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Hi everyone!

My boyfriend has what we've long believed to be a "Missouri Purebred" - ie, a total mutt. Backstory is he found her and her brother at ~5 weeks old (according to the vet he took them to), dumped in the woods in MO. Both were very sick and malnourished at the time, so the guess is either the mother was killed or they were dumped by the owners. Initially, we thought she was a cross between a Chihuahua, some kind of terrier or pointer and lord knows what else. As she's gotten older, she's been looking less and less like a Chihuahua.

Anyway, today I randomly came across info on Italian Greyhounds and she seems to match the temperament profile to a T, and looks eerily similar. This image is not of her, although she looks almost identical. Her legs are a little shorter and her snout a bit stubbier, so I'm still sure she's a mutt with something else.



One of the things I found out about them is they are not "ideal" for households with children (which is ours). She's a very skittish dog, and extremely hand-shy, probably from the early separation. Since being around my kids all the time, she's calmed down a little and will respond to treats and praise. She will even allow my oldest daughter (almost 10) to hold and cuddle her, where previously she'd run and hide.

So the point of all that is to ask if there are any special considerations for this breed and her history in regards to training? She is house trained, isn't aggressive and doesn't have any destructive tendencies (unless one of the kids leaves a small stuffed animal out, lol). The only thing I'd really like is to get her to be more sociable, and am not sure if we're on the right course by simply providing plenty of socializing mixed with downtime and cuddles. Of course, the standard sit/stay/heel/etc. training would be a benefit, too, but I don't see that happening until I can get her out of her shell. At present, the only person she will truly respond well to is my boyfriend.
 

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I know nothing about Italian Greyhounds, but your girl is really cute!

I do know a little about shy dogs, as I've spent the past 5 months slowly drawing the dog in my profile pic out of his shell. I think you're doing well by providing socialization, downtime and affection. I found that clicker training really helped, as well, though I did have to get past Kabota's tendency to flinch away from the clicker. (After enough treats, he stopped.)

I've been working heavily on confidence- doing lots of training with lots of rewards and no punishments or corrections, concentrating heavily on things he can do and very slowly adding in new ideas.

The secret, for us anyway, has been not to force anything. If Kabota finds something overwhelming, I just back off and try again in a few days, or find another way around it.
 
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