Obedience and Rally Obedience Fancier of Italian Greyhounds

About Italian Greyhounds

Is the Italian greyhound breed right for your lifestyle?

Italian greyhounds are often the largest of the toy group (CKC group 5)  but are the smallest of the sighthounds. The other breeds of sighthound are in the hound group.

Although Italian greyhounds like to cuddle and are very affectionate with those people they know, they require more exercise  than many toy breeds. They need to be exercised on leash and in securely fenced gardens due to the sighthound heritage and prey drive.

I do not feel they are ideal for the average apartment dweller - unless you are ok with a indoor litter. Another difficulty with the breed is they do not like cold weather and have very short fine fur. So,in some Canadian locations, during a cold spell, tiolet training to go outdoors can be challenging and also getting sufficient exercise in the winter can be a challenge.

I do not think the breed is ideal for very young children. Responsible older children it can be great with. Some italian greyhounds are not suited to any kind of child and prefer a quieter household of adults.

On the positive side, they shed very little and are easy dogs to travel with if well trained and socialized. Also, its quite a healthy breed and long lived with a charming gentle nature.

In Summary:

Feeding: good quality commercial dog foods or well-balanced homemade. constant access to water. good quality vet recommended chew treats. no bones.

Exercise: One 45minute per day walk for the adult & 3-4 shorter walks to allow the IG ample opportunity to relieve itself. Shorter & more frequent walks for the pups. Exercise needs to be age appropriate and during decent weather. IGs also appreciate a chance to free run and play in a securely fenced garden (see below).

Special care: Some IGs require an indoor litter or pee pad area to prevent accidents during the winter. Many IGs require daily teeth brushing and some will require a yearly dental cleaning at the vet. IG nails grow quickly and due to the hare-shaped IG foot, not all nails will wear down just with exercise so weekly nail trims might be necessary.

Training: IGs are clever at the usual companion pet training. However, they can take longer to tiolet train. Some IGs are not reliable until they are yearlings. Housetraining (which includes learning safe house rules) is important so Igs are not climbing all over the furniture and getting onto counters which could cause an accidental fall.

Garden requirements: Secure fencing. IGs can dig and climb. The best fences are solid 5-6foot privacy fences. Chain link is not idea due to IGs sometimes climbing or digging out. Also, I have known one IG to get a leg caught in chainlink and fracture. Because Igs are small and curious - they are very prone to mushroom and toxic plant poisoning and incidents with pesticides and herbicides - so now is your chance to practice organic safe gardening!

Other Animals: IGs get along well with other well trained and gentle dogs. Some dogs can be too unruly and there is risk of seriously injurying or killing an IG. Owners need to have well-trained dogs and use good judgement. IGs raised with cats are usually fine with them. However, some IGs are predatory towards cats. So, it would depend on the cat if it can tolerate this. Some IGs have been seriously injured by angry cats. IGs usually want to eat other small pets - so you need to use common sense there.