Italian Greyhounds/House Training


I took a year old from a friend who was giving it away. Long story short, it has been sneaking around the house and peeing all over furniture. Husband has had enough and wants it gone but I want to fix the problem. Is there a trick with this breed. I know I should have researched  them before  took him.

I am so sorry to hear you are struggling with this. Unfortunately, this breed is one of the hardest to housebreak and at a year old, he is still considered very young and typically they are not housebroken until they are much older - sometimes never. I hate to make it sound like a hopeless cause, it isn't, but it takes a lot of time, patience and consistency from everyone in the household. If anyone gets angry or yells at them, it will cause them to get worse, not better so if they feel they are in trouble, they also will get worse - not better. I know it sounds ridiculous but unfortunately this breed is "temperamental".. LOL

To try to break the habit and get them back on track, you definitely need to work on umbilical training and NOT let the dog have free reign of the house ever. He has to earn the privilege and he hasn't earned it. Umbilical training requires the dog to be connected to someone whenever they are not crated by a leash or training rope or something - but not too long that they can be out of sight - ever. The only time the dog is off the training leash is going potty outside or when they are in a crate. You will have to be very strict with this to get him back on track - and it will be frustrating but I am sure you can do it! :)If using this method you will learn what he starts to do when he needs to go potty (reading his signs) and can also react immediately if he attempts to potty by immediately taking him outside (again, don't yell at him, just pick him up and take him right outside and wait until he potties outside.) When he does go potty outside -- make a BIG deal out of it, praise, special potty treats (I used cheese squares), everything -- immediately when they go potty -- so someone has to watch to ensure he goes potty and praise him immediately so he knows what he is being praised for, act like he won the lottery. I know it is goofy but this breed really does want to please and they will understand very quickly that this is a good thing and strive to do it again. Also understand, they have very small bladders - if you work during the day and are gone for long periods, reduce the ability for them to have water about an hour before leaving because they won't be able to hold it for long periods. IGs are not considered mature until after they are three years old, you will see that they get much better at holding it (mine can go for 10 hrs or more if they need too but they are much older), and they will become more consistent with going outside. I know it sounds like a lot but it is doable, but will take a lot of commitment. Also, if he isn't neutered, I would get him neutered, it can help if he is marking as well as pottying. Lastly, there is something called a "belly band" that can be used to assist in training, it is basically a doggie diaper for boys.

With this breed, 80% housebroken, is considered housebroken. They will regress during bad weather, signs of stress, or anything that is upsetting to them. This is the most "cat-like" breed you will ever see, they get upset and will act out. They are also the most loving breed you will ever see and love to cuddle and be warm. They want to be with their people all the time and will be the most loyal friend you have ever had. Definitely a distinctive breed that can be very frustrating but rewarding. :)

Lastly, if you do decide to place the dog, please contact a rescue group that specializes with the breed. IGRF is the breed rescue and they will ensure the dog is placed with someone that understands and can handle the very specific needs for this breed - a lot of times if this breed is put in a shelter or given away they are either repeatedly returned or end up as dog fighting bait for unethical people. I am so glad you have him because he could have ended up somewhere very bad had you not stepped in. Feel free to ask if you other questions, you can also contact your local rescue group for additional assistance, typically they are very open to helping so you don't have to give up the dog.

I wish you the best of luck! You can do it!!

Italian Greyhounds

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Tracy Rousseau


I can answer many questions about training, behavioral issues, health, and conformation. Also I can answer questions about what types of dogs these are and if this is the right breed for you.


I have worked with Italian Greyhounds in both showing and rescue for over 5 years, experienced almost every type of issue with this breed that could be imagined and have successfully trained, many "untrainable" dogs. I have been responsible to find homes suitable for IG's and have had an excellent success rate in placements into a "forever" homes of dogs given to rescue or turned to rescue by shelters that would have otherwise euthanized.

I have learned most of what I know through mentorships with breeders of the breed that have been involved for 20 years, asking a lot of questions and paying attention to the dogs signals.

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