The Italian Greyhound Temperament – What’s So Special About It?



As far as the Italian greyhound temperament is concerned, a typical dog of this breed is often playful, affectionate, smart, and has a kind disposition. She tends to be more submissive and lives to please her owner.Photo of Italian Greyhound Sitting In Forest | Dog Temperament

Understanding the Italian Greyhound Temperament

If you are looking for a lap dog, you will not find it in this one. Here is what has been observed of their temperaments.

An Italian greyhound pays a good deal of attention to the tone of voice you use. If he senses that you’re too soft, he may not listen to you, which, contrarily, can also occur if you’re too harsh.

Be prepared to take leadership.

Italian greyhounds are great at socializing with people, though they can become either skittish or shy if their owners overprotect or “baby” them.

Although mostly a quiet, gentle, keen breed that wants nothing more than to please you, it can be prone to sudden bursts of energy.

A Little Bit about the Italian Greyhound

The Italian greyhound is considered a sighthound, or “gazehound”. Other sight hounds include the Whippet, Scottish Deerhound, and Greyhound, amongst others.

Photo of Italian Greyhound Peeping | Dog Temperament

What this means is that the Italian greyhound hunts by using its sight and speed, as opposed to having scent and endurance as its strengths as scent hounds do. Some examples of scent hounds include Basset Hounds, Beagles, and Bloodhounds.

What Does an Italian Greyhound Look Like? (Size, Weight, Color)

The Italian greyhound is actually the smallest member of the sighthound family – a result of selective breeding. On average, they weigh between 8 and 18 pounds or so and stand between 13 and 15 inches tall.

Interestingly, the color of the Italian greyhound’s coat is often debated when it comes to competition. Organizations like the American Kennel Club accept partly colored greyhounds, whereas the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) standard only allows for white on the dog’s chest and feet.

Staying Healthy

These dogs, because they are so active, are prone to fractures. The most common injuries are the ones they get from leaping from high objects. Be very firm about your dog not getting onto tall furniture. You should also supervise play time.
Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound has a life expectancy of approximately 13 – 15 yrs. Regardless they are also prone to their fair share of health conditions. These include

Be prepared to take a few trips to the vet especially when these dogs are less than 18 months old.

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Why Exercise is Important for the Italian Greyhound

Italian GreyhoundThis breed can become withdrawn if they are not properly exercised. And I’m not talking Husky-type exercise either – just a simple daily walk will do.

The Italian greyhound is an athletic dog, though, so she loves to run.

It is, however, important to keep an eye on her running especially while she’s young, since, like a young human, she may attempt to clear an obstacle that’s too much for her, injuring herself in the process.

One such common injury for this breed is broken legs, due to some lineages often having a history of poor bone density.

Training an Italian Greyhound

You can work with an Italian greyhound temperament by being calm with her and by expressing an air of natural authority. As long as you are consistent, she should not be a problem to train.

It is important to keep in mind that should you end up in a stressful situation with your Italian greyhound, you should refrain from stroking or coddling her. Even if you are strongly tempted to do so in an effort to reassure her or keep her calm don not do it.

Photo of Italian Greyhound Black Outdoors | Dog Temperament

Not only can the coddling intensify her stress level, but she can also perceive you as being weaker than her. This can make her feel even more unstable. If she becomes frightened, she may also lash out by snapping at you.

Italian Greyhounds need to feel as if a pack leader is ruling them, and that pack leader is you. They thrive on the energy of a stronger and more stable role model, and they look to you to be that role model.

You may also find that this breed is difficult to housebreak, though it can, of course, be accomplished. It will, however, take you consistency and patience.

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Italian Greyhounds and Children

The Italian greyhound temperament will thrive in a quiet household. She can also live in harmony with children and other pets, so long as those around her handle her delicately.

Italian GreyhoundImportantly, this breed is one that, because of its slim build and shorter coat, is more susceptible to injury from rough play.  This is a fact that a child should often be reminded.

It is for this reason that the Italian Greyhound may fare better in either a childless household or one in which its owners are elderly.

Keeping an Eye Out (You and Your Dog)

Despite the fact that Italian Greyhounds can be delicate and fragile creatures, they still make for suitable watchdogs.

They will often bark at foreign sounds, as well as other animals and people. However, you don’t want to depend on this breed as a guard dog.

They are easily scared and can be spooked by strangers causing them to potentially run away.

Should an Italian Greyhound catch sight of a small, animal nearby he will likely give chase. Like Huskies, Italian greyhounds are hunters by nature, and they will act on their desire to hunt.

As a result, owners of this breed should keep their dog on a leash at all times when not in an enclosed space to prevent him from running off.

To keep your Italian Greyhound close at hand, breakaway collars are advised. This is because they have been known to try to back out of a collar and escape when they feel threatened. This act could lead to potential neck injuries and even strangling for this delicate dog.

Conclusion: Why the Italian Greyhound?

The Italian greyhound temperament is a fickle thing.

To enjoy a fulfilling relationship together, you need to:

  • Show that you are consistently in control
  • Don’t baby her
  • Give her a daily opportunity to exercise while respecting her fragility.