Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Cyndi

Stairs? How Hard Is It To Train Them To Use Them?

Recommended Posts

I'm having the HARDEST time finding a place that will allow dogs here in Malta. I looked this morning at a first floor maisonette that is really nice in a good location, but it has STAIRS. (My dogs have never seen stairs that I know of).

 

I have option on a ground floor maisonette in an isolated village that is not near as nice or dog friendly, and is more expensive, but it IS ground floor so no stairs. Which is the ONLY reason we're considering it.

 

I'm just wondering how hard it will be to teach them to use the stairs? Am I worrying about nothing?


Lake Jackson, Texas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really not hard at all. If the stairs have open risers, then it is a little more challenging because it's a little more scary when the dog can see through to the other side. Either way, just be patient and show the dog that the stairs are a good thing, i.e. lots of treats and parties when they reach the landings. Another thing that really helps is to find a dog that knows stairs and let your dogs see the other one race up and down them. Dogs are their own best teachers? B)


Sharon, Capri, Loki, Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

 

Visit Sit. Stay Safe! by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

:gh_bow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only had one that had a hard time with the stairs at first and as we brought him up them we gave him treats and within a week e had them mastered and started to try to run up them, but the others got to see the other dogs going up them and mastered them right away. It is not a hard task. We have no stairs now but when we take them some where that has stairs they have no problems and they go up them like they have never been away from them, if you like this other place better and the only thing keeping you away is the stairs for the dogs, I would get it. Unless they are older and have back end issues then NO.


darlenesiggy2.jpg
Darlene Mom to: Aladdin, Sophie ,Pongo, Jasmine, Relic Forever in our Hearts Champ at the Rainbow Bridge.

Let a greyhound race into your heart Adopt

Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions INC. Naples/ Fort Myers Chapter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter lived on the 4th floor in NYC when they got a 120 pound American bulldog that had never seen stairs. they walked her up placing each paw on the correct step for several days. They finally gave up and went up themselves, leaving her alone at the bottom. She figured it out real quick! If you have more than one dog you will probably have one who can teach the others.

Do you know anyone who has stairs? Bring your dogs to see what they do... It may give you an idea of how they will react. Some dogs just DO it! If it is someplace where other dogs go in and out via stairs, they may just follow! Know anyone with a deck with stairs down to an enclosed yard?

Edited by Neighsayer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Swifthounds

Teaching stars isn't difficult, even if the dog has never seen them before. The only time stars are really a concern is with an injured or older dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Summer had never seen stairs before when we brought her home. She had no choice about learning them, she would be sleeping at night in the master bedroom which is on the 2nd floor. I put her front paw on, then a back paw, then a front paw... just the way would normally do it. At the same time, I kept my thighs snug against her back end. Both so that I could nudge her along and to make her feel more secure. It didn't take long at all. Down also didn't take long but hold onto the collar at first, so they don't accelerate too much while they are learning!


SummerGreytalkSignatureResized-1.jpg

Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a heck of a time with George, but that was mostly because the only stairs at my first condo we lived in together were black metal stairs in an enclosed stairwell. Once we moved here, and the stairs were normal stairs with carpet, he followed the movers right up as if he'd done it a million times!

 

If he can do it, any hound can do it!



Hamish-siggy1.jpg

Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'all have made me feel much better, thanks! These are private indoor stairs and they're solid granite and I'm worried about them being slippery. (DH looked at it last month and when he mentioned dogs the landlord told him no, sorry). I called DH after I left and he said he could figure out some way of putting down temporary carpeting if we needed. He really wants this place now that the landlord has changed his mind about the dogs. I have turned away from SO many places because of stairs you can't even imagine!

 

When I come back to Texas in March I can find a friend with stairs to help start the training process, and a friend here has 2 yorkies that can help when I get back with the showing how to use stairs. That's an idea I never thought of.


Lake Jackson, Texas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm always amazed that one of the most common things people ask me about retired greyhounds is "Is it true you have to teach them how to use stairs?" I'm not an expert being on my first grey, but really, it just takes a day or so usually. People act like it's some huge challenge and commitment, when there are so many various things you'd have to teach *any* dog who was living in a house/as a pet for the first time. Teaching Beth not to pull on leash (just for example) took longer than the stairs, and even that wasn't a big deal once I learned the technique.

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest HappyJag

We lived in a 4th floor walk up when we got Jag. He had never seen stairs and did not go up them on the first try. We then sent up our other dog so that Jag could figure out that he had to do it. He didnt have a problem going up the stairs but going down scared him a little. The first week we had to hold a treat in front of him to do down the stairs, but it wasnt anything that took too long to learn. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had 13 greyhounds and each and every one of them does stairs. If your pups are food motivated, you can put a piece of treat on each stair. They focus so much on getting the treat, they forget they're even going up. Coming down is by far harder, but with a leash or harness, it can be done.


Judy, mom to Do Bee, Bandita, Angel and Gizmo

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you know my recent story REAL WELL and Howie is now going up unassisted. He goes down on a leash WITHOUT a harness now but that is more mental. He could do it on his own, but he needs me there for confidence. It took about 3 weeks for us to get to that point. The other two "got it" within 2 days. I don't think I assisted either of them but maybe once for Bull and twice for Wyatt. Get the weather all I mentioned if you can and I think it will be ok. Look..you know how stubborn and neurotic Howie can be...if he can, yours are a snap. LOL! And yes, bring them here in March and we will practice. They can watch mine and I bet that is all it takes.


ATASCOSITA DIAZ - MY WONDER DOG!
Missing our Raisin: 9/9/94 - 7/20/08, our Super Bea: 2003 - 12/16/09, our Howie: 9/17/97 - 4/9/11, our Bull: 8/7/00 - 1/17/13, our Wyatt Earp: 11/22/06 - 12/16/15, and our Cyclone 8/26/05 - 9/12/16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BlingDogs

It may be tough for some, but they will all learn. It's January now... So that's 3 months since Dory came home and she's just started coming up without treats now. They learn by example- She was fine with park stairs because she saw other dogs going up them. Patience is key!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Took about a week for our first foster to go up and down the stairs on his own (minimal help and no treat until he finished them) and another week until he was comfortable with them and looked like he'd always known how. That first week we were literally moving all 4 paws for him and holding treats out and then praising like mad when he got there (well, when we got him there).


Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

Like us on Facebook!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest sheila

I've had just two hounds that were leery of stairs. Jane went down steps just fine, but refused to go up. I got behind her and just pushed on her butt until she had no choice but to take a step, and then another and then another. That was just to teach her that she COULD. When that hurdle was over I put a bowl of food at the top of the steps and left her alone (while I watched in secret). She figured out that she WOULD do steps if it was how she got dinner. Now she does steps with no hesitation.

My X was the exact opposite. He would go up steps with no issue, but down he would balk. With X I used a harness and the 'suitcase method'. I put him in a harness and held him by the strap up and against me like a suitcase and took the steps one at a time on the way down. It took about 3-4 trips and X became a stair master. The first time he did it on his own he was so happy he play bowed to me and then immediately waltzed over and marked the cats scratching post that was at the bottom of the steps with a grin on his face. It was like he'd been waiting a long time to do that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have spiral stairs. The bases are carpeted steps, the risers are metal bars painted black. Here's an old photo of my first dog, Oreo, on the stairs:

 

132672696_01a18bee23.jpg

 

Initially, both Oreo and Sam were afraid of the stairs because they're so open. I ran the white rope you see so the dogs would have a visual marking the edges of the stairs because the black rails aren't particularly visible, especially when the dogs are doing the stairs in the dark. Neither dog would do the stairs without a lot of coaxing. For Sam, I put on his car harness--which has a broad strap across the chest--and then I walked him up and down the stairs while I held onto the harness strap. Once he discovered there was a bed upstairs, he was happier about going up there and getting on it.

 

Jacey came to me straight from the track. (Oreo was a bounce, Sam had been in a foster home; I think they both knew stairs, but just didn't know spiral stairs.) The day after I brought her home, I had to go to work and leave her at home with Sam. I left her downstairs, but came home to find her at the top of the stairs, eagerly wagging her tail, and hoping someone was going to get her down. (Sam had led her upstairs, then left her there.) I put the car harness on her and walked her down. That night, I walked her up at bedtime, walked her down the next morning. When I came home from work that second day, it was clear that she'd been up and down on her own during the day. (She left presents. :( )

 

For early stair practice, look around for an outdoor park or a building with broad concrete steps. Ideally, you want a step that's actually broad enough to take a couple of steps on: sort of step-step-up-step-step-up. Some practice on stairs like this--where it's more like taking a walk on a hilly path, will make doing steeper indoor steps easier. Just don't let the dog go quickly on stairs. I've discovered that Sam doesn't know how to brake coming down the steps, and if I let him get up too much speed, we're going to be in trouble. But both my dogs have negotiated steep steps carpeted with a psychodelic patterned carpet; the carpet pattern made it nearly impossible to see where a step began and ended, but the dogs did fine as long as I made them slow down.


15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow KF, spiral stairs, I'm impressed! One house I looked at had them and I was almost scared myself to go up. No way for the dogs I think - they were hardly as wide as my shoulders, so narrow my foot didn't fit on the steps, and so steep I held on with both hands! The house was old and my opinion is that this was originally just a shaft and they put the staircase in it to have one indoors instead of having just the outdoor staircase.

 

I feel MUCH better now thanks to all of you!


Lake Jackson, Texas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest june

To give you an idea of how well they can learn stairs:

 

When I got my first girlie she didn't know stairs. I only had 4 steps into the house and the first day I carried her up and down. The second day she was going down OK and I figured out the open risers were her problem. After putting carpeting down she goes up and down with no problem (although all three girls often just jump onto the deck bypassing the stairs).

 

I've taken two of my girls to several State Parks that have the looong wooden flights of stairs with open risers. If you've never seen them they are intimidating just for the sheer number of stairs. The first time I thought my girl wouldn't want to go up but she surprised me. She loved walking in the woods and just started carefully. Two of my girls now do them without any problems (The third girl hasn't been yet). They love the woods and are too excited to get to see what is at the top to be worried by the stairs :lol

 

I don't let them race up them as they would like, but make them wait for me. It is one of the more fun things we do in the more moderate months of the year :gh_bow

june

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...