Italian Greyhound vs Whippet: 3 Key Differences

It’s difficult to make a bad decision when choose between an Italian greyhound and a whippet! The two breeds are nearly identical.

Compared to whippets, Italian greyhounds are smaller, require less room to run, and have a slightly longer lifespan. Large canines like whippets need a fenced-in space in order to run. Both breeds have strong hunting drives and are sensitive and loving.

We’ll go into greater detail about the distinctions between these breeds and whether a whippet or an Italian greyhound is the better dog for you in this article.

Key Differences Between Italian Greyhounds and Whippets

The size, amount of exercise required, and life expectancy are the three main distinctions between Italian greyhounds and whippets.

Italian greyhounds have a somewhat longer average lifespan despite being smaller. Due to their increased size and demand for more room to run around, whippets require more space.

Let’s examine these variations as well as the commonalities among different varieties of sighthounds!


Whippets are huge canines, measuring 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder. At 13 to 15 inches tall, Italian greyhounds are substantially smaller.

Italian greyhounds weigh 7–14 pounds, while whippets weigh 25–40 pounds.

Smaller dogs require less space and are easier to exercise indoors than larger dogs, which also cost more to feed and vet.


The short, silky coats of both breeds come in a variety of colours and patterns. Compared to breeds with longer or thicker coats, they are more likely to become sunburned in the summer and cold in the winter.


Breeds of sighthounds typically have similar temperaments. They’re frequently compared to cats, sensitive, and occasionally stubborn.

These dogs were meant to run as a way to release their energy, not for endurance. This indicates that they usually have a tranquil day and are content to relax on their preferred dog bed until their next run.

Social Needs

Though each dog is unique, both breeds often get along well with other dogs. It’s crucial to introduce the dogs gradually, while keeping both under your supervision and on a leash.

These breeds need to be kept apart from prey animals due to their strong predatory drives. While some people cannot live with cats because they view them as prey, others get along well with their feline friends.

Because they can view smaller dogs as prey to chase, some whippets do best with dogs that are the same size or larger than them.

Though you should take into consideration their size, they can get along well with kids. Handling tiny Italian greyhounds roughly can easily result in injuries. Whippets are big enough to topple a little toddler when they run around.

Regardless of how well-behaved they are, never let kids and dogs alone together.

Exercise Needs

Italian greyhounds are simpler to exercise inside, despite having equal exercise requirements. Considering their small size, they can easily be exhausted by simply running about the living room.

For exercise, whippets want a yard that is safely fenced in. Both breeds will benefit from daily walks in terms of exercise and mental stimulation.


Sighthounds are particularly sensitive to severe training methods, but all dogs react poorly to them. Make sure you only employ non-coercive training techniques!

Building a strong bond with your dog and training them every day will help, even though dogs can be resistant. To ensure that your dog always wants to return for more, keep them brief and enjoyable.

Both whippets and Italian greyhounds have intense prey drives, making it challenging to teach a dependable recall in most cases. Keeping them confined with a fence or on a leash at all times is preferable to trying to teach them not to follow their instincts.

Health Factors
Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of these breeds is rather comparable, reaching up to 15 years. Italian greyhounds often live 14–15 years on average, but whippets typically live 12–15 years.

Health Issues

Health problems like hypothyroidism, luxating patella, and Leg-Calve-Perthes disease are common in Italian greyhounds. Whippets are susceptible to musculoskeletal issues, heart disease, and hearing.

Obesity can be harmful to a dog’s joint health as well as their general health because neither breed is designed to support excess weight.

Breeds with deep chests are also more vulnerable to bloat, a potentially fatal illness in which the stomach flips inside the body. Whippets’ greater stature may make them more prone to bloat.

Conclusion: Whippet vs. Italian Greyhound

The size of the dog you want to adopt should be considered while choosing between an Italian greyhound and a whippet. The main distinction between these breeds—which are otherwise extremely similar—is this.

An Italian greyhound is perhaps the greatest option if you live in an apartment or want a dog you can play with indoors. A whippet can be your preferred breed if you enjoy large dogs and have a fenced yard.

Highlights of Italian Greyhound vs Whippet Comparison:

Whippets and Italian Greyhounds are very similar dogs, but they do have their differences, including size and life expectancy.
Key Differences Italian Greyhound Whippet
Height 13-15 inches 18-22 inches
Weight 7-14 pounds 25-40 pounds
Temperament Affectionate, friendly, sensitive Affectionate, energetic, sensitive
Exercise Needs Needs moderate exercise and space to run Needs moderate exercise and space to run
Trainability Can be aloof and has a strong prey drive Can be aloof and has a strong prey drive
Life Expectancy 14-15 years 12-15 years