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Frightened Of Stairs


Guest jennis
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Hello everyone I am new to both this site and greyhounds. We collected her fom her racing kennels 36 hours ago. We are definetely in the honeymoon phase she has been amazing. During her first day she showed signs of stress but seemed to cope well. Our stumbling block is the stairs. We started by trying to take her up on a lead. We have tried walking her up one leg at a time with two people, she became so distressed she seemed about to collapse. We tried placing treats on each step. Sitting on the stairs and encouraging her to come as she will follow all around house except for the scary stairs. This morning I sat on the stairs and put her breakfast bowl there moving it one step higher until we got to 4th one, lots of praise and petting. Thought I would try all meals there to encorage her to see the stairs as a positive place. On our next walk we are going to look for outdoor steps to practice going up and down. I think its the sheer quantity of stairs as she will pop up and down the 2 backdoor steps. So hoping to find a few more to practice on. I dont want to scare this dog, she is loving and generally laid back. She has had no obedience training and doesnt know even the basic comands. I will be taking her to training class. Thats the extent of my ideas. Does anyone have any other suggestions because at the moment have resorted to carrying her.

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Stairs are one of those things that some greys will get right away and some will take longer. You've tried all the methods I've used. Maybe choose a treat like cut up hot dog. Some dogs will respond to a higher value treat like hot dogs, pieces of chicken or beef of some kind.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

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

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You didn't describe the stairs. Are these just normal 1st to 2nd floor stairs? Carpeted? Have one person lead her and treat her if she'll take them, have the other behind her with their thighs against her back end --- for both support and steady pressure, also prevents her from backing up. If these are scary open stairs, can you have them enclosed at the back -- perhaps with plywood or even cardboard for now? If these are scary bare stairs, can you have a staircase runner installed?

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

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Guest FinnsMom

My boy is the same way. We have had him now for 3 weeks and he is still absolutely terrified of the steps. We have tried everything. He does the steps leading to the front door just fine. I have spent the last two weeks trying to desensitize him to the stairs by keeping treats on them for him to just walk by and take but he has to have both his back feet on the ceramic tile floor. If he stretches to reach a treat and he thinks one of his feet will come off the floor he will leave the treat. I've sat on the steps with various types of treats but he gets so stressed out he paces back and forth between rooms and then runs to his bed and sticks his head in the corner. LOL We had to carry him up the stairs for a bath after we brought him home. The steps are carpeted, so there is no slipping issue, but we are definitely now at a complete loss as to what to try next. :dunno

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Yes, please describe what your stairs are like, then we can help you more. But so far, I think you just need more patience and use smaller baby steps. Reward the tiniest accomplishments. Put one foot on the next step? Party! If your dog escalates his fear, then back off a bit. If you push him too far too fast it makes the experience a terrorizing, negative thing. Go very slow and keep every step a happy, positive thing.

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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The stairs have walls both sides and are carpeted including landing and hall,so slipping isn't the problem. We have just come back from our walk and she happily did 6 steps in the street. Thank you for your responses.

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When I adopted my grey last November, she was terrified of steps. Tipper quickly learned to manuver the 2 steps to enter the house, but was not going to go upstairs - no matter what method or treats I tried. After 4 months she went to stay with a friend for a few days while I went away. Her male grey went up and down the steps in that house about 10 times before Tipper followed him up and down. Came back home and, once again, refuse to do the steps. I might mention my bedroom is upstairs so I ended up crating her downstairs at night - no complaints from Tipper.

 

About 2 weeks later Tipper stood at the bottom of my steps looking so sad. I said to her to come on up. And she did, up and down from that day on. It seems that all of a sudden something clicked in her mind and she realized she could do the steps.

 

My advice is be patient and if you know someone with a grey perhaps your grey could take some lessons.

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It took my dog FOREVER to learn because the only stairs at my old building were black metal ones in a scary enclosed stairwell.

 

He would go DOWN, but up was just a nightmare, and I'm talking about moving his feet, paw by paw, up three flights of stairs, dozens and dozens of times!

 

Then I moved. Three flights of carpeted "regular stairs" to get to my condo. He followed the moving men up like he'd been doing it his whole life! I couldn't believe it!

 

You're doing everything right, you're just being a wee bit inpatient! Keep it up and before you know it you won't remember this phase except with a smile!


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We had tea on the stairs made the seventh step tonight, lots of petting,praising and tail wagging. Although she was a little tense it wasn't an ordeal I think its the going down that really unbalances her. You are right I just need to be patient. Shes an amazing dog met horses, cyclist, a vacumn cleaner and a frisbee today she seems to take it all in her stride.

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You're doing everything right, you're just being a wee bit inpatient! Keep it up and before you know it you won't remember this phase except with a smile!

 

:nod

 

Took Nixon 2 weeks to really get the stairs.

We 'helped' him a few times the first couple of days, but then just left him alone and one day he came up.

Going down took longer...we helped him for another week or so.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Joshi.  Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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We carried Brandi up and down for the first 4 days. Then down for another three days. And then I realised that carrying 30kg of dog wasn't doing my back and good. We used a harness and kind of 'carried' her down by supporting her. It only took her a day. I think that it was just so much to take in that the stairs were the most difficult and so took the longest when everything else had changed.

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My Annie Bella, who I adopted 15 months ago, would do the 9 steps outside leading to the back door from day 1 but would not do the 14 steps going to the second floor and the bedrooms. I tried all the tricks of the trade and nothing worked and she became more and more frightened of that part of the house. I'm sure her biggest issue with the stairs was that they were sorta enclosed: wall on one side and a bannister on the other. She slept downstairs -- no crate -- for about 7 months without complaint. I was disappointed but she was fine so I didn't worry. One night she woke me up whining at the bottom of the stairs. She didn't like being alone. I spent the rest of that night on the couch while she slept in her bed next to me, and the next day I got firm and said, "You learn the stairs today because I like to sleep in my bed." I walked her up the stairs paw by paw with her shaking the entire time, then at the top walked her down paw by paw. We did this 3 or 4 times, each time being easier with more cooperation from her. After the 4th time, she was willing and able to do the stairs and does them all the time now.

 

Your girl is very new to you and your household. I wouldn't worry about her not doing the stairs. In a few weeks or months, she may decide being alone at night isn't fun and she'll do them.

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Guest KsFrets

I posted this exact same thing here 5 years ago. Magnus wouldn't go near the steps. A Greytalk member who lives in our city came over with two of her greyhounds... they proceeded to do zoomies up and down our steps. Magnus followed and that was that. A month later, he showed Maggie and then a year later they showed Lisa, and now they train the fosters how to do it.

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Guest PhillyPups

My beloved Stepper survived 13-3/4 years of his life with never coming upstairs. All the other hounds would come up and sleep with me and when I would go down in themorning he would have all the dogbeds in a big pile in the middle, his own King size bed. :lol:lol The only need for him to do stairs would have been for my pleasure of having him upstairs with me, obviously he was happier sleeping alone

 

At 13-1/4 he finally got on the couch one day all by himself, and the the last 6 months of his life rarely got off it. :P

 

Your pup is in a whole new world, they have had a lot of training, just not "obedience" training as we think of it, but they are better trained than most. None of mine have been through "obedience" training, but all I expect of them is to be happy and enjoy their retirement.

 

Be patient, your pup may decide one day on her own that she would rather be upstairs than not. . . .

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We had tea on the stairs made the seventh step tonight, lots of petting,praising and tail wagging. Although she was a little tense it wasn't an ordeal I think its the going down that really unbalances her. You are right I just need to be patient. Shes an amazing dog met horses, cyclist, a vacumn cleaner and a frisbee today she seems to take it all in her stride.

 

That's great! Keep doing that - encouragement and parties when she makes progress. It sounds like she may the kind of dog who freaks out when she's pushed or physically manipulated into doing things, so don't use those techniques on her. Just call and encourage and praise praise praise.

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 borzoix4

How I trained the stairs either for the pups or a new adult, is I shorten the vision of how far down. What I mean is at the top of the stairs, I get in front of the puppy, so I am on the next step down, and encourage- using a treat if need be, but I am basically blocking the view at first just how far down they are. In other words- I am going backwards down the steps like crawling on the steps down at their eye level.

We have very deep stairs off the rear porch, and this is exactly how I did it for the pups. Also- I am right there and my pressence gives more assurance as well as to prevent one that might 'leap' off the steps. After just a few days, the steps were then old hat, and now its easily up and down.

 

Going up the steps, I use another dog that knows it already, and usually they follow the other one up. ( cookies all around).

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Joy oh joy our dog Joy after breakfast on the stairs thought it was easier to go up, and then later followed me up to the bathroom still carn't manage going down so we will continue to carry her, if partners back holds up shes too heavy for me. Had another great day playing with a dog, travelling in car, visiting a Sunday market and walking by a river. Friends are bringing her playmate over tonight to show her what fun the stairs are.

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Teague took about 3 weeks to do my stairs. I tried the methods you did at first but it just freaked him out so I just left him. I cooked up this really smelly doggy meatloaf and would crumble chunks up the stairs. One day when I was upstairs I heard clunking and realized it was him scrambling up the stairs. He has been fine ever since.

 

My parents have a few stairs that go down to the landing to the backyard. Teague would NOT go on those, it took him a year to do it! How I finally did it was to put his leash on and lead him DOWN the stairs from the kitchen, which was much easier for him then going up. Once he got on a role he decided coming up wasn't so scary either. If you don't have success in the next few weeks you could try carrying him up and try to lead him down. I know it sounds weird but it worked like a charm for me!

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friends dog came tonight she ran up and down Joy just couldn't fathom it so still will have carry her. She really is a joy and will have to be patient and gird up back

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My standard suggestion is to get her used to going down on some “less threatening” stairs. Find some big, wide, shallow steps to start with. I have found that public buildings like schools and libraries usually have some good outside steps. Once she gets used to those you can move on to more difficult steps, then back to the ones in your house.

Good luck!

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Jerilyn, missing Lila (Good Looking), new Mistress to Wiki (PJ Wicked).
 
 

 

 

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My beloved Stepper survived 13-3/4 years of his life with never coming upstairs.

 

I find it kind of ironic his name was "Stepper" and he wouldn't do the "steps" :P

Kim and Bruce - with Rick (Rick Roufus 6/30/16) and missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (Lab) (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (Schipperke) (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (GSP) (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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Progress report on Joy my amazing GH of one week. She now does the stairs by bounding up. If you are in the way and she has to slow down she ends up scrambling up awkwardly. Twice we have come down on lead with one arm round her middle to assist her, lovely bits of sausage on the way. Thankyou for this site I've spent hours reading the various threads and gained useful insights to this amazing breed.

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One of mine won't do my parents stairs. She does fine with 3 or 4, indoors or out and on a camping trip even did a mountain of them, both up and down. Its was a huge narrow, winding thing. I didn't think she'd do it, but she never even hesitated. My parents have a regular flight, carpeted, walls on both sides, like you are describing, and she WILL NOT go up or down them. The other grey (and 2 labs and a JRT) zoom up and down playing, no dice. We used to sleep in the upsatirs bedroom when we visited. Nothing doin'. She stays at the bottom of the stairs and cries. I sleep on the sofa downstairs now whith her while my hubby and the other grey take the bed.

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