From our experience, there are only two types of Italian Greyhounds: One that is always scared, super skittish and won’t any strangers get near them. You will often see this type shivering with their tail tucked in.
The other one on the other hand is the total opposite – a confident little dog that loves everything and everyone and is sometimes even overestimating its own powers.
It’s the same breed and yet there may be such a huge difference between two individuals. Which type would you choose?
If your answer is the confident type, then read on! We will tell you how to get a confident Iggy. The answer is socialization! But what is that and what exactly do you need to do? Let’s get into it!
What is Socialization and Why It’s So Important
Socialization is the process of preparing a dog to be comfortable with other animals, people, places and activities and at best even enjoying it.
Socializing your Italian Greyhound puppy is the key to ensuring having a confident and happy dog.
How to Socialize an Italian Greyhound Puppy – 5 Valuable Tips to Do It Right
1. Choose a good breeder
Socialization starts the day the puppy is born. The sooner they get used to new things, the better! Usually, puppies stay with the breeder at least for the first 8 weeks. This time is valuable! A good breeder will already get the puppies used to certain things like other dogs, the sound of a vacuum cleaner or different kinds of food.
2. Start training from day one on
Once you get your puppy, it’s your turn. Ideally, socialization should begin during the “sensitive period” which is up to 14 weeks of age for puppies.
That means, when you get your Iggy puppy at 8-10 weeks, they are the perfect age – Use it!
3. Try out as much as possible
The more your puppy gets to experience, the better! Of course you don’t want to overdo it and do it all at once. Go step-by-step and try out something new every day – for example
- car rides
- taking the bus
- watching children next to a playground
- going to the mall
- restaurant visits
Make a list of all the things that are important to you and where you want your dog to be able to join you. These are the things you want to experience.
If you feel like your puppy is scared or overwhelmed, have a little break and try again another day. There is no need to rush!
4. Be careful but not overprotective
When it comes to Italian Greyhounds, it’s always a thin line between being careful but not being overprotective. Of course you want to ensure your little puppy’s safety at all times. Don’t risk anything if you don’t feel comfortable.
If you are not comfortable with meeting other dogs just yet, avoid it until you are. If you see another dog, just go in a different direction or on the other side of the street. But: Don’t pick up your puppy! This will give them the wrong signal and they won’t even have a chance to react on their own. This way, they will never learn how to deal with this situation.
5. Accept your Iggy’s personality
Keep in mind that just like us humans, every dog is different. Therefore you can’t expect every dog to be super outgoing and friendly to everybody and everything. And that’s okay! You will get to know your dog better every day and while you can work on most things, you will have to accept at some point that there will be some things that you won’t be able to change – you will just have to accept them. Nobody is perfect…but our Iggies are, no matter what 😉
Conclusion on Italian Greyhound Socialization – Help Your Puppy to Become a Confident Little Dog!
Even small dogs like Italian Greyhounds can be confident. But they need your help to grow their confidence! With these tips, regular training sessions and regular exposure to new things your Iggy will become the best dog around!