Italian Greyhound vs. Whippet

What's the Difference?

The Italian Greyhound and Whippet are two breeds of small-sized sighthounds that share many similarities. Both breeds are known for their slender and elegant appearance, with a sleek coat that comes in various colors. They are both agile and fast runners, capable of reaching impressive speeds. However, there are a few differences between the two. Italian Greyhounds are slightly smaller in size and have a more delicate build compared to Whippets. They also have a more affectionate and sensitive temperament, often forming strong bonds with their owners. On the other hand, Whippets are known for their independent and laid-back nature, making them slightly easier to train. Overall, both breeds make wonderful companions for individuals or families looking for a graceful and athletic dog.


Italian Greyhound
Photo by Brian Gerry on Unsplash
AttributeItalian GreyhoundWhippet
Weight7-14 pounds25-40 pounds
Height13-15 inches18-22 inches
CoatShort and smoothShort and smooth
ColorsVariety of colorsVariety of colors
TemperamentAffectionate, gentle, and sensitiveFriendly, intelligent, and adaptable
Exercise NeedsModerateHigh
TrainabilityCan be stubborn, but trainable with patienceResponsive and trainable
Life Expectancy12-15 years12-15 years
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

Further Detail


Italian Greyhounds and Whippets are two popular breeds of small-sized sighthounds that share many similarities but also have distinct differences. Both breeds are known for their elegance, grace, and speed. In this article, we will explore the attributes of Italian Greyhounds and Whippets, including their appearance, temperament, exercise needs, and health considerations.


Italian Greyhounds and Whippets have a similar overall appearance due to their shared ancestry. They both have sleek, slender bodies with deep chests and long, thin legs. However, there are some noticeable differences in their physical characteristics.

Italian Greyhounds are smaller in size, typically weighing between 6 to 10 pounds and standing around 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a delicate and refined appearance, with a narrow head, almond-shaped eyes, and a slightly arched back.

On the other hand, Whippets are slightly larger, weighing between 25 to 40 pounds and standing around 18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a more muscular build compared to Italian Greyhounds, with a deep chest and a straight back. Whippets also have a longer muzzle and a more pronounced arch to their back.

Both breeds come in a variety of coat colors and patterns, including solid colors, brindle, and various shades of fawn. Their short coats are easy to maintain and require minimal grooming.


When it comes to temperament, Italian Greyhounds and Whippets share many similarities. Both breeds are known for their gentle and affectionate nature, making them excellent companions for individuals and families alike.

Italian Greyhounds are often described as sensitive and loving. They form strong bonds with their owners and thrive on human companionship. They are known to be quite reserved with strangers but can be very playful and energetic with their loved ones.

Whippets, on the other hand, are known for their friendly and sociable nature. They are generally good with children and other pets, making them a great choice for multi-pet households. Whippets are also known to be more outgoing and confident when compared to Italian Greyhounds.

Both breeds are intelligent and trainable, although Italian Greyhounds can sometimes be a bit more stubborn and independent. Positive reinforcement training methods work best for both breeds, as they respond well to praise and rewards.

It's important to note that both Italian Greyhounds and Whippets are sensitive to extreme temperatures and may require extra care during hot or cold weather. They are both indoor dogs and thrive in a loving and comfortable home environment.

Exercise Needs

Italian Greyhounds and Whippets are active breeds that require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. However, there are some differences in their exercise needs due to their size and energy levels.

Italian Greyhounds are more suitable for apartment living and have lower exercise requirements compared to Whippets. They enjoy short bursts of activity, such as a daily walk or a play session in a securely fenced yard. Italian Greyhounds are sprinters and can reach impressive speeds, but they tire quickly and are content with a moderate amount of exercise.

Whippets, on the other hand, have higher energy levels and require more exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. They enjoy a good run in a safely enclosed area and benefit from regular opportunities to stretch their legs. Whippets are known for their incredible speed and agility, and they excel in various dog sports such as lure coursing and agility trials.

Regardless of their exercise needs, both breeds should always be supervised and kept on a leash when outside, as their strong prey drive may lead them to chase small animals.

Health Considerations

Italian Greyhounds and Whippets are generally healthy breeds, but like all dogs, they are prone to certain health conditions that potential owners should be aware of.

Italian Greyhounds are known to be susceptible to dental issues, such as periodontal disease, due to their small mouths and crowded teeth. They are also prone to patellar luxation, a condition where the kneecap dislocates, as well as certain genetic eye diseases.

Whippets, on the other hand, may be prone to cardiac issues, including dilated cardiomyopathy. They can also experience hereditary eye diseases and certain skin conditions. Responsible breeders perform health screenings to minimize the risk of these conditions in their breeding lines.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and appropriate exercise are essential for maintaining the overall health and well-being of both Italian Greyhounds and Whippets.


Italian Greyhounds and Whippets are two elegant and graceful breeds that share many similarities but also have distinct differences. While Italian Greyhounds are smaller and more delicate in appearance, Whippets are slightly larger and more muscular. Both breeds have gentle and affectionate temperaments, although Whippets tend to be more outgoing. They require regular exercise, with Whippets needing more physical activity compared to Italian Greyhounds. Health-wise, both breeds may be prone to certain conditions, and regular veterinary care is crucial.

Ultimately, the choice between an Italian Greyhound and a Whippet depends on individual preferences and lifestyle. Whether you prefer the smaller size and sensitivity of an Italian Greyhound or the slightly larger and more outgoing nature of a Whippet, both breeds can bring joy and companionship to their owners for many years to come.

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