Italian Greyhounds are an active little breed that enjoys physical exercise a lot. Like other sighthound breeds, running off leash at full speed is what brings them the most joy.
But how much exercise do they really need? And why is exercise so important for their wellbeing? Read on to find out more!
Why Do Italian Greyhounds Need Exercise?
Regular exercise is important if you want your Iggy to live a happy and healthy life.
Of course if you have a backyard that’s nice but it will not satisfy your dog’s desire for exercise. While it’s perfect to go potty or enjoy some sunshine, it’s no substitute for a walk or other activities. Your Italian Greyhound already knows this place better than anything else!
But it’s not only about physical exercise. Just like us, they don’t want to stay around the house all the time. They want new experiences, new things, read the “dog newspaper” and meet their friends – but unlike you, they can’t just leave on their own. They need you to experience new things! Therefore, as dog owners, it’s our job to provide them with the stimulation they need and deserve.
What Happens if Italian Greyhounds Don’t Get Enough Exercise? You Really Want to Avoid This!
Italian Greyhounds who don’t get enough exercise can turn into crazy little monsters. Many behavioral problems of dogs today are caused by a lack of exercise, for example
- Frustration – Lack of exercise can lead to frustration and boredom.
- Destructive behavior – And a dog who is bored might become very destructive and have the worst ideas. “Redecorating” your home might be one of them.
- Anxiousness & nervousness – Lack of exercise can also cause anxiousness and nervousness in dogs to a point that they won’t even sleep at home.
- Bad for their overall health – It will also have a huge impact on your Italian Greyhound’s health. Their immune system will be very weak causing them to get sick easily. Also it’s quite likely that they will gain weight – which you want to avoid at all costs. According to a study, dogs that are the proper weight live longer!
How Much Exercise Does an Italian Greyhound Need?
How much exercise they really need depends on how old they are and what kind of activity you want to do with them.
- Exercise for Italian Greyhound Puppies – When it comes to going on walks, a good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is fully grown. So that means for a 2 months old puppy, a 10 minute walk is ideal, for a 4 months old puppy, 20 minutes and so on. But keep in mind that every dog is different. So don’t take this rule too literally. Just make sure you don’t overwhelm your puppy. Don’t go running or biking with them until they are 1 year old, just because their joints still need some time to fully develop.
- Exercise for adult Iggies – Once they are fully grown, we recommend to go for minimum one big walk of 45-60 minutes a day – depending on the weather of course. Rain or cold is not an excuse either! With the right clothes, walks can be fun either way. But keep it interesting and switch up the activities every now and then.
What Kind of Exercise Is Best for Italian Greyhounds?
There are lots of ways to keep your Italian Greyhound fit and entertained.
- Walkies off leash
- Playing fetch
- Going to the dog park
- Obedience or agility class
- Lure Coursing and racing
- Brain games
DIY Brain Game for Your Italian Greyhound
Are you looking for a fun way to entertain your Iggy and keep them mentally stimulated on a rainy day? Here are a few ideas:
- Hide treats and make your Iggy find them – Grab some treats and have your Italian Greyhound sit in a stay position. Put a few treats on the ground nearby. Then give your Iggy the release command and tell them to look for the treats (use a command like “find”). Encourage them if they start picking up the treats. Once they get the hang of it you can start placing the treats further away and eventually hiding them in places that are out of sight. This game is a fun way that will train your Iggies natural sniffing ability.
- Cardboard box game – Simply get a cardboard box and fill it up with paper and treats. Then have your Iggy figure out how to get the treats. This way your dog will be busy for quite some time – in a fun and entertaining way.
- Learning a new trick – A good idea for rainy days is always to teach your Iggy a new trick. What about “roll over”, “boop” or “close the door”? There are always lots of things to learn!
Conclusion on Italian Greyhound Exercise – Keep It Fun!
Italian Greyhounds are not only pro cuddlers but also athletes. They were bred for mainly two things: Companionship and running. Only if they get both they will be happy and healthy.
So make sure your Iggy gets enough exercise and challenge them with new activities every now and then. After all, it’s not only beneficial for your Iggy but for you as well.