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
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
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
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
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
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
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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