The Italian Greyhound is affectionate and makes a good companion dog. The breed is excellent for families and enjoys the company of people. While they are excellent with children, the breed’s slim build and short coat make them somewhat fragile, and injury can result from rough or careless play with children under the age of 12.
The breed is equally at home in the city or the country. They are fast, agile and athletic. Like any dog, daily exercise is a must for a happier, well-adjusted pet. Italian greyhounds love to run. The young dog is often particularly active, and this high level of activity may lead them to attempt ill-advised feats of athleticism that can result in injury. They are prone to broken legs which can be expensive to repair.
In general the Italian Greyhound is intelligent, but they often have a “what’s in it for me” attitude and do not exactly throw themselves into training with great excitement, so patience, firmness, gentleness, and reward in training seem to work best. They are also known for their mischievous ingenuity; despite a high center of gravity, they can easily walk upright on their hind legs to reach items up on tables. They may also use their ‘hidden talent’ of jumping to unusual heights to reach high-up items of interest to them, including leaping atop kitchen countertops from the floor.