Dumfriesshire & Cumbria Greyhound Rescue

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What do I need to know about house-training?

Many of our dogs have come from a foster home and are therefore house-trained.

However when they first come into a new home you may find that your dog will be nervous and may pee in the house on arrival. This is a combination of anxiety for the dog and you not yet being able to read your new dog’s signs and therefore not knowing that the dog needs to toilet. This is no different to any new dog in a new home as they need to find out how things work. It only takes a day in most cases for your new greyhound to understand his new environment but you also need to watch for the signals. The main one is when they get off the chair or up from their bed. You know they need out.

Greyhounds are not great barkers, in fact most do not bark at all so therefore they struggle to let us know when they need anything. Once you know your dog, after a few days, it will be easy to understand when they need to go. Also remember that when your dog arrives, they will not know the rules of the home, so to make things clear, the first thing you should do is lead the dog through the house and out into the area where you want him/her to do his ‘business’. By keeping the dog on the lead all the time initially, you will be able to react quickly to any signs and take your dog to the dog toileting area. This way you can ensure they learn not to use the area immediately outside the door.

When your new dog first arrives their anxiety levels are high. Your dog may pace, pant, whine, and act a little manically so you can expect at least one accident whilst your dog is learning about its new environment and what is expected of it.
During this time get them out every half hour and wait! Once they do perform even if just a little the minute they stoop or lift use a command word such as wee/toilet. Then praise them like mad. Start to use this word each and every time you let them in the garden and they will begin to associate this with you wanting them to perform. You will find that a greyhound will perform best on grass due to their history as they are walked on grass to empty them before a race.

For the next few days you will need to be vigilant, every time your dog stands up and walks around or shows any signs of wanting to ‘go’ take him/her outside to ‘wee’, he/she may not want to go, but they soon understand that this is what is expected of them. Signs include getting up suddenly from a nap, circling, and panting, whining, crying, pacing or just standing staring at you.

Remember you should never hit, yell at or rub your greyhound’s nose in any mess that he makes. Greyhounds are sensitive, and do not respond or react well to this type of treatment.

You are teaching your greyhound how to behave appropriately and house-training and although generally quite fast for greyhounds because they are usually very clean in their kennels it does take patience, timing, prevention, and most of all supervision.

If you have any specific queries about house training email us at office@dgrescue.org.uk.

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