1. HOUSE DOGS – Italian Greyhounds are NEVER EVER EVER to be outside dogs. When properly kept they can live in a kennel but they are incredibly sensitive and loving dogs and really need to be near people. They have thin skin and thin coats that are not well suited for heat or cold – only mild temperatures. They should NEVER be chained as they can reach top speeds very fast and injure or kill themselves when they hit the end of the chain.
2. PAPER SHREDDING – Keep the bathroom door closed. Your adorable pup is just waiting for the opportunity to shred your toilet paper and 1 roll of toilet paper can make a whole room look like it snowed!
3. TOYS – Be very careful of tennis balls and similar dog toys. Italian greyhounds like to de-fuzz them. Make sure your puppy isn’t eating that fuzz. Also, chewers can ruin their front teeth on that fuzz.
Some Italian Greyhounds puppies carefully play with toys and others viciously destroy them immediately. Be sure to count body parts and squeakers if you have a destroyer. You want to get those small pieces away quickly before they can be swallowed or watch carefully to be sure everything comes out the other end. If in doubt, go to the vet!!!
Also for the destroyers, test out a few different kinds. I have one who eats tennis ball fuzz, another who tears holes in latex toys but all mine love the unstuffed long toys to play tug-o-war with.
Toys don’t have to be expensive either. Go to a yard sale and pick up some stuffed animals. Make sure the eyes and nose won’t come off, just as you would for a baby. Or the best toy of all is a plastic water bottle with the lid and label off. For variety, put a few kibble in the water bottle and watch them go wild!
4. YOU WILL NEVER BE ALONE AGAIN! – I mean it. Seriously. So you want to go to the bathroom? Expect an italian greyhound peeking the whole time. When you want to take a shower he will wait right outside for you. Laying down for a nap? Not by yourself, you’re not! Watching TV and the italian greyhound warm spot beside you is getting cold? Better go run and check your trashcan!!! Because only mischief will pull an iggy puppy from its owner… or food.
5. LOST DOGS - All dogs should be micro chipped and that microchip should be registered. In the event of a mishap, and the dog walker accidentally loses your dog or your niece opens the door wide open and your dog gets away, a microchip is your best insurance for getting your Italian Greyhound home. Italian Greyhounds can run further and faster than you expect so a microchip will help if he is picked up by Animal Control in a neighboring town.
Of course you should look for your dog but NEVER chase!!! If your dog is in sight there are two things to try. Sit down and call your dog, preferably with treats. Or you can try calling your dog and run backward away from him. This will invoke his prey drive to chase. Talk to him the whole time in a high pitch happy voice and offer treats. NEVER punish a dog who comes to you or whom you catch. If you do, he won’t come next time or he’ll be a lot harder to catch!!! Praise and treats!!!
6. CAR RIDES – It is vital that your puppy is properly secured in the car. Just as babies need to be in car seats for their protection, puppies and dogs should always be in a crate properly secured with bungee cords. Sleepypod makes a special pet bed and carrier but that is the ONLY exception to the crate rule I approve of.
If you are in an accident, a loose dog becomes a projectile in the car to injure himself and others. Also, a loose dog is likely to get out of the car and injured or killed in traffic. As far as harnesses go, 90% of those on the market will fail in a crash either allowing the dog to get loose or injured severely. Even if it doesn’t fail, there’s another problem. If you are injured, how can emergency personnel easily get to a frightened dog? Where is his leash which probably went flying in the crash? Will he allow them to help him safely if he is injured? Will he slip the leash while he is so scared? If he is in a crate that is properly secured with bungee cords, all they have to do is cut the bungees and lift the crate out. No danger to them or your dog.
For carsickness, you can try an anti static trailing strap for the car, a slice of ginger, positioning the crate on or in front of the rear axle of the car and in the middle (from left to right), turning the crate forward, short, happy/fun trips building up to longer trips. Many dogs will simply out grow puppy carsickness. If you have tried all of these methods and nothing is working, speak with your vet about a possible medication solution.
7. The Iggy Death Scream – This is a high pitch scream that IGs do. They scream when they’re in pain. It’s the scariest sound you’ll hear! But they also scream when they are scared, mad or upset in any way. Or sometimes they scream just to scream!
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