So you've decided to buy or acquire an Italian Greyhound


Well first I would suggest doing a bit of research to see if this really is the breed for you.  IGs are wonderful but do have quirks as does any breed.  And let me commend you for doing your research too!  You may also wish to visit the Italian Greyhound Club of America (link below) for more great information.

They can be breakable unless the owner is really willing to iggy-proof their surroundings. Many toy breeds can have teeth problems and we are no different, so teeth checkups and dentals can be in their future on a routine basis.  They are velcro dogs that will never again allow you privacy in the bathroom and will want to be going wherever you are for the rest of their lives.  Most folk will tell you they are almost impossible to housebreak, and this is the number one reason they get turned in to Rescue.  It can be done on a limited basis, and may take you a year or so if you are very very consistent.  I have been successful but also within reason and expectation.  IGs are not generally a child safe pet, so grandkids/kids etc. must be carefully interviewed and monitored and not left alone with them. They will play rough with the IG and break them, or they will not hold them securely and the dog will fly out of their arms and break.  Did I mention iggies like to think they can fly??  Not to say it can never work, it can, but only if the kids are quiet and know they absolutely can only play if sitting on the floor and letting the dog move around them.  IGs get hot in hot weather and freeze in cold, so a moderate indoor temperature is a must, and they can sometimes learn to scale fences or dig under them, so outdoor unmonitored time is not a good idea. IGs should NEVER be off lead in an unfenced park or yard. They are Sight Hounds, meaning they hunt using their vision. They will take off and chase anything that moves across their vision, and that can mean across streets and in front of cars, and most often will NOT return on command. That said, don’t think you can or should not train them to ‘recall’ to you.  In a pinch, it may very well help save your dog’s life, and should be taught weekly and reinforced weekly.

So that is a couple of the negatives.

On the plus side they are more loving than a cat, and will force their way into your bed to sleep with you as they certainly deserve.  They will be your constant companion and will talk to you in their own way. Basically they are a cross between a 2 yr. old child and a cat, and will likely remain that way forever.  Some do slow down as they age, some do not.  Some want to do other sports and agility and fun stuff.  Most will worm their way into your hearts so you will never again think of any other breed.

Personally I have owned a few breeds and bred a few breeds, and would never again want anything else.

So, all that said,  the good and bad and ugly, are your still interested?

If so, please know that there are many rescue IGs in terrible need across the country and some are already on the road to being trained, or trained in some fashion, some young, some old, some lovely, some a bit funny or toothless, but all wonderful creatures wanting one thing and acceptance.  I happen to know that we currently have rescues coming in that will need homes.

If you are dead set on a puppy, meaning willing to train for the next year or more, then be aware that a reputable breeder will interview you to death to make sure that their pup is going to a great forever home. They will require that the dog be neutered, and that if anything should ever happen where you cannot keep the dog, that it be returned to them.  Every once in awhile they will also have a show dog that has finished it’s career and will need placement in a pet home.

If you go to an online breeder (read commercial breeder or puppymill), and you will not easily be able to differentiate that, they will want none of the above because once the money is in their hand, they care not for what happens in it’s lifetime....and they never want it back especially if it’s sick or has some unknown disease.  These online breeders prevail and always have pups available, will even let you choose the pup or sex or color, because they breed for one reason...the almighty dollar, and so they breed a lot and always have available litters. 

A reputable breeder breeds for their next show dog or to continue a great bloodline and will keep what they wish to go on with and sell the rest as pet pups.  HOWEVER a reputable breeder is doing whatever testing they can, some like Patellas should be checked early on, some beginning after the age of 2 when other health issues start to show up, in order to make every effort to breed toward good health and qualities and away from diseases and disorders...they will neuter any dog who should not be bred.  For whatever reason. They are looking to maintain the quality of the breed and uphold the breed standard, while making adjustments and improving where they can with what they already have.  A reputable breeder rarely breeds more than a few litters a year depending on what they can house comfortably and will pet out the rest.

Here are some of the problems that can occur in our breed:


-PRA, a retinal problem causing blindness.

-Poor tooth quality or enamel (tooth loss).

-Fragility on occasion, but common leg breaks (about $3000 or more to fix)

-Leggs Perthes disease

-Slipped or Luxating Patellas

-Color Dilute Alopaecia (causes loss of hair)

-Thyroid disease

-Liver shunts

-Cardiac murmurs

-Epilepsy or Seizure disorders

For more information on puppymills and their horrid reality, visit: , but grab a tissue first, it’s a tough read about a horrid life.  And most puppymills have learned how to appear incredibly responsible and caring to the public on their user friendly websites.  But your first clue should be: 

“we ship dogs” and next is “we take credit cards”, and then “well why do you want to see the parents?” After that is breeding Multiple breeds in their kennel.  A reputable breeder rarely breeds more than two and always shows their breeding stock.  A reputable breeder’s pedigrees don’t advertise “champion lines” since almost every dog in the pedigree is a champion, not just one or two.

And many more important reasons NOT to buy from them.......

So now that I’ve talked your ear off, may I suggest you take a gander at a pretty decent website forum dedicated only to this breed: and there you can read all the pros, cons, see pics and join the site to ask questions.  There are plenty of pet owners on there, some knowlegable, some not so knowledgable, but also some very dedicated breeders and rescue folks.  So not all information there is correct, but mostly the breeders will correct statements if needed. It is not allowed to push or sell pups through iggyplanet, so don’t ask....however it’s a great place to learn.

Then if all this still makes you want an IG more than anything....please let me know and I can point you to the reputable breeders in your area who may have or are soon to have litters available.  Best to talk to some, get to know them and they you, and get on their waiting lists for available pups.  We have small litters, so some parts of the year are more fruitful than others...OR I can put you in touch with your local IGCA Rescue Representative.

Best wishes,


Written by Vikki Landes 2004

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