Diavolino Italian Greyhounds

                                                                                      ...world reknowned show dogs and world class companions


IGs And Other Pets

One of the questions on many people's minds - how will the IG handle other pets?  For the safety of the Italian Greyhound, much consideration needs to go into the addition of another pet, especially if it is a larger pet or a different species altogether!  At one time, I had a cat in the house and everyone got along fine.  It took a few weeks of my reminding the IGs that the kitten was not prey!  Once I moved out to acreage, there were no longer any house cats.  People often dumped their unwanted cats on our property as we were the last acreage on a paved road.  Those cats were feral and reproduced more feral cats.  I have to be honest, many of those cats saw the error of their ways when they jumped into the dog yard!

As for other dogs, you really need to be careful of the size and temperament difference.  IGs can be the tease of the group, and many will bug the other dog to play, when in fact all the other dog wants to do is take a nap.  This action can create frustration and irritation in the other dog, causing it to react.   With a smaller dog, that isn't usually a problem.  With a bigger dog, it can  be fatal to the smaller dog.

Even when the dogs are great friends, some precautions have to be made to ensure the safety of all involved.  I have a Whippet who is absolutely wonderful with the IGs.  However, when she is really wired up, I lock the IGs in the house and take her to the back yard to run off some of her energy.  When 2 IGs collide in the back yard, it is equal weights impacting.  When the Whippet collides with an IG, she is 3 - 4 times their weight!  Definitely a risk of injury.

I never leave the Whippet unsupervised with any of the younger IGs outside, and never leave her with ANY of the IGs when she is wired.  Indoors, she is safe to be with them, as long as there is no living room Olympics going on.  Even though she tries really hard to be gentle, sometimes she just can't control her enthusiasm or her larger size.  She would never mean to hurt them but accidents do happen.


Following are submissions from other IG owners, with photos of their IGs and their other pets. They have included their own 'words of wisdom' for your information.


Oberon met my two rabbits (one of which weighs nearly as much as he does) when I first adopted him at thirteen months old. Most sight hounds have a very strong prey drive, so he started out on the leash. He was very excited to meet them, but didn't show any signs of wanting to chase them. I told him to 'leave it' if he got worked up enough to yap at them, and he's always behaved himself. I don't leave him unsupervised with them, even though he seems to be more afraid of my French lop than she is of him. He'd be more likely to play with them then to attack, but even play could be dangerous. So this isn't a pairing I would suggest unless you really know your dog.
Titania, Oregon


  Sophie, Jack my IGs and Lola my Great Dane... Lola thinks she is Jack and Sophie's mommy... she looked after them from day one... we don't let them run in the yard together....in the house they are always together.....


We had Nalu, our Rhodesian Ridgeback, before getting our iggies. We were told it most likely wouldn't work out; that he would view them as prey. So when we brought home our first IG, it was constant supervision when they were together for 3 months before we felt comfortable that he would not hurt her. He warmed up quickly to our second female. Adding a third boy took a little longer for him to accept, but he is now in love with them all. He now knows that he has to play gently with them. I think they are probably more rough with him than he is with them! We still always supervise playtime in the yard, as Nalu will sometimes get the zoomies, so if that happens we have to put an end to it. Since I have been fostering some IG's and we are watching some for a friend, we currently have six IGs living with us and he is fine with all of them.  
Lori B, Hawaii


  IGs and larger sighthounds, like a saluki, can be great together. Inside, a larger sighthound is calm and puts up with the playful antics of an IG. I often find my IGs sleeping together with and on top of my saluki. But you have to be careful when you are outside, and never let them out without supervision. In a small yard, I let them out together - but I never let the IGs run with the saluki in more spacious areas where the saluki will stretch out and run, run, run. Prey drive can kick in, or the larger dog can hurt the IG just because of his speed and size.

Lena S, Norway


I have had IGs and Boston Terriers living together for over 10 years. I have found that they are actually a great match when it comes to personality, endurance, and playfulness. Sam has grown up chasing Charm and is literally the fastest Boston Terrier in Central Florida. The only thing I have had to be careful of is teaching Charm and Sam not to bite each other on the face during play time. I would hate for Charm to hurt Isis' eyes or Sam's eyes inadvertently while playing. I really don't have anything bad to say about this combination, but it may just be due to owner blindness.
Lisa, Florida


If you have a photo of your IG and some words of wisdom of your own, please feel free to submit it to this website! Submission grants me the right to publish your photo and text, but does not guarantee inclusion.


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