You are here:

Italian Greyhounds/littermate syndrome?


Hi, I am currently enquiring with breeders regarding the purchase of an Italian Greyhound.  Ideally, we would like two similarly aged puppies so that they can have company while we are at work during the day.  One breeder has recommended that we only purchase one puppy and get one in 12 months to prevent "littermate syndrome" in the dogs.  Various sources say different things on the subject and I am unsure what to do as other breeders havent mentioned it as an issue. Have you experienced this before?

Hello! congratulations on finding good breeders, sometimes that is the hardest part.
The breeder that recommended waiting for the second puppy is on target. Getting two puppies simultaneously will cause issues in the future and makes potty training even harder than it already is in this breed. It can take up to three years to potty train one dog, having two is much more difficult. Also they develop dependencies where they are loath to be without each other which can cause issues if one has to be separated for any length of time (illness, trama, vacation, etc). Finally destructive behavior can be exemplified with two littermates.

I don't think I have ever heard it called littermate syndrome, but there is a real issue with keeping littermates together and trying to raise them. I don't know how experienced you are with this breed but I would definitely advise against it, even myself, having been in the breed for as many years as I have, would not keep littermates together unless there was no other option.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask further if you need more info.  

Italian Greyhounds

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Tracy Rousseau


I can answer many questions about training, behavioral issues, health, and conformation. Also I can answer questions about what types of dogs these are and if this is the right breed for you.


I have worked with Italian Greyhounds in both showing and rescue for over 5 years, experienced almost every type of issue with this breed that could be imagined and have successfully trained, many "untrainable" dogs. I have been responsible to find homes suitable for IG's and have had an excellent success rate in placements into a "forever" homes of dogs given to rescue or turned to rescue by shelters that would have otherwise euthanized.

I have learned most of what I know through mentorships with breeders of the breed that have been involved for 20 years, asking a lot of questions and paying attention to the dogs signals.

©2016 All rights reserved.