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Shiny Floor Fear...


Guest karilynn
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Guest karilynn

Ah, yes. My greyhound is a cliche, afraid of the dreaded shiny floors. When I take him to get his nails trimmed at the vet, he 'skates' on his nails and slides all over the shiny floor. I have hardwood floors in my apartment and he's gotten braver about them, sometimes venturing on to them. But he is not over this fear and I'm not sure that he ever will be.

 

My problem is, I have an opportunity to move to the first floor of my apartment complex in a few months and the first floor hallways are this shiny poured cement material that he is terrified of. In order to get out of our front door, we are going to have to walk down the hallway. I don't want it to be a struggle every single day, 3-4 times a day, when we go outside to go potty. I can start walking down this hall in the mean time with him to try to get him used to it, but will it do any good? Do dogs ever overcome this fear?! He is very sensitive and easily spooked, as many greys are. I know moving is going to be stressful enough. I'm just not sure if he is going to be able to manage it.

 

Any advice? Tips?

 

Thanks

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Guest SillyIzzysMom

I had great luck getting a dog used to slick scored concrete floors in my house by putting down bath mats and over time spacing them out more and more--but that won't exactly work in a common hall way-ha!

 

They do make booties that are rubber on the bottom--and I'm also pretty sure they make some sort of sticky stuff you can paint on the bottom of his pads (I don't know where I heard of that...). I wonder if wearing booties until he's used to walking on it and then maybe only wearing three for a few weeks then only two? haha..I have no idea. Well, also I would make sure his nails aren't long enough to be clicking on the floor, but you probably already keep them short enough for that.

 

I'm interested to see what other people recommend.

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I ran into a similar situation with my boy as well. I have mostly shiny wood floors in my condo and main common entryway. For about 3 months he would get halfway through the kitchen or wherever and then just statue up. I'd have to run over and stabilize him, then guide him to the various rugs (safe zones). I think what really helped was just getting out on different shiny surfaces at local pet stores or other pet friendly places. I'd always stay close for comfort and lead the way and he seemed to get more confident with the shiny stuff. Going through the small critters section of the pet store seemed to take his mind off of the floors pretty quick! Freddy is over the shiny floor thing for the most part, but is still cautious on new surfaces sometimes.

 

What about starting to walk him down those hallways now and bringing a few smelly treats with as a nice incentive for tackling those shiny floors? I'm sure it will get better, it will probably just take time and patience. Good luck! :)

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Guest karilynn

Thanks for the tips, guys! I take him to Petsmart sometimes, but he freezes up in the entrance and I have to practically drag him through while he slides around like bambi on ice. People stare at me like I am the worst pet owner ever, so I've stopped taking him. Funny enough, my parent's have shiny hardwood floors in their kitchen and entry way and he got used to them and will easily walk across them. We never forced him or anything, he just did it himself over time, but he wont do that in our own house. He hops from rug to rug. There are no rugs in my parent's kitchen, so maybe he eventually just got over it? I'd like to take the rugs away, but it is amazing how stubborn he is. I don't think he'd eat or even attempt to go outside without them.

 

Jim - I will try your advice and take him down that hallway once a day with some of his favorite treats and see if I can get him used to it. I'll do it at night when no one will be around to witness the torture! hahaha :) Maybe if I have confidence, he will, too?

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Guest kirstenbergren

PJ never has had an issue with our hard floors, but I just wanted to wish you luck with helping Bullet get over his fear. I know you'll get lots of good advise from people who have gone through the same situation. Good luck!

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Guest karilynn

Thanks Kirsten! It was so fun hanging out with you and PJ over the weekend.

 

We just tried the dreaded hallway, went up and down. He did not do so well and is currently mad at me lol but I think if we make this a nightly routine he could get better just from exposure? He was very nervous, panting and he got very hot. He tried to go so fast and I slowed him down and made him go one step at a time. I would love to have him conquer this fear!

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Leah has been afraid of hard floors since I got her 5 years ago. She refuses to go through my kitchen with no throw rugs, but will cruise right through Home Depot or Office Max! But NEVER my kitchen. Goofy girl :) She does like you said - use her tippy toes and go stiff legged. She seems to respond to me when I'm confident and a bit insistent about her trying, but if I stop coaxing her, she'll cave in and give up. Throw rugs are our friends :)

Perhaps if you could get a chair and sit with her in the locations that she's afraid of, toss a bed down for her and see if she'll trust your judgement that it's a safe place? Good luck, it's a challenge, but Leah has mostly gotten better with time. Hopefully your boy will too. Oh, there are those slip on rubber booties that I can't think of the name of. They might help too.

Jody, Leah & Jimmie
Tavasci%2520august%2520sunset%2520%2528C
You left us much, much too soon Lima & Chip :brokenheart

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Guest karilynn

I'll try the rubber socks.

 

I actually think he's having a panic attack. He hasn't calmed down since we got back up here and is panting/burning hot. I got a cold washcloth and put it on his belly and talked very soothingly to him but he's a nervous wreck. Maybe this wasn't the best idea.

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I'll try the rubber socks.

 

I actually think he's having a panic attack. He hasn't calmed down since we got back up here and is panting/burning hot. I got a cold washcloth and put it on his belly and talked very soothingly to him but he's a nervous wreck. Maybe this wasn't the best idea.

Nobody wants to love them more than me when they are learning such things as floors and are afraid but I would try to be sure that I am not unwittingly reinforcing his fear with the sweet talk and cool washcloths and sympathy. Try to make sure he sees you as his leader-that will protect him from other people/dogs and anything that might hurt him. Then take him through the "scary" stuff nonchalantly-clearly communicating to him that there is nothing for him to be concerned about-ignore wining and fear displays and expect him to follow your lead. I think you will be surprised how much he improves once he learns and really knows that as long as he is with you he need not fear anything. a lot of dogs really respond to this. Some don't. But regardless it can't be good to reinforce his fear by giving him sympathy. Just a thought as it has really helped with some of the dogs I've handled. :)

Edited by racindog
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They sell a product at Staples to give secretaries a better grip on papers. It comes in a small round container about 3" in diameter and looks somewhat like chap stick.

It is non greasy and works very good on dry hands, i wonder if it would work on paw pads?

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Good luck! 9 years with Cody and he still wont walk on certain floors. Sad thing is he walks on them fine when he doesn't realize he's on them. :lol

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I'll try the rubber socks.

 

I actually think he's having a panic attack. He hasn't calmed down since we got back up here and is panting/burning hot. I got a cold washcloth and put it on his belly and talked very soothingly to him but he's a nervous wreck. Maybe this wasn't the best idea.

Nobody wants to love them more than me when they are learning such things as floors and are afraid but I would try to be sure that I am not unwittingly reinforcing his fear with the sweet talk and cool washcloths and sympathy. Try to make sure he sees you as his leader-that will protect him from other people/dogs and anything that might hurt him. Then take him through the "scary" stuff nonchalantly-clearly communicating to him that there is nothing for him to be concerned about-ignore wining and fear displays and expect him to follow your lead. I think you will be surprised how much he improves once he learns and really knows that as long as he is with you he need not fear anything. a lot of dogs really respond to this. Some don't. But regardless it can't be good to reinforce his fear by giving him sympathy. Just a thought as it has really helped with some of the dogs I've handled. :)

I agree with this. I think you are reinforcing his fear. I noticed that at Greyfest when he wouldn't walk on the floors there.

Good luck

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Kari and the pups.
Run free sweet Hana 9/21/08-9/12/10. Missing Sparks with every breath.
Passion 10/16/02-5/25/17

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Guest karilynn

Yes, I'm a softie and a sucker. I will continue trying with treats and positive reinforcement! I tried again last night and didn't baby him. I just don't want him to lose trust in me. :(

 

We can avoid the hallway by going out of the patio door, so if he never gets over this floor fear, it isn't like he's going anywhere. Probably nobody ever questioned that, but wanted to clear it up. It would just be nice to be able to use both of our doors!

 

Thanks for the advice all.

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Guest kirstenbergren

Maybe sometime I can bring PJ over and he can show Bullet how it's done to walk on the shiny floors??? Maybe we could trick him into it with PJ helping and lots of treats???

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Guest karilynn

Maybe sometime I can bring PJ over and he can show Bullet how it's done to walk on the shiny floors??? Maybe we could trick him into it with PJ helping and lots of treats???

 

That's a great idea! Then you and I could have some wine or something after! :cheers

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George has gotten over his fear of shiny floors. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a hard @$$ about it. I just picked him up and placed him on the floor, and stood there for a while, they carried on.

 

No babying. No treats. No real reaction at all. More of a "let's go!" happy tone and just WALKED.

 

For what it's worth, if his nails are too long, slick floors in general are harder to walk on.


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

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Guest kirstenbergren

That sounds awesome! :hehe

 

PJ sliced one of his pads at the park on Saturday. We'll have to wait until it heals up before we meet up again. He tried limping and playing the sympathy card with my daughter and I 2 nights ago. It's sliced on the main pad on his right front paw and it doesn't even touch the ground when he walks. lol. It only bothers him when he's running around.

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Guest lanielovesgreys

George has gotten over his fear of shiny floors. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a hard @$$ about it. I just picked him up and placed him on the floor, and stood there for a while, they carried on.

 

No babying. No treats. No real reaction at all. More of a "let's go!" happy tone and just WALKED.

 

For what it's worth, if his nails are too long, slick floors in general are harder to walk on.

 

I second this. It's always my first indication that I need to trim. Laika can hardly walk on the slick floors with long nails. Partly anxiety, I'm sure.

 

What about that grippy paw stuff I read about recently? You know, to toughen up the pads?

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Guest karilynn

His nails are pretty short. He just had them trimmed on Saturday. Though, his quick is rather long, but with frequent trimmings, it's getting better. I'm not sure if it's his nails or he just has the mentality that the shiny floor is evil. Could be a combination of both!

 

I like the approach of just doing it and giving them no other option, but part of me worries that he will resent me for it. I need to get over that! Just love him so much and I know he loves me, so I don't want him to love me any less... lol stupid but yeah...

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

His nails are pretty short. He just had them trimmed on Saturday. Though, his quick is rather long, but with frequent trimmings, it's getting better. I'm not sure if it's his nails or he just has the mentality that the shiny floor is evil. Could be a combination of both!

 

I like the approach of just doing it and giving them no other option, but part of me worries that he will resent me for it. I need to get over that! Just love him so much and I know he loves me, so I don't want him to love me any less... lol stupid but yeah...

 

Your hound does not have human emotions, as others have said. You also said earlier you dont want your hound to "lose trust" in you, hate to break the news to you, your hound doesnt trust you. If he did, he would walk anywhere you asked. I understand you dont want to permanently damage your hound, I get it. I am of the camp as others being no-nonsense. You are not doing your hound any favors by "easing" him into things.

 

Trick - keep his head up. The reason hounds fear certain floors is because of overhead lights reflecting on the surface creating what some hounds perceive as liquid. If you want to try the treat method, I suggest you lead him with the treat keeping it above his head and in front of him so that he doesnt have a chance to see the floor.

 

In all actuallity, I strongly suggest obedience classes. If you havent already. Obedience creates a strong bond, and trust between the animal and handler. Trust is part of the issue here. Two of my current three hounds were afraid of my hardwood and tile floors. With my boy who is strong-willed, I used the tought love method (picked him up, put him in the middle of the room and walked away). Did this a few times and he quickly realized that he could walk on the scary floor. My female who is shy and scared of a lot of things, she reqired a lot more training, such as sit, stay, weave, leave it, etc. Once she would listen to my commands, it was easy to walk with her and tell her to keep up with me. She looks to me when things scare her - trust.

 

I am not trying to bash you, please dont take it that way. There are different methods that work with different hounds. I recommend obedience to ANYONE that has a hound, there is nothing better to build a relationship with. Good luck and keep trying, you will find something that works with him. Whatever you do, dont give up and let him be afraid.

 

Chad

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