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Finding your Italian Greyhound

There are some excellent websites providing advice to people thinking about buying a puppy
and we strongly recommend that you do your research thoroughly so that you make the right decision in choosing a breed that is right for your situation and lifestyle. You need to be aware of what to expect and how to care for it for a good life together. It is very important to avoid buying from an unscrupulous breeder or puppy farmer.
Some useful resources include:
Contact The Italian Greyhound Clubs Puppy co-ordinator
David Willcock email: david_willcock@btinternet.com
and/or contact:
The Kennel Club Puppy list
The Dogs Trust
The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity
We also strongly recommend that you read our Avoiding Puppy Farmers advice below for more information on how to AVOID irresponsible breeders and puppy farmers, which can lead to many serious illnesses in their dogs.

Finding an Italian Greyhound puppy
Assuming that you have done your research on Italian Greyhounds, (and read the link: All about the IG),
and think that they are the right breed for you, (as well as you being right for the breed!), then
the first thing you need to do is meet some Italian Greyhounds in person. It’s the best way to find out more about the breed from people with lots of experience. This is much easier than you may think and just a few of the opportunities to meet Italian Greyhounds are listed here:
Visiting Italian Greyhound owners in their homes
Contact us and we will try to put you in touch with an Italian Greyhound owner near you so that you can meet some Italian Greyhounds in a home environment and touch, interact and get to know them.
Visit our Italian Greyhound Club Fun Day
which is run by the Club for our members - and non-members are very welcome to come along and meet our members and their Italian Greyhounds.
Visit dog shows all over the UK
for details, see our Shows/News/Events (link above) - shows are a great opportunity to meet top breeders and find out more about the Italian Greyhounds from people with lots of experience – even if you’re not looking for a show dog.
Italian Greyhounds are still a relatively rare breed in the UK so you must be prepared to wait for a puppy to become available but it’s definitely worth the wait!

About speaking to a breeder,
The Dogs Trust website has a useful checklist of questions to ask any breeders that you are talking to about buying a puppy. If you’re concerned about any of the answers given please feel free to contact us for advice.
We are here to help.
Before committing to buying a puppy from a breeder we recommend that you do some background research into the breeder.
Researching a breeder
You can contact us to find out more details about the breeder you are speaking to.
We can confirm whether or not they are a member of the Club and therefore whether they have agreed to abide by the Club’s Code of Ethics, which includes guidance on responsible breeding practices.
We can also help you with verifying any claims that a breeder has made about the pedigree of their dogs, the number of litters that they breed, and also on whether or not their dogs have won all of the accolades that they claim in the show ring!
And be assured that the information we provide you with will be based on fact, not hearsay or gossip.
If a breeder has lied or misrepresented their dogs on any of these fronts, then you should not buy a puppy from them.

Another useful place to start researching breeders is the Kennel club breed records supplement which lists every pedigree dog registration in the UK and is published quarterly. It can be purchased from the Kennel Club.
This is useful because it allows you to monitor over time who is breeding and how frequently.
If a breeder is registering a large number of litters every year, (and it’s rare for a reputable breeder to register more than 2 or 3 litters a year from different brood bitches), then more careful research into their breeding practices is required and you should proceed with caution. For more information about how to avoid an irresponsible breeder and puppy farmers read on below about "Avoiding Puppy Farmers".

Re-home and Rescue dogs
As with any breed, there are situations where a dog needs to be re-homed because of changes to their owner’s personal circumstances such as illness, divorce and bereavement. There are also an increasing number of Italian Greyhounds sold by irresponsible breeders and puppy farmers that end up in unsuitable homes where the new owners just can’t cope because they didn’t know what to expect from an Italian Greyhound.
Both the Club and

The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity

headed by Miss Helen Rishworth, are actively involved in providing secure and safe homes for these dogs. Contact the Rescue for more information. Link above.

Avoiding puppy farmers
Please avoid newspaper and internet adverts, pet shops and pet superstores – just don’t go there!
Many dogs are bred for a quick profit by what is often referred to as a ‘puppy farm’. They are raised without care or proper nourishment and sold to unsuitable households. Many of these puppies are advertised through newspaper adverts or sold on the internet or at pet/puppy superstores and the Dogs Trust strongly advises you to avoid any of the above.”

Dogs Trust
There are lots of resources on the Internet that give advice on how to avoid puppy farmers and we encourage everyone looking to buy a dog to read up on the subject. The Dogs Trust campaign against "battery farmed dogs" and advice on how to avoid puppy farmers are good places to start. Ironically many of the ‘puppies for sale’ web sites also give advice on how to avoid puppy farmers and yet it is on those very sites that puppy farmers are most active!
Please do your research if you are buying an Italian Greyhound and make sure that you are not rewarding unscrupulous breeders and puppy farmers for abusing these beautiful dogs to make money.
The best way to avoid a puppy farmer is to check out the breeder.
Don’t assume that just because a breeder seems caring and responsible that they are! Take nothing for granted and be prepared to check and double check anything the breeder tells you! Find out the registered names of the parents of the puppy – make sure you see their registration papers. Look into the pedigree of those dogs and check any claims about winning show dogs in the line.
Check how many litters the mother has had already and how frequently she has been bred from.
Check how many litters and puppies the breeder has registered with the Kennel Club in total and over what period of time. If the breeder is breeding a large number of litters each year, (more than 4), check whether or not they have the appropriate licences to breed dogs. This is all easier to do than you may think! Read on to find out more - and don’t forget that
you can always contact us for advice!

Beware of puppy farming of Italian Greyhounds
The puppy farming problem facing our breed is one that is very difficult to tackle, and we ask all our members and the general public to help us protect the welfare of the individual dogs being bred from, the puppies they produce and the longer-term health of the breed in general. Responsible breeders very rarely advertise puppies for sale on websites. Good breeders generally have a waiting list of homes for their puppies as they do not tend to breed very often.
Please be prepared to wait for an Italian Greyhound puppy from a responsible breeder, even if you are not looking for a dog to show. The old saying: ‘Good things come to those who wait’ is very appropriate in this situation.
Italian Greyhounds are a relatively rare breed in the UK but the number of official registrations for Italian Greyhounds has increased greatly. There were approximately 40 litters registered in 2008 and 100 in 2018.
What is alarming is that a significant proportion of the increasing numbers of Italian Greyhound registrations are a result of the aforementioned puppy farmers.
The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity and the Club are aware of more and more cases of puppies going to unsuitable homes and having to be re-homed.

Puppy farmers don’t always have an industrial sized shed filled with caged dogs in squalid conditions! They may keep their dogs as ‘pets’ in their homes, may ensure that mother and father are available for you to meet, may grill you about your personal circumstances to demonstrate that they are concerned about the homes their puppies are going to, and generally do a very good job of convincing you that they are a caring, responsible breeder.
BUT they may also be breeding their bitches every season, season after season with no regard for the health and well-being of those bitches. So never assume that because a breeder appears to be responsible that they are.
Make sure you do the following checks:

Checking the pedigree of their dogs.
Puppy farmers often claim a great pedigree for their dogs. Perhaps with lots of champions in the line, or related dogs winning lots of shows, or qualifying for Crufts. Some puppy farmers may even boast of a long, documented pedigree with statements such as “5 generation pedigree” – this is a nonsensical claim because 5 generations of farmed puppies may have been born over a period of only 4 years – not the long standing, respected line you may have thought!
Whatever the claims of the breeder it is possible to check the pedigree of the dog. When you are speaking to the breeder ask for detailed information and make notes or take photographs. Always ask for the registered names of the parents and ask to see the registration papers to verify their names.
If the breeder is claiming a history of top show dogs in their lines then ask them for those dogs’ registered names too, and ask which shows they have done well at and in what year. Photograph what they show you. If they can’t answer these questions, are vague, or are reluctant to tell you, then alarm bells should ring in your head.
If they do answer your questions, make a note of the answers given, in particular registered names of the parents of the puppy and you will be in a position to check their pedigree and any claims about related dogs doing well in the show ring.
Using our access to the Kennel Club Breeds Record Supplement, (the official list of all KC registrations in the UK), and our Club’s archive of show results, we can easily help you verify the claims made by a breeder – simply contact us.
If a breeder has misrepresented themselves to you or lied in any way you should not buy a dog from that breeder.
We are here to help you.

Kennel Club Registration Papers and ‘Endorsements’

All responsible breeders register their dogs with the Kennel Club.
But Kennel Club registration does not guarantee that the breeder is responsible. Anyone can register a puppy with the Kennel Club as long as the parents of the puppy were registered at birth and they meet the registration guidelines.
Sadly, the KC registration scheme is abused by some irresponsible breeders and puppy farmers.
Endorsements are ‘not for breeding’ clauses that most responsible breeders put on the KC registration papers, especially when selling a puppy to someone previously unknown to them. Endorsements are used to help prevent irresponsible breeding and puppy farming – more information about endorsements can be found on the
Kennel Club Endorsements page on the KC website.
We strongly recommend that you do some more detailed research into a breeder if they are: Offering to sell a puppy without KC registration papers at one price and with papers at a higher price – we have had had reports of puppy farmers charging several hundred pounds to register a puppy with the Kennel Club when the actual cost is £17.00, or:
Offering to sell a puppy with endorsements on the papers at one price and without endorsements at a higher price.

Abuse of breeding bitches

The Italian Greyhound Club Code of Ethics states:
Bitches should not be bred from until 18 months of age or over the age of 8 years,
and bitches should not be allowed to whelp, (have a litter), more than once in every 12 months with a maximum of 4 litters in her lifetime.
Therefore: Do not buy a puppy from a breeder if any of the following are true:
The bitch has had a litter before she was 18 months old, or at over 8 years old.
The bitch has had more than one litter within 12 months.
The bitch has had more than four litters in her life time.
Always ask to see the registration papers for the mother of the puppies and make a note of her registered name and her date of birth. Also ask how many litters she has had, and when. Make a note of the answers.
We can help you check on the breeding history of that bitch, (number of litters, puppies and dates of birth), and any other dogs the breeder may be breeding through the Kennel Club Breeds Record Supplement.
Simply contact us for further help and information.
It’s not a perfect system because puppy farmers don’t always register every litter, but it is a good place to start.
The guidance in our Code of Ethics is there to protect the welfare of our dogs and to stop breeding bitches from being abused and used as puppy factories.
If a breeder is breeding outside of these guidelines, then they are not breeding responsibly and it is likely that they are abusing their dogs by using them as puppy factories.

Dog breeding licenses
The Breeding and Sales of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1991 makes it illegal for a bitch to have more than 6 litters in her lifetime. And from 2012 the Kennel Club no longer registers litters from any bitch that has already had four litters.
Following the changes to the law in 1991 every Local Authority in the country has an animal licensing policy that requires breeders of dogs to be registered with them if they breed more than a specified number of litters each year, regardless of the number of dogs that they are breeding from.
This is to make sure that the breeder meets minimum requirements with regards to animal welfare. This limit varies from Local Authority to Local Authority, but it is usually set at 4-5 litters per year.
If you are speaking to a breeder that indicates to you that they breed a large number of litters every year, (more than 4), or if you find evidence elsewhere that they may be breeding a large number of litters (e.g. they are regularly advertising puppies online or in newspaper classifieds), make sure that you ask them whether or not they are licensed with their Local Authority, and check with the Local Authority that there are no pending investigations or complaints against them.
Responsible breeders rarely breed more than two litters each year out of different bitches. If they’re not licensed, and especially if they have no knowledge of the legal requirements around breeding dogs, then proceed with extreme caution and do more research on the breeder.
Responsible breeders will not be offended or put out by these questions.

Don't hesitate to contact the Italian Greyhound Club for help
We can help you research the breeding practices of any breeder that you are speaking to, and the information we will provide you with will be based on fact, not just hearsay or gossip.
Our only interest is in protecting the welfare of individual dogs being used to breed, their puppies and the long-term welfare of the breed.
For information about Italian Greyhound puppies expected or born, contact our new Puppy Coordinator
David Willcock
email: david_willcock@btinternet.com

The Kennel Club Puppy list
The Dogs Trust

The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity

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