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Doing Stairs: Too Well, Too Quickly?


Guest RooMcClanahan
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Guest RooMcClanahan

There's been tons of posts about greys and stairs. Never been a problem with ours, but I've been wondering: Is there anything wrong with a greyhound doing them too quickly? Sail lives up to his name in lots of ways, and the stairs are a biggie. The (carpeted) ones to our basement are steep, and there's not much room between where the stairs end and the wall right in front of them begins.

 

He starts off to the side and jumps about halfway up and then hits the (eek!) hardwoods to our main floor in what I must admit is a very graceful motion, even though my heart stops every time he does it. He's only wiped out twice that I know of: Once, the first time he was here. Second resulted in the GSOD. Oh my Lord, do you know it when you hear it.

 

Sail is seven, been with us for a year, and has been in plenty of homes before. I guess I'm asking if we should try and curb this behavior or appreciate that he's so gazelle-like? I just worry that as he gets older this could be trouble...or he'll have the good sense to do them one at a time.

 

Anybody else have a leaper?

 

It must be said that Sail is quite bendy and doesn't seem too worried about the whole thing. :wub:

 

sailux1.jpg

Edited by RooMcClanahan
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For me, it would depend on whether he knows how to do stairs properly and just chooses to jump, or has he never really learned to do stairs and that's the only way he knows. Many newly retired greyhounds will try to leap up or down multiple steps because they really don't know how to do it and are hesitant and nervous about the process. I work with them by keeping a short leash and walking up and down slowly, making them take each step.

 

If Sail is able to go up the steps one at a time, and just chooses not to, I personally wouldn't worry about it. But if jumping halfway up is the only way he knows how to do the stairs, I'd work with him to make sure he can do it the right way for when he might need to as he gets older.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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My second Borzoi was a leaper. She knew full well how to walk up the house stairs 'nicely' and any other stairs were always done that way, but the house stairs (and one place we had was very steep) always had to be leapt up in 2 or 3 very scary bounds. Now she only lived until she was 8 and so didn't get old, but I imagine it would have gotten to be a nightmare. She always came downstairs carefully.

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Both of mine take the stairs as fast as possible. Capri leaps two or three steps at a time. Ajax does that going up but when going down he puts each foot on each step, which looks pretty funny since he's such a big boy. Our stairs are carpeted, but the landings aren't, so to mitigate landing failures I put a rug on each landing. My bigger worry is when they try to shove me down the stairs. I've got quite a hand-rail habit now. :colgate

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

Visit Hound-Safe.com by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

:gh_bow

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Guest Amba1027

Arya leaps up the stairs. When we first got her we held on to her collar and went up and down the stairs with her to make sure she could do them ok and she could. Now that she is free to go up and down the stairs by herself she leaps. The going up doesn't worry me as much as the going down. Our wood floors are at the bottom of the stairs. No problems yet but I think I will take the advice given here and put a mat at the bottom.

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Ben's foster parents wrote that Ben takes 52 stairs at a time in their initial notes. In 7 years, I've never seen Ben take the stairs in our home 1 by 1. He never slips but they are carpeted.

 

Put a non-slip mat where Sail needs it and he should be fine.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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My boy is a leaper as well. Anytime he commits to going upstairs it's "look out!" because he likes to do them all as quickly as possible. I've had it happen a few times where I've been carrying something upstairs and halfway up he decides he wants to come with and starts running up the stairs. Halfway up he realizes I'm in the way and just freezes and gives me the look of "daddy, I need help." This results in me having to put down whatever I may have and get behind him to help get up. Coming down it's one at a time very cautiously. :wow

 

I've never thought about the long term effects of this type of behavior but it sounds like I should revisit stair training with him so we don't run into issues down the road.

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Sometimes she takes the steps a little too quickly and will smack a paw, usually going up, she's pretty good going down. We tell her careful or slow, but I think that's more for us than any understanding on her part.

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My Phantom was a wildman on the stairs. We adopted him at 8 years old, and up until he passed at nearly 14, he insisted on flying up and down the stairs. Miraculously, he never wiped out, but it used to scare all of us to watch him. I can remember that one time we asked the Vet if we should make him slow down, and she told us that no matter how hard we tried, he'd probably never listen. She called it his personality defect :lol

Laura, mom to Luna (Boc's Duchess) and Nova (Atascocita Venus).
Forever in my heart, Phantom (Tequila Nights) and Zippy (Iruska Monte).

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Guest BlueCrab

Trixie takes the stairs at our MD house pretty slowly, 'cause there's a wall right at the bottom that she'd smack into if she went too fast. In our NY house, the stairs open up into a wide, carpeted front hall. She makes a big game of leaping off the landing (bypassing 4 or 5 steps) into the front hall, then running like a crazy person in a loop thru the rooms. Cost her a claw, unfortunately, eaerlier this year when she yanked one out during these antics. Not much way we can seem to slow her down, tho, as far as I can tell. If I tell her to "slow down" or "take it easy", she seems to understand and does, but it doesn't last long.

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Guest Giselle

Just a thought. Don't know how you could rig up stairs, but...

This sounds like a similar issue with A-frames in agility. The point of the A-frame is to ensure that the dog not only does it fast but that he touch the yellow contact zones at the bottom and avoid leaping off. To train both speed and accuracy, a lot of people prefer to hitch up some kind of loop by the end of the obstacle to force their dogs to duck their heads down. Forcing them to duck down will reduce the ability to leap off prematurely. Like this:

ContactHoop1_Sm.jpg

To ensure that your dog doesn't JUMP over that instead of ducking his head under, you can place the loop higher up on the ramp.

Edit: Is this a problem going up or down? The loop works pretty well for both because the point is basically to slow them down and train their bodies to be more careful.

Edited by Giselle
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Piper was a leaper too...off the deck steps. It wasn't so much a slipping and sliding issue with him as it was my worry that he'd fall and hurt himself because of the clumsiness and rear end weakness caused by his anti-epilepsy meds. I had very good luck teaching him to slow down and walk down the stairs. I started by going with him to the top of the stairs with my hand on his collar, saying "Slow and careful" in a calm, crooning voice. He quickly caught on and I could then just remind him to be careful by saying "slow and careful" as head headed out the door.

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Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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