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Greyhound, Whippet, Italian Greyhound: Differences and Similarities

Greyhound, whippet, Italian greyhound: compare these three dog breeds and find your perfect match.

These hounds almost look the same dog breed in three different sizes but actually their history, attitudes and development set them apart and their differences run a lot deeper than what you would see immediately.

Size is the first obvious difference. 



Large: height 27-31in (69-78cm) weight 55-66 lbs(25-30kg)


Medium: height 17-20in (44-51cm) weight 20-26lbs(9-13kg). The American standard allows bigger whippets.

Italian Greyhound

Small: Ideal Height: 32-38cms (12½-15 ins) at withers. Ideal Weight 3.6-4.5 kgs (8-10 lbs).


Also body proportions in the three breeds are dissimilar.

As you can see in the picture below, the ribcage in the whippet is about the double length of that  of the loin.

In the Italian greyhound the two length are approximately the same, giving the hound a shorter look.

On another hand in the greyhound the length of the ribcage is more or less three times that of the loin with the result of a longer dog. 


The colors allowed for each breed are not the same, as stated in each official standard. For the whippet anything goes!


Black, white, red, blue, fawn, fallow, brindle or any of these colors broken with white.


Color is inconsequential.

Italian Greyhound

Black, blue, cream, fawn, red, white, or any of these colours broken with white. White dogs may be broken with one of these colours. Black or blue with tan markings, or brindle not acceptable.

Sorry, no brindles!


The history of the three breeds could not be more different.


Probably the most ancient dog breed. The line goes back thousands of years. Favorite pet and hunting dog of the upper class they became a status symbol. Now often used in highly competitive dog racing.


Favorite pet and racing dog of working class during the Victorian era, probably crossed with terriers. Now pet, racing and coursing dog in nonprofessional competitions.

Italian Greyhound

A luxury dog. Pet and small game hunter of affluent class since roman times.


Temperament as stated in the Uk breed standards


Intelligent, gentle, affectionate and even-tempered.


Amiable, friendly, gentle and extremely adaptable at home or in the field. He makes an ideal companion.

Italian Greyhound

Intelligent, affectionate and vivacious.

And may I add very vivacious? Whippets and greyhound are rather low energy at home but Italian Greyhounds are full of spirit non-stop, even in old age.

Greyhound Whippet Italian Greyhound are Not For...


Unfenced yards, automatic obedience, off-leash romp


Outdoor living, unfenced yards

Italian Greyhound

Kennel life, rowdy children

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