This client came to me with a rather interesting problem. She has two Italian Greyhounds, Maggie & Toby. Their problem is improper toilet use throughout the house.
Italian Greyhounds as a breed tend to be harder to properly potty train, especially for those of us who live in inclement weather. The two were once successfully potty trained to go in the house in a designated area, but a house move and new baby in the house have thrown them off their routine.
The number one reason most people have problems toilet training is because of the lack of a proper exercise schedule. All dogs, no matter their size, must be exercised with a proper walk every day.
Below is a basic list to keep in mind. For this client, the things listed as “basics” are the most important to remember and focus on.
Regular exercise including walks
Keep to a schedule
Confinement when unsupervised
Lots of encouragement for proper toilet behavior, excitement and praise!
Immediately take to toilet area after:
*removing from kennel
*waking up from a nap
*rigorous play time
*excited time (when you come home)
*returning from a walk
*first thing in the morning
Reduce food portion: feed 1/3 to 1/4 cup twice daily.
Use extra food for training.
Prevention is key. When caught in the act, clap hands loudly and say no. Do NOT yell, scream, or get angry. Immediately and calmly take dog to the proper toilet area. Immediately clean up mess with proper enzyme cleaner.
PROPER TOILET USE:
Praise dog lavishly EVERY time they toilet in the proper area. Give special treat after they have gone potty (these treats are ONLY for going potty in the correct area).
The dog’s crate/ kennel should never be used as punishment. This should be seen as a special, safe, comfortable place by the dog.
Toilet Training Action Plan:
*What type of indoor bathroom do you want to use?
-Using an indoor grass/turf bathroom will help with being able to go outside as well.
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*Where do you want the dog bathroom to go?
-Choose ONE spot for the bathroom to go. Somewhere that may also be used as a confinement area with only enough room for food and water bowls, bed, and bathroom.
*What phrase to use for the command to go potty?
Since Italian Greyhounds are extremely reluctant to use the bathroom outside in the winter, it is important to give them a proper option inside the house. In this case I would recommend purchasing an indoor dog bathroom that resembles grass so the dogs will be less reluctant to use the bathroom outside. This will help ensure that they are able to use their indoor bathroom in a proper manner, but to also be able to go potty outside without hesitation.