11 Things You Should Know About the Italian Greyhuahua

As someone who was scared of dogs growing up, I wasn’t sure that just any dog would do it for me. My handsome dog, Max, and I are here to tell you that Italian Greyhuahuas make the perfect family pet! This funny little breed loves to cuddle, run, and jump around. Their naturally inquisitive and curious nature is adorable. These dogs don’t grow very large, but are certainly have a larger-than-lifesize personality in their tiny bodies. It is this personality that makes dog owners fall in love with them. Their loyalty knows no bounds – they are known to bond very closely with their owners! If you’ve been looking for a small bundle of doggie joy that will keep you on your toes, take a look at the wonderful Italian Greyhuahuas.

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Here’s Max: my spunky little Italian Greyhuahua!


1. They have spunk!

These little dogs are a loving handful! Taking their energy from both the chihuahua and the italian greyhound, they are known to have a lot of energy! These little guys have a big personality, and often reflect the personalities and temperaments of their owners! They are child-friendly, but, as with all dogs, should be watched when around young children. They love playing with other dogs, but may be hesitant to open up at first. Like the Italian Greyhounds, these guys are calm and relatively quiet when around familiar faces. When excited, you can let these guys run around for hours at a time, but their energy levels aren’t as high as that of the Italian Greyhounds.

2. They’re small but mighty!

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Under supervision, these rawhide and plastic/durable
bones make a good toy to curb destructive behavior! 

These little guys take on the personality of a chihuahua! They are incredibly curious. As puppies, you may find yourself chasing after them as they rip the stuffing out of their beds, chew on paper and wood, and steal things out of cabinets. Their intelligent nature makes it tricky to catch them sometimes too! When taking them on walks outside, it oftens helps to let them off leash and explore. They don’t exceed approximately 16 pounds by the time they are full-grown adults.

3. You need to be careful about training them properly early on!

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Off-leash training is a big step for any dog! Italian Greyhuahuas have a tendency to run, and can clock speeds up to 20 miles/hr! Exercising consistency when training is key. 

This breed is known to be a little more difficult to train. As such, for the first-time dog owner, it may be a challenge. However, as a first-time dog owner of a beautiful Italian Greyhuahua, I can say with no hesitancies that I know I made the right decision with this lovely breed! Training as puppies can see these dogs be extremely picky. For example, my dog (to this day) refuses to sit down on any hard surfaces! (If you find yourself in this same situation, here’s a “place mat” that helps!) Their hereditary short attention spans due to their hunting instincts make for quite a lot of running around and chasing small objects and animals. However, around strangers, these dogs are extremely timid and conversely possessive of their owners if not exposed to other dogs and strangers early on.

4. They come in many different colors!

Because of the many different and murky variations of a chihuahua, the genetic phenotypic appearances of the Italian Greyhuahua vary greatly. They come in many different appearances, including Black, Blue, Brown, Gray, Red, Silver, and White, Salt & Pepper, although my dog Max, has a lovely Desert/Tan coloring.

5. They can be hypoallergenic!

Depending on their breeding, they can be bred to be hypoallergenic. Dog breeders will perform multigenerational matches to breed these dogs with a 50%-50% genetic split as evenly as possible. Specially bred Italian Greyhounds cost upwards of $200 on average. These bred varieties, and some non-bred varieties (although rarer) are known to be low-shedding and low maintenance – a good choice for those who are allergic and are looking for an easier furry friend in this arena!

6. These little guys bond strongly with one person!

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Italian Greyhounds tend to bond very quickly! Be sure to give them plenty of attention and love as always.

Italian Greyhuahuas take the side of one person very quickly. As for my family, my dog has bonded quite strongly with me, but does not show the level of attachment he has for me for my family members! In fact, you need to be very careful of this bonding tendency when training. Because of this, many Italian Greyhuahuas can become aggressive when around strangers if they are not trained properly.

7. They are very affectionate!

These affectionately nicknamed “Iggys” have quite the personality! As they often take on the energy of their owners, they are loving and kind-hearted. These little guys will sit by you if you are sick and follow you all around the home from the second you step through that door. Prone to separation anxiety, these little fellows may have a difficult time adjusting at first when left alone for an extended period of time.

8. You have to feed them right!

Most Italian Greyhuahuas have a short, prickly coat. Their coat tends to shed more than average if they are not fed correctly! This dog breed can be very picky when eating, and more often that not, requires a supplement to the dry kibble and food. Homemade ideas, if prescription food is not a feasibility, include cutting up a boiled egg, or putting in pieces of fresh chicken in their food. This will help incentivize your italian greyhuahua to eat on an orderly schedule and help your dog avoid patellar issues as they age.

9. They are one of the more recently evolved dog breeds!

The origins of our lovely Italian Greyhuahuas is a little more difficult to nail down than that of most dog breeds! To understand this breed’s lineage and history, you should take a look at the breed history of their parental generations: the chihuahua and the italian greyhound. While the chihuahua is certainly a dog breed we all know and love, its origins are a little murkier. The chihuahua is from a state in 1850’s Mexico called Chihuahua. (In fact, because our chihuahua didn’t have an official name, it went by dozens of different names, including Texas dog and Arizona dog before finally settling on the Chihuahua dog!) This aptly named breed hitched a ride back home to the United States by way of some border tourists, and its numbers and popularity skyrocketed from there.

On the other hand, our beautiful Italian Greyhound has a much longer and clearer history. From Italy and Europe in the middle ages, this lovable breed was extremely coveted amongst those with high stature, especially royals and aristocrats. Many of these dogs were so beloved that as a statement of wealth, they were buried alongside their owners. They originally had begun as greyhounds, but a trend of breeding smaller dogs led to what we now know as the Italian Greyhound!

Finally, our lovely Italian Greyhuahua came along! In the 20th century, although the exact year is unknown, breeders created this tiny ball of energy – our Italian Greyhuahua.

10. Although they love attention, they are also happy to be your fellow couch potato!

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Although these dogs have the ability to run around with the energy of a Greyhound, they are surprisingly sedentary during the day!

Oftentimes, they won’t go out of their way to seek exercise. This breed tends to mellow with age. After the puppy years, Italian Greyhuahuas do tend to settle down. However, if kept active, around 10 miles per week, and given room to run at free range, these dogs can keep up their energy levels with the best of them! It is their tameness and mellowing that makes them good indoor pets!

11. You need to be careful with them in extreme temperatures.

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A light coat/jacket goes a long way in keeping your dog warm and safe from the cold!

The Italian Greyhuahua has a medium density coat of hair, but due to their small stature and little fat on their bodies due to the nature of their breeds, they often do not fare well in cold temperatures. Many of these dogs need to be kept indoors in a controlled temperature environment, even during the day. Although dog clothing may help with shielding them from the elements, you may find it difficult to keep them on your dog – as they notoriously do not enjoy wearing clothing! In fact, my own Italian Greyhuahua often begins to stumble around and lose his balance when we put him in sweaters! However, especially if you live in a colder weather zone, depending on the sex and size, (8-16 pounds) be sure to buy a size extra-small to small coat!

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