Saturday, June 25, 2011

Basic Indoor Potty Training Schedule

This is a basic guideline for an indoor toilet training schedule.  When toilet training, the thing to remember is that prevention of accidents is key.

Dog Toilet Training Schedule:
8:30a.m.         Wake up.  Remove dogs from kennel.  Place in confined potty area with breakfast.
9 a.m. Remove food bowls, leave dogs in potty area.  Praise lavishly for using the
        proper potty area.
9:10 a.m. Morning walk.  Praise and special treat for going potty outside.
9:45 a.m. Return from walk, place dogs immediately in potty area.  Praise lavishly 
        for using proper potty area.
10 a.m.        Supervised free time in the house.  Interrupt any mistakes.
11 a.m.        Dogs drink water.  Return to confined potty area and praise for proper
       toilet behavior.  Remove from confinement after proper potty.
12 p.m.        Baby gets ready for a nap.  Put dogs in kennel or confinement area.
1-2 p.m.        Dogs wake up from nap, remove from kennel and place in potty area.
3 p.m. Dog training or short dog walk.
3:45 p.m. After walk/ training/ play time, return dogs to confined potty area.
       Praise and treat for proper toilet behavior.
4 p.m. After dogs have used proper toilet, supervised free time in the house.
5:30-6 p.m. Husband returns home from work, greets dogs warmly for 1-2 minutes,
        then places both dogs in confined potty area.
6:30 p.m. Dinner time.  Dogs are confined to kennel or area while humans eat.
7 p.m. Feed dogs dinner.  Place in confined area with food.
7:30 p.m. Remove food bowls.  Release dogs for supervised free time if they have
        used the proper potty area.
9 p.m. Confined potty area.
10 p.m.        Give dogs 10 minutes in confined potty area, then crate for the night.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2 Italian Greyhounds

This client came to me with a rather interesting problem.  She has two Italian Greyhounds, Maggie & Toby.  Their problem is improper toilet use throughout the house.

Italian Greyhounds as a breed tend to be harder to properly potty train, especially for those of us who live in inclement weather.  The two were once successfully potty trained to go in the house in a designated area, but a house move and new baby in the house have thrown them off their routine.

The number one reason most people have problems toilet training is because of the lack of a proper exercise schedule.  All dogs, no matter their size, must be exercised with a proper walk every day.

Below is a basic list to keep in mind.  For this client, the things listed as "basics" are the most important to remember and focus on.

Toilet Training:
Regular exercise including walks
Keep to a schedule
Confinement when unsupervised
Lots of encouragement for proper toilet behavior, excitement and praise!
Immediately take to toilet area after:
*removing from kennel 
*waking up from a nap
*drinking water
*rigorous play time
*excited time (when you come home)
*returning from a walk
*first thing in the morning
*before bed
Reduce food portion:  feed 1/3 to 1/4 cup twice daily.
Use extra food for training.
Prevention is key.  When caught in the act, clap hands loudly and say no.  Do NOT yell, scream, or get angry.  Immediately and calmly take dog to the proper toilet area.  Immediately clean up mess with proper enzyme cleaner.
Praise dog lavishly EVERY time they toilet in the proper area.  Give special treat after they have gone potty (these treats are ONLY for going potty in the correct area).
The dog’s crate/ kennel should never be used as punishment.  This should be seen as a special, safe, comfortable place by the dog.
Toilet Training Action Plan:
*What type of indoor bathroom do you want to use?
-Using an indoor grass/turf bathroom will help with being able to go outside as well.
Products at
*Where do you want the dog bathroom to go?
-Choose ONE spot for the bathroom to go.  Somewhere that may also be used as a confinement area with only enough room for food and water bowls, bed, and bathroom.
*What phrase to use for the command to go potty?

Since Italian Greyhounds are extremely reluctant to use the bathroom outside in the winter, it is important to give them a proper option inside the house.  In this case I would recommend purchasing an indoor dog bathroom that resembles grass so the dogs will be less reluctant to use the bathroom outside.  This will help ensure that they are able to use their indoor bathroom in a proper manner, but to also be able to go potty outside without hesitation.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Breed of the Month--Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

Color:  Black, white, fawn, cream, blue, any of these broken with white (no brindle)
Height:  12.5-15 inches
Weight:  8-11 lbs
Life Span:  12-15 years

Breed Health Concerns:  Autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, dental problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, epilepsy.

Coat:  soft, fine, glossy, short
Country of Origin:  Italy

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

There is evidence in the tombs of Egypt of this breed on artifacts and relics from 2,000 years ago.  The breed received its name, Italian Greyhound, around the 1500s as their popularity grew across Europe.

Also known as "Iggy," the Italian Greyhound bonds quickly to his family and is very affectionate.  It is recommended that you have more than one Iggy to keep them happy, as their fragile physique is too delicate for most other breeds and small children to play with.  Extra care must be taken when adding this breed to your home.  Potty training this breed can also be a bit of a challenge, especially if you live in area with inclement weather.  The Italian Greyhound may need you to give him a coat in cold weather to keep him warm and healthy.

The Italian Greyhound tends to be a nervous, anxious breed.  It is very important that owners of this breed do not unintentionally encourage this behavior.  Never pet or comfort a dog that is shaking or trembling with fear.  By giving attention at this time, you are communicating to the dog that this anxious behavior is good.  You are telling your dog to continue that behavior, which we do not want.  It is important to have a calm, relaxed demeanor at all times with this breed, and especially during training.

The Italian Greyhound will generally adjust to what the activity level of your household is.  The Iggy gets plenty of exercise with a short walk each day, and following his family around.

The Italian Greyhound has thin skin that must be kept warm and clean.  This breed's coat is easy to care for with a simple wipe-down every now and then.  The Iggy's face requires extra attention to stay clean and free from infection.

Socialization is key for this breed, the Iggy is a shy breed and will learn how to cope with all situations if properly socialized.  Train this breed from puppyhood to help encourage lifelong basic manners and good listening.  Proper motivation and quick training sessions are the best way to train your Italian Greyhound.