Housebreaking

Greyhounds are easy to housebreak as they are intelligent dogs. Try to be home when you first adopt a greyhound for a few days. Take him or her out every few hours, using a phrase you will use forever. “Want to go out?” “Time to do your thing!” “Poopies! Pee-Pee!” – whatever works for you. You MUST go out with them and often. This is very important. Bring treats with you. When they pee, you respond with a crazy amount of joy. “Good boy/girl”. You did pee-pee. You are the best dog. Good dog.” And reward with a treat also. Do the same routine with poo – and yes, stay out there until they do it and tell them how wonderful they are!  They will get the idea very quickly, and you will not have an issue. And to the future, you will have a dog who you can take outside and say “Go do pee-pee” to, and they will!  The first few days and week are very important to get housebreaking done and a routine set. Whenever your new dog ventures near a door, ask “Do you want to go out?” and take them out and praise and treat. They will get the idea very quickly.

If you have a dog door (I will never be without one), it’s even easier. Just teach them the door, and viola – instantly house broken.

Now, once in a while you may get a greyhound who just doesn’t get it. If you have a girl who pees in the house, that can be tougher to work with, as girls do not give you a signal. It’s just squat and pee. The boys give you lots of notice because they have to get in position and lift that leg. Usually a boy will be sniffing the corner of your couch, and then position himself and then lift. You have lots of time to yell – “NOOOOO” – and take his butt outside and praise him when he pees outside. Many trainers do not like to use the word NO, but sometimes you just can’t help it when pee is about to happen in your house.

It is true that reprimanding for peeing when you aren’t right there when it happens isn’t a good idea. You must be there. That doesn’t mean that while you are cleaning it up you can’t go into a lament as the dog is watching you – “Oh why did you do this to me? What is wrong with you? You know you aren’t supposed to pee in the house.” If you do this with enough pity and sadness, and a twinge of anger in your voice, your dog will hang his or her head and look properly chastised. This at least makes you feel good, though the dog probably hasn’t a clue why you are mad.

If you have a dog who is housebroken, but has started peeing in the house look for a medical (UTI) or behavioral (divorce, kids, new house, etc) reason.