Most puppy buyers use the internet to buy an Italian Greyhound puppy. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you realise that bad breeders know where their buyers are and they know how to pull them in!
A breeder may sound very credible – much loved pet Italian Greyhounds, mum and dad both available at home to view, puppy pack and one month’s insurance comes with the puppy, etc. They may even bamboozle you with stories about fantastic show successes and five-generation pedigrees. But if they are advertising online the likelihood is that they are not a responsible breeder, and are breeding for financial gain.
Do your homework before buying an Italian Greyhound Puppy
When buying an Italian Greyhound puppy, it’s up to you to do your research, but it can be very confusing. Purely commercial breeders are very clever at attracting and reassuring buyers, yet their sole interest is in financial gain and not the health or improvement of the Italian Greyhound, or ensuring that they are suitable pets for you – even if they claim that the home is important.
They will, however, ask for a deposit, sometimes non-refundable; a reputable breeder will never ask for a deposit for a puppy as they will be more concerned about the home the puppy is going to live in for the rest of its life, rather than the money it generates. Make sure you ask lots of questions (make a list of questions in advance to refer to) and never conduct a sale without first viewing the puppy with its mother at the very least, in its home environment.
The Dog Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding has more information: http://www.dogadvisorycouncil.com/puppy/
Also the Dog Breeding Reform Group: http://www.dogbreedingreformgroup.uk/guide-to-buying-a-puppy.html
Choose Health Tested Parents
Health testing proposed breeding dogs is very important and strongly encouraged before breeding a litter of Italian Greyhounds. A responsible breeder will have performed all available health tests and studied proposed breed lines before mating dogs. Not every health ailment can be detected with health testing but, combined with carefully selecting breed lines, it certainly cuts down on the risk of producing puppies prone to common problems. These include leg breaks (puppies too small/marginal bone disease), eye problems, luxating patella, epilepsy, premature tooth decay, to name a few.
Be aware that there are a number of health tests available. Don’t be convinced that a puppy-parent is a suitable choice because it has health tests listed in an advert for puppies. Some breeders have been known to have a number of health tests performed despite an already known issue with the dog or its breed line. If you are unsure, contact the Italian Greyhound Club or the Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity (UK based) for advice before committing to a puppy.
Beware of excessing breeding
There are many instances where ‘home breeders’ are breeding their bitches’ season after season, not allowing the mother to rebuild her health and fitness after the previous litter. Not only is this an abuse of the breeding bitch but the health implications for the puppies are very serious. A puppy born out of a bitch that has been bred extensively is likely to suffer from a whole host of health and temperament issues that are the result of poor breeding practices and lack of care in the dog’s formative months. Please do not support these despicable practices by handing your money over to them.
Finding Italian Greyhound breeders
Finding an Italian Greyhound puppy can take some time. We strongly recommend that you meet a number of the breed before making a decision to buy an Italian Greyhound. Championship Dog Shows are good places to visit, make sure you visit on the day the Toy Group is being judged and the breed has classes. A list of shows can be found on the Kennel Club Website.
The Italian Greyhound Club holds three shows annually. You can find details of their next show here.
Visiting a dog show is a great way to meet lots of Italian Greyhounds, their owners and their breeders.
Responsible breeders breed very rarely and so you will need to be prepared to wait, and travel, for a puppy to become available but at least you have confidence that your puppy was bred responsibly and cared for appropriately in its early weeks.
The Italian Greyhound Club Puppy Coordinator
David Wilcock is the Italian Greyhound Club Puppy Coordinator; he may be able to put you in touch with an appropriate breeder when they have puppies available. You can find his contact details here.
Before buying an Italian Greyhound puppy, ask yourself:
Can I afford to keep a dog? Food, vet fees and pet insurance (a must for an Italian Greyhound, as a fractured limb is likely to cost in excess of £3,000 in specialist vet treatment), could cost you around £25 per week and will increase with age.
Can I make a lifelong commitment to an Italian Greyhound? On average, an Italian Greyhound will live to around 12 years old.
Can I accommodate the needs of an Italian Greyhound? Is my house/flat suitable for keeping an Italian Greyhound with a fully enclosed garden?
Do I have the time to exercise an Italian Greyhound every day? An Italian Greyhound will need about an hour’s exercise every day (not just running around in your garden).
Will my Italian Greyhound have company at home for most of the time? They need to be kept exercised mentally and physically – Dog Walkers and Doggie Day Care is not recommended for this highly-strung sensitive breed.
If you have answered “No” to any of these questions, maybe now is not the right time to buy an Italian Greyhound puppy.
Italian Greyhounds are not for everyone – they’re small and they look cute, but they’re also full of energy!
Owning and caring for an Italian Greyhound is one of the most joyful and rewarding experiences you can have. Making the right choice in the first place will ensure that it is!
If you have any questions about finding and buying an Italian Greyhound puppy, or adult dog, please do contact the Italian Greyhound Club or the Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity (UK based) for advice.