Are Italian Greyhounds Smart? 4 Tips For Intelligent Training

When it comes to intelligence, Italian Greyhounds are often underestimated. These sleek and elegant dogs possess a surprising level of intellect that sets them apart from other breeds. If you’re considering bringing an Italian Greyhound into your family, it’s natural to wonder about their intelligence and whether they can be considered one of the smartest dog breeds.

Italian Greyhounds are indeed intelligent dogs. They have the ability to learn quickly and can be easily trained, making them a great choice for first-time dog owners. Their intelligence, combined with their adaptability to city life, make them an ideal companion for families with older children.

However, it’s important to note that intelligence alone does not guarantee a well-behaved dog. Italian Greyhounds, like any breed, require proper stimulation and companionship to prevent destructive behavior. Without mental and physical exercise, their intelligence can sometimes lead to mischief.

Are Italian Greyhounds Smart?

  • Italian Greyhounds are intelligent dogs that can be trained effectively.
  • They are well-suited for families with adult children.
  • Proper mental and physical exercise is essential to prevent destructive behavior.
  • Italian Greyhounds’ intelligence can lead to mischief if not properly stimulated.
  • Overall, Italian Greyhounds are a smart and adaptable breed.

Overview of Italian Greyhounds

Italian Greyhounds, also known as IGs, are slim and fine-boned dogs that resemble Whippets. They have a variety of coat colors and require minimal grooming due to their short coats. Italian Greyhounds belong to the hound family and love to chase. They have a slender body and legs.

Breed Characteristics
CoatShort, low maintenance
TemperamentGentle, affectionate
Activity LevelModerate
IntelligenceHighly intelligent

Personality and Temperament

Italian Greyhounds are known for their gentle and peaceful nature, making them excellent companions. They have a unique temperament that is both intelligent and sensitive. While they may be reserved and shy around strangers, they form deep bonds with their owners.

Training an Italian Greyhound requires patience and consistency. Their intelligence allows them to grasp commands quickly, but their sensitivity demands positive reinforcement techniques. Harsh methods should be avoided, as they can cause anxiety and fear in these delicate dogs.

House training can be a challenge for Italian Greyhounds due to their aversion to wet grass. It is important to establish a routine and provide them with designated areas for their bathroom needs. Consistency and positive reinforcement will help them overcome this aversion.

Italian Greyhounds are sociable animals and generally get along well with other dogs and pets. However, it is crucial to supervise them around small animals due to their strong prey drive. With proper socialization and training, Italian Greyhounds can live harmoniously with other animals in the home.

Italian Greyhound Training Tips:

  • Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to motivate and reward your Italian Greyhound during training sessions.
  • Keep training sessions short and engaging to prevent boredom and maintain their focus.
  • Socialize your Italian Greyhound from a young age to ensure they are comfortable and well-behaved in various environments and with different people and animals.
  • Patience, consistency, and gentle guidance are key when training an Italian Greyhound.
Italian Greyhound temperament
TemperamentGentle, peaceful, and sensitive
TrainabilityIntelligent, responds well to positive reinforcement
SociabilityGenerally gets along with other dogs and pets, but may have a strong prey drive towards small animals
SensitivityRequires gentle guidance and positive training methods

Attributes of Italian Greyhounds

Italian Greyhounds are renowned for their distinct appearance and unique characteristics. Let’s explore their sleek coat, varied colors, agile size, and intelligent nature in detail.

Italian Greyhound Appearance

The Italian Greyhound is a visually striking breed with a sleek and fine-boned body. Their slender build and long legs contribute to their elegant silhouette. They have a high stepping-gait, which showcases their grace and athleticism.

Italian Greyhound Coat

The Italian Greyhound’s coat is short and smooth, which requires minimal grooming. They come in a variety of colors, including black, blue, fawn, red, and more. Their coat is often described as fine and soft to the touch.

Italian Greyhound Size

Italian Greyhounds are small-sized dogs. According to breed standards, males typically stand at a height of 13 to 15 inches (33 to 38 cm) and weigh around 7 to 14 pounds (3 to 6 kg). Females are slightly smaller, measuring between 12 to 14 inches (30 to 36 cm) in height and weighing about 6 to 12 pounds (3 to 5 kg).

Italian Greyhound Characteristics

Italian Greyhounds possess a range of desirable traits. They are known for their intelligence, making them quick learners during training sessions. They are polite and typically not prone to excessive barking, making them suitable for apartment living. Their gentle and affectionate nature makes them excellent family dogs who thrive on companionship.

Sleek and elegantShort and smoothHeight: 13-15 inches (male) / 12-14 inches (female)
Weight: 7-14 pounds (male) / 6-12 pounds (female)
Intelligent, polite, gentle, affectionate

Care of Italian Greyhounds

When it comes to the care of Italian Greyhounds, proper attention to their diet, exercise, and grooming is essential for their overall well-being and health.


Italian Greyhounds should be fed high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for their age and size. It’s important to provide them with a balanced diet to meet their nutritional needs and maintain a healthy weight. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate feeding schedule and portion sizes for your Italian Greyhound.


Italian Greyhounds may be small in size, but they have a lot of energy to burn. They require daily exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. A brisk walk or play session for about 45 minutes to 1 hour is recommended. Keep in mind that Italian Greyhounds have a strong prey drive, so it’s important to keep them on a leash during outdoor activities to prevent them from chasing after small animals.


Italian Greyhounds have short coats that require minimal grooming. Occasional brushing with a soft bristle brush will help remove loose hair and keep their coat in good condition. Bathing should be done when necessary, using a mild dog shampoo. Regular dental care, such as brushing their teeth, is important to maintain their oral health. Additionally, trimming their nails regularly is essential to prevent discomfort and avoid any issues with walking.

By paying attention to their diet, exercise, and grooming needs, you can ensure that your Italian Greyhound remains healthy, happy, and well-cared for.

Training Italian Greyhounds

When it comes to Italian Greyhounds, their intelligence and willingness to learn make training a rewarding experience. These dogs are quick to pick up commands and respond well to positive reinforcement techniques. It is important, however, to avoid using harsh training methods due to their sensitive nature.

To ensure the safety and well-being of your Italian Greyhound, it is essential to establish basic obedience commands. Start with simple cues such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” With consistency and patience, your furry companion will soon master these commands.

Leash training is another crucial aspect of Italian Greyhound training. These dogs have a natural instinct to chase, so proper leash manners are essential for their safety during walks. Teach your Italian Greyhound to walk calmly by your side and not to pull on the leash.

If you find that training your Italian Greyhound is challenging or you want to refine their obedience skills, consider consulting a professional dog trainer. These experts have experience working with different dog breeds and can provide guidance tailored to your Italian Greyhound’s needs.

Training Tips for Italian Greyhounds:

  • Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and playtime to motivate your Italian Greyhound.
  • Keep training sessions short and engaging to maintain your dog’s focus and prevent boredom.
  • Be patient and consistent with your training methods. Dogs learn best through repetition and reinforcement.
  • Make training a fun and positive experience for your Italian Greyhound by incorporating games and interactive activities.
  • Socialize your Italian Greyhound from a young age to help them become well-rounded and confident in different environments.

Remember, training your Italian Greyhound is not only about teaching commands and obedience. It is an opportunity to bond with your furry friend and nurture their intelligence and potential. By using positive reinforcement and understanding their unique temperament, you can create a well-mannered and well-rounded companion.

Italian Greyhound training

Special Features of Italian Greyhounds

Hunting Instincts and Versatility

Italian Greyhounds possess remarkable traits that set them apart from other dog breeds. As the smallest members of the sighthound family, they are known for their incredible speed and keen eyesight, making them agile and efficient hunters. Their sleek physique and natural athleticism make them well-suited for chasing small animals.

However, it’s essential to note that Italian Greyhounds’ hunting instincts should be monitored and controlled, especially in urban or non-secure environments. Their strong prey drive can lead them to pursue squirrels, rabbits, or other small creatures. Therefore, it’s vital to keep them safely leashed or within secure, fenced areas to prevent any accidents or disruptions.

While Italian Greyhounds excel in hunting, it’s important to recognize their versatility beyond their inherent instincts. These intelligent and adaptable dogs are more than just skilled hunters. They can also excel in various activities, such as obedience, agility, and even therapy work. Their willingness to please their owners and their natural intelligence make them highly trainable and capable of learning a wide range of tasks and tricks.

Social Nature and Sensitivity

Italian Greyhounds are highly social creatures that thrive on companionship and love to please their owners. They form strong bonds with their families and enjoy being involved in their daily activities. Whether it’s going for walks, cuddling on the couch, or participating in training sessions, Italian Greyhounds are at their happiest when they are in the company of their loved ones.

However, their social nature comes with a degree of sensitivity. Italian Greyhounds can be easily startled or frightened by unfamiliar people or situations. It’s important to introduce them to new experiences gradually and gently, providing them with a sense of security and reassurance. Ensuring positive socialization and creating a calm and stable environment will help them feel more comfortable and confident in various settings.

It’s crucial to note that Italian Greyhounds are not suitable as guard dogs. Their sensitive and amiable nature makes them more inclined to retreat or seek comfort when faced with perceived threats, rather than engaging in protective behaviors. While they may alert their owners to unfamiliar sounds or activities, they are more likely to rely on their family as a source of security rather than demonstrating protective instincts.

Italian Greyhounds, with their distinctive traits and versatile nature, make wonderful companions for individuals or families who can provide them with the social interaction and mental stimulation they need. Understanding and appreciating their hunting instincts and sensitive disposition will allow owners to create a loving and enriching environment that fulfills their unique needs.


Italian Greyhounds are intelligent and affectionate dogs that make wonderful companions for the right owners. They require proper training, exercise, and socialization to thrive and be happy. Italian Greyhounds are well-suited for families without young children, as their fragile nature may not withstand rough handling. However, they excel in providing love and loyalty to their owners.

These beautiful dogs have certain breed characteristics and sensitivities that need to be taken into consideration. They can be shy and sensitive around strangers, requiring patience and gentle training. House training can also be a challenge due to their aversion to wet grass. However, with consistency and positive reinforcement, Italian Greyhounds can be successfully trained.

Owners should also be aware of the Italian Greyhound’s strong prey drive. They have a natural instinct to chase small animals, which means extra caution must be taken during off-leash walks. Providing a secure and stimulating environment, along with regular exercise, will help satisfy their hunting instincts.

For those who understand the specific needs of Italian Greyhounds and are willing to provide the necessary care and attention, these dogs can make excellent pets. With their intelligence, grace, and affectionate nature, Italian Greyhounds can bring joy and companionship to their owners for many years to come.


Are Italian Greyhounds intelligent?

Yes, Italian Greyhounds are known for their intelligence. They are considered one of the smartest dog breeds.

What are the characteristics of Italian Greyhounds?

Italian Greyhounds are slim and fine-boned dogs that resemble Whippets. They have a variety of coat colors and a slender body and legs.

How do Italian Greyhounds behave?

Italian Greyhounds are gentle and peaceful with their owners. They can be shy and sensitive around strangers and may require consistent training to prevent behavioral issues.

What should I know about the care of Italian Greyhounds?

Italian Greyhounds require a high-quality diet, daily exercise, and minimal grooming. Regular dental care and nail trimming are also important for their overall health.

How should I train Italian Greyhounds?

Italian Greyhounds respond well to reward-based training methods. Basic obedience commands and leash training are essential for their safety and well-being.

What are the special features of Italian Greyhounds?

Italian Greyhounds have an agile athletic body, are not excessive barkers, and thrive on companionship. They have strong hunting instincts and should be monitored around small animals.

Are Italian Greyhounds suitable for families?

Italian Greyhounds can be good companions for families with adult children. However, their strong prey drive and sensitivity may not make them suitable for families with young kids.