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How To Use The Stairs

Guest 4baddogs

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Guest 4baddogs

We adopted a new dog (non-grey Australian Cattle Dog) on Wednesday. She's terrified of our stairs and will NOT go down to our family room. She's 110% velcroed to me at all times, yet when I go downstairs, she stays at the top of the stairs and cries her little eyes out. Kirby has tried to show her the ropes, yet she only puts her front feet on one step and won't go further. We've never had this problem with any of our greys, so I have no clue as to how to train her. Any ideas?



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Guest sorenkkg

We had to figure something out with Aleeya, b/c Haka learned the stairs in one night.


Some ideas-- you can walk her up the stairs-- paw by paw. This might be stressful for everyone, so be patient of course :)


You can put treats on all the stairs (then every other, etc)-- high value, like cheese or hotdog bits or liver snacks, etc.


Good luck! :)

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Guest cheltzey

Lando figured out the stairs really quickly, but going down was scary for him. I stood right next to him, holding his collar and leaning on him so that he was leaning into the wall. Aaron helped out from behind with some gentle nudging. I think that eventually she'll want to be with you enough that she'll find it worth it to make the attempt.

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I've just moved to a house with stairs for the first time. It's the outside stairs off the deck, and there's only about 6.


Even after carpeting them it didn't help Wayne. He was watching Ekko and Lenny go up and down and it made no difference to him at all.


With Wayne, I know not to push the issue, because if he spooks, that's the end of learning anything.


After a couple of days, he finally tried them himself, a little clumsy but he got it.


Good luck with your Aussie

Edited by cbudshome


Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12



:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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I think going up is easier than going down. So I wonder if you took her down with you (carried), and had her come up with you if just knowing she could go up would help her understand the going down aspect?



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Molly (Blue Sky Dreamin), Tinker (BT My Lil Girl) and their feline brothers Miles and Lewis

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Harness is helpful for going down -- you can hold the dog against your leg like a suitcase and down one step at a time with much praise and treats.


Small dog, no harness, I get a firm grip on the collar, pick dog up, place dog so all 4 feet are on the stairs, pointing down. (Watch the sharp end if dog is frightened -- muzzle can be helpful although I've never been snapped at in this case.) Then one hand on collar, one hand in front of chest to stabilize, third hand* to place feet one at a time if need be. Helpful for the person to crouch in this case.


Going up, I stay BEHIND the dog -- knees behind their butt, one hand forward on their collar to steer, other hand to lift one leg at a time if need be.


Aussies are usually very intelligent and trainable so I'm betting once or twice each up and down, and pup will be doing it on her own.




*You don't have three hands????! Neither do I. Wish I did. If dog is quite frightened, some people find it useful to have a helper stand in front of the dog so dog can't see / attempt too many steps at once.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I walked Myka up paw by paw, very slowly and talked to her in soothing voice the whole time. On the way down, I hand one hand in front of her chest so she wouldn't jump, and used my other hand to move her paws one by one. It took some time to get up and down but it worked and it only took a couple of days to do it on her own. :)

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