|Barked: Mon May 28, '12 5:13pm PST |
|I have experience with all three - I've fostered some of each and have shown whippets and IGs. I own two longhaired whippets (which are a separate breed, but that's beside the point).
As others have said, IGs are very different from their larger counterparts. They might look like tiny greyhounds, but they were never really bred to be working hounds. There are some similarities - like greyhounds, they are quiet, sweet, very attached to their people, and have a good off-switch. Unlike greyhounds, they are quite high-energy, and very playful and bouncy. They are also very needy and want to be as close to their people as possible (preferably touching them). IGs are very intelligent but often stubborn (though the right dog can make a great agility competitor), and the housetraining thing is an issue. Yes, they are fragile, especially as puppies, and that's definitely something to keep in mind. Leg breaks are common, though the risk can be minimized by keeping your dog in good condition. IGs are so much fun, but not for everyone - the IGCA has an excellent article called "IGs: The Good, The Bad and the Downright Ugly" that I'd recommend reading.
Greyhounds really are gentle giants. In general you couldn't ask for a sweeter, gentler, mellower dog - I won't go into too much detail because I think they've already been described well here. I do want to say, however, that not every greyhound is a total couch potato. Jenn of Never Say Never Greyhounds does agility, obedience, dock diving and more with her greys:
I have to say whippets are my favorite of the three, but I'm pretty biased. Whippets tend to be more active than greyhounds, but not as hyper as IGs; they still have that wonderful sighthound off-switch but require a bit more exercise than a grey. They'll do crazy zoomies for twenty minutes, then come in and cuddle and lounge around. They are very sweet dogs, silly and playful without being goofy. Most tend to be quite outgoing. In my opinion, they're the most trainable of the three breeds, especially the field or dual purpose lines.
I'd definitely spend some time with each breed, because they are all quite different and appeal to different types of owners. Good luck with your decision! One tip - if you're looking at getting a puppy this year, you're going to need to start contacting breeders very soon. Waiting lists fill up quickly.
In response to sighthounds "never ever" being off-leash, it totally depends on the dog. Cricket is almost always off-leash, and I know that I can trust her. She has a very high prey drive - she's a wonderful lure courser and has actually won a Best In Field. She also has an excellent recall, and I frequently call her off rabbits or deer with no problems. My younger dog, Journey, still needs some training but she's getting there as well.
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