My husband and I recently moved cross country from Portland OR to Pittsburgh PA with our two older greyhounds, Lea, 12 and Elliott, 11. They have had to adapt to a lot of changes over the last few months - flying cross country, living with me in the daylight basement at my aunt and uncle's home outside of Washington DC for over 2 months while we house hunted and waited for our closing date. Most of that time my husband was in Portland preparing for our move. They accompanied us on several long drives back and forth from DC to Pittsburgh (4 1/2 hours each way), then finally we moved into our new house the day after Christmas, and spent three days in our new place without a stick of furniture due to a delay in our stuff being delivered by the mover. This has all been hard on them, but they've been great troopers.
Our new home has stairs. The first level is the living room, dining room and kitchen and the bedrooms are all upstairs. The places we lived in previously only had basements and a main floor, so the dogs never learned to navigate stairs, since there was no need for them to go in the basement. We didn't think the stairs here would be a big deal because there are three landings with only 3 steps to the first, 8 to the second and 4 to the top and they are not extremely steep or narrow like our previous basement stairs, and they are carpeted.
On the first day in our new place we were able to get Elliott to come upstairs, but we had no furniture, and I think it freaked him out. He refused to come back down the stairs and my husband had to carry him down. The dogs have always slept in our room with us, but we've been in our house for almost two weeks now, and neither of them have tried the stairs since. I have encouraged them to come up and have offered treats, but haven't tried too hard because we've been busy unpacking.
After this weekend we'll be pretty much all moved in, and I'd like to focus more on getting them to come upstairs. I would really appreciate any helpful hints or success stories if you've been in a similar situation.