Italian Greyhounds and Other Dogs, Cats, or Birds
Rescues get many questions about if Italian Greyhounds "get along" with other dogs, tolerate cats or birds, or are safe around other animals even. And, the answer to most of those questions is the same and simple... it really depends on the particular dog. The best way to know if a particular dogs gets along with other animals is to ask the rescue representative who is fostering the animal. They may or may not be able to tell you an answer based on if they have other pets in the house, or if the previous owners have supplied such information upon surrendering the IG. Although our approval process sometimes seems lengthy, we include a home visit so we can help introduce a dog in to a new environment, existing pets, and to feel comfortable that the dogs we love are going to a home where we also feel they will thrive.
Italian Greyhounds and Other Dogs
As a general rule most dogs get along after getting to know one another, if properly introduced and given time. However there are always exceptions. Most of our foster homes have other dogs, more often than not other Italian Greyhounds (since they are irresistible). We do often know from previous homes, going to events our out in public, if a particular dog does well with other dogs or not. Some IGs don't care for larger dogs, while others get annoyed by bouncy puppies who constantly want to play, nip, or jump. We also can help identify if a foster dogs tends to be more dominant or submissive, to help prevent conflicts from arising. It is also important to observe how other dogs behave when a new dog is in their home to identify aggression, anxiety, or other incompatibilities that may be of concern.
We do on occasion get dogs who have had a bad experience with other dogs, large or small. Some dogs truly do best without other dogs in a home, where they are given full attention by the owner. And, existing pets should always be considered when thinking about adoption to ensure they will also be happy with a new companion coming in to THEIR territory. Usually there is a week of two where dogs will establish their pecking order in a house, and that sometimes includes small quarrels, growling or even sometimes more.
A female dog introduced in to a home with other female dogs is where dominance issues arise most often. When a female dog is placed in a home with only male animals, the female dog will assume the dominant role in the house. A male dog introduced in to a home with female dogs may fit quite well. And, a male IG mixed with other male dogs may have a few issues while pack order is established, or dominant males may butt heads regularly. Of course these are generalities, and there will be exceptions, so it is always best to fill our an adoption application completely and accurately to help ensure a successful placement.
Iggys and Cats
More often than not, the cats are usually more particular about a dog coming in to their house than vice versa. People with cats know their cat's personality or personalities, if they have been accepting of other animals in the past, and how they may react. We do get some Italian Greyhounds in to rescue who have had bad experiences with cats in the past and are scared of them due to being attacked or scratched. And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we also get IGs who are obsessed with chasing cats.
However, there are harmonious placements too where the cats and dogs learn to become great friends. By visiting the Italian Greyhound message boards or forums, you will likely read stories or see pictures of Italian Greyhounds and cats living peacefully, or even cuddling together for a nap. (Since Italian Greyhounds have a nice warm body, the cats sometimes learn to appreciate their IG buddies as a heating pad.)
IGs and Birds
Italian Greyhounds ARE sighthounds! By nature they chase things including birds and rodents. This is an instinct that has been bred in to Italian Greyhounds for thousands of years, and can't simply be trained out of a dog.
That being said, some IGs do not have much of a chasing instinct, while others want to chase anything and everything. Placing a dog with a low chasing instinct in a home with birds doesn't guarantee that thousands of years of instinct will not get triggered one day when a bird is easily accessible, flies in a way that catches the dog's attention just right, or triggers the dogs natural instincts another way. If you have one or more birds in the house, please work with your rep to help identify if an adoptable Italian Greyhound may or may not be compatible with them.
Italian Greyhounds and Rabbits or Rodents
Many homes have rabbits, mice, rats, ferrets or other rodent pets in a home. These are very tempting treats for an Italian Greyhound. Itlaian Greyhounds are known for catching squirrels, rabbits and birds who are in their yard. Confining a dog and small pets in a closed home may just be asking for trouble.
Italian Greyhounds in Farms, Acreages or Other Unfenced Areas
Since IGs love to run and chase things, a farm may seem like a great place to let them run. But, we never recommend to let any Italian Greyhound run lose in any unfenced area. There are way to many stories of dogs catching wind of a rabbit, squirrel or other animal and chase it in to the path of an oncoming car. Usually these stories do not end well for the dog given their small size and fragility.
Letting an IG run lose amongst horses, cattle or other livestock isn't a great idea either. One kick can break multiple bones, a leg, or even kill a dog. And, pens where animals live in farms are often muddy or slippery, increasing the chances of a dog slipping and breaking a leg.
Finally, without being confined to a fenced area on a farm, the Italian Greyhounds become candidates of being prey or being attacked by other wild animals like coyotes, owls and even crocodiles or alligators in swampy areas.