SAFEGUARD YOUR ITALIAN GREYHOUND FROM SURRENDER
by Nomi Berger
The primary rule of owning an Italian Greyhound, as with any dog, is to KNOW the breed by fully educating yourself before making a commitment to that dog. If not, your dog may become one of those surrendered either to a shelter or a rescue.
KNOW that Italian Greyhounds attach themselves to their owners and have earned the title “velcro” dogs. With their sweet and sensitive natures, they live to love and be loved. And, for them, this means being with their people as much as possible. Any lap is an open invitation to join you, and when not on your lap, look for them by your side, at or under your feet, and beneath the blankets of your bed. Because of the intensity of their bond with you, younger dogs, in particular, don’t tolerate long periods of separation very well, making more mature dogs a better match for owners who either work outside the home or have an active social life. Why? Because some older dogs are perfectly content being left on their own, either playing by themselves or simply chilling until your return.
KNOW that Italian Greyhounds are difficult to house train. Despite the occasional accident (even after being trained), consistency and patience, coupled with treats for reinforcement can usually get the job done. But because some will never be fully house trained, they should be trained to use pee pads instead.
KNOW that owing to their delicate build, most are not fans of the cold, rain or snow, and should be both properly covered and gently coaxed in order to get their paws beyond the front door. Never force or punish your dog for their reluctance to venture outside. Again, let pee pads be your second “best friend”.
KNOW that Italian Greyhounds have a long-life span, most living well into their teens. They also mature much later than other breeds, not “mellowing out” until 3 or 4 years of age. Older owners will, therefore, be far happier and less stressed if they adopt an older dog, one that prefers being a couch potato and lapping up love. And plans should ALWAYS be in place for the dog’s continued care if their owner gets ill or passes before they do.
KNOW that many Italian Greyhounds love children, but like all dogs, they must be properly introduced to them. For their part, children must be taught to be gentle and respectful because Italian Greyhounds do NOT enjoy rough housing or rough handling. Know too, that a newborn will be in “competition” for the lap time and attention once reserved solely for your dog. Young parents who are planning a family should, therefore, give this most unique breed some serious thought and consideration.
KNOW that when choosing an Italian Greyhound, you must choose wisely. By being a fully informed owner, you are being your new dog’s best friend and safeguarding him from ever being surrendered.
KNOW that, most of all, TIGR is always available to help!
Artiles by Nomi Berger. Nomi is the best selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction and two volumes of poetry. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA.