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Toilet training your new pet greyhound

Toilet training an adopted greyhound can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging (we won’t lie, we’ve had plenty of unwanted accidents and clean-ups in our time). Greyhounds, like any other dog, need time, patience, and consistency to learn where and when to ‘go’. Here are some tips and tricks that we have found to be helpful over the last few years with our rescue greyhounds.

1. Establish a routine: Greyhounds thrive on routine, so it’s important to establish a regular schedule for taking them outside to go to the toilet. We recommend taking them out first thing in the morning, after meals, after naps, and last thing before bed. Take them to the same spot outside every time so that they learn that this is where they should go. Greyhounds, like all dogs, want to get it right and they are inherently clean animals so they will pick it up reasonably quickly if we are consistent with taking them out.

2. Use positive reinforcement: When your greyhound goes to the toilet outside, praise them and give them a treat. Treats can be dried liver treats, dehydrated chicken tenders, carrot sticks or even part of their daily dry food intake (whatever you choose to use, offer it in small quantities to make sure they don’t get an upset tummy, especially if offering things like liver treats).

Positive reinforcement helps them associate going outside with positive experiences. If they have an accident inside, don’t scold them or punish them. Instead, calmly clean up the mess and take them outside to their designated toilet spot. Dogs thrive with positive reinforcement and it makes the whole training experience much more pleasant for everyone involved!

3. Supervise your greyhound: When you bring your greyhound inside, keep an eye on them and watch for signs that they need to go to the toilet. These signs could include sniffing around or circling. When you see these signs, take them outside immediately. If they start to go to the toilet inside, interrupt them with a sharp sound like “uh-uh” or “no,” and take them outside as soon as you can so they have the chance to go to the toilet in the correct spot.

4. Be patient: Toilet training can take time, especially with a rescue dog who may have had a different routine or environment before. Be patient and consistent, and your greyhound will learn with time and positive reinforcement. Remember that rescue greyhounds may not have always been treated well, so being kind and patient can go a long way to building a trusting relationship with your hound.

5. Consider crate training: Greyhounds often enjoy having their own space, and a crate can be a useful tool for toilet training. Make sure the crate is just big enough for your greyhound to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Take them outside immediately after letting them out of the crate.

6. Use a bell or chime: Some greyhound owners find it helpful to hang a bell or chime on the door and ring it every time they take their greyhound outside to go to the toilet. After a while, your greyhound may start ringing the bell themselves to signal that they need to go outside (much better than scratching at the door or going to the toilet inside!).

7. Use a command: It can be helpful to use a command like “go potty” every time you take your greyhound outside. Eventually, they will associate the command with the act of going to the toilet, making it easier for you to prompt them to go when you need them to.

8. Toilet training pee pads: these can be helpful for those living in apartments or with small outdoor areas when you’re first training your hound, but can also be used indoors to prevent accidents from ruining your floors or rugs.

9. Abnormal toilet behaviour: if your pet is weeing and pooing in an inappropriate fashion despite your best training efforts, it may be worth taking them in for a check up with your vet. Sometimes urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal issues (amongst other medical problems) can cause your pet to do their business in a less than ideal way. Speaking to your vet can help get these problems under control quickly.

Toilet training a rescue greyhound can take time and patience, but with consistency and positive reinforcement, your greyhound will learn where and when to go to the toilet. It’s important to remember that accidents will happen, especially in those early stages of training, but with time and practice, your greyhound will become a pro at going outside to do their business. If you have any concerns about your greyhound’s toilet training progress, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional dog trainer or your veterinarian for short coated dog with blue collar

Photo: Rudy the rescue greyhound (Joe Hepburn, unsplash)

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