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How Do I Train Her To Walk Up The Stairs Instead Of Run?


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Poor Tori! She has always run up and down the stairs like nobody's business, but at almost 13 it's getting harder to do. She can usually make it after several false starts, but it makes me nervous as her hind end continues to weaken. I'd be happy to just carry her up, but she *hates* to be picked up.

 

So how do I train her to walk up the stairs? Right now if she's at the bottom of the stairs, if I so much as touch her collar to try to guide her she either tries to sprint up the stairs or she runs away and lays on her bed.

 

Our stairs are a little bit steep, but fully carpeted, with full walls on both sides.

 

I'd love to hear your ideas - thanks!

Jenn, missing Shadow (Wickford Big Tom), Pretty Girl (C's Pretty) and Tori (Santoria)

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I will be watching this closely -- because I have had the same question. One of my girls, who will be 11 in December, needs to learn this also. I taught both of my girls how to do stairs, thus, they were taught the same way, but Waterproof will nicely walk up the steps but Nutty, not so much! It has caused her to be afraid of open back steps because she slid off and degloved a part of her leg a couple of years ago. And, trying to help her up the steps, she pushes back against me so hard that her front feet then slip off the steps and she does what she's afraid of doing --- slips between the steps. We don't even approach the open back steps anymore.

 

But, if there is a way to teach them to walk, I will give it a try. Though, I'm afraid it's not possible .. at least not with Nutty. I'm thinking I will have to stay out of the basement from now on (about 13 - 15 steps -- NOT open back, but not sure how much longer she will bound up them .. though also, if her backend gets weak, she might not be able to walk up them either) ... and I am realizing I'm going to have to finally figure out how to make a ramp a friend made me several years ago a bit more dog friendly (not slick and maybe have to give subtle light at night) and actually use it with her on the deck (only 3 steps but she won't come up them, she just has to jump)...

 

Anyway .. I'll also be watching for answers!

Lee: (RR's Busy): Oswald Cobblepot X Lively Layla (10/14/97 - 01/22/10) ; Cool: (P's Cool Runner): P's Raising Cain X My Cool Runner (3/3/97 - 12/26/09) ; Nutty: (Itsanutterbutter): State of the Art X Itsalmostsaintly ; Waterproof: (KB's Waterproof): Oshkosh Slammer X Special Lady* ; Sadie: my sweet silly girl: 5/5/98 - 11/26/05
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I have trained my guys to stay behind me when going up and down, which really slows everything down.

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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I have trained my guys to stay behind me when going up and down, which really slows everything down.

 

That's the way I have dealt with it too, I get in their way for once instead of them getting in mine.

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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Guest undergreysspell

Try putting a towel or sling under the back end and walk her up while guiding her rear. This will also get her used to the help when one day her rear gets weak and you have to help her.

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I have trained my guys to stay behind me when going up and down, which really slows everything down.

 

So, umm, how did you do that? I ask because Tori won't even go on the steps if one of us is on them - never had. I tried tonight and stood on the stairs for over 15 minutes trying to wait her out and get her to come up the stairs behind me, but she finally gave up and went and laid on a dog bed on the first floor and wouldn't get up :lol I'm guessing that if I stayed on the stairs she would probably just end up sleeping in the living room rather than have to climb the stairs behind me :rolleyes:

 

Edited for proper emoti usage :P

Edited by Meandmy

Jenn, missing Shadow (Wickford Big Tom), Pretty Girl (C's Pretty) and Tori (Santoria)

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Harness. Put it on and leave it on. When it's time to go up or down - grab it at the back and walk slowly up or down - the dog has to go at your pace, and you're not yanking at their neck. All the while calmly say "Slow....easy...just walk, etc". Reward when the dog walks at YOUR pace.

 

It's also called the "suitcase" technique for teaching dogs to go up or down stairs when they refuse to.

Edited by sobesmom
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You might have to try different strategies. With Capri, for a little bit I used the 1-foot leash method and that taught her to go slowly when on leash (like in hotels and such). I noticed just in her day to day life that she's a fearless little mountain goat, so then I switched to tossing treats on the stairs. She will clamber up and down them, turning sideways and whatever it takes to browse the stairs for yummies. I need to work on Ajax now. He's a little more fearful with situations he feels uncomfortable with, so he takes longer. I'm trying to lure him up one step at a time and he acts like it's the scariest thing in the world. (He runs up/down easily.)

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

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