ADVICE FOR POTENTIAL PET OWNERS
KNOW that IGs are highly intelligent and surprisingly stubborn!
KNOW that IGs can be difficult to house train. Since some will never be fully house trained, it is a good idea to teach them to use potty pads as well. Due to their delicate build, most IGs are not fans of cold, rain, wind or snow and should be properly covered and gently coaxed in order to get them to venture outside. Again, let potty pads be your second best friend.
KNOW that obedience training is available in most areas. Please research and ask for recommendations for local trainers. But, KNOW that just because they have obedience training it does NOT mean they can be trusted off leash!
KNOW that IGs are sighthounds and exceedingly prey driven. This means that they like to chase moving objects like rabbits, squirrels, birds, mice or even a leaf or shopping bag blowing in the breeze. For this reason they should NEVER be let off leash in an unsecured area and never left outdoors alone.
KNOW that IGs can run up to 25 mph, scale 6’ fences, or be carried off by other prey animals. Always accompany your IG when outside. They are often easily spooked and have a strong flight response if startled. Thunder, fireworks, motorcycles, trucks, cars backfiring and any number of things could cause an IG left alone to bolt. And it can happen in seconds while they are out doing their business.
KNOW that, most of all, TIGR is always available to help!
Feed a high quality food because it will be absorbed better and there will be less waste. Feed at scheduled time(s) each day allowing 15-20 minutes to eat. Do NOT free feed. Do not withhold water as dogs, like people, should have access to fresh water whenever they are thirsty.
Take the dog out first thing in the morning, shortly after eating, after confinement, after extensive play or excitement and prior to retiring for the night. Keep the dog on a set schedule. Dogs are creatures of habit and do very well when they have a routine to follow. Try to establish a set potty routine based on your dog’s needs and your schedule.
TEACH ELIMINATION ON COMMAND
Take the dog out often and use a command like “Go Potty”, “Hurry Up”, or “Potty Outside”. If the dog goes when given the command, praise lavishly. If not, bring the dog in and restrict the dogs area in the house or keep the dog with you and try again within half to one hour, repeating the process described above.
Correction/Praise should be given within 1-2 seconds of the activity to be effective. It is useless to correct a dog for behavior they did hours ago or even minutes ago…you must catch them in the act!! If you catch the dog beginning to use the bathroom indoors, immediately say “No” and pick them up and take them outside.
To further reinforce good potty habits, find a treat your dog absolutely loves, something extra special like green beans or string cheese. Put the treat in a baggie and as soon as they go potty outside, praise and reward. This extra step really helps in the initial house-training stages and should be used the first week or two to really reinforce the desired behavior. Lots of praise is crucial for this breed. They do NOT respond to harsh words or punishment.
Use a product specifically designed for eliminating odors such as Nature’s Miracle, Outright, or vinegar water. These products will discourage the pet from picking up the scent and soiling the same area again. (Ammonia, carpet cleaning products, etc. are not the same…you must use a product designed for this purpose). You can also use these products in the washer if a dog has soiled his bedding by adding 1/4 -1/2 cup per load.
Crating is NOT cruel as dogs are den animals and should have their own “room”…a space they can feel safe in and retreat to when stressed or tired. Crates should be used for no longer than 4 hour intervals. A dog should not be crated while an owner works all day.
A crate should be large enough for a dog to lie down in and turn around. A crate that is too large will give a dog the opportunity to mess in one area and lie in another.
Always make the crate a “great” place to be for you dog. A Kong toy filled with treats is an excellent distraction from your departure and will keep the dog occupied. Teach the dog the command “Kennel” before he enters his crate. If the dog is resistant to a crate initially, give treats as praise for going in but do not leave the room. Allow the dog to remain in the crate for just a few minutes, gradually increasing the time and eventually leaving the room and then the house for short intervals.
The goal is to condition the animal to see the crate as positive and short term and to assure him that you are returning. Play soothing music or a sound machine for the dog while he is crated. Put dim lighting on to encourage quiet time.