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Guest debster

Bedtime And Stairs Issues

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Guest debster

Hello!

 

Just got my Talos tonight and I've run into a bit of a snag...

 

My bedroom and any usable shower and/or bed is upstairs. My dog knows what stairs are and learned about them in a prison program. But he hasn't connected that my stairs are the same type of deal as the prison stairs.

 

Originally, I wanted his crate up in my room next to my bed. That's obviously not working out. Right now, my solution is to crate him downstairs and hang out on the couch, but just for tonight.

 

What I want to know is how to proceed. I'm concerned that if I go sleep upstairs and leave him down, that he will get separation anxiety, since he's a very personable guy (which would make separation training and going to work very difficult). I went up to shower and heard him crying downstairs. He stopped when I scolded him, though.

 

I also need solutions that would work for one person, as I live alone :/

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Guest june

Put his leash on. place him between you and the wall on the stairs, tell him "lets go" and just start walking up. don't hesitate, don't stop. keep going all the way to the top. lots of praise and maybe some yummy treats at the top.. after you do it a couple times he'll get it. if he's been through the prison program he just needs a confidence booster. he can do them. Just be confident; envision both of you walking all the way to the top and just do it.

 

one additional thought; are your stairs carpeted? if not that may be making him more hesitant.

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Guest debster

I think you're right. If we fail too many more times, he will not want to ever do them. Sleeping in my own bed would be great. The stairs are berber carpeted.

 

Should I wait until we are a bit more comfortable together? I just got him last night. He's still in the pacing and whining stage. I'm guessing I should ignore the whining? Or correct it?

 

Doesn't help that my brain is broken from being ill and not sleeping at all last night.

 

Edit: Nope, no dice. I cheered, led, pulled a little "let's go!". Nothing.

Edited by debster

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Guest Sourbuzz

Our dog was the same way. The foster parent called him "velcro boy" because he absolutley needs to be with you at all times. When we first got him he would just freeze at the bottom of the stairs. (He was fine at the foster parent's home by the way) but just like yours, couldn't make the association. We tried the leash, holding his collar and making it a fluid motion going upstairs but you have to turn 180 degrees to go up the stairs. There is no "walking" or "running start" so it was impossible to have any momentum. He would always be able to freeze at the bottom.

We did the "first paw, second paw" while keeping our body behind him. At first he was complete dead weight (80 lb dog). I was basically carrying him up. So what I learned was:
His mind wanted to go back down. It was in "flight" mode (which is what he does with anything he's scared about). So what we did was kept his mind going up and forward. My girlfriend stood at the top and I got his first paw up. Then I would just keep saying "up, up, up, up, up" over and over with sort of a semi-excited tone, paw by paw, and eventually he just jetted up there. Now I know having someone at the top helps, but I bet he could have done it without her. TONS OF PRAISE WHEN HE HITS THE TOP!!! LIterally for like a minute straight of "good boy" treats, etc... He would be excited and be panting etc...but when he would relax we went back down. We would just take his collar, lead him to the stairs and he would freeze. We would have to pull him a little but he would start down. I made sure I was in front of him with one hand supporting his chest just in case he slipped. Then one time, totally out of the blue, I was pulling the collar and he just stopped solid. I let go and he just started going down the stairs. I actually just laughed as if he was saying "STOP! I got this..."

Prior to this he was sleeping downstairs because he would not come up the stairs. We felt bad at first and so we just let him. We spent the weekend sleeping with him. He would wake up, whine a little, pace around a few times throughout the night. Then we slept upstairs with him downstairs and he seemed to be fine. He would come to the bottom of the stairs and whine. When he did this is when I would start with the "first paw, second paw". I wanted him to know that if he whined and wanted to come up, that's what he'd have to do.

Be careful not to scold him if he's whining. It's instinct for him to do it. When a dog is separated from the pack it whines/roos as a way to tell the pack where they are. It will add anxiety on top of anxiety. Is he whining even when he's with you? If that's the case you should ignore it unless of course he's coming at you with it. Our dog would get so excited by the time our alarm goes off in the morning that he would whine and one time barked at us. A quick touch to the neck was enough to get him to stop and he hasn't done it since.

To answer your more recent question, yes wait until you build some trust. They need to know that your going to help them up and down the stairs. You may have to rough it a few times with you on the couch. But YOU decide when its time to sleep on your own. When he whines at the bottom of the stairs, go get him, and start "paw by paw" standing behind him and "UP UP UP UP". Go the whole way through, don't give up or his "flight" has won and he'll think he can do it every time.

Hope this helps! Good luck! We literally went through the same thing!

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Guest debster

That makes me feel a lot better. No, the whining is general. Scolding him for it did sound wrong. I'll admit, watching him cry like that really hurts my heart. I think we all know what it's like to be that lonely. This dog is so emotional and sweet.

 

I live by myself so I'm going to have to have my mom help me get him up the stairs.

 

So far *knock on wood, saying all the prayers*, alone training is ok. He likes his crate and slept ok.

 

He's messed once when I had my back turned, so I do not want to have him loose in the house if I'm not there to watch him.

 

Oh! He just discovered his Cuz! I'm so happy! He seems to like it.

 

Does anyone have an idea of when I could possibly move upstairs, even if he stays downstairs in his crate?

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Does anyone have an idea of when I could possibly move upstairs, even if he stays downstairs in his crate?

 

I would say now. Personally, I probably wouldn't have slept downstairs with him at all. Even if he cries some when left alone in the crate when you're home, it's usually not really separation anxiety. Rather than scolding, just ignore any whining. Most dogs will stop within a short period of time. My fosters sleep in a crate in the kitchen, at the opposite end of the house from my bedroom, from Day 1, and they learn quickly. If he was fine in the crate while you were in the shower, he'll probably be fine overnight.


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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Guest debster

I just did that. Made another thread about leaving him down there to sleep and you know what? I know the answer to the question. I've got to let him do this on his own.

 

I've been so concerned about him possibly getting SA and pooping all over his crate that I failed to connect that I need to not coddle him from the beginning. And I knew it already, from reading this forum, from reading the books, from being a dog lover since I was a child. He's not any more special and fragile than the thousands of other greyhounds in the world; the only difference is how I choose to deal with him. His blogs from his prison program suggest that he's a friendly, well-adjusted dog. He's smart and trainable; he will know that I come back when I leave if I just show him.

 

Wow, I'm glad I snapped out of it on day 2. Imagine the damage I could have done if I let it happen even one more night.

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Guest Trammell

Loni hadn't seen stairs prior to us, but we lived on the third floor apartment. I did the lift one paw, then the next, etc., just like she was doing the walking, but I was doing the lifting. Basically, I was pretty much carrying her up, but after about the 6th time that day, she figured it out just fine. She also is a little bit anxiety prone, not really "outgoing". I am sure other's will chime in with more experience, but the above was my limited Grey learning stairs experience. It is my 'one person' solution, but my girl is only 60 lbs. Still 60 lbs multiple times in a row (potty training) made me pretty tired, hehe. I think the learning curve was shortened because there really wasn't any other choice! Regarding the sleeping, Loni didn't like the crate (she came straight from the farm, so I don't think she had experienced one before), we started with her in the crate in the room, and then just eventually she was on a bed on the floor of the bedroom. We couldn't let her cry it out because of living in an apartment and needing to consider our neighbors. I think if you won't mind him sleeping in your room, then you should carry him with the lift one paw thing, baby gate the top of the gate, and then let it be (and get some sleep). Hopefully he is letting you know when he has to potty? On a side note, my last foster (not a Greyhound) was fine in a crate; therefore, I had him sleep in the crate at night to better train him for the next person The new foster would be scared and miserable in the crate (of course I will work on crate training because he will be going to a new home). I just got him last night and let him sleep on a bed on my bedroom floor. I think you can judge what will work best for your doggie and your life style. That being said, any behavior you reward will be repeated. If his crying has elicited a response previously he will try it again, louder and louder until he figures out it doesn't work. The only way I know of extinguishing a behavior is by ignoring it completely, and rewarding the desired behavior. Again, more experienced people will chime in, and I believe there is a difference between anxiety and a "tantrum" to get out of the crate, which should be handled differently.

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I've been so concerned about him possibly getting SA and pooping all over his crate that I failed to connect that I need to not coddle him from the beginning.

 

It's easy to want to coddle your new baby. But it sounds like you're on the right track now. He'll probably be just fine, and if not, come back here with what happened, and we'll help you figure it out. :)


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

gtsig3.jpg

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JMO -- stairs are one of the few things where I don't give the dog time to think about it, settle in, etc. We do them from day 1. If dog doesn't know how, I get my knees behind the dog's butt, lean over, and move one foot at a time on up those stairs; alongside the dog and straight collar or harness (NOT martingale!) going down.


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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Guest debster

Update for everyone:

 

We made it up the stairs last night playing the "one foot, two foot" game. He shook in fear most of the time but let me guide him. When we got about 4 stairs to the top, he was able to get up the rest of the way. Going down was easier, but convincing him to start going down was a little tough.

 

So it definitely was a legitimate fear and not him being stubborn. But he trusts me more now, so we're going to go up and down until he does it all on his own. Keeping up the energy and cheering the whole time while lifting each leg was tiring but worth it :)

 

As far as the sleeping thing is concerned, he's just fine with being downstairs in his crate; he doesn't cry anymore and stopped that after only a week. From spying on him via Skype, he has mild SA (do not know if this will change for the worse as I've had him for only a month) and a little bit of melatonin takes care of it.

 

We've become friends very fast. It feels like he's been with me forever.

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Guest Scouts_mom

Sounds like things are going great, however I do have one suggestion: When I train my dogs to do stairs, I take them to walk at various parks that have short runs of stairs. There are only a few steps so it is not scary and yet they realize that stairs come in different shapes and sizes, but they can do them all!

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Guest debster

That's a great suggestion. I don't know why I hadn't thought of that.

 

Maybe if he's reminded of the short stairs at the prison, he won't be as scared. :)

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Guest Waterdog66

We had to "Gumby Walk" Audrey a few times up the stairs and what I did to help her was to put a small treat on each stair and let her pick it up after each step.

 

We quickly got to the point where she would follow the trail on her own and then I started to scale back the treats until over time, there was just one at the top and one at the bottom.

 

The difference is that we never crated Audrey; she sleeps in our bedroom with the door closed at night and all doors upstairs are closed during the day. I had the option of just leaving her downstairs.

 

The interesting thing is that the second time I did that, she casually walked up the stairs all by herself and went to bed. NOW regardless of what we do, she will walk upstairs about 9p and put herself to bed. (Or Roo at the bedroom door if it is closed)

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