Every dog is different, but there are some generalities that you can make across breeds. Read our guide below for information about Italian Greyhound temperament and behaviour…
Italian Greyhounds are kind, sweet, good natured animals. They do not act overly aggressive toward other dogs, cats, or people. In fact, they are normally very shy with other animals and strangers and tend to run or take a submissive posture rather than a territorial or aggressive stance. They do not care about chasing cats, but will chase squirrels in the yard or birds whenever they spot one low enough to the ground.
They enjoy cuddling with you and laying in the sun. This is because they are affectionate animals, but also because their small frame and short hair tends to make them get cold more easily. To become more comfortable, they like snuggle in warm places, like your lap in order to share your body heat, or in front of a window with the sun shining through. They also love to burrow in blankets and to wear doggie clothes and pajamas.
Just because they like to cuddle and lay around, however, does not mean that they don’t have an energetic side. Italian Greyhounds are notorious for their sudden bursts of energy. They will often get up from a nap and then tear full speed around the house for a couple of minutes. You have to be careful here because they can often hurt themselves, break things in your house, or knock people over when they do this. It is not unheard of for an Italian Greyhound to leap down from somewhere and break a leg. If you have small children, you may want to think twice about getting an Italian Greyhound, not because the dog would be mean to or bite the child, but because the dog may knock the child over in its mad dashes.
Italian Greyhounds are small and are easily frightened. Their instincts wisely tell them to take flight rather than fight. So be careful when yelling at or disciplining an Italian Greyhound. They may not trust you or feel safe around you for a long time afterward.
General Italian Greyhound Behaviour
Italian Greyhounds are difficult to train. An especial difficulty is housebreaking or potty training. Italian Greyhounds like to be comfortable and will often refuse to go outside when it’s raining or when the temperature is too low for their liking. You can train them to go out and to engage in other desired behaviours with the treats, but you need to be consistent. An Italian Greyhound will not do something they don’t want to do unless they are absolutely certain that it will be worth it to them. Again, punishment is not really an option to make them do something because they will just get scared of you and not learn what you wanted them to learn anyway. A selfish attitude and a willingness to respond only to positive reinforcement is part of that Italian Greyhound temperament.