House & Toilet Training

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When a rescue dog is first adopted, it is common that the new owners will have to undertake house/toilet training. Adopting a rescue greyhound or lurcher is no different.

A dog being adopted from one of our foster homes will be housetrained but please do not expect them to be perfect from day one. A change to his routine may confuse him and he may not know what his new family expect from him, so be prepared for accidents, and be prepared to reinforce the training he has already received.

If you collected your greyhound directly from our kennels,  he may not be housetrained and he may never have ever lived in a home environment. Greyhounds are generally very clean animals and it should only take a short time to succeed with the housetraining if you work hard, are consistent, patient and give him clear guidelines.

Never punish your dog or raise your voice if he goes to the toilet in the house. Your dog is not being naughty, he just does not understand what you expect from him – it is up to you to show him where to go to the toilet and to praise him when he gets it right.

If you don’t show him where to go to the toilet and tell him off for going indoors, the chances are he will just go when you are not looking.

When you first arrive home take your new dog into the garden straight away and stay with him until he has been to the toilet – then give him lots of praise and a treat or two. Let him have a good sniff around to get used to his new territory. You may find he wees quite quickly, but it may take a little while for him to be confident enough to open his bowels.

However tempting, never ‘pick up the poop’ in your garden immediately – this will confuse the dog and he will think that you are telling him not to toilet in that area. Try and always leave a fresh poop in an area of the garden that the dog can learn to recognise as his ‘place’.

Once he has arrived you will need to start the toilet training straight away. Put his lead on and take him into the garden, again staying with him until he has been to the toilet & again praising him. Do this every 3 hours or as soon as:

  • You see your dog wandering around, or crying or scraping at the door
  • After feeding
  • When he first wakes up and before you go to bed at night     

Don't feed your dog after 7pm in the evening (an odd treat is fine!). Until your dog is housetrained take the water up by 10pm, but don’t forget to put it down again first thing in the morning!

If your dog has an accident in the house it is vital that you clean up and get rid of the smell. Just because you can’t smell it anymore doesn’t mean that the dog can’t and will return to the smell as a safe and familiar place to toilet again. Never use products that contain ammonia to clean up after a dogs accident – to the dog the smell is similar to his toilet smells and it will encourage him to soil in that spot again! Use a detergent based cleaner – either washing up liquid or washing powder is ideal.

If the dog does poop in the house, pick it up and put it in his ‘place’ in the garden – this will reinforce the good toilet place. It may not sound like the most pleasant thing to do but it will be worth it when you have a happy housetrained dog!

Remember KGR are always willing to provide help and advice – we have all been there!