyhound
An Italian or miniature greyhound

Behavior and Temperament:

The miniature greyhound is one of the most intelligent dog breeds, with the ability to understand human speech and commands. They are also very playful and affectionate animals, making them perfect for families. These small dogs love attention and will do almost anything to earn a treat or pat on the head from their owners.

They are also well-known for their easy-going, friendly temperament and can get along with just about anyone. They do best in homes that have young children or other dogs, as they thrive on companionship. If you are looking for a wonderful family pet that loves to run and play, the miniature greyhound is an excellent choice!

For families that live in apartments or condos, the miniature greyhound is a great choice. They don’t require much space to live in, so they can be kept in small homes, and they are very well-behaved, so you won’t have to worry about noise or behavior problems with them. The barking and howling of this breed can be an issue, so it’s important to train them at a young age.

Training Miniature Greyhounds:

The miniature greyhound is a highly intelligent dog breed and one of the easiest to train. This makes them perfect for new dog owners as well as experienced ones. You can teach your miniature greyhound everything from simple commands to complex tricks with proper training and socialization.

Training should start at a young age, as it will help your dog learn good habits and behaviors when they are still puppies. Training should be fun and engaging to keep your dog interested, and it’s important to reward them with treats or praise after each training session.

To start training, you can introduce the basics at around 6 weeks. This includes simple commands like sit, stay, and come. To teach these to your miniature greyhound, you should first have the dog on the ground with its front paws pressed down firmly in place. Give them a treat or praise, and then use a verbal command while still in this position.

Exercising Miniature Greyhounds:

The miniature greyhound is one of the most energetic dog breeds, requiring at least an hour of exercise and daily activity. Without proper exercise and mental stimulation, they can become bored and destructive.

Some great activities for Greyhound dog breed include walking, jogging, dog sports, playing in a large yard or dog parks, or swimming. You can also purchase some toys designed specifically for this breed to help keep them mentally stimulated. These include plush toys, balls, squeaky toys, puzzle chew toys, and more. By giving your miniature greyhound something to do, they will become less destructive and happier overall.

A miniature greyhound running
A miniature greyhound running

Health Concerns and Dietary Needs:

The miniature greyhound is a generally healthy dog breed, but like all adult dogs, they are prone to certain health problems. Some of the most common health concerns include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, allergies, skin problems, and eye conditions.

They are also prone to bacterial and viral infections, so proper vaccinations and preventative care are recommended. The rabies vaccination is the most important for this breed, as they are prone to bites and can carry dangerous diseases.

To help keep your Miniature Italian Greyhound dog healthy and happy, you should feed them high-quality dog food made with natural ingredients. This will ensure they get all the necessary nutrients to stay strong and active throughout their life. Talk to your vet about what type of diet is best for them and what ingredients to look out for.

Grooming Miniature Greyhounds:

The grooming requirements for Italian greyhounds are very minimal, making them a great choice for novice dog owners. Here are some of the grooming requirements for this breed:

Coat care:

The coat and fur of miniature greyhounds require minimal upkeep, as it is soft to the touch and doesn’t tangle or mat easily. You should brush your dog’s coat at least once per week to remove dirt and to keep their fur looking shiny and beautiful.


Unlike many other dog breeds, the mini greyhound must not be bathed often. You should only bath your dog when they are very dirty or stinky, which usually occurs about once per month. Never use human shampoo or soap on this breed, as it can damage their skin, coat, and fur.

Brushing teeth:

This is an important step in your grooming routine as it will help prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, plaque buildup, and more. You should brush your dog’s teeth at least 3 times per week to keep them looking healthy and bright. There are many toothbrushes and toothpaste designed specifically for miniature dogs, so you should buy these to use.

Trimming nails:

Your miniature greyhound’s nails will need to be trimmed about once every 2 weeks to prevent them from cracking or splitting. If you’re unsure of how to trim your dog’s nails at home, it’s important to consult with your vet or local groomer for help.


Overall, miniature greyhounds are energetic and fun-loving dog breeds that require plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. If you can provide your dog with these things, they will make an excellent addition to any home. To learn more about caring for this breed or other dog breeds, talk to your vet or local groomer today.