Are Italian Greyhounds Hard to Train? Tips and Tricks You NEED!

Italian Greyhounds are a breed of small sighthounds that have been around since ancient Egyptian times. Their distinctive slender physique and gracefulness make for a popular and adorable pet choice.

However, Italian Greyhounds are known to be a little tricky to work with regarding training. So, are Italian Greyhounds hard to train? Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding Italian Greyhounds

Before diving into Iggy training challenges, it’s essential to understand their nature and behavior, which can make them challenging to train.


The temperament of Italian Greyhounds is one of the primary reasons they can be challenging to train. They are a sensitive breed that can be easily stressed or anxious. Italian Greyhounds are also independent and can be stubborn at times.

They are less eager to please their owners than other breeds, which can challenge training.

Size and Physical Attributes

Another reason why Italian Greyhounds are hard to train is because of their size and physical attributes. They are a small breed of dog that can be delicate and easily injured.

Italian Greyhounds are also very agile and quick, making them difficult to catch and control. This can make training exercises requiring physical control, such as leash or obedience training, more complex.

Blue Italian Greyhound
A cute Iggy!


Iggies are a sensitive breed that can be easily overwhelmed by loud noises, new environments, or unfamiliar people. Training them in new environments, such as a park or a busy street, can make it difficult.

They may become anxious or fearful and have difficulty focusing on the training exercise.

Distractions and Focus

Italian Greyhounds can be easily distracted, which can make it challenging to keep their focus during training. They may become fixated on a particular sound or smell and need help paying attention to the task.

This can make training exercises that require a high level of focus, such as obedience training, challenging.

Boredom and Stubbornness

Iggys can become bored quickly and may lose interest in training exercises if they become repetitive or uninteresting. They can also be stubborn and resist training exercises that they do not find enjoyable or engaging.

This can make it challenging to motivate them to participate in training exercises.

Training Techniques

Training an Italian Greyhound can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. With the right approach, patience, and consistency, you can successfully train your Italian Greyhound.

Here are some specific training techniques for Italian Greyhounds:

Consistency and Patience Are Key

Consistency and patience are crucial when it comes to training an Iggy. It’s essential to establish a routine and stick to it. Break down the training into short, frequent sessions to avoid overwhelming your dog.

White Italian Greyhound
It’s been a ruff day!


Socialization is another important aspect of training for Italian Greyhounds. They are very sensitive and need to be properly socialized from a young age.

It is essential to expose them to different people, animals, and environments in a positive and controlled manner. This will help them to develop confidence and reduce the risk of fear-based aggression or anxiety.

Crate Training

Crate training can also be a helpful tool when training Iggies. This breed is known for being very attached to their owners and can suffer from separation anxiety.

A crate can provide them with a safe and comfortable space when left alone, helping to alleviate their anxiety. It is vital to properly introduce them to the crate and make it a positive experience for them.

Leash Training

Italian Greyhounds are small and fast, making leash training challenging. However, training them to walk on a leash is essential to keep them safe when outside.

Start by introducing the leash and harness to your Italian Greyhound in a positive and non-threatening manner. Then, gradually increase the leash length and practice walking with them.

Potty Training

Potty training Italian Greyhounds can be challenging due to their small size and frequent need to go outside. However, they can be successfully potty trained with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.

Take your dog out frequently, reward them for going potty outside, and use a consistent command to indicate when it is time to go outside.

brown italian greyhound
Feed me!

Obedience Training

Obedience training is essential for Italian Greyhounds to learn basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise to encourage your dog to follow commands.

Consistency and patience are essential to successful obedience training.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the most effective training technique for Italian Greyhounds. Reward good behavior with treats, praise, or playtime to reinforce the behavior.

Avoid punishing unwanted behavior, as Italian Greyhounds can become fearful, anxious, or even aggressive when punished.

Avoid Harsh Punishments

Harsh punishments such as yelling or physical punishment should be avoided when training an Iggy. They are sensitive dogs and can become fearful, anxious, or aggressive when punished.

Positive reinforcement and redirecting unwanted behavior are more effective and humane training techniques.

Agility Training

Agility training is an excellent way to mentally and physically stimulate and engage Italian Greyhounds mentally and physically. Use positive reinforcement techniques to teach them to navigate obstacles such as jumps, tunnels, and weave poles.

Consistency and patience are essential for successful agility training.

Trick Training

Trick training is fun to bond with your Italian Greyhound while teaching them new skills. It also helps keep them mentally stimulated and prevents boredom.

Teach your dog fun tricks like playing dead, shaking hands, or rolling over.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is a positive reinforcement technique that uses a clicker to signal good behavior. When your Iggy does something good, you click the clicker and reward them with a treat.

Over time, your dog will associate the clicker with positive reinforcement and repeat the behavior.

red brown iggy mix
I woof you!

Training Tips and Tricks

Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you train your Italian Greyhound effectively:

  • Use high-value treats such as cheese or chicken to motivate your dog during training.
  • Be patient and consistent. Training takes time and effort.
  • Keep training sessions short and frequent.
  • Use positive reinforcement and reward-based techniques.
  • Avoid punishment or scolding.
  • Socialize your Italian Greyhound from a young age.
  • Provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation.
  • Be calm and assertive during training.


So, are Italian Greyhounds hard to train? Yes, they can be challenging, but with the right approach, patience, and consistency, you can successfully train your Italian Greyhound.

Remember to use positive reinforcement, avoid punishment, and provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation. You can establish a strong bond with your Italian Greyhound and enjoy a happy and well-behaved pet with time and effort.


How long does it take to train an Italian Greyhound?

Training an Italian Greyhound takes time and patience. Your dog can take several weeks or even months to learn new skills and behaviors.

Is it possible to train an older Italian Greyhound?

Yes, it is possible to train an older Italian Greyhound. However, it may take more time and effort, as older dogs can be set in their ways.

What is the best way to potty train an Italian Greyhound?

Consistency and patience are essential when potty training an Italian Greyhound. Stick to a routine, reward your dog for going potty outside, and supervise them closely inside the house.

Can Italian Greyhounds be trained for agility?

Yes, Italian Greyhounds can be trained for agility. It’s a great way to stimulate them physically and mentally and improve their coordination and speed.

How do I prevent my Italian Greyhound from getting distracted during training?

Frequent training sessions can help prevent your Italian Greyhound from getting distracted. Use high-value treats and keep the training sessions fun and engaging.

Victoria Richards

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