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Can A Tripod Do Stairs?

Guest SusanP

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I'd better confess right off that my tripod is a small Labrador, not a greyhound. But she came to us at age 6ish seemingly unfamiliar with stairs, just as our greyhounds were. But so far, she has resisted any efforts to get her to try the stairs on her own. Do any of you have hounds or other dogs who are missing a leg (mine is missing the right rear leg) and learn to do stairs? Is there a special way to teach stairs to tripods to be sure they don't tumble down the staircase?


Unfortunately, this little girl is not in the least treat motivated. (But she does adore cuddles, pets and happy praise). I've walked her up, one step at a time, but her front legs are Frankenstein-stiff when I try to place them on each next step. She will, however, go up the last 1 step on her own with encouragement, and she has hopped up two small steps from our garage to our kitchen without great difficulty. Teaching tips, anyone?


This is a carpeted, full staircase down to a walkout basement where the door to our backyard is.

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Guest BrianRke

I know of a couple tripods that go up and down the stairs with ease. I dont have any tips on teaching but I know it can be done if she really wants to learn. Good luck to you and your girl.

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A tripod can do anything a four legger can do, although it is somewhat easier for Greyhounds because they are so narrow that their center of balance is barely disturbed by the removal of a leg (I listened to Dr. Couto explain this in detail, and it's easy to see how it's true!). There's a video on the OSU web site of one of their patients, Bosha, going up and down stairs not long after an amputation.


You might try using a towel or something under her belly to help her up and down a few times so she gains confidence.


We had an Irish Wolfhound in our neighborhood in California who had lost a leg (someone shot her thinking she was a coyote--seriously??) and she used to chase cars on three legs!


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

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I'll try the towel trick. I think our biggest problem is she seems unfamiliar with stairs and nervous on them, but with the leg added into the mix, I just wasn't sure if I could push it. She gets along fine in every other way, so I'll start working harder with her on this. Otherwise, I have to carry her every time she goes out or comes in from the yard. She's only 48 lbs, so that's not a problem, but she's so low to the ground she is harder to actually lift up (without bending) than a taller greyhound.

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Dude goes up and down the stairs with no problems. I don't let him do it without supervision as I'm terrified of a fall, but he doesn't know any fear. A towel will help, or you can consider a Web Master Harness from Ruffwear (ruffwear dot com I think). It has a handle on the top like suitcase thatis really helpful on the stairs.

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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I can see a tripod missing a rear leg doing stairs fairly easily, but I would think a missing front leg would be extremely difficult. My guess is that she's just freaked out.


Christie and Bootsy (Turt McGurt and Gil too)
Loving and missing Argos & Likky, forever and ever.
~Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to. ~

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