Italian Greyhound Escape Risks

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Italian Greyhound Escape Risks

This article about Italian Greyhound Escape Risks was taken from Ig Rescue Houston. It is a great reminder on what your IG is capable of and something to drive home the fact that you are not the exception to the rule, odds are your IG will escape if given the chance – it’s in their DNA.

Italian Greyhounds are just not like other dogs,  they escape and once loose, they revert to instinct – some wild running behavior that makes them very difficult to recapture. I want to spare all of you this heartache by shedding light on the Italian greyhound escape risks. Thank you so much for giving a home to dog in need of a loving home. If this is your first Italian Greyhound, you are in for a treat. There is nothing like living with an iggy and the devotion of a rescued one, especially. They are so much worth the extra efforts!

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What were they thinking? 

  • She let her Italian Greyhound off lead at an open park, he got spooked and ran off, and he’s gone now. She always wonders what happened to him.
  • He always enjoyed watching his Italian Greyhound bound ahead of him on their walks. Until the day he took off after a squirrel and was hit by a car.
  • He opened his front door to accept a priority mail package he’d been waiting for. His IG slipped quickly past his legs and was gone for days before being found, injured by car. Efforts to save her failed.

They are heartbroken. They really loved their dogs, they knew about the Italian greyhound escape risks so what were they thinking?

Cognitive therapy focuses on how the way we think affects how we feel and what we do. For example, adolescents tend to think they are invincible and at the center of things. This affects their willingness to take risks, because they just don’t feel vulnerable to injury or harm. We all have some cognitive errors. The good news is that we can change them when we become aware of them! As Italian Greyhound owners, we can suffer from some particular cognitive errors. This doesn’t mean we’re dumb, just human! Our errors are in appraisal of risk, of thinking we are the exception to the rule. We suffer from illusions of safety and trust. We know IGs are sighthounds and will run off and not come back. But we may think:

  • I know my own dog.
  • It can’t happen to me.
  • He won’t run off.
  • It is ok to let him off lead, just this once.
  • My neighborhood is safe, she’ll come back.
  • He won’t go in the water.
  • He knows how to swim.
  • He’s never run off before.
  • I’m just going to the mailbox and back, he’ll stay in the yard.

Sometimes, we are lucky and nothing does happen. Too often there are tragic results to our own thinking mistakes.

As an exercise, you can simply Google “lost Italian Greyhound,” and see how many hits you get.  These IGs did not want to leave their families; they just reverted to instinct and got lost. This high number of lost IGs is not just coincidence or a fluke. IGs run off, it’s what they do. As an experienced rescue rep reminded me, “You can’t ‘train’ the sighthound out of an IG. It is in their DNA.

We all know of professional trainers and handlers that have lost an IG in a split second while doing a simple crate change. If it can happen to trained sighthound professionals, who am I to think me or my dogs would be the exception?” It is not just prey drive that is the issue, consider also screeching brakes or sirens or backfires or other loud noises that spook these dogs. Their first instinct is to get away from the bad sound, with no forethought as to where they are going. They revert to senseless running. I remember how lost Risotto seemed absolutely uncatchable, stuck in his adrenaline, survival mode. Though we had sightings of him, we could not get anywhere near him, until he recognized his human, Christy, and came out of his fog long enough for her to get him. Scarlett is normally a calm gentle girl, but she would not even come to voices she recognized. We were lucky to corral her into an open back yard. Brewster, Caesar, Becca, and Marco were not so lucky.

Another danger is that which an aggressive stray poses to a dog off-lead. We recently spoke with someone who learned the hard way that an IG off leash is vulnerable to attack. Their beloved IG ran over to greet a dog that had wandered onto their property and tragically lost its life. Thinking it won’t happen because it has not happened before is a faulty assumption. It does happen. It only takes once. These Italian Greyhound Escape Risks are real.

More things we’ve learned the hard way -so you don’t have to: One of our foster homes has an enclosed patio, 7 feet high concrete enclosure.One of his foster dogs jumped onto the patio table and scaled the wall and escaped and was gone for 4 awful days until she was recovered. We were lucky to get her back because she is very skittish. One of my first foster dogs (9 years old) jumped out of my second story window. I had confined the dogs with a baby gate, and he got out and into the living room where I had left the window open 5 inches. Fortunately, there were bushes just below to break his fall and he was uninjured when we got him back later that week. Another friend had a leaper who easily scaled her 4 ft fence, and she learned the hard way 4 ft is not nearly high enough for an iggy.

We share our stories because we learned the hard way and sadly not always recover them due to their freakish instinct once they are loose. Please take these Italian Greyhound Escape Risks seriously and protect your beloved furry friend from themselves – their instincts.

Please do not get lulled into a false sense of safety and trust. This is not about your dog’s bond with you. It is in their nature. We certainly cannot predict or prevent all danger for our loved ones, but this is a predictable danger. We owe it to them to look out for this risk and prevent it.

4 thoughts on “Italian Greyhound Escape Risks

  1. This article is a MUST READ for all IG owners, potential owners, fosterhomes, shelters and rescue groups. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. When we lost our Ringo, it seemed we would never get him back. He did not know us when we first found him. He was gone for 2 weeks before we got him back home. We are very careful now because of fear that he’ll get out again. Ringo is our best friend and we don’t want to lose him.

  3. Hi,

    My Italian is one year next month. I always allowed him off the leash in the park and he would follow me. However today he ran off and could not be found. After 2hrs searching I decided to go home with the thought perhaps he did the same. To my joy approaching my place I saw a man holding him.

    Amazing he had crossed to of the cities busiest streets.

    And the moral is!!!!!! Keep him on the leash!

    • We are so lucky your story had a happy ending, We cannot agree more – ALWAYS keep your pups on a leash. You cannot win in the battle of instincts. when a sighthound’s instincts kick in, they will bolt. ALWAYS keep your pup on a leash and please continue to share your experience with others to further reinforce this concept. It only takes ONE instance and your pup could be gone forever!

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