The following information should answer frequently asked questions about this breed. Reading the FAQs will help you determine if this is the right breed for you, as well as educate you on the breed. We know Italian Greyhounds aren't for everybody and reading the FAQs are the first step to determining if an IG is going to be a new member of your family. Are they miniature Greyhounds? What is an Italian Greyhound's personality like? Are IGs impossible to potty train? Do they shed and how often do they need bathed?
How long do they live?
Well we like to say the average lifespan of an Italian Greyhound is around 13 years but we actually have a much older age set in rescue.
Currently in rescue we have an 18 year old, two 16 year olds, a 15 year old and two 14 year olds. All of these dogs have led very difficult lives which is why we like to say that 10 is middle aged and 13 is just becoming a senior! The fact is that LOVE has as much to do with longevity as general health does when it comes to this breed. Think of it this way, many lage breed dogs have a max expected life span of 10, where as we consider 10 to be middle aged, therefore it's really not that old! Ask us about the many advantages of middle aged IGs!
Are these racing dogs?
No, IGs do not race professionally for gambling although there are lure coursing events which IGs do participate in.
No, IGs are their own specific breed of greyhound and since they were not bred down from greyhounds are not considered a 'miniature greyhound'. IG's have been found as mummified remains in ancient Egyptian tombs as well as references to the breed in ancient Pompeii.
IGs have been bred for thousands of years to be companion dogs. They date back to Pompeii, Ancient Egypt and Renaissance Italy, as treasured companions for royalty. As such, their sole purpose in life is to love their owner. They are NOT a breed that will be independent and sit in a corner, be obedient to a fault and come to you when you feel like it. When you are at home they will stick to you like glue. If you are pacing around the house talking on the phone, your IG will be a few steps behind you. If you want a true blue velcro companion this is the dog for you, if you want an independent dog this is not the breed you are looking for. Their goal and function in life is to give love and be loved. These dogs are also highly intelligent problem solvers, can understand many commands as well as short sentences and they are extremely personified and will keep you laughing and smiling all the time.
Do they sleep all the time or run around the house always?
Well some IGs have more energy than others. As with any breed a younger dog will be more high energy. IGs LOVE LOVE LOVE their naps! But even the old ones can get a 10+ minute case of the zoomies just as well as the young ones where they will race around your home as fast as they can, leaping and flying and just enjoying life. It is great to watch, providing you have Iggy Proofed your home to guard against injury.
Can I jog with my IG?
IGs are not long distance runners and daily runs on concrete surfaces can increase their chances of arthritis in later years. Daily walks are a great activity however!
Should I be worried about leg breaks?
Leg breaks are always a concern considering these little ones will get the zoomies and race around your home at exorbitant speeds. BUT, once an IG has a fully developed bone structure a leg break is much less likely. An IG will typically have a completely established/grown bone structure between the age of 1 to 1 1/2 years old in relation to leg break concerns. After that age the susceptibility to a leg break significantly decreases. During your home visit, your volunteer will provide safety advice regarding how to make your home safer so as to avoid a leg break.
NO! They can be potty trained very well. This is an intelligent breed. It is easy to get on the right track of potty training. There will be setbacks, but if you stick to a routine and go back to your potty training 101 when an accident occurs you should be okay. IG Rescue will provide ongoing potty training advice and consultation to help you along!
IGs do not typically shed. If they get overheated or over excited they may have a sudden poof of hair but it looks and is the size of an eyelash which is easily brushed off. They are extremely clean dogs and need bathing occasionally. They do not stink or have greasy hair and are so clean that they use to be considered a hypoallergenic breed, so they are great for people with allergies.
What is the deal with their teeth?
IGs, like any small breed dog, do have trouble maintaining healthy teeth. It is recommended that you brush their teeth once a week. This routine may help you avoid the cost of a yearly dental! They good news is that since they have no hair to comb there is plenty of time to put in the 5 minutes a week it takes to brush their teeth!
If you have any other questions about the breed please contact Annemarie Burgess at igrescueFL@gmail.com and she would be more than happy to assist you.
Are they miniature Greyhounds?
What is an Italian Greyhound's personality like?
Are IGs impossible to potty train?
Do they shed and how often do they need bathed?
Annemarie Burgess and Estelle