Italian Greyhounds are a fantastic addition to most households, and will be certain to steal your heart from the get-go, but there are a few things you should be wary of if you are considering owning one of these magnificent creatures. Italian Greyhounds are imaginative and mischievous, as well as fiercely loyal, and you should not dash out and buy one without devoting ample time to research. In particular, you should be aware that Italian Greyhounds are notoriously difficult to housetrain. They are an intelligent breed and can be very wilful, so it’s important you know what you’re getting yourself into!
Italian Greyhounds are extremely affectionate, and will want to feel a part of your family in every way, even if that means following you into the bathroom! They are avid athletes, and bounce about in ways that aren’t dissimilar to a cat, so be prepared to move things to higher ground if you want them IG-proof. You also need to be careful that they don’t injure themselves whilst leaping about. Up until about eighteen months of age, they are extremely prone to broken legs, and are quite fragile as both puppies and adults. Broken legs are very distressing, but also expensive and upsetting for you the owner. It is recommended that you don’t get an Italian Greyhound if you have another large or boisterous dog, as they could easier injure your IG during play. Also take care on walks, as little nooks and crannies in the grass are common causes for leg breaks among Italian Greyhounds.
Italian Greyhounds are extremely athletic, and can seem quite high strung if not given the sufficient amount of exercise. You need to take special care when initially training an Italian Greyhound off lead, as they are sight hounds, and absolutely will chase something that moves! They can be incredibly difficult to catch if they run off, so it’s best to get an extra long training lead until you are confident you can control them enough to recall. Though they love their exercise, Italian Greyhounds can also be a bit diva-like in their walking habits. They have been known to look outside at the rainy weather and turn around immediately! They are very susceptible to cold, and you will need to invest in a coat for your Italian Greyhound if you live somewhere where the winters are cold or damp.
When training your Italian Greyhound, it is important that you go about it in a way that makes the IG feel like she is the boss. Sometimes a simple treat or toy might not seem enough of an incentive to an overly stubborn Italian Greyhound, and they can be slightly difficult to train. Make sure you have your training sessions after a walk, or when your Italian Greyhound is a little bit tired. This way they will have less pent up energy to expel, as well as an extra desire for some tasty treats. Try and keep the sessions short, as they have a very short attention span, and will quickly get bored. Housetraining is a common problem amongst Italian Greyhound owners. As with many toy and small breeds, housetraining can be a nightmare. Italian Greyhounds are small. Therefore, they have small bladders, and cannot immediately be expected to hold it through the night. Expect to be well stocked up with kitchen towels for at least the first year of your Italian Greyhound’s life, but even adults are prone to occasional accidents when left for longer periods of time, or overly excited. It is important that you allot a sheltered area in your garden for your Italian Greyhound to toilet, as if it’s raining she definitely would prefer the dry comfort of your floor!
Owning an Italian Greyhound can be hard work, but they are delightful bundles of energy once you get to know them. Their favourite thing in the world to do is to sunbathe, so expect them to find every patch of sunlight that graces your floor. Italian Greyhounds have often been described as catlike, and in this instance is no different. They love lying about in the sun, and would love nothing more than for you to get down and lay with them! Older Italian Greyhounds will work out that that is unlikely to happen, and will happily snuggle with you on the sofa or bed, but expect puppies to remain ‘puppy-ish’ for a good couple of years.
Italian Greyhounds can become very shy or hyper if they feel they aren’t getting adequate attention. For this reason, they don’t make good additions to multi-pet households. Italian Greyhounds want to be the centre of your attention at all times, and won’t like it when you pay attention to another dog, or even human. Make sure you spend plenty of time including your Italian Greyhound in your life, so that she doesn’t feel ignored or neglected. It is very important that their love and devotion is reciprocated.
Italian Greyhounds are a beautiful and elegant breed, full of cleverness and curiosity, but they can be a bit of a handful for the inexperienced owner. It is important that you read up as much about the breed as you can before going to purchase one. Make sure you seek out a reputable breeder, and meet both mother and father. Italian Greyhounds can be incredibly expensive, and can have higher veterinary bills as well, particularly if broken limbs occur. Be prepared to fork out up to and over £1,000 for your well-bred Italian Greyhound. They are worth every penny to responsible owners, and will provide you with entertainment and affection for all of their lives.