Is an Italian Greyhound a smart dog?

Let’s travel back in time to the days of the Roman Empire. Picture this, you’re a noble in your plush villa, reclining leisurely on your chaise lounge. While sipping gently on a goblet of wine, your eyes wander to an elegant canine figure, a sleek, shiny hound that gracefully strides across your courtyard. A beautiful symbol of sophistication and elegance, meet your loyal companion, the Italian Greyhound.

Dubbed as miniature masterpieces by some, the Italian Greyhound, known to aficionados as “I.G.” or “Iggy”, isn’t just a pretty pooch with runway-worthy looks, but also a breed that’s known for its keen intelligence. IGs have a long history, dating all the way back to more than 2,000 years ago, when they were a favorite among nobles and even appeared in the art of ancient Greece and Rome.

But enough history for now. You’re here because you’re asking the million-dollar question: “Is an Italian Greyhound a smart dog?” In just a moment, I’ll not only tell you the answer, but also reveal what “smart” actually means when we’re talking about dogs.

Yes, the Italian Greyhound is a smart breed. According to Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, they are in the “average” category in terms of intelligence. Now, before you recoil at the term “average”, let me clarify that in dog lingo, that’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s pretty high praise considering Coren measured intelligence based on a dog’s ability to understand new commands and follow them after fewer repetitions.

Intelligent and fast to adapt, these ‘Iggies’ excel in agility and obedience training. They are quick learners, known to understand what you want in a short period. However, it’s not just about learning tricks and commands. Iggies are very intuitive. They are sensitive to their owner’s moods. Feeling blue? Don’t be surprised if your fur baby cuddles up to you and offers a comforting gaze.

While Italian Greyhounds don’t typically carry out work duties like herding or search-and-rescue, they possess a clever knack for problem-solving that goes beyond basic commands. From figuring out how to open a latch to getting that toy stuck under the couch, nothing much gets past an Iggy. Their curiosity often drives them to examine, explore, and eventually find solutions to challenges they encounter.

Now, close your eyes and imagine this: It’s dinner time. The smell of sweet grilled chicken wafting from the kitchen has grabbed the attention of your Italian Greyhound. Instead of begging outright for a piece, they’d do a little dance, a prance, jumping around on their incredibly slender, cat-like legs. Suddenly, they’ve turned into a canine ballerina, performing for you, seeking your affection and—let’s not kid ourselves—a tasty morsel too. It’s a well thought-out performance, isn’t it? One might even call it smart.

While their adapting capability and sensitivity make them a smart breed, their stubborn streak might sometimes veil their sharp intellect. Yes, you read that right. Just like us humans, dogs too have their mood swings! There’ll be moments when they simply decide against obeying a command — no matter how many times you’ve gone over it. And let’s face it, we all have those days when getting out of bed just seems too much to ask.

However, these moments of obstinance should not be mistaken for a lack of intelligence. Rather, it’s an indication of their playful, mischievous nature. It just means that training an Iggy might need a bit more patience and a lot more rewards.

Speaking of training, looking to bring out the best of your Italian Greyhound’s smarts? Here comes the useful advice you might need. Use positive, reward-based training methods, focusing on treats and praise rather than punishment. Building a bond of trust is crucial.

And remember, Italian Greyhounds are sprinters, not marathoners. Keep training sessions short and fun to prevent them from getting bored or overwhelmed. Take breaks and play fetch to switch things up.

But don’t forget the most crucial advice of all: loving them. With their heartwrenchingly sweet nature, slender elegance, and keen intelligence, an Italian Greyhound can easily capture a special place in your heart.

So yes, an Italian Greyhound is indeed a smart dog. Remember, ‘smart’ in canine terms is not just about following commands. It’s about an innate curiosity, the propensity to problem-solve, and the capability to connect and communicate with humans on a deeper emotional level. And on these counts, an Iggy isn’t just smart — they’re truly brilliant.

In conclusion, the Italian Greyhound isn’t just a noble’s lap dog from distant history but a wonderfully intelligent companion perfect for our modern times. Whether they’re leaping around your yard, snuggling next to you on the couch, or outsmarting you with their cunning antics, the Iggy is undoubtedly a smart breed that brings joy, entertainment, and unmistakable elegance into your life. To be the proud owner of an Iggy is to have a loyal, sensitive, and ‘smart’ friend forever!