Italian Greyhounds and Chihuahuas are both popular because of their low-maintenance coats, compact size, and charming personalities.
When you combine these cute little breeds, you get an adorable, loving companion.
What should you know about Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mixes? An Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix is a small, smooth-coated dog weighing between 6 and 10 pounds on average. This mix tends to be quite healthy, loving and devoted. Prey drive, ability to housebreak, and friendliness to strangers and dogs will vary.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to own an Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix, you may find the following comparisons between these breeds and the likely outcome for a mix to be very interesting.
|Characteristic||Italian Greyhound||Chihuahua||Italian Greyhound Chihuahua Mix|
|Weight||7 – 14 pounds||No more than 6 pounds||6 – 10 pounds|
|Height||13 – 15 inches||5 – 8 inches||7 – 13 inches|
|Life Span||14 – 15 years||14 – 16 years||14 – 16 years|
|Body Type||Slender and elegant||Sturdy, terrier-like||Slightly long-limbed but sturdy|
|Ears||Folded||Upright||Folded, upright, or both|
|Snout||Long and slender||Moderately short||Average, between short and long|
|Behavior with new people||Shy of people||Defensive of family with new people||May react fearfully or aggressively when first meeting people|
|Behavior with family||Utterly devoted and loves to be with you||Extremely loyal and protective||Loving and devoted to you, possibly protective|
|Behavior with other dogs||Generally easy-going and relates well to other dogs||May get along well with dogs but also may show aggression or jealousy||Probably will tend to get along well, but might be prone to jealousy|
|Prey drive||Common in various degrees in most dogs||May occur, but not particularly common||May have any level of prey drive|
Italian Greyhounds and Chihuahuas are both very cute, albeit in very different ways.
Italian Greyhounds are tall for their size and elegant. Chihuahuas, on the other hand, are compact and made to be cute.
When combined, you get a dog who has some of the grace and elegance of the Italian Greyhound but is much less dramatic in body type.
These dogs tend to have legs somewhere between the length of the Chihuahua and the Italian Greyhound.
Their ears may prick like the Chihuahua, fold over like an Italian Greyhound, or end up somewhere in between.
Because both of these breeds have short coats, you can also expect your mix to have a short, smooth coat.
Chihuahuas have a shorter snout while Greyhounds have unusually long snouts, so your dog will likely have a mid-length snout.
Italian Greyhounds and Chihuahuas come in nearly every color known among dogs, so there’s a rainbow of options for your mix.
Both Chihuahuas and Italian Greyhounds are generally healthy but have some health concerns prominent in their breeds.
In general, mixed breed dogs may be less likely to inherit a genetic condition, but it is still very possible, especially if a particular condition is common to both breeds.
Conditions that are common in both of these breeds are a special concern in your Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix.
Here are some health concerns that are common to both breeds that you should keep an eye out for.
- Luxating patella. This is a condition of the knee in which the knee cap does not fit properly into the groove. The patella can be permanently locked out and the constant rubbing can cause problems including lameness, painful walking, and arthritis.
- Eye diseases. Chihuahuas and Italian Greyhounds are both prone to problems with their eyes. There are a range of different problems that may occur, including glaucoma and cataracts.
- Dental disease. Both of these breeds are prone to dental problems. Rarely will an Italian Greyhound, a Chihuahua, or a mix of the two reach old age without losing a couple of teeth. Regular brushing can help delay or avoid dental disease.
Some health concerns may only be prevalent in one breed, but it is still possible, although not likely, that your mix will inherit it.
Here are some of those diseases to keep in mind.
- Heart problems. Chihuahuas are prone to heart problems including valve disease.
- Epilepsy. Chihuahuas are known to have idiopathic epilepsy.
- Hip problems. Italian Greyhounds are prone to hip problems like hip dysplasia. If your Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix has the high hips and long legs of an Italian Greyhound, be especially careful about hip problems.
- Liver issues. Italian Greyhounds can sometimes have a liver issue in which major blood supply does not go to the liver. This has a small chance of being passed on to your mix.
Chihuahuas and Italian Greyhounds have some significant differences in their behavior, so you can’t be sure what you’ll get in an Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix.
You can, however, be confident that you’ll get a loving companion.
Italian Greyhound Behavior
Italian Greyhounds are very playful and affectionate.
They can be shy with new people but are almost never aggressive toward anybody, except perhaps an animal that they may think of as prey.
Italian Greyhounds tend to be on the independent side and they are very sensitive, so harsh training is not appropriate for them.
Italian Greyhounds are notoriously difficult to potty train and many are never completely housebroken.
Like all sighthounds, Italian Greyhounds can have high prey drive and should never be allowed off-leash anywhere that they may be able to chase a prey animal.
Italian Greyhounds generally do very well with other dogs.
Chihuahuas are sassy little dogs who don’t seem to have any idea how small they are. They have a big dog attitude which gives them a fearless quality.
Many Chihuahuas have no hesitation in confronting a bigger dog, a stranger invading their territory, or anything else that they perceive as a threat to their family.
They can be a bit on the stubborn side, but they are devoted to their people and are usually willing to learn with proper consistency.
Chihuahuas can tend to be aggressive with other dogs at times, although many do very well with their housemates.
Italian Greyhound Chihuahua Mix Behavior
Shy or Defensive with New People
Your Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix may be shy around new people, or they may be quite aggressive until they are satisfied that someone isn’t a threat to you.
They are unlikely to be very outgoing or gregarious with new people.
Devoted to You
You can expect your Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix to adore you and your family.
These are devoted and loving dogs that would much prefer to be in your lap than on the floor at any given time.
Italian Greyhounds can be very difficult to potty train, and while Chihuahuas aren’t known for being too hard to potty train, they do tend to be fairly stubborn, and it can be difficult for their tiny bladders to hold it for very long.
There is a fair chance that you may struggle with potty training your Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix.
It may be a better idea to paper or litter box train your dog so that he won’t have to hold it or go out in bad weather and so that you won’t have to deal with cleaning up accidents.
Chihuahuas may have some prey drive, depending on the individual, but they tend to be less motivated to chase and hunt prey than Italian Greyhounds.
Your dog may show various levels of prey drive. He may have the intense motivation of a highly driven Italian Greyhound or the utter indifference of an urban Chihuahua.
Chihuahuas can often be relied upon to stay pretty close to their owners, while Italian Greyhounds can never be trusted off-leash because they cannot resist the urge to chase something if they see it running.
Your Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix may have a range of reactions to prey and that will affect your off-leash training.
If your dog has very little prey drive and seems highly motivated to stay close to you, you may be able to train them to behave off-leash.
How easy is it to find an Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix?
This is not a purebred dog, so you may be unlikely to find a registered breeder deliberately breeding them, but it is a fairly common mix to find available for adoption.
By using sites like Petfinder or The Shelter Pet Project, breed rescues, and online listings, you have a very good chance of finding an Italian Greyhound Chihuahua mix to adopt.
Image Credit: Sniff & Barkens