My mom said I need to contribute to rescue a little (like being cute isn’t enough to influence people to rescue one of us) and I should write an article about how to housetrain creatures like myself. She mentioned something about how I was more difficult than my big, mixed-breed sister, but I tuned her out at that point because Dad was eating a delicious smelling turkey sandwich… Anyway, here are some pointers I put together that have helped me remain house trained even during the worst Wisconsin snow storms.
When it gets really cold out, I don’t want to go outside at all. Okay, so if it’s really warm but raining, I also don’t like going outside. And there are days when it’s just nasty for whatever reason, and I’d rather stay in then as well. My dad made me a shelter he and Mom call “The Poop Shed”. Sometimes, when it’s raining or snowing, one of my parents will carry me out to the shed so I can take care of my business without getting my feet wet. I really hate putting my feet on the cold, wet ground. I’ve included a photo of The Poop Shed so you can see it doesn’t take a master carpenter or a lot of money to make one. The Poop Shed really helps so I don’t have to resort to going in the house or trying to do my duty with cold rain hitting my face and back. Mom says to tell you there is also a Poop Tent on the market if you would rather not build your own shed, and you can buy the Poop Tent online. Kathy, who recently adopted one of my foster brothers, purchased the Poop Tent and this is what she had to say about it: “It was easy to put up and has withstood the recent bad weather. Smokey loves it. He will run out and straight into it to go. Well worth the money!”. Italian Greyhounds are not alone, there are other breeds–like Dachshunds, Min Pins, and Chinese Cresteds–who have issues with peeing in the rain, and who might like Poop Sheds or Tents.
My parents also hung bells on the door so they can hear me better when I ask to go out. The bells they hung are round and sewn to a nylon strap. I bet these bells could be anything from a Christmas ornament on a ribbon to ones like Poochie Bells, made especially for dogs. You can train your dog to ring the bells, or they can learn from another dog who knows now to use them, like I did from my big sister, Caina. (Mom might have a point about my big sis being a lot easier than us iggies. She is certainly much smarter than my IG brother Brodie.)
My parents think I’m a very smart Italian Greyhound because I taught myself how to bat at the door when I want to go outside. My brother Brodie, however, isn’t the smartest pup in the litter and he’s still clueless on how to ask to go out. Lucky for Brodie, my big sis and I ask to go outside enough so he doesn’t have to. (Caina’s crazy, though. She asks to go outside when it’s cold, just to be outside!) We all go outside many times a day. If your Italian Greyhound doesn’t go out of her way to tell you she wants out, be sure to stay alert and watch for ANY clues she’s got to go. Or just take her out at regular intervals, like every few hours.
Mom or Dad always comes outside with us, even when it’s really cold, and I hear them telling each other when each of us has pooped, which I find terribly embarrassing. But they keep track of this stuff and watch whichever of us dogs who haven’t gone, then let them out as soon as they see “the signs”. They must have watched us a lot to know what we act like when we’re about to have an accident.
Remember, like people, dogs aren’t great at pooping on command. (Hey, I’m a dog. I can say things like this.) So please don’t expect us to. Some of us can, but even the best of us might have trouble if we eat something that doesn’t agree with our stomachs or get distracted by that annoying neighbor dog (I’m talking to you, Gizmo) when we are out. Some of us also need to read the “pee-mail” for a few blocks when we’re on a walk before getting around to business. If you rush us along, you’ll probably be disappointed later when we have an accident.
We’ve had a few fosters in the house, and I know most of them tried to find a corner to hide their accidents when Mom and Dad weren’t looking. It only took once, and Mom and Dad sure fixed those fosters. They’d close off rooms with baby gates and doors so those fosters couldn’t even get into the hidden corners to have an accident without Mom or Dad knowing. Sometimes, they’d even put the fosters on a leash attached to their waist to keep the sneaky poopers in sight. The fosters think Mom and Dad have eyes in the backs of their heads, but I know their tricks.
I need to take a nap so I’ll sign off now. If your Italian Greyhound has any other house training tips he or she would like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will mention them in my next article. If any of your female Italian Greyhounds are especially good looking, please send along a photo, too. I do like the ladies. Until next time, keep your Italian Greyhounds happy and warm, and we will repay you with lots of love and plentiful snuggles.