The Italian Greyhound Club

About the Italian Greyhound Active Health Project

Italian Greyhound Breed Active Health Project

The Italian Greyhound Active Health Project is part of a broader programme run by the Kennel Club and managed by the UK’s Breed Health Coordinator and Breed Education Coordinator, within the guidelines of the Kennel Club.

Our aim is to monitor the overall health of Italian Greyhounds as a breed, and to work with owners and breeders to safeguard the ongoing good health of this beautiful breed for the future.


Thankfully Italian Greyhounds are a relatively healthy breed and we aim to keep it that way.

Most live to around 12 – 14 years of age, although some live considerably longer. At present, there is no evidence in the UK to suggest that Italian Greyhounds are particularly prone to specific health problems but there are inevitably some health problems that occur within the breed.

Good breeders will always do their utmost to ensure that they breed from healthy Italian Greyhounds thus giving puppies the best start in life.

Registrations of Italian Greyhounds with the Kennel Club have more than doubled in the last decade – and these are births recorded for registered dogs only – many more Italian Greyhounds are born each year and not registered with the Kennel Club and are therefore untraceable. (Please click the bar chart to enlarge it).

Italian Greyhounds have grown in popularity over the last 15 years, showing a particularly large spike in numbers in the 2020 national lockdown, with bloodlines coming into the breed from across the globe. Therefore, it is more important than ever to keep the breeds genetic health at the forefront of breeders’ minds to ensure the Italian Greyhounds future is bright.


The experience of owning a much loved dog and discovering that it has a genetic disease can be devastating.  It is not something we should just accept.  It is ethically wrong to breed dogs which will suffer unnecessarily in order to fulfil business interests, monetary gain, or in pursuit of success in the show ring. 

How we work

The launch of the Italian Greyhound Active Health Project in 2018 started with a Breed Health Survey to give a current picture of the health of Italian Greyhounds in the UK. It is our intention to complete these surveys at regular intervals and their findings will be available on this website.

The findings allow us to identify key recurring health issues that we are now prioritising for support to the Italian Greyhounds and their owners who are affected, as well as educating breeders to avoid breeding these health issues into future generations where possible.

Our work is ongoing and we plan to run a Breed Health Survey approximately every two years to continue informing our action plan so we can update as existing initiatives as necessary and implement new ones to continue to safeguard the health of our breed.

Subscribe to updates on the Breed Active Health Project

Please do sign up to the Breed Active Health Project mailing list, so you can participate in breed surveys and receive the survey results. This is not a newsletter mailing list, we will only contact you with important information and requests for input!

When you subscribe to the Italian Greyhound Active Health Project and participate in these surveys, you are actively contributing to a continuous improvement in the Italian Greyhound breed health. Without your input, we are left with only anecdotal evidence regarding the health of our breed and no way of knowing how things are changing.

About the author

The Italian Greyhound Club

The Italian Greyhound Club the guardian of the breed for future generations. They organise and run dog shows and sponsor Italian Greyhound classes at other shows. They also coordinate and oversee the training of Italian Greyhound breed show judges. The Italian Greyhound Club is an official organisation run under the auspices of the Kennel Club.