When it comes to tiny bundles of joy, Italian Greyhound puppies most definitely steal the show. These miniature wonders are not only ridiculously cute but also bring quite the personality! In this blog article, we're going to dive deep into the world of Italian Greyhound puppies, covering everything from house training to health risks. So, if you're considering bringing one of these pint-sized pups into your life, grab a comfy seat and let's get started!
Everything we put into this post comes from a personal experience - we live with 2 amazing Iggies Harvey (6y/o) and Oliver (3y/o). Think of this as our bundle of wisdom. To summarize our journey through the early days, there were top 3 mistakes I've done that made the biggest impact moving forward. Here’s a bit more on that just before jumping to the whole story of raising puppy Italian Greyhounds.
Italian Greyhound Puppy House Training
The Tiny Bladders
One of the first challenges you'll face & things that you must be aware of with your Italian Greyhound puppy is house training. Due to their diminutive size, their bladders are equally small. This means more frequent trips outside for potty breaks & longer time to fully housetrain. Be prepared for lots of 'outside' time during those initial months.
Patience is Key
House training any puppy requires patience, but with Italian Greyhounds, it's an art form. They are intelligent but can be a tad stubborn. Consistency and positive reinforcement are your allies here. Reward good behavior with treats and praise. It is often said that it’s impossible to fully house train an iggy but I assure you - IT IS POSSIBLE & very much DOABLE.
If I, a first time dog owner, made it, you can make it too! Persistence, patience, treats, crate, and persistence, again, will definitely do its job.
Italian Greyhound Puppy Training Tips & Tricks
Italian Greyhounds are very social creatures. Expose them to various people, pets, and environments early on. This helps prevent shyness or fearfulness as they grow. While talking about fears that develop early, I truly recommend a must read book ‘From Fearful to Fear Free’. It will definitely help to raise your Italian Greyhound puppy as a confident dog! More book recommendations here.
Use positive reinforcement techniques during training. Reward good behavior with treats and affection. These pups respond well to love and affection. Though it may sometimes feel that they are hard to train, consider that they are very emotional and require patience and consistency. It’s all doable!
Consider enrolling your Italian Greyhound in puppy obedience classes. These classes help with socialization and basic training. Plus, it's an opportunity for your pup to make new friends & socialize! Usually such classes teach newly-baked owners on key structures of training and motivate them to keep in-tact. We completed a couple of live courses with Harvey and I can strongly say that it made a great foundation for the discipline.
Buying Italian Greyhound from Official Kennels vs. Rescue
Purchasing from a reputable breeder ensures that you get a puppy with a known lineage and health history. You'll also have a good idea of what to expect in terms of temperament and appearance. There is usually quite a long waiting list to get an iggy as the litters are usually small (2-4 puppies) but it’s really worth waiting. It is proven that puppies from responsible breeders are way healthier and more stable emotionally.
Adopting from a rescue organization gives a loving home to a pup in need. Many Italian Greyhounds end up in rescues, often through no fault of their own. It's a noble choice for those who want to make a difference. Though be careful not to get caught by touching stories the scammers tell. Unfortunately, it’s not that rare to fall into the trap of those who irresponsibly breed Italian Greyhounds and sell them as ‘rescues’.
Top Challenges Owning Italian Greyhound
Their small size means they're delicate and can be easily injured. This calls for a watchful eye during playtime and a safe, enclosed yard. Though, if you train your iggy puppy from early days, it is very likely that she/he will be ready to run off-leash in safe but unfenced areas! However, you’ll still need to be cautious that they may be scared by something unexpected & run from you instead of at you.
Cold Weather Woes
Italian Greyhounds have minimal body fat and a thin coat. They are susceptible to the cold, so you might need to invest in some stylish doggy sweaters for the winter months. Is that an issue? Well, we say that it’s a benefit! Especially for that we have launched a huge line of Italian Greyhound clothes. Are you ready for your iggy to catch everyone’s attention? It’s called being fabulous, baby!
Clothing for Italian Greyhound Puppies
Speaking of sweaters, these little fashionistas can rock an outfit like no other! Consider a wardrobe that includes sweaters, coats, rainwear and even booties to keep them cozy and stylish. It may seem tricky to keep them warm when it’s cold but the bigger challenge is to learn how not to overdress! Here’s a quick guide when to choose clothes & when to let your iggy run naked.
Protection from the Elements
Don't forget sun protection for those sunny days. Italian Greyhound puppies have sensitive skin that can easily burn. If you choose to put sunscreen on, make sure it’s safe for dogs. As an alternative, thin natural cotton shirts & staying in a shadow is the perfect choice for the hottest summer days. And yes, iggies do overheat. That is especially risky for Italian Greyhound puppies.
Italian Greyhound Breed Size
Italian Greyhounds are the smallest of the Greyhound family. They typically stand around 13-15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh in at a dainty 7-14 pounds. Perfect for those with limited space!
Sometimes iggies are called Miniature Greyhounds, but hey, that’s not entirely true! They are a separate & ancient breed - Italian Greyhounds.
Biggest Health Risks for Italian Greyhounds
Small dog breeds often have dental issues. Regular tooth brushing and dental check-ups are essential to maintain their pearly whites (and healthy!). What is regular, you may wonder. D-A-I-L-Y! Does that sound impossible? Well, it’s not if you’re really well-disciplined. But yeaaaa… Effort is needed. There are many additional options to take care of the dental hygiene: special chewables, raw diet, periodical mechanical procedures at vet’s… Consult with your vet on the best options.
Like their larger Greyhound relatives, Italian Greyhounds can be prone to hip dysplasia. The best prevention here is to keep them at a healthy weight and, if needed, consult with your vet regarding joint supplements.
This one hurts. And it hurts not only your iggy and you but your wallet as well. Way too many Italian Greyhounds get their legs broken by unfortunate minor events. For instance, jumping from the sofa. Prevention? Unfortunately, not much to say here… If possible, choose Italian Greyhound breeders thoroughly. Bone fractures tend to be inherited.
Staying Active with Italian Greyhound Puppies
Italian Greyhound puppies might be small, but they're bursting with energy. They love to run, jump, and explore their surroundings. Daily exercise is a must to keep them happy and healthy. And tired. So that they don’t chew your favorite sofa’s corner.
Plan for at least 30 minutes of outdoor playtime each day. A securely fenced yard is ideal, as these little speedsters have a strong prey drive and might chase after anything that moves. If you don't have a yard, regular walks and trips to the dog park are great alternatives. Slowly but steadily train them to recall, so that both you and your iggy pup would feel safe even in unfenced areas as the time goes by and your iggy grows.
Besides physical exercise, don't forget about mental stimulation. Puzzle toys and interactive games can help tire out their active minds, preventing boredom-related mischiefs. I have my top3 activities to do at home. Check them out!
In short, Italian Greyhound puppies are active little dynamos. They thrive on outdoor adventures and playtime, so be prepared to spend quality time together in the great outdoors! On the other hand, don’t you get tricked so easily – overtime they become couch potatoes and love staying at home cozily napping under the blanket.
All in all, Italian Greyhound puppies are an amazing and fulfilling addition to any family. Their small size, puppy eyes, big hearts, and charming personalities make them irresistible. But, as with any breed, they come with their own set of challenges and needs.
With the right care, training, and lots of love, your Italian Greyhound puppy will become an amazing & irreplaceable family member. Imagine this face greeting you everyday after coming back home after a long day. What could be better, right?