Can you work patiently on house training a dog, and can you accommodate a breed prone to accidents, especially in winter?
Great! While it is possible to house train an Italian Greyhound, it usually takes more patience and work than other breeds of dogs. IGs are prone to setbacks, especially when the weather changes or it is raining, snowing or windy outside.
With very few exceptions, the Italian Greyhound is a challenging breed to house train. A house training relapse is common when it is raining, windy or cold outside. House training is the number one issue with this breed so please consider your patience level and how much time you can devote to house training your new pet. Please see our IGs and Housetraining page for more information.
Don't just take our word for it: See #17 in 20 Dog Breeds and Mixes on the Decline.
Do you want a dog who will stay in your yard off leash or plan to use an electric fence?
Italian Greyhounds are a member of the sighthound family which means they "specialize in pursuing prey, keeping it in sight, and overpowering it by their great speed and agility" (see Wikipedia). Because of these characteristics, Italian Greyhounds have high prey drive and training an Italian Greyhound to stay in your yard outside a secure fence puts the life of your dog in great danger. Italian Greyhounds can run up to 30 miles per hour. They could be blocks away chasing down a bunny or other small animal before you are out the door. No amount of training can overcome what 100's of years of breeding has created. Even though they are small and dainty, many Italian Greyhounds are highly skilled bunny killers.
Thinking of an electric fence? There are MANY reasons to NEVER use an electric shock collar on an Italian Greyhound:
Great! Because of their high prey drive, Italian Greyhounds should always be on leash unless inside a securely fenced area.
Will your Italian Greyhound be left alone more than 6 hours because of your work or other daily activities?
Just as you'd never be able to hold it all day while you are at work, you should never expect an Italian Greyhound to do so either. Italian Greyhounds are small dogs with small bladders. They are also more likely to go in the house if they have to and you are not around than other breeds. Italian Greyhound owners figure out ways to come home for lunch or hire a dog walker to let their dogs out partway through the day. A general rule is, never expect your Italian Greyhound to hold it more than 5-6 hours.
Great! Italian Greyhounds, just like humans, should never be required to "hold it" for longer than 5-6 hours without accident.
Do you currently have or plan to have children in your home under 5?
Please consider the Italian Greyhound temperament and the happiness of your future pet before bringing an Italian Greyhound into a home that has or will have young children. Italian Greyhounds are a sensitive breed and do not do well with grabby or active children. Almost all our surrenders are from families with young children. At best, Italian Greyhounds will shy or run away from young children. At worst, they will become fearful and could bite if they feel threatened. Italian Greyhounds also require a lot of time, patience and monitoring to maintain their house training. These are qualities many parents cannot devote to their pet because they are busy with their family and careers. Please see our IGs and Children page for further information.
Great! Italian Greyhounds generally do not do well with young children. Infrequent, young visitors are usually fine as long as the Italian Greyhound has a safe place to go, like a create or bedroom if he or she feels threatened.