Should You Get An Italian Greyhound? FAQs Answered By Experienced Breeder


Having an Italian Greyhound is one of the most profound experiences you will have in your life. It rates right up there with getting married, buying your first house, and having a child. If that surprises you, you are just the person to be visiting this blog.

Over the course of your Italian Greyhound’s lifetime, he will bring you infinite joys but also moments of despair. He will provide you with constant companionship, a warm head to rest your hand on, and unquestioning devotion.

The Italian greyhound is an ancient dog breed with a long history and significant spiritual symbolic meaning in different religions.

Do Italian Greyhounds make good pets?

Italian Greyhounds are great pets for most of us.

Italian Greyhounds are generally awake when we are awake and asleep when we are asleep. Nocturnal animals are guaranteed to be the worst pet experiences. Italian Greyhounds are manageable. We can leave them by themselves for long stretches of time; their feeding is not complicated; they are trainable. They try to read us, and they are readable. Italian Greyhounds are resilient and reliable. They are cute.

How long doesItalian Greyhound live?

About 12 – 14 years (or even longer) when fed a good diet and gets proper exercise. Be sure to have the vet check his teeth every year when he gets his yearly booster and if tarter is building up, have them cleaned. You know how you feel if you have a bad tooth. Dogs are like people…take care of them and they will look and feel great!!

How much space doItalian Greyhounds require?

They are a toy breed and don’t require a lot of room; an apartment in a small home is fine, but they will enjoy running in a fenced-in yard or taking a walk on a nice day. Start with one small area and then advance them to a small room, increasing their area, one room at a time. The BIGGEST mistake is giving a new puppy too much room. It is better to prevent mistakes rather than correct mistakes!

DoItalian Greyhounds get along with other pets?

Yes, but introduce them slowly and make sure they are supervised until they are conformable with each other.

DoItalian Greyhound do better as pairs or is one OK?

One is OK, but the advantage to a pair is that they have each other to play and sleep with when they are left alone.

Which makes the better pet – male or femaleItalian Greyhound?

A lot of people think that a male is dominant and more aggressive, but not so when he has been neutered, as long as it is done early. The male won’t have the desire to run across the road to breed the neighbor’s dog or even lift his leg if it is done early enough.

The Italian Greyhound males are usually more outgoing, loyal, and affectionate than the females which seem to be more independent. The IG males seem to do better with strangers and children, too. If they grow up with children I think either sex is good.

AreItalian Greyhound good with children?

Yes, a dog can be a child’s best friend, as long as the child plays with the puppy carefully and with respect. Don’t let children put the puppy in high places like a sofa, bed, etc. until he is able to jump up and down on his own. Be sure to show the children how to hold him correctly. If you have small children, teach them to play with the puppy on the floor and not to carry him around.

All puppies from my home have been handled thoroughly by my 5-year-old niece; she is our quality control inspector. She test drives the puppies often.

What method of housebreaking do you recommend forItalian Greyhound?

It will depend on your lifestyle. If you work away from home, you may choose to paper train, use the pee pads or litter box vs. the direct outside training. It seems that the first three choices have faster results, especially when it is
cold or raining out. The most important thing is to be consistent!!! And, of course, be patient!!!

Use treats to praise him when he does a good job. All puppies are litter box trained here using Purina Second Nature Dog Litter. If you are using this method, DON’T give them very much room in the pen you are using until they can get used to where they need to go. DO NOT let them have the run of the house and expect him to know where to go.

What kind of toys doItalian Greyhounds like?

Just remember they have a small mouth as a puppy, so you need to get toys that they will be able to pick up and run around with. They love a play gym across their exercise pen. I tie a lot of the rattle toys on the side of the pen with the plastic zip-close ties. As far as a dog toy, they love the fake fur toys that squeak.

How to bond with Italian Greyhounds?

It could be simply that it is both our nature’s to bond. That is just what we do.  But… at a more scientific level, the question of how bonding came to be in the nature of dogs and humans is answerable in two ways.

We are both bondable because it turned out to confer a survival advantage. Neanderthals didn’t keep dogs, probably ate them if they could.  Cro-Magnon did domesticate the dog and he survived.  It is possible this isn’t a coincidence. Perhaps it was only a small part of the survival equation, but it was still a part of the evolutionary math.

  1. We might never know but consider coop­erative hunting.  I mumble to my dogs who are laying around (not hunting), sleeping all night and half the day, “Get a job.”  What is better at a long, arduous, and ener­getic pursuit?  It is here that dogs distinguish themselves. Seems to make life easier to let the dog do most of the work exhausting prey.  When the chase if done, share the meat. Human progress is all about making things easier.
  2. Also consider warmth. A dog’s natural body temperature is higher than ours and they almost always feel warm, especially on a cold night. This is the origin of the phrase “three dog night” — a night so cold you need three dogs in your bed to be comfortable. Aren’t caves something like 58 degrees year-round?  A safe place to be sure, but cold.  We are a touchy species; dogs are too.  It might have accounted for a few of our survivals. Seems to make life easier, if you ask me.

So, to be honest bonding with your Italian Greyhound shouldn’t be a problem. You and your Italian Greyhound are naturally “touchy-feely hunters”. Born for each other almost…. Or certainly, your Italian Greyhound was born for bonding with you.

Bonus: I found going to agility dog competitions and participating in dog shows are extrememly good ways to bond with my blue Italian Greyhound(Italian Greyhounds are good at those too). There is a sense of achievement as we went through an important experience together. We communicate better and have stronger trust relationship as we create the special memories together.

How do I register the Italian Greyhound puppy?

Print a unique name (preferably a song title or lyrics), using one letter per box. Skip a box between words. You ALWAYS want to make a copy of the registration before sending it in. You can also register your new family member online with AKC. Better yet, do all this online.

How old do the Italian Greyhound puppies have to be before buying/adoption?

Over 8 weeks, but if the puppy is going to be shipped, I prefer that it is 9 weeks.

Can Italian Greyhounds be shipped by breeders?

Yes, usually to the nearest major airport to you. The breeder can make all the arrangements with the airlines and then let you know the day, flight number, time, etc… The puppies are sent out priority and you will have them in just a few hours. Continental Airlines is the only airline that a breeder can depend on.

We have safely shipped Italian Greyhound puppies all over the world. Domestic flights inside the United States are simple and foreign flights are a bit more complicated. Basically, a few fees and a few papers to complete.

However, it isn’t prohibitive. The trip is safe and it will happen at a 21st-century speed, which is the same as the speed of a 737 Boeing.

Who pays for the dog shipping?

The new owner, which is usually $180 but could run as much as $200.00. The breeder buys the shipping crate and pays for the health exam and certificate.

What kind of crate is needed for dog shipping?

A nice plastic crate will do, ($38 from Wakl-Mart) with a baked-on enamel door, that you will be able to use for the puppy even as an adult.

What should I get with my new puppy from the breeders?

You should get the registration paper, pedigree on both parents, shot, deworming and heartworm records, sample of Purina Pro-Plan Select puppy food, and health guarantee. All puppies should be microchipped. Puppies should be sent with one of their favorite toys.

Unless otherwise noted all puppies should be sold with a full AKC registration. If they have a bad bite, one testicle,  etc… the breeder should limit registration. If the puppies are sold as pets only and would have limited registration. They should be spayed/neutered to ensure the defect wouldn’t be passed on to the offspring.

You may want to purchase a donut bed, brushes, leashes, and other products when getting your new puppy.

Will the puppy from breeder have all it’s shots and dewormed?

It should have all the puppy shots and be dewormed, but you should take the shot record to the vet to schedule a booster and a rabies shot later. He will have his first heartworm protection, which you will have to continue if you are in an area that heartworms have been found. Ask your vet to provide you with medicine for his protection.

Do breeders do genetic testing on their Italian Greyhounds?

Health tests are done on the adults prior to breeding, including the CERF test, to ensure that the breeder is raising the healthiest puppies possible. CERF testing can only be performed by a board-certified opthalmologist. This doesn’t mean that a puppy can’t have any health problems, because it could be normal and still be a carrier. If you do have problems, please contact the breeder so the breeder may be able to trace where it came from.

What are the actual tests to know if theItalian Greyhound is healthy?

  • Hip Dysplasia/Legg-Calve-Perthes
  • Patellar Luxation
  • CERF evaluation at 36 months, and annual testing to age 10
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis

No amount of testing can guarantee a genetically perfect dog free of health problems. No breeder can guarantee this. If you have a congenital defect that shows up in the first two years from the date of birth, be sure to contact the breeder.

How do I know if myItalian Greyhound puppy is of show quality?

There’s no way the breeder can tell if the puppy will be show quality until they are several months old. With numerous generations of show ring success, each puppy that leaves such a breeder home has the genetic potential to be a show dog. There are breeders who don’t aim at breeding pets, they breed show dogs that are also great pets (Particularly attractive pets!). Target those breeders if having a show dog is your priority.

How long will theItalian Greyhounds be so cute?

A better question is, “How long will my new puppy live?”

It isn’t about “cute” it is about lifelong “responsibility”.

I see far too many humans falling in love with a tiny puppy’s cuteness (a maternal instinct) but eventually losing interest in the full-grown dog. As a puppy, you have raised the dogs’ expectations. You let the puppy live inside, eat yummy puppy food, take the puppy to the vet often.

Then the dog is left outside in the bad weather, fed the cheapest grain-based dog food, and never sees a vet. But the senior Italian greyhound still hopes. He sits by the door hoping to come inside. They sit all day hoping to get back in graces so he can actually have meat-based dog food again. They secretly wish they just get in the car, even if they are going to a vet. “It is okay if you take me to the vet, even if they are going to give me a shot. Actually, please give me a shot. I just want to go.”

Do not only grief when your Italian Greyhound is gone, take care of it when it is still healthy and alive. A misbehaving dog is usually the result of an irresponsible dog owner.

If you buy a puppy, you take on a very important responsibility for that dog’s lifelong well-being. Owning a dog should be a joyful experience, not a stressful one. One thing is for certain, it is a lifelong experience.

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