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Italian Papihound (Italian Greyhound & Papillon Mix): Pictures, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

italian greyhound-papillon dogs

Height: 13 – 15 inches
Weight: 8 – 11 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Black, gray, brown, blue, red
Suitable for: Families and individuals looking for a sweet and loving companion dog
Temperament: Loyal, Loving, Sweet, Shy, Hyper, Intelligent

The Italian Papihound is a hybrid breed that combines the Italian Greyhound with the Papillon. As a hybrid breed, not much is known about the specific cross, but we know a lot about both parent breeds. By looking at the parent breeds, we can determine the likely characteristics and traits of the crossbreed.

The Italian Greyhound was bred to hunt small game during the day and be a companion for the hunter at night. They are popular companion dogs today, and they fare well as a show dog and in exhibitions and competitions. They can live in apartments, get on with all family members, and they are easy to groom and trainable, which makes them a good choice even for first-time owners.

The Papillon is a lap dog, in some respects, but he will require plenty of exercises because he is an active and playful little pup. They will enjoy every minute they get to spend with their owner. This includes the time they spend on the couch with you, but they will also be happy chasing after a ball or even partaking in agility classes and other training.

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Italian Papihound Puppies


The Italian Papihound is more popular in some regions than others. If you live in a region where the hybrid breed is popular, usually because of the combination of small size and friendly nature, you can expect to pay quite a bit for these pups. Don’t simply opt for the cheapest dog you can find, though: always ensure that you buy a good example of the dog from a reputable breeder.

To find a reputable breeder, check your local area. Join breed groups and check with hybrid kennel clubs. Although the Italian Papihound is not recognized as a breed by main kennel clubs because they are not purebred, hybrid clubs will recognize them and may have details of breeders. If you can get details this way, it reduces the likelihood of using a disreputable breeder and can help you buy a dog with confidence that you are getting the breed you expect.

Ask other owners that you see. Find out where they got their dog. Join social media groups and other online groups. You may have to be prepared to travel a little further afield, but this could provide you with a good list of breeders.

When you find a breeder with Italian Papihound puppies, ensure that you meet the dog before buying. Ideally, he will be alert and lively. He will come to meet you when you walk in. Puppies should be inquisitive enough to investigate new people, although some breeds are more inquisitive and braver than others.

This type of breed is often chosen by seniors because they make excellent companions.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Italian Papihound

1. Italian Greyhounds Don’t Need Much Exercise

Italian Greyhounds, like other breeds of Greyhound, are often mistakenly believed to require a lot of exercises. This is because they are used for racing and have been used for hunting and tracking in the past. They will actually flourish with just half an hour of exercise a day and can live with 20 minutes of exercise. The exercise doesn’t have to be intense, either. A gentle walk will usually be enough. In fact, the Italian Greyhound will enjoy relaxation time just as much as exercise. He will happily curl up on his bed or the couch, at your feet, and fall asleep for hours. The Italian Greyhound is often referred to as the “40-mph couch potato”.

2. Italian Greyhounds Love Company

A lot of dogs and dog breeds prefer to live on their own. This isn’t the case with the Italian Greyhound. Although they can do very well when living on their own, they will thrive when living with one or more other dogs in the house. This can be especially useful if your Italian Greyhound suffers from separation anxiety. Having another dog in the house will help keep your dog calm, which means that he will be less prone to noise and destruction. Considering the Italian Greyhound needs so little room in which to live comfortably, it shouldn’t be too difficult to accommodate two of this beautiful breed.

3. Papillons Are Considered Very Intelligent

When it comes to intelligent dog breeds, we tend to think of Collies and other Sheepdogs as being the most intelligent, but the Papillon is also a very intelligent dog. He is ranked as the 8th most intelligent breed of all. When combined with his loving nature and his willingness to impress his owner, it means that the little breed is surprisingly easy to train: one of the reasons that he has become so popular in agility and other dog classes. This combination has also made them a popular choice for first-time owners. Combining the Papillon with the Italian Greyhound has done little to diminish this intelligence or their aim to please their master.

Parent Breeds of the Italian Papihound
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Divider 8Temperament & Intelligence of the Italian Papihound 🧠

The Italian Papihound is a combination of the sweet and loving Italian Greyhound and the intelligent and lively Papillon. The resulting hybrid is an intelligent dog that is keen to please his owner, requires minimal exercise, and will usually get along with other dogs and people. He not only makes a great companion but a worthwhile member of the household.

Are Italian Papihounds Good for Families? 🏡

Friendly and intelligent, and always happy to spend time with his humans, the Italian Papihound is considered an excellent family pet. He will get along with all adults and will get along with children. However, it is worth noting that this is a small breed that can be easily injured. Young children and those children that have little to no experience with small dogs should be supervised when spending time around the dog. Accidents can happen, and small children can get a bit grabby with their hands. Although this hybrid is not an aggressive breed, they can nip if a small child grabs the wrong bit.

Do Italian Papihounds Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Italian Papihound will get along with other dogs. In fact, if your hybrid adopts the personality traits of the Italian Greyhound, especially, then he will benefit from having a second dog in the home. They will keep one another company when you and the rest of your family are out of the house. The older dog can also keep the new dog in check, and teach them the right way to behave. The breed is highly intelligent and will pick up on good behavior if he sees that it gets a positive response from you. The Greyhound may have a tendency to chase smaller animals because he was bred to hunt small animals, although he is more likely to chase a cushion than he is a cat.

Divider 5Things to Know When Owning an Italian Papihound:

The Italian Papihound is a beautiful, friendly, and intelligent dog. He can live perfectly well in an apartment or small house and does not require a large outdoor yard area to thrive. He does need love and attention to thrive, but he will return these in orders of magnitude, making the hybrid breed a great choice as a family pet or solo companion. While the Italian Papihound is a great breed for many different types of owners, he is not perfect for everybody, and you should take the following factors into account when deciding whether this is the right breed for you.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Italian Papihound is a small breed that does not usually require a lot of exercises. As such, he will only have a small appetite. You should feed approximately half a cup of good quality, dry kibble each day. With dogs of this size, it is very easy to overfeed them. It only takes a few extra pieces of kibble a day and your Papihound could be putting weight on without you really noticing.

Measure their feed by weight, and according to your vet’s recommendation. Split their daily allowance over two or three meals, and do not leave food down all day. If you use treats for training or as a reward, remember to take this into account when calculating the number of calories they are consuming each day.

Exercise 🐕

One of the reasons that a lot of people look past the Italian Greyhound as a pet is because of the mistaken belief that they have high exercise requirements. The truth is very different, however, and the Papihound, just like the Greyhound parent breed, requires only a small amount of exercise each day. You will need to provide approximately 30 minutes of exercise a day, and this can take the form of a walk, rather than having to be a run or other high-intensity exercise. With that said, the breed is capable of more, and they can take very well to agility classes.

Training 🦮

The parent breeds are both intelligent and eager to please their owner, although it is the Papillon that truly stands out as being clever. The resulting hybrid is one that can pick up new tricks and develop the kind of behavior and habits that you want. He is not particularly headstrong or stubborn, and his mind won’t wander too quickly, either. The only potential difficulty that might arise in training is that the Italian Greyhound may prefer to lie down rather than participate. But if you can keep training fun and short, your new dog will be sure to learn quickly and efficiently.

The Papillon has proven very effective in agility training, and the Italian Greyhound can be seen in competitions around the world, too. This points to the hybrid making an excellent candidate for this type of training class.

Grooming ✂️

The Italian Papihound will likely have the longer hair of the Papillon parent breed. Even so, he will not require much in the way of maintenance. You will need to brush him once a week to remove dead hairs, and he will shed, but neither parent breed is known for having a dog odor so the hybrid shouldn’t either. Only bathe your dog when it is necessary. This will prevent stripping the natural oil from their hair, which helps to stop the hair from becoming damaged.

You will need to clean his ears every week. Use a cleaning solution and a cotton wool ball. This can help to prevent ear infections and other ear problems, and it will help ensure that your dog remains happy and healthy.

Small dogs are known to be more likely to suffer from dental problems. You can buy special food that helps maintain dental health, but this should not replace good brushing. Brush your dog’s teeth three times a week, ideally every day. Start this when he is a puppy, because as much as your Italian Papihound will trust you and want to please you, he may not be comfortable with you putting things in his mouth if you start when he reaches adulthood.

Similarly, you should start trimming his nails when he is young. This will need to be done every couple of weeks. It not only helps prevent the discomfort and pain that can be caused by long nails for your dog, but also for you when he tries jumping up on your lap.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Italian Papihound is generally considered a healthy and hardy dog, although there are certain conditions that the parent breeds are prone to. His small size also means that he is more prone to certain conditions than larger dogs. Dental hygiene is a major issue for dogs of this small stature, while their low-calorie requirements mean that it is very easy to overfeed dogs of this diminutive size.

To avoid these problems, ensure that you weigh his food, clean his teeth regularly, and avoid feeding him too many treats, especially human food that tends to be higher in sugar and more destructive for teeth. A good diet is a sure way of ensuring the longest possible life for your dog.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Dental decay
Serious Conditions
  • Epilepsy
  • Patellar luxation
  • Progressiveretinal atrophy

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Male vs. Female

The male will grow a little larger than the female. However, their upbringing, the ratio of breeds in the hybrid mix, and environmental factors such as diet will have a greater impact on their size and temperament.

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Final Thoughts: Italian Greyhound Papillon Mix

The Italian Papihound is a sweet, good-natured, friendly little hybrid that combines the sweet-natured Italian Greyhound with the intelligent and loving Papillon. The resulting hybrid is a dog that will fit in well in most families, gets along with all family members regardless of species and age, and that will take well to training and classes like agility.

This combination of low maintenance and easy training, coupled with the fact that he is friendly with strangers as well as family members, makes him a good choice of pet for first-time owners, as well. He makes a great welcome to canine ownership, and once you’ve owned one, you may find it difficult to look at other breeds.

Featured Image: 1 – Pixabay, 2 – AndyBir, Shutterstock

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