If you are considering Italian Greyhound ownership, adoption is a great option.
Italian Greyhounds are rehomed fairly often, so there are lots of rescue organizations dedicated to finding new homes for these sweet, sensitive dogs.
Where can you find an Italian Greyhound for adoption? The first place to check for Italian Greyhounds who are up for adoption is the Italian Greyhound Rescue Foundation, a national resource. Many states have local, nonprofit rescue organizations for this breed as well.
Find the perfect Italian Greyhound for you by looking through this list of rescue organizations.
Read on to learn some important tips before you bring your newly adopted Italian Greyhound home.
This national rescue is operated by the Italian Greyhound Club of America, with chapters covering all areas of the U.S.
Works nationally to assist in placing Italian Greyhounds.
Operates throughout the Midwest.
Serves Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, DC, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Serves Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Operates throughout the East Coast.
Italian Greyhound Rescue of Pennsylvania – Western PA
National Greyhound Adoption Program – Philadelphia, PA
Adopting an Italian Greyhound
Italian Greyhounds are loving, adaptable dogs who are able to thrive in a number of different situations.
Like all dogs, adopted Italian Greyhounds need love, exercise, and time to adjust.
There are also some special considerations when adopting an Italian Greyhound as opposed to any other breed.
They are Delicate
Italian Greyhounds are very delicate. Their long, spindly legs can be broken relatively easily.
Italian Greyhounds seem to have no idea that they are delicate most of the time. They don’t hesitate to run like crazy, even when it may not be the safest thing to do.
You need to make sure that your home is well suited to a delicate little dog who may not always use common sense.
Use rugs to cover slick surfaces so that your dog won’t slip and hurt himself.
It is also important that everyone in the family understands that these dogs must never be dropped or left on furniture where they may jump off.
Struggles with Potty Training
Italian Greyhounds can be notoriously difficult to potty train.
They are especially unlikely to be willing to go outside when it is cold or wet out. Even Italian Greyhounds who have progressed well with training can have accidents on a bad day.
Difficulties with housebreaking are one of the most common reasons that Italian Greyhounds are rehomed.
Therefore it may be even more likely that your rescued Italian Greyhound may have difficulties with potty training.
When adopting an Italian greyhound, it may not be a bad idea to accept that potty training is going to be an issue, especially if you live somewhere cold or have inclement weather often.
Providing a litter box or other ways for your dog to relieve himself indoors can set your dog up for success and prevent you from having to deal with clean up.
An Unknown Past
Sometimes when you adopt an Italian Greyhound you’ll know a lot about their lives before adoption.
Sometimes Italian Greyhounds need to be rehomed for a legitimate reason such as the death or illness of their owner.
In such cases, dogs may go directly from their prior lives to your home, and the transition can be relatively smooth. Dogs can even keep some of their old things.
More often, dogs are rehomed without much of a backstory.
Sometimes they have injuries or are severely malnourished. Some Italian Greyhounds are abused or come from hoarding situations.
You may not know what kind of life your Italian Greyhound had before they came to you.
It can take a long time to overcome the effects of neglect or abuse. Sometimes this sensitive breed carries the emotional scars for life.
There are a few steps that you can take when you adopt a new Italian Greyhound to set both of you up for success.
Being prepared with the right equipment can make the difference between a smooth transition for your newly-adopted Italian Greyhound and a possible disaster.
Here are some items you should make sure you have before you bring your dog home.
Traditionally, Italian Greyhounds and other sighthounds were walked on a wide martingale collar.
Martingale collars are designed with a limited slip so that dogs can’t get their heads out.
However, for the tiny Italian Greyhound, a martingale collar or any kind of collar may damage the delicate trachea, so Italian Greyhounds should always wear a harness.
A harness is especially important when you are adopting a new Italian Greyhound who has an unknown past, since the dog may be unexpectedly skittish and hurt themselves straining against a collar.
It is essential that the harness that you choose is very secure so that your dog won’t slip out of it.
RUFFWEAR makes sturdy harnesses that are often recommended for sighthounds like Italian Greyhounds.
You can also check out some of the unique and handmade sighthound collars on Etsy.
The best way to make sure that your harness will fit is to choose one that is highly adjustable so you’ll be able to match the harness to your dog’s body type.
Like most sighthounds, Italian Greyhounds should never be let off the leash unless they are in a secure environment.
The drive to chase things that move is simply too strong, and you are extremely unlikely to catch the fast-moving Italian Greyhound on the run.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a nice, long leash available so that you can give your Italian Greyhound room to explore before you trust them off-leash in the backyard.
A long leash (here’s my favorite) also gives your dog room to move around when you are on a walk.
Because Italian Greyhounds can be so difficult to potty train, a crate is very important for any time that you will not be able to supervise your dog.
Later on, you may be able to skip the crate, especially if you litter box or paper train your dog, but at the beginning, your dog will need to be crated.
In order to give your Italian Greyhound a sense of safety and avoid having those spindly legs getting caught in the wire, a plastic crate is a good decision for most Italian Greyhounds.
It is exciting to bring your new Italian Greyhound home, but care must be taken so that you don’t overwhelm them.
Italian Greyhounds are sensitive dogs and are very loving, sometimes almost to a fault, so there is a good chance that your Italian Greyhound will be soaking up your affection from the moment they come home.
On the other hand, some Italian Greyhounds, especially those who may be coming from a situation of abuse or neglect, may be wary of you or just want to be alone.
Let your dog determine the pace, but maintain a routine of potty breaks, feeding, treats, etc.
If you have any other pets in the home, you should keep them separated from your new Italian Greyhound using a baby gate or some other barrier that they can see each other through.
Carefully monitor behavior to make sure that they seem to be getting along well. Don’t let them interact for at least a few days as your new dog acclimates to their surroundings.