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Going Up Stairs


Guest Krizzy
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We have had our Hammer for about two months and he still does not walk up the stairs or walk on hardwood floors. We did get a trainer and just began working on this, but for the time being, my husband carries Hammer upstairs before bed and downstairs in the morning. He doesn't seem to like it at all, and a couple times he has yelped. Is there a certain way to pick up a greyhound and carry them? My husband wants to leave him downstairs to sleep but he starts to cry and wants to be with us. He has his own bed next to ours and I like when he is with us. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you!!

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Guest FinnsMom

Finn is the same way. We've had him a little over 2 months as well. What we have started doing is I will stand at the top of the stairs with a treat and hubby will carry him halfway, then put him down, and then Finn slinks up the last 5 or six stairs with hubby sort of walking behind to keep him going forward, then he gets his treat and lots of praise. LOL He will go down on his own and hugging the wall the entire way down but for some reason he's taking longer to learn the up part.

 

Not sure what to say on how to pick him up, hubby puts one arm under him and then the other around his front and lifts and Finn isn't a small dog, his weight is now 76 lbs. LOL

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My Annie would do the 9 outside steps, which are blue stone, to get into the house, but it was 6 months before she would go up the carpeted stairs to the bedrooms. I tried to teach her when I adopted her. She freaked, so she stayed downstairs, alone, but she didn't whine or cry.... until the night she did, about 6 months post adoption.

 

That one night, I slept on the couch to keep her company, but I like my bed and was unwilling to spend more nights on the couch. The day after her whining/crying, I gave her a good talking to about the rules of the house -- the talk was more for my benefit and confidence... LOL -- and proceeded to teach her to do stairs. Front paw, front paw, back paw, back paw, gentle nudge on her bottom. I did this to the top of the stairs, showed her the bed in my bedroom and then did the stairs with her going down. I admit, going down was nerve wracking for me but it had to be done. I did this 4 times in a row: up the stairs, turn around and go down the stairs, with major food rewards each way (she's a sucker for sharp cheese). The 5th time I started the lesson, she just walked up the stairs herself, got her treat, and turned around and went down to get yet more cheese. That was that.

 

As somebody else asked: Are your stairs carpeted? Mine weren't but when I adopted Annie, I carpeted them because she didn't like bare wood. Also, you have to have confidence that teaching your boy is more than a possibility. It can be done and it has to be done because you don't want him to keep you awake whining and you want to sleep in your bed. You have to look at it in a way that says, "This is not negotiable as learning how to sit may be." It took me a few months before I felt confident enough with my wonderful girl to understand that I'm the person in charge of my household and certain behavior is not acceptable.

 

Good luck. If my Annie B will do it, your boy can too.

Edited by Feisty49
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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

You have to have more will power than the hound. ANY hound will do stairs, even tri-pods. Don’t think for a minute they cannot do stairs. I foster broken leg hounds and they all learn the stairs in a few days. Here is what I typically do:

 

Down:

Grab the collar, hold against my waste, and walk down the stairs. Very simple. You control the speed at which the hound traverses the stairs. You are the security blanket for the hound.

 

Up (more difficult):

1) get behind the hound.

2) place hound's butt against your front side

3) push with your body and simultaneously pick up one front foot and place on stair

4) push with your body and simultaneously pick up one rear foot and place on next stair

5) repeat entire length of stairs

 

My current foster has been the longest to ever get to do the stairs on his own - 9 days. What a pain! Most of my fosters can do the stairs by themselves within 3-5 days. Personally I don’t usually do the food on the stairs trick, but I did use that technique with my current boy. It helped, but didn’t get him all the way up the stairs. What did work was a noisy toy. He LOVES toys. Find what motivates your boy, if it is food, or it is toys, or maybe it is you. My hounds have to learn stairs because in order to use the outside bathroom, they have to go up and down 9 open face wooden stairs off my deck. About as difficult as you can get. SO believe me, EVERY hound can do stairs. You just have to be patient and consistent. DO NOT pick up your hound any more. From now on he will have to do it. If it means you behind him lifting foot after foot, then so be it. He has to gain the confidence to do it, while you are there as his leader to support him and reassure him that he is safe.

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Thanks for the greyt advice. Our stairs are not carpeted yet, but we plan to get them carpeted. He freaks out about the bare floors still- but I know he can do them (he has walked on them before) He just needs more confidence.

 

Greyt_dog_lover- We are definitely going to start walking him up the stairs. If he slips on the floors, wont he slip on the stairs? I am just scared he is going to hurt himself. I just feel so bad for him when he shakes and gets scared but I guess I need to tuffin up. Thanks for the motivation!!

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Garland was the same way, he would freeze stiff as a board, now he is going up without a problem. I do think that with having hardwood makes it harder for them, mine stairs aren't carpeted so I just stood behind him and foot by foot places his paws on the stairs. Now he is finally going up stairs on his own :) just out of the blue, I was so proud of him.

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Hi. I too am new to this forum and greyhounds. I've had Joy for 7 weeks when she arrived she was terriied of stairs. If you scroll back a couple of pages you will see my first post "frightened of stairs" Got some good advice from other members and from day 12 she happily tootles up and down stairs. Wishing you good luck and it will happen for you.

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Guest Scouts_mom

I want to tell you about a dog I knew. He to had his parents convinced that he could not do stairs. Daddy would carry him up every night at bedtime and down every morning. He resisted all efforts to learn to do stairs.

 

 

Until one day....

 

 

Momma came home early. As she stepped on the porch she heard what sounded like a herd of buffalos coming down the stairs. She went up to the bedroom and discovered there was a nice warm nest on the covers! That was the end of being carried up the stairs. He pouted for a while the first night, but by morning he was in the bedroom.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Krizzy,

did you adopt through GO? If you did, call the number they had you program into your phone when they did the adoption, the person answering the phone will be able to help you as well. To answer your question about slipping on the floor, you shouldnt allow your hound to slip. Basically you want to be there with him on the way up, and the way down until he can navagate the stairs at an appropriate speed and quality. For the first week I have a new foster, I use the "collar" method I describe. As far as the way up, for the first week I am usually behind them pushing, or if they seem like they can do it on their own, I walk next to them with my hand gently on the collar to be able to control them if they trip or need some help. Remember, while they are training on the stairs you need to be sure that you keep them stable and safe, that way they learn much faster.

 

If you did adopt through GO, and they didnt have you program your phone, just look at the packet they gave you, there is an emergency number to call, go ahead and call that number. GO is a very helpful group and has a lot of members in your area. You know, there is a meet-n-greet close to you (probably where you saw greyhounds first).

 

Chad

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Guest greytone

This may sound mean but I've always just taken the dog by the collar and made him/her go up and down the steps with small treats placed on the steps.

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Guest Melissa516

Down:

Grab the collar, hold against my waste, and walk down the stairs. Very simple. You control the speed at which the hound traverses the stairs. You are the security blanket for the hound.

 

Up (more difficult):

1) get behind the hound.

2) place hound's butt against your front side

3) push with your body and simultaneously pick up one front foot and place on stair

4) push with your body and simultaneously pick up one rear foot and place on next stair

5) repeat entire length of stairs

 

 

We pretty much used this method to teach Fred and Ginger to do the stairs. Except for the down part, we used a harness... kind of like carrying a suitcase down the stairs. ;) Ginger is now really good. Fred still hops up a couple steps at a time... like a big black bunny rabbit. We've got to figure out a way to get him to walk up instead of hop. Our stairs are also hard wood, but we're finally getting a carpet runner for them installed in a few weeks.

 

Good luck! :thumbs-up

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Guest jaws4evr

PICKING UP When we took ours to the vet for the first time, upon getting her vaccines she reared over backwards, and proceeded to scream and thrash like her skin was melting. She responded the same way to being restrained/held.

 

So we went back to the drawing board at home, and started from having an arm over her, then an arm under her, gentle hugs, stronger hugs, very short under-tuck holds, and worked our way up to lifts once she was comfortable. We pick her up with one arm wrapped under her chest, and the other arm wrapped under her tuck-up in front of her hind legs. It's the way that she seems most comfortable with.

 

STAIRS: Will he walk up any other stairs somewhere else, like outside? Try to find other stairs to practice on. And don’t rush it…. I'd try leaving him downstairs for the night. He might need the motivation of being "alone" before he decides it's worth the effort to go upstairs. Especially since he seems to not enjoy being carried, I'd let him stick it out on his own feet and let him tell you when he's ready to go.

 

If he shows you he's wanting to try, then I'd leash/colalr him, and do what other posters have given you advice for, no need for me to repeat :)

 

FLOORS: it'll just take confidence and time. Ours still 'stalls' on shiny floors but we just let her stall (she’ll stand and quiver for a few seconds), and then she'll un-stall and move forward. It helps us not to rush her, and to tell her what a good girl she is once she moves :). It also helps a great deal to keep nails short as you possibly can. Ours uses her claws when she has a shiny-floor-moment, which obviously makes her skid around like she's on roller skates :(

 

He might do well on the stairs, but he might not. Use your judgement and see what works for you guys.

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Greyt_dog_lover - Yes, we did get him from GO. (CIGA- He was a broken leg) We did what you said - left paw, right paw, left leg, right leg....and gave him a lot of praising. Then a treat when he got to the top. It wasn't as bad as I thought. We are going to continue to do it over and over. It was funny because when he got to his bed upstairs, he started panting like he had just went for a long run lol I do want to sign up for the meet and greets but was going to wait until he can do the floors. He froze the last time I took him to a play date and they had to move all the carpets to the play area.

 

jaws4evr- we are still trying to find stairs outside near our house. that is a greyt idea :-)

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Krizzy,

Call me if you have any problems, I know your boy, before you adopted him, he was next on the list for me to foster. I foster exclusively for CIGA. 630-272-8178- Chad

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Guest Snazzy_Chloe

Krissy I would look into carpet stair treads which will be cheaper than carpet (unless you really want carpet) - I used double stick carpet tape instead of nailing them to the wood and they work really well.

 

I just adopted a guy that didn't like stairs and we spent 3-4 days with me walking him up the stairs like Chad said (I usually concentrate just on going up) leave the down till after he has the up half under his belt. Anyway, my guy is a real chow hound and I happened to see a bag of liver treats that I had in my dog cabinet. I threw a treat up 2-3 stairs where he could see it and he immediately scrambled up after the treat, then threw another up 2-3 steps and up he went - totally focused on the treat instead of the evil stairs. It took 3 more days before I could wean him off of the treats always a treat at the end. I tried walking up ahead of him with a treat in my hand and that did not work at all - if I went half way up the stairs and then p[laced the treat on the step where he could see it - he knew it was his and up he would come. Pretty funny really as I have never had such a food motivated dog before.

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I bought treads to put on my wooden stairs. I got them through Amazon. They are quality, deep plush treads and look terrific. Here is what I got.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Premium-Carpet-Stair-Treads-Scrollworks/dp/B0030EK314/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1354724729&sr=8-9&keywords=premium+carpet+stair+treads

 

And as said above, no need to nail them down. I use this carpet tape and it is **great**. The treads have never moved.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Intertape-9970-Indoor-1-87-Inches-36-Yards/dp/B000I1EHK0/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1354724810&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=Intertape+9970+Indoor

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Feisty49- Thank you! I think we will look into that. Although I am going to look for a different color (those wouldn't match)

 

Chad- I really appreciate it. I will definitely hold your number and call if needed. That is crazy how you were going to foster Hammer. :) We have been walking him up and down since I read your post and I thought down would be easier but it's not. He is very food driven but if I put the treat on the steps, he still wont go by himself. We are going to keep repeating this, like you said and see what happens. Do you agree? Is this what we should be doing?

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Well with the broken leg hounds, they usually want to try to "tri-pod" it down the stairs, not using the broken leg. Personally I find down the stairs much easier, but you have to be much more forceful. For going down, just slip your hand through the loop of the collar that the leash attaches to (slip 4 fingers through and hold like a suitcase handle). Once you have your hand in his collar, gently pull his head to your hip. Then just walk down the stairs. He will probably lock his front legs the first few times, but dont let him stop you. Firmly but CALMLY pull him over the edge. Once he realizes that he is going down the stairs, he will release his front legs and walk. This is the most important part of going down the stairs, you must keep his head at your hip and control his speed down the stairs. You control him going down and do not let him go too fast, or fall. Once you do this about 3-4 times, he will probably go down on his own, you just need to be next to him with your hand on his collar to make sure when he gets most of the way down, he doesnt try to jump down the last few stairs. At first I didnt put your town together with the hound's name, now that i realize you have a CIGA hound, the "up" part is the same, but for going down, they ALL balk the first few days going down because they are trying to use 3 legs instead of 4. Dont worry about it, just keep calm, firm and up beat. Each time you go down, keep a perky voice and say "lets go" or, "down stairs" whatever you want the command to be. Try to use the same command all the time when you are teaching to go up and down, that way when you go out of town, or to someone else's house where the stairs arent exactly like yours, your hound will understand the command, and not balk at the new stairs. I have found that while the hound may be comfortable with one set of stairs, a different style of stairs (carpeted/not carpeted/ect) sometimes causes them to balk. If they undestand the command to go up or down, this usually alleviates the problem.

 

Chad

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Got it. Thanks for the great info. I did hold him by the collar going down, and tried to hold him by my hip but he froze. I pulled him to go down and felt like I was just going to pull him down. I ended up taking him down, one paw at a time. I am giving him praise the whole time and a treat when he's done. Is the "one paw at a time" a good idea going down? Maybe I should just call you.

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Guest grey_dreams

If he slips on the floors, wont he slip on the stairs? I am just scared he is going to hurt himself.

 

Yes, he could injure himself badly on uncarpeted stairs, especially if the flooring is laminate and not real hardwood. Laminate is super slick. Please put some carpet runner or something so that it's safe for your dog to use the stairs. He will learn them much faster too.

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As others have mentioned, carpet treads or a runner would really help for learning and safety.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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