Jeannie’s Article from TopNotchToys

ITALIAN GREYHOUND
BREEDERS FORUM

Jeannie

JEANNIE LOVE
Amore` Italian Greyhound

1) When and where did you first become interested in your breed?
I purchased my first IG in 1987. He was not show quality but was the best pet I ever owned, and he changed my life. Rocky began my 28 year love affair with the Italian Greyhound.

2) What attracted you to the breed?
Their elegant, smooth, sleek look. They remind me of fine porcelain sculptures.

3) Do you inbreed, line breed or out cross? Why?
I do all three. Depending on the bitch, I tried to make the best match possible and that can include any of these three options. I spent hours studying pedigrees and researching possibilities for future breeding.

4) How do you house your dogs? (Together, separate, runs or pens)
My dogs all sleep and eat in their own individual crates. They are allowed to play together all day in the yard except when there are girls “in season”.

5) Do you feed supplements?
No.

6) Where do you whelp your bitches?
I set the bottom half of a 300 crate inside my prepared puppy pen. Puppy pen is set up in my living room where babies are exposed to as much activity as possible from the day they are born.

7) How and when do you determine a show quality puppy?
That depends on the individual puppy. I have made choices at the time of birth and have waited until puppies are 8 to 9 months old before making decisions. Some puppies take longer to mature than others.

8) At what age do you begin training? Please share training tips.
I begin trimming toenails the first week puppies are alive. I use a Dremel set on low speed for babies. This makes toenail trimming easier as a puppy grows up. I begin table training as soon as they can stand, and they are on pee-pads from day one, which aids in a house training as a puppies mature. As soon as puppies are vaccinated and have proper immunities, they are taken to handling class and this training continues during the entire show career. It is extremely important to begin socialization at three weeks of age. I invite many friends to visit (making sure they sterilize issues and hands before entering my house). We play what I like to call “pass the puppy” so that each baby receives lots of petting and handling.

9) Do you think your current standard is adequate? If not, what changes would improve it?
Yes.

10) What is the greatest health concern to breeders today?
It is hard to determine what is the greatest health concern. My adults are health tested prior to any breeding, but then there are some things you cannot test for, i.e. epilepsy, cancer, etc. Fortunately with the advent of DNA testing, we are making great strides in health testing. Some of the more prominent diseases are PRA, hyperthyroidism, luxating paetllas, cataracts, and broken legs.

11) Is dental care important? Explain.
Extremely important. Besides making your pet healthier, brushing teeth keeps your vet bills lower. Daily brushing is recommended. By the time my puppies are ready to go to their new homes, they are used to having their mouth touched. I never use a toothbrush on a puppy who hasn’t gotten their adult teeth yet. Instead, I wrap some gauze around my finger and just rub against the teeth/gums. By the time the adult teeth have fully erupted, the puppies are ready to accept a toothbrush.

12) What do you enjoy most about owning this breed?
Italian greyhounds are extremely people oriented. They love nothing better than to cuddle on the couch or under the covers with her favorite person. My Iggies make me smile every day.

13) What grooming tips or hints would you like to share?
Nail trimming and tooth care are very important; other than that, a bath once a month or so and that’s it! My show dogs are bathed before every show weekend and I use a coat spray to avoid dry skin.

14) What makes this breed a great show dog as well as a companion?
I must admit, IGs are not the easiest dog to show. They can make even the best handler look inept. However, when they get serious about things, they are spectacular. Their elegant outline coupled with proper movement make them an eyecatcher.

15) What tips for advice would you offer the newcomer?
Find a reputable breeder and do your research. Ask questions and actually look at the health testing certificates, don’t just take someone’s word that tests had been done. Hopefully, your breeder will also be your mentor in the breed.

16) How do you determine the stud dog you will select a breed to your bitch?
28 years of experience in the breed helps me to determine a compatible stud for my girls. Researching individuals and asking other knowledgeable breeders about the history of pedigrees, health tests, previous breedings and what are produced, these are all tools to use in making good breeding decisions.

17) If you were starting a kennel when you buy a bitch first-order dog? Explain.
I would purchase the best dog I could afford, sex would not be a criteria.

18) What three words best describe your breed?
Loving, comical, elegant.

19) What is the single biggest misconception about your breed?
That they are extremely fragile.

20) What is the most defining physical characteristic of your breed?
Elegance.