House Breaking

Housebreaking 101

Remember the first rule of housebreaking is CATCH THEM IN THE ACT. People always say, “they know they did wrong because they look guilty.” Your greyhound is not capable of guilt — they look worried becaue they know you are upset, but they don’t have a clue as to why.

Greyhounds are crate trained dogs — meaning they don’t do their business in their crate but go to the yard (turn out area) to do their business. In a kennel environment they are used to someone coming along every 5 hours or so and letting them out — they don’t know they are supposed to “ask.” They actually more closely relate “waking up” to “going out” than anything else. If some disturbance “wakes” the kennel between turnouts many times the dogs will have accidents.

You are now going to teach your greyhound that the house is the crate — certainly the largest crate they’ve ever seen — and the yard is the turn out. In the beginning they may see the main living area as the “crate” but to them the door that goes to the yard, and the door that goes down the hall, are the same. They both go “outside” the crate. Your job is to teach them that the door to the yard is the correct one and the hall is still part of the crate.

You do that mostly by paying very close attention. If they go down the hall, you need to go also and guide them back to the correct door. If you allow your greyhound full, unsupervised run of the house, and they get in the habit of having accidents in the spare room, it is much harder to teach them.

Squirt bottles work well to discourage males from marking — a quick spray and a sharp “no” will make them quickly stop and go outside.

If your greyhound starts to have an accident — a sharp no and a shake of the collar and then getting them outside right away will usually serve to teach them. They are dogs that want to please and will mostly react without a lot of yelling or hitting.

Praising them when they go outside also helps to reinforce the good behavior.

When putting them out before bed or before leaving for work you want to make sure they are staying out long enough to really finish. Sometimes they will run out and quickly do just enough to run back in & get praised but not enough to be able to go through the night or through a day of confinement.