Diavolino Italian Greyhounds

                                                                                      ...world reknowned show dogs and world class companions


If You Can't Keep Your IG

Sometimes people find themselves in the unfortunate position where they either can't or won't keep their Italian Greyhound. This may have been a very difficult decision, and it can be heart wrenching for all involved.  Once the decision has been made, many people are overwhelmed by trying to do what's best, often because they don't know what's best.

What can you do?

First, evaluate the reason why the dog must go.

Is it a training issue? Are you willing to seek help for the training issue? Sometimes what you see as an insurmountable problem may actually have a fairly easy fix.  Maybe you just didn't know the 'trick'.  Ask for help, whenever possible, ask for help from people who have experience with IGs, or at least sighthounds.  Unfortunately, many of the problems that cause IGs to need to be rehomed are problems that the owner inadvertently created by insufficient, inadequate, or incomplete training.  Housetraining is one of the most common reasons why people choose to not keep their IG, yet it is one that can be prevented by proper training.

Is it a psychological problem?  Is the dog fearful, is it a biter? Is it destructive? Sometimes we need to step back and see what is causing this behaviour.  If it is something we can change, and we love the dog enough to try, make the extra effort. Sometimes it is as simple as a veterinary exam to rule out a medical issue.  Again, don't be afraid to seek help.

Is the dog a barker?  Evaluate the reasons why the dog barks.  Is it lonely? Has there been drastic changes in it's life? Sometimes we get a dog and we have tons of time to spend with it, then jobs, new partners, children, come into the mix and there isn't as much time left for the dog.  Can you get a dog walker?  Maybe try leaving the television or radio on for the dog.  In drastic circumstances, you can have the dog surgically debarked.  Many people have moral objections to a debark, but it is my opinion that if that is the only choice, it is far better than euthanasia or otherwise disposing of a dog who is much loved except for that one problem

Remember, very few dogs WANT to be bad.... they need us to guide them to what is correct.  And it is rarely too late to correct anything that has gone wrong.

Hopefully, the owner will have recognized the problems and will have taken steps to try to correct them before they are insurmountable.  If, as the owner, you suspect things may get out of your control, please seek help sooner rather than later.  Do not be embarrassed.  We all need help sometimes.  Waiting too long can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Sometimes, the problems have created enough frustration and/or animosity that you just don't feel you have what it takes to go through the attempts to fix the problem.

Sometimes, there has been a drastic life changing event where keeping the dog is simply not possible (death in the family, loss of a job or home, illness of one's self or a family member).

So now the decision has been made to let the dog go.  What are your options?

First and foremost..... the breeder should be notified and be given the option to take the dog back.  All reputable breeders require this and will take the dog back at any age, and you may have signed a contract stating that you would do so.  If you are returning the dog to the breeder, please do not expect any compensation.  The breeder will be taking the dog in, and will have to be the one to fix problems you may have inadvertently created.  It is not as easy to rehome an older dog, nor a troubled one.  The breeder will invest their own time, money and emotions, to make sure that dog gets the best new home possible.

Not all breeders are as caring and won't take the dog back.  In a perfect world, these breeders wouldn't exist, but they do, so we have to examine options available to you in that circumstance.

The options are then the same options you would have if you got your dog from a Pet Store.  Again, we would wish no-one bought from a pet store, but since it happens, we'll have to work with that.

You can sell the dog yourself.  But, is that fair to the dog and the buyer?  By now you have learned that IGs are not for everyone.  Do you have the time and emotions to screen every possible buyer? How would you feel if your dog ended up in a bad situation, a puppy mill, being shifted from home to home to home, in a research facility or even worse, as pit bait? There are lots of unscrupulous people who make a career of obtaining dogs under false pretenses for nefarious reasons.

You can have the dog euthanized.  Yes, that sounds cruel, but sometimes it is the best option.  If the dog has very little quality or potential of quality of life it may be the kindest thing you can do.  Maybe the dog is extremely old, maybe it has severe socialization issues, maybe it has extensive medical problems.  Sometimes the kindest thing is the most difficult. However, euthanasia should never be used as an 'easy out'.

You can turn your dog into a shelter.  Most shelters require a fee to drop a dog off.  And, many shelters will put owner turned in dogs to the top of the list for euthanasia, as there is a certainty that the dog is not lost and has an owner out looking for it. The shelter life, while it may be short, is a seriously traumatic one for any dog.

Your next option is Rescue.  Rescue is made up of a network of dedicated volunteer individuals who slave endlessly to rehome needy dogs. They are trained to evaluate dogs of ALL conditions, and trained to evaluate and investigate potential new homes.  Believe me, they have seen the worst of what humans can do to a poor animal, so please don't feel frightened to turn to them.  They will be non-judgemental as their concern will be the dog.  Remember, all Rescue workers are volunteers, often giving their own money to help these dogs, so please treat them with respect.

The rescue worker will evaluate your dog, and it will most likely live with a foster home while any problems are dealt with, and while they get to know the dog. This helps them to find the best match for your dog. The goal of a Rescue volunteer is to get new, forever homes for all dogs that cross their path.  And they will go to the ends of the earth to do that whenever possible.  Sometimes, the best option for Rescue is to have your dog humanely euthanized but please be assured that only happens as a last resort and only in the worst cases.

Please do not bring your dog to Rescue simply because you don't want to pay for euthanasia yourself.  That would be unfair to the Rescue volunteer who has already invested a lot of heartache into other dogs as well.  Your Rescue volunteer has undoubtedly held many a sad soul as they guide them to the other side. Sometimes the Rescue volunteer has been the only loving eyes the dog has seen, and the Rescue volunteer has been the only human to shed a tear over the dog. So do not ask them to do your dirty work.

Furthermore, the Rescue volunteer may be happy to work WITH you to help you to keep your own dog.  While Rescue is not a free boarding space, they may be willing to help you deal with training issues, as they have seen and worked with the worst as well as the best! Helping you to keep your own dog may be the best thing they can do.

Whatever decision you make, please don't make the dog suffer.  Don't let your decision of where he/she goes be decided solely by money. Remember you are dealing with a living, breathing animal who feels true emotions.


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