Should You Own an Italian Greyhound?
You've read all the websites, you've done your homework and you think this may be the breed for you. What more is there to know? Here are a few simple questions that should be asked before purchasing an Italian Greyhound
1. What is there to know about housetraining an Italian Greyhound?
Italian Greyhounds generally require a longer length of time to housetrain than most other breeds. An IG owner should be prepared for the day in and day out rigors of patient, persistent and consistent housetraining. The minimum housetraining time is at least 2 ½ weeks and that is only if the IG was purchased from a responsible breeder. If the IG was acquired elsewhere then an owner should be prepared for at least 6 months of training and re-training. The #1 reason why Italian Greyhounds are given up to shelters and rescue groups is because of poor potty habits. Even though every Italian Greyhound is trainable...not everyone is prepared for the amount of hard work that may be required. With love, patience and consistent training every Italian Greyhound can become a well-mannered housedog with only the occasional "accident".
2. What sort of emergencies might crop up with an Italian Greyhound?
Italian Greyhounds can and do break legs. Although this does not often happen the fragility of IG legs occasionally leads to this sort of accident. Puppies especially are guilty of "leaping before looking" . An IG owner must be prepared to pay anywhere from $700.00 to over a $1,000.00 in order to repair a broken leg.
3. How much attention does an Italian Greyhound really require?
The answer to this question is...LOTS!!!!! Italian Greyhounds like to be the center of thier owners' lives. They do NOT graciously accept being ignored . Some of them become destructive and unmanageable if left to their own devices. Italian Greyhounds insist on playing the "lead" within the household and will not accept a fringe role.
4. How obedient is the basic nature of an Italian Greyhound?
People who desire a consistently obedient and subservient pet should NOT opt for an Italian Greyhound. Those owners who go on to train their Italian Greyhounds in obedience titles do so with the knowledge that this breed isn't going to be like the Border Collie or Poodle. Italian Greyhounds will work WITH an owner not FOR the owner. They can be trained ...but be aware that their basic nature is opinionated, intelligent and even occasionally wilful.
5. Is an Italian Greyhound a good companion animal?
The answer to this is a resounding YES! Italian Greyhounds make loving and faithful best friends. They also require only a minimum amount of coat care. Dental care is something else. Every owner should be prepared to brush teeth and pay attention to IG dental hygiene. However, if an owner is looking for a sturdy, feisty athletic dog for general rough and tumble outside play in all types of weather..an Italian Greyhound would make a poor choice. If an owner wants a dog who is going to play chase the ball and fetch .. another breed should definitely be chosen. While some IGs will go along with this type of a game the breed isn't much into retreiving ANYTHING and certainly not because a mere owner wants them to!
6. Is an Italian Greyhound a couch potato?
The answer to that is Yes and NO. While older Italian Greyhounds can be quiet and content to merely grace a couch ... many young Italian Greyhounds need activity. They love to run and to go on long walks. They can be extremely inquisitive... demanding time and attention and will not allow themselves to be ignored. Some Italian Greyhounds are born kleptomaniacs. They are unparalled in stealing, swiping and stashing. Some of the more intelligent IGs even go so far as to be vindictive. They do not merely get mad...they get even. "Gifts" in the form of potty "accidents" happen when it is felt that owners are not paying enough attention. However, there is nothing like the love of an Italian Greyhound. It is not a slobbering, ingratiating subservient type of canine love...but something entirely apart. Italian Greyhounds love with their minds as well as their hearts.
Even after answering all of the above questions..every prospective Italian Greyhound owner should gather as much information as possible before purchasing. This is definitely not a breed for everyone. For those who are willing to accept IG "idiosyncracies" and "inconveniences" ...a wonderful world of love, joy and fascination is definitely in store.