With sighthounds, due to the similarity in their neck and head circumferences, a martingale collar is the safest choice. There are different style martingales, some easier to use than others, but regardless of the design, it is vitally important that the martingale fit properly.
Do not use a retractable leash!
I would not recommend using a retractable leash ever! The reasons include:
They teach the dog to pull due to the constant pressure from the lead.
If the handle is dropped, it will move toward the dog, scaring him and causing him to run off, and possibly hitting and injuring him.
If your dog runs and gets to the end of the line, it can jerk him back suddenly, causing injury.
If danger is encountered, you cannot quickly reel the dog in.
The line can cause entanglement and serious injury to both dogs and humans.
If you have researched the Italian Greyhound breed, read the information on this akc site, and think an IG is right for you, consider the following:
Are you ready to make a lifetime commitment to an IG? - Consider what your lifestyle is like now and what the future is likely and even unlikely, to bring.
Do you have young children who may be too rambunctious for an IG? Do you have a large dog that could inadvertently hurt an IG during play or respond to it with a prey drive? Will your work and social obligations require an IG to be alone for too much time?
Will you consider your IG to be part of your family if you move, have children, retire, travel more frequently, make a job change or re-decorate your home? Will he/she still be part of your family if there are "elimination accidents" inside your home, a high demand for attention, health or behavioural issues that develop, or the "whole dog thing" is more work than you expected?
Do you have the financial ability to provide for the health and safety of an IG? - Remember, when you acquire an IG, or any dog, the costs are only beginning. Do not be tempted to overlook the ongoing expense of dog ownership and the need to be prepared if your IG has a health emergency.
Are you able and willing to spend time with your IG? - Italian Greyhounds will not thrive without attention and companionship from their people. In addition to sitting with you (and following you around), they will depend on you for exercise and play. Although a safely fenced yard is a plus, it is beneficial (perhaps essential) for your IG to be taken on walks. Although each IG is unique, they can be active and demanding of attention.
Are you willing to IG-proof your home? - You need to provide a safe environment for your IG, even if that means altering your home decorating.
Are you willing to share your furniture with an IG? - IGs like to be with you. If you are on the sofa, that's where your IG will want to be - not on the floor by your feet.
Are you willing to be open-minded regarding housetraining? - Many IGs have success with litter box training; is this something you would consider? If not using a litter box, would you consider a covered outside "potty area" for inclement weather? Would you be willing to regularly take your dog out and keep a closer watch on him/her during rainy, windy, or cold weather (when they are more apt to sneak off and "go" in your home?) Are you accepting of accidents?
Are you willing to walk a dog that is wearing clothes? - Italian Greyhounds do not have much fur or body fat and need protection from the cold. Depending on your climate, expect to have dog sweaters, and coats.
Are you prepared to spend time training and socializing your IG - an IG needs gentle, positive training to know what is expected of him/her, socialization to be comfortable with the world around him/her, and benefits from the physical and mental stimulation of both.
Are you ready for the love and affection of an IG? If so, when you open your home and heart to one, be prepared to smile!
When getting an Italian Greyhound, do not think in terms of how much the actual Italian Greyhound costs. Rather, think about how much dog ownership is going to cost and whether you are willing and able to afford it.
Initial and ongoing costs of dog ownership include:
Initial supplies such as an ID tag, collar, and leash, crate, ex-pen and accessories, food and water bowls, toys, housetraining equipment, clothing, car restraint system, and materials for creating a safe environment for your IG
Food, treats and chews
Initial, regular, and emergency veterinary care. I would recommend having a substantial emergency fund and/or acquiring pet insurance.
Health and grooming supplies
Socialization and/or training classes
Informational resources such as books and magazines
Vacation associated costs
Replacement of supplies, such as toys
When choosing insurance, consider the monthly payment amount (premium), amount of coverage after the deductible, what is and is not covered, per incident caps, and yearly caps. It is also important to know whether a plan pays based on your veterinarian's fees (the best option) or on an insurance schedule.
Set aside $2000-$3000 for emergency pet fund!
Health Care Tips
Dog Dental Products
Remember to brush your IG's teeth daily!
I recommend baking soda once your puppy is used to the routine of teeth brushing. You can start with a flavoured dog toothpaste and a small brush.
Prepare for vet cleaning after one year of age...this can be discussed with your vet. Remember too how sensitive IG's are to anesthetic.
In between vet care, is Leyna Pauze!
K9 Tooth Haus
Dog Nail Trimming
I recommend the use of a Dremel over a nail clipper, primarily because you cannot accidentally cut the dog's quick.