Italian Greyhound Puppies - What you should know before purchasing or adopting.
Italian Greyhound puppies can be some of the most difficult puppies to own. Many breeders do not inform potential owners of the disadvantages of owning Italian Greyhounds (especially puppies). Italian Greyhound Rescue strives to inform potential adopters/owners about the downfalls of the breed in addition to the joys of owning them. Every dog (not just rescued dogs) will have unique needs and an owner must be prepared to handle different situations that arise. We evaluate each dog individually to let potential homes know of each dog's unique needs as we have been able to determine.
Most of the dogs turned in to rescue are young, with a good percentage of them puppies not over one year of age. Italian Greyhound puppies are very fragile and need special attention so they do not injure themselves. The main reasons Italian Greyhounds are relinquished to rescue are due to house training, issues with children or family members, and the owners not understanding the neediness of each dog.
Since Italian Greyhound puppies are so small, but yet so active they easily can break one or more legs when playing. Even a jump off of a couch on to a carpeted floor can be enough to break a delicate leg bone. Stairs or drop offs can also be a danger to any IG but especially a young dog. A 'baby gate' is not enough to keep an IG confined even at a young age. Many Italian Greyhounds can jump on to a table or over a fence if given a reason and the opportunity. Finding a way down is another cause of broken bones.
House training is the number one reason that Italian Greyhound puppies and adult dogs are turned in to rescue. House training can take from a couple of months to a year and will never be fully finished. When it is slightly cold, rainy, moist, windy, sleeting or snowing they do not like to go outside and will have accidents indoors. During spring and summer they may be accident free, but when the weather begins to transition an IG may need to be completely house trained again, year after year. Italian Greyhounds can be territorial and may mark their territory, especially if unaltered, in a new environment, or around other male dogs.
Children are another leading reason that Italian Greyhounds end up in animal shelters, humane societies, and rescue organizations. They are very active and around infants can accidentally step or jump on the child. Around small children they may try to compete for a favorite owner's attention and show resentment toward a child who they feel a threat. Likewise, children playing rough can accidentally injure an IG leading to costly vet bills or surgery to fix broken bones.
Italian Greyhounds are as needy as most children and require more maintenance than most other breeds. During a favorite television show they will play, jump, bark or whatever else it takes to get your attention if they are being ignored. They may not need groomed, but you will spend as much time cleaning up after them when they shred toilet paper, get in the garbage, or tear the stuffing out of a toy. Cleaning up after accidents only adds to the time needed to take care of an Italian Greyhound. They need constant stimulation whether it be playing outside, taking walks or just snuggling on the couch. Kennel training an IG can also be difficult due to the attention they desire, and they will let you know if they don't like being confined. Italian Greyhounds will follow you from room to room, no matter what you are doing.
If you are considering an Italian Greyhound puppy from a breeder or rescue it is important to consider the difficulties in addition to the benefits. If you do not like to clean up accidents or can't devote the necessary time to own an Italian Greyhound, the breed is probably not fit for your home. If you have a family with young children or plan on starting a family soon, we would recommend waiting until the children are older (8 years or older) to ensure that you and the dog will live in harmony. We would like to know that every dog fits perfect in their home, but unfortunately that is not the truth because breeders and pet stores do not inform potential owners of the downfalls of owning an Italian Greyhound puppy.