Italian Greyhounds are members of the Toy Group, however there is much discussion about this as they are very much a sighthound by nature and opinions differ as to which group they should be in. Some people feel they would be better placed in the Hound Group. Italian Greyhounds (or iggies) are often described by their owners as perpetual puppies as most retain that puppy playfulness well into maturity.
Italian Greyhounds need love and affection and can be very demanding of their owners, often wanting to be close and cuddled up on a lap. They are not suited to live outdoors the climate in the UK is far too cold and most Italians would be unhappy to be that far away from their family. Italian Greyhounds are happiest if they can share the family members beds as well! However a nice warm snuggle bed will suffice.
Iggies are not great fans of rain, wind etc.. and this can lead to problems with toilet training if routines are not established when young. This also means that (due to their short coat) they will need appropriate coats/or fleeces to wear when the weather begins to get chilly. As well as being very fast runners some iggies can jump very high and good fencing is required to keep them secure, and, in the house, very tall dog gates!
Iggies can have a very high prey drive and some will chase anything that moves! It is essential that a good recall is established very early.
At Shadedmoon we believe reward based training methods produce the best results, Iggies are sensitive dogs and do not respond well to some of the training methods that are used with other breeds. All the dogs here are trained to return to a blast on a gundog whistle so that they can be recalled when they are out of earshot of a voiced recall. This is especially useful when they have run off after prey maybe into woods etc.
Even though the iggies at Shadedmoon are trained to recall we are cautious and do not generally let them off anywhere near roads, Because of their speed they can get quite a distance away from their owner in a very short space of time. Iggies need wide collars to protect their tracheas and this also prevents the collar from slipping off over their head.
This is a very brief general description and additional information can be gained through contacting the Italian Greyhound Club of Great Britain. We do hope to add to this site and the information available. We welcome feedback through our guestbook Italian Greyhounds are inquisitive, fun, infuriating, sensitive, loving, stubborn, intelligent, gentle, naughty, sweet and mischievous, but in the wrong environment can be miserable and lonely. Please read our Think Twice page