Greyhounds are used to keeping their crates clean while living at the racetrack. So house training should only take a few days and not involve the use of a crate unless specifically recommended by your placement representative.
When you bring the dog home, walk her outside allowing her enough time to relieve herself. Keep her on leash as you enter the home and walk into each room. Let the dog smell every corner of the room and praise her along the way. For male greyhounds, be sure to walk near a coffee table or other furniture that’s just the right height to be irresistible. If he lifts his leg, say “No!” in a very loud, stern voice and immediately take him outside. If he relieves himself outdoors, tell him “Good boy!” in a high, happy voice. Follow the same routine if a female begins to squat indoors.
For the first couple of days, take your greyhound outside in your yard or around the neighborhood every few hours. The stress of moving to a new home and family will cause the dog to urinate more. It helps to use the same phrase when going outside such as “Let’s go out,” “Time for potty,” or “Take a break.” Stay with your dog outdoors so you can praise her after she relieves herself. Don’t be surprised by an accident or two inside the home at first. There is no need to yell at the dog for these mistakes, just take her outside and continue to praise her for relieving herself outdoors.
GAC recommends restricting the dog’s ability to roam around the house for the first several days. Keep the dog in a room you can close off with a door, baby gate or chairs. If leaving the dog unsupervised, choose the room you usually spend time in (not a laundry room, bathroom or garage). Your greyhound will come to view this area as her sleeping space and want to keep it clean. As the dog grows more familiar with your home, showing all signs of being house trained, expand her freedom to roam indoors. Soon the whole house becomes her living space and the only doggie toilet is outdoors.
Don’t make the mistake of giving your dog too much freedom too soon or she might discover a place to go potty that you never imagined! The dog gets confused, you get upset and the relationship is off to a bad start. The key to successful house training is providing ample time outdoors, the right cues and positive reinforcement.