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Italian Greyhounds/Potty Training My IG


Good Afternoon -

I am writing in regards to my Italian Greyhound I adopted in December.  She is 2-1/2 years old.  As much as I have gathered from her past, she pretty much lived in a shelter her whole life.  She was rescued from one shelter where she was almost starved to death, and I adopted her from the shelter who rescued her.  She had a sister who was adopted before she was.

She is a beautiful, loving girl with a fabulous personality.  We just completed beginner's obedience class with a perfect score and my teacher told me she wants to take her (Not gonna happen! LOL!#, and that she is extremely intellegent and constantly shows she wants to please me with her abilities.  There was nothing she failed in at class and she caught on almost immediately.

She is potty-pad trained in my garage and when I am home ALWAYS goes to the door to be let out and NEVER potties in the house when I am there.  No matter where I am in the house, she will wait by the door to go.  She will also go outdoors while walking.

When I first got her and had to go to work during the day, I gated her in my kitchen.  She jumped the gates and peed and pooped on the carpeting in the rest of my home.  I then got plywood and put that in the doorways. She then bypassed the plywood and jumped the half-wall in the kitchen and peed and pooped in the house..  End of gating.  

I then got a crate #which she has been in now for about 2 months#.  She pees and poops in the crate.  I feed her #a very high-quality food# an hour before I leave for work.  She both pees and poops before I leave.  I then put her in the crate and come home for an hour at lunch to let her out and walk her #sometimes she poops, sometimes she pees#. She is crated for approximately 4 hours at the most.  I read if the crate was too big, that could make her potty in it, so I made it smaller.  She still pees and poops in the smaller crate and will lay in her pee and poop. I have removed all blankets, beds, towels, etc. as she has destroyed everything I put in there. I have even put in tshirts that I have worn thinking my scent would calm her, but she even peed on that.

She has seperation anxiety when I leave.  When I gated her in the kitchen, she would slam against the door while I was trying to leave.  When I crate her she paces and cries.  I have tried to leave the tv on, the radio on classical, the radio on talkshow, the ThunderShirt, a pheromone spray that is supposed to calm her #released from a mother when she weens her pups), I have changed my routine before I leave.  Putting my coat on but not leaving right away, going out the door and coming back at different times, but nothing helps.  I now have her on a natural herbal supplement that I give her 1/2 hour before I leave.  It seems to have stopped the anxiety and pacing in the crate when I leave for work, but I still come home to her pee or poop in the crate.  She will lay in it and it doesn't seem to bother her.  I am guessing because this is how she grew up? Or could it be the separation anxiety?

She gets a lot of excercise and we go on very long walks on the weekends.

I absolutely love this adorable girl and will do what ever it takes to make her happy and comfortable.

I am at a complete lost as what to do next.  Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

It sounds like she may have grown up that way which makes this very difficult to stop. If she is conditioned to potty in her crate, it may never be corrected. There are a couple things you can try. Leave her crate out and remove the door, so she can explore it without threat of being locked in. Also, only give her treats in the crate, and place a special toy or blanket in the crate, then give her meals in the crate. You have to teach her that the crate is a safe place. Also put her in the crate at night where you can let her out to go potty. You may have lots of trips the first few nights, so plan for days when you have time. Only reward the behavior when she makes it without potting, extend the time between potty breaks each night to build up the time after she makes it through the previous time without issue. For instance, the first night may need a potty break every half hour, that may take two or three days. Build up to it.

You will have to recondition her and that is hard but with patience, persistence, it can be done.

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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