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Guest Ummon

New Greyhound Any Advice On Stairs?

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Guest Ummon

New here and new to Greyhounds (and dogs in general). Ace came home yesterday. Seems to be settling in quite well. The one problem is stairs. He will go up and down outside stairs he wants nothing to do with the inside stairs. Tried hot dogs, kibble, put his paw on the stairs one at a time. Nothing works. Its a bit of a problem since the living room is on the main floor and the kitchen is downstairs.

 

Any other tricks I haven't read about?

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Are the stairs hardwood? Are they open back?

 

If they're wood, you might consider those stick on carpet runners, as many hounds find wooden stairs tough. If they're open back, you can put cardboard on the back temporarily.

 

Otherwise, if you have a second person handy, if one of you stands in front, with his leash on, and yummy treats, and the other stands behind him (close enough to lightly touch him) and encourage him that way.

 

My boy required me to move each paw, one at a time, step by step, over and over and over!

 

But we had black metal painted stairs in and enclosed stairwell (condo building). I cannot describe the lower back pain this caused me! Three flights too!

 

Shockingly, he walked DOWN the stairs with no trouble at all!

 

I had finally gotten him to go up the stairs on his own, once, and then he did a sort of mountain goat jump up three steps, slipped, fell, split his skin in four places, and we were back to square one!

 

But I didn't have a helper, so I highly recommend one!

 

Good luck, and welcome.



Hamish-siggy1.jpg

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

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Guest Wpgkeith

Have you tried doing it with his leash on? As Susan mentioned high value treats, a leash and a helper - go a long way. I also use lots of verbal support...going both ways.

 

On the way down, with leash on, I say, "slowly" as we move down the stairs. They seem to get it.

 

We just ran into this when we visited a bud's cottage...going up we needed bacon as an inducement - and Riley still would have none of it...but it was dark out. in the morning they got down with a little help.

 

If you try to do the training when there is no rush, it'll go a lot smoother.

 

Each dog figures it out on their own... Riley took 2-3 days to figure stairs out....Brogan closer to a week to 10 days.

 

:goodluck for a quick learner.

 

:)

K

Edited by Wpgkeith

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To teach Summer, I liked to be the person behind her. For up, I moved the paws AND applied pressure to her butt with my thighs. She couldn't refuse and had to move forward, but without shoving her. Just constant pressure to move forward. She had to learn the first night I got her because the bedrooms are upstairs and that is where she needs to be at night. DH went up the stairs on his hands and knees a few times. His idea was to show her how to do it but I'm not sure if she made the connection. It was fun to watch him, though! :lol For going down the next morning, I used the leash and treats. Definitely agree with everyone about making them go SLOWLY on the way down -- they tend to leap and run down and you don't want that. Also, if your floor is bare at the bottom, I would recommend a mat with a rubber backing. If they come down and slip at the bottom, they're going to be gunshy of the stairs and you don't want that. Good luck!


SummerGreytalkSignatureResized-1.jpg

Lisa B.

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

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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Both Lisa and Susan gave you great advice.

 

Going down can be more challenging because of the "leap" and you don't want them doing that and scaring themselves.

 

Be patient. Some greys learn the first time....others take a couple weeks. Don't give up! We did EZ with two of us, but I have done the other three alone. It is better with two - if for no other reason than to have someone protect the back end so they don't slide backwards in a panic.

 

Again, to echo Susan, if the stairs are wood, it is a bit more of a challenge. JJ is great on the stairs here, but at my husband's house where he is stationed, the stairs are wood and we still have to give him major help.

 

Good luck and let us know!


gallery_22387_3315_35426.jpg

Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
The WFUBCC honors our beautiful friends at the bridge. Godspeed sweet angels.

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Guest Ummon

Thank you for your replies, The stairs are wood and there are two landings so he cannot see to top until he gets to the second one. We got him up today using the move one paw method then the other. I think I scared him however. I guess I'll just keep trying

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Welcome! I did the same as SummersMom, just moved very slowly and let my dog take her time so as not to stress her. Just be patient and move slowly :)


Missing KC Kitty 2000-2016

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hot dogs and be positive.

 

try using a leash and keep the hot dog ahead of him. where the nose goes, the body goes. don't be worried, he will pick that up. hup, hup and away...i haven't met a dog who can resist a good hot dog(cooked, brings out the flavors). don't worry, things work their way out as long as you are positive.

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Guest mirinaaronsmom

Aaron was my first and it took him about a month to get the stairs on his own. I've found it's much easier when they have another hound to watch and learn from. I've always had to do it myself and going up I place myself behind their butts so they know they won't fall backward. Then I place each paw on the next step (diagonally). Some are more food-oriented than others and I'll put a treat every other step. Aaron would have nothing to do with food until he got to the top. Going down seems to be easier for most of them, which still surprises me. I hold the collar and keep them right next to me so I can put an arm in front of the chest just in case they get scared or have a bit too much momentum. I have had a little trouble with some of the fosters getting them to the first step to go down, but once they're on them, they seem to be reconciled to it.

 

Miri still amazes me at how she comes up the stairs. She still comes up one foot at a time (diagonally) and never makes a sound. She's so dainty. The others sound like a herd of elephants taking 2 or 3 steps at a time.

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Guest HHHounds

We just added Snoopy last month fresh from the track. I used the same method as Summer's mom - no treats until we got the the top or bottom. We have 2 other hounds to show the way and that helped. Took 2 or 3 days to be comfortable with stairs. Good luck and welcome the the wonderful world of greyhounds!

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Having taught quite a few fosters the way that I did it ---

 

going up

- use a halter and grab the halter with one hand and use your leg under their butt to lift them (with your leg)

- keep one of your hands on the railing with a firm grip AT ALL TIMES

- you might need to let go of the halter to pick their paws up one at a time onto the next step (but don't let go of the railing with your other hand otherwise you might tumble down the stairs).

- most times if you use your leg to lift them up, they will move their front paws onto the next step

- you want to make sure that your dog doesn't rear back while on the stairs so you might want to make sure the hand on the halter is firm enough to prevent any "rearing back"

 

going down

- use a halter and get the dog as close to the wall as possible

- you may want to muzzle your dog

- keep one of your hands on the railing because you do not want to fall

- pull the dog down the stairs

- keep your hold on the halter until the very bottom so they don't jump the last few

 

It's much better if you have two people and that way one can use "treats" to entice them up/down the stairs

 

Using this method most of the dogs will do the stairs with minimal effort on my part with in a few days but, I still make sure to use a halter for at least 2 weeks to control their up and down process.

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Be careful what you wish for! My new 2yo foster looked at the inside 14 straight up stairs and said no way. After 3 weeks of watching the other grey ,poodle and dalmatian fly up the stairs ,he took 4 at a time. I leashed up coming down for safety and a glass door at the bottom. Now he is up and down all night checking on his food bowl. Baby gate at the top solved that,but not the whinning.

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Guest DylanGospel

I found this advice on GT a few years ago and have included it in packets for new adopters. I don't know who the OP was, but I'm sure he/she wouldn't mind it being included here again.

 

We don't have stairs to master at my house, so I haven't tried the method myself, but it seems to be pretty straight forward and easy to follow.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Stair Training Advice

 

 

Going Upstairs:

 

l. Pick him up and place him in the middle of the stairs pointed up. Then take your place behind him.

 

2. Take one front foot and place it on the next step.

 

3. Take the other front foot and place it two steps up.

 

4. Nudge his butt with your knee to encourage movement, at the same time encourage him with “high” happy talk.

 

 

Going Downstairs is a bit Tougher:

 

1. Leash

 

2. Take a few steps down in front of the dog.

 

3. Gently pull the leash to start to follow.

 

4. Always stay just in front of the dog with your hands on the leash (6” above the collar-max), and your butt right in front of the dog so that he won’t et freaked out looking down so much… and if he happen to start to try to jump down the stairs, your body will catch him.

 

Do this a few times to get the dog used to the up/down movement. Then do the “tough love” thing and simply leash him and take him up/down the stairs. Of course, this depends on the level of fear. Some might simply freeze and pee. That is where you have to slow down and place him in the middle of the stairs and force him to do it on his own. He will get all shaky-legged and whine, but he can do it. As someone said, don’t play into his fear, unless you always want to pick up your dog when you need to go up/down stairs. That could be a real pain.

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hot dogs and be positive.

 

try using a leash and keep the hot dog ahead of him. where the nose goes, the body goes. don't be worried, he will pick that up. hup, hup and away...i haven't met a dog who can resist a good hot dog(cooked, brings out the flavors). don't worry, things work their way out as long as you are positive.

 

Oh, George did when we worked on stairs! I even tried liverwurst smeared all over the steps (yes, I cleaned it up). He was just paralyzed with fear. That's why I had to resort to moving each paw, one at a time, step by step, over and over.

 

I do have to give him some props for being so unrelenting about simply refusing to move!



Hamish-siggy1.jpg

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

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I got this method from one of my groups now retired board members. And I used this method to teach my girl Angel the stairs and it works well.

 

With a leash on the dog. Very confindently go over the stairs and just walk up them. Don't stop at the bottom before you start going up them. Just go and the dog will have to follow you. and then when you get to the top praise them like crazy! And then try going back down. it works easier if they are next to a wall going both ways.

 

I did this method with a hound I was doing a adoption for in March. Her foster home tried teaching her stairs. But the stairs had open backs. So she freaked and wouldn't do them. But once I got her to my house and did that method. She was doing stairs like a champ at my house and at her new home!


Sarah, mom to Stella and Winston . And to Prince, Katie Z, Malone, Brooke, Freddie, Angel and Fast who are all waiting at the Bridge!

www.gpawisconsin.org

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I got this method from one of my groups now retired board members. And I used this method to teach my girl Angel the stairs and it works well.

 

With a leash on the dog. Very confindently go over the stairs and just walk up them. Don't stop at the bottom before you start going up them. Just go and the dog will have to follow you. and then when you get to the top praise them like crazy! And then try going back down. it works easier if they are next to a wall going both ways.

 

I did this method with a hound I was doing a adoption for in March. Her foster home tried teaching her stairs. But the stairs had open backs. So she freaked and wouldn't do them. But once I got her to my house and did that method. She was doing stairs like a champ at my house and at her new home!

 

 

Probably the best advise given here. Confidence. You cannot coddle your hound. Just go and they will follow. Don't give them enough leash to resist (hold 6" from collar).

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Guest sheila

I've always trusted the 'suitcase' method. I put the dog in a harness and hold the dog by the harness up and against me like a suitcase and let the dog lean on me as we do the stairs. It's worked like a charm every time and dogs have become stair masters within just a few round trips.

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Guest Ummon

Ok now this is amusing. When we go out on walks if we are downstairs I refuse to go out the back door. I always make him climb the stairs (with me moving his legs). Today when he wanted to take a walk I find him on the landing with his first two paws on the first step patiently waiting for me to walk him up the stairs.

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So, he's lost his fear, just needs to finish getting the procedure down. Awesome!


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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Guest Ummon

I started by leaving him on the second landing and letting him walk up the final three stairs, Now I am going down a stair each time just leaving him there and walking outside. So far so good

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:)

 

Good person, you.


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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My Annie, adopted July 14 this year, will do the 9 blue stone steps leading down/up from terrace to ground level and back, and the one step into the house, but will not do the 14 *wooden* stairs up to the 2nd floor, where the bedrooms are.

 

I did the paw/paw, push from behind, the first two nights of her living here. She shook like a leaf and I shook with fatigue! :blush Getting her down each morning was a nightmare with morning #2 resulting in both of us falling down the bottom 4 steps. Needless to say, I didn't do that any more and have given her lots of time to get over it.

 

Since then, I have put carpet treads on the stairs, and got advice from the local Bark Buster dog trainer who came last week. Regarding the stairs, she said to put off breakfast for 2 hours, making Annie very hungry, and then put 2 or 3 pieces of food on each of the first 3 stairs. It got Annie used to approaching the stairs again because she wanted to eat! She could eat off the first 2 steps from the floor. When I put a few pieces on the 3rd and 4th steps, it required her to put her front paws on the bottom step. She had to be reassured it was fine and it took her a few times of walking around, but she finally did it. She then ate the rest of her breakfast from the bowl placed on the bottom stair. At each successive meal, which are to be given late, I will put a few pieces of food on one step higher, forcing her to put both paws on stairs...hopefully! This will take days but I was assured she will eventually go up (and down?) the stairs without being forced.

 

I suppose if I had another person here, I'd do the paw/paw, push again, but it was too much on my back alone.

 

Fortunately, or unfortunately because I'd like her to be upstairs, she is OK sleeping on her Bean bed in the TV room all alone.

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Aaron was my first and it took him about a month to get the stairs on his own. I've found it's much easier when they have another hound to watch and learn from.

 

I agree. If these other techniques don't work and your dog is particularly hesitant, have a friend bring over another greyhound with home experience. Once your dog sees the other dog navigating the stairs with ease, it's likely they will go up and down with no problems.

 

I only had to teach stairs to my first greyhound. Every other new greyhound had at least one other greyhound to learn from, and they all picked up stairs on the first day after watching one of the others do it.

 

And after Jethro figured it out, he spent his first day at home running up and down the stairs AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN! :lol He's easily amused, that one.


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I tend to do the paw, paw, etc. from behind going up (and a firm hand on collar or harness going down) until they get it. But I understand the back issue :lol . Given that, what about a combo of the two approaches? Put some food up a couple steps, and simply stand behind her with hand on her collar so she feels more secure while she's inching up to get her treats?

 

Good luck!


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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Ha! When I adopted Twiggy, I did the paw paw paw paw, hoist the butt, repeat ad nauseum...

 

One day, after bringing taking her straight out for a potty break I really needed one of my own (TMI) which required me to get upstairs riteawayquik, so I told her I'd be right back and ran up the stairs.

 

A few seconds later, she was whining at the bottom of the stairs, and then I heard tipppy-tippy-tip and there she was poking her little nose into the powder room :unsure:lol she sure had my number - she wasn't about to put in the effort if playing possum would get her all that attention :lol

 

I did the same method with my early fosters as well. Now, they get a "c'mon, lets go upstairs" and a firm tug on the leash - that's pretty much all they need :P Now downstairs can be a different story - not that they can't do it, just that a lot of them like to do the whole flight in a couple strides, I definitely have to be prepared to catch them in mid-flight. :o


Wendy with Twiggy, fosterless while Twiggy's fighting the good fight, and Donnie & Aiden the kitties

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