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Guest debster

I'm spending my second night on the couch tonight, and I want honest opinions from folks.

 

My hound does not want to go upstairs where my bedroom is. For now, his crate is in the living room, so he can sleep confined at night. I don't want him to potentially hurt himself in anxiety if he's wandering around downstairs at night, and obviously want to give him great chances of success with housebreaking and not have a mess. He is crated when I have to go upstairs to shower, when I have to get medications, or change clothes. His first night, I mistakenly left him uncrated and unattended for less than 5 minutes and he unloaded his bottom on the floor. I don't blame him for it; it was my fault for trusting a stranger and assuming he wouldn't do it.

 

I'm tempted to give him a frozen kong tomorrow night and go upstairs to bed, put earplugs in, and hope for the best. This is what most people would do with a puppy, so I'm wondering if it's any different for my hound. He's a social guy, but he seems to be crating well after just 24 hours, even though the poor thing may whine a little bit. I do the "stomp back in and scold" thing, and reward him for being silent.

 

I just want to sleep in my bed so badly and to be honest, I don't think being in the living room is healthy for him if my bedroom is upstairs. I'd prefer him to be in the room with me, but he just won't do the stairs.

 

My concern, of course, is damaging him and causing separation phobias by letting him cry the night out alone. But, at the same time, I do not want to create the potential for one by coddling him. So this is where I want the advice of people who have been there, done that, with their hounds.

 

(sidenote: as I type this, he seems to be huffing and crying a bit in his sleep. Is this a normal thing?)

 

So, any and all advice is greatly appreciated. I've already had great reassurance from this forum already about the stairs, and I'm not even going to stress him over them until much later. I'm so glad I joined this forum already.

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As long as he isnt strugling to get out or soiling in his crate, let him whine it out for a night or two. Eventually he'll learn that whining isn't gonna get your attention and he'll learn that the crate is just where he has to sleep at night.

 

Coddling will be more likely to cause SA because he'll learn that crying for attention gets him attention.

 

With our grey we had no room for a crate in the bedroom so he slept in the living room. He cried for nearly a week but every day was less than the previous.

 

My adoption group actually suggested putting a blanket over his crate so he couldn't see us and then banging on the crate with a stick or other hard object to get him to quiet down (we live in an apartment and we were worried about noise complaints). We never had to do it, but that's something to try if the crying gets out of hand?

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Guest debster

I'll admit, I'm tempted to go upstairs now. But he's in his crate and he's obviously restless and he'd see me preparing with getting my things upstairs...

 

Maybe, if that Kong is frozen up a bit, I can hand it to him and get myself up to my bed. I'm worried about a cycle of co-dependence.

 

My parents were borrowing my dummies book.... I need that back from them asap at this point.

 

Edit: I did it. I took my laptop and my pillows and went upstairs. Gave him a radio with music and turned the lights off. I'm so upset right now, and I can tell that my anxiety is just bad mojo for the pup. I need to be strong so *he* can be strong. This is my first dog on my own, and I've just come from about a year ago having an elderly gerbil that needed his cage rearranged for his arthritis, and needed to have his bottom cleaned because he was too old to reach it. So my instinct is to coddle and it's just no good for this boy.

 

I guess it's one of those questions where you know the correct answer but you just don't want it to be the difficult answer. But now I know it to be true; baby's gotta fly on his own.

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Guest debster

Haven't heard any crying yet *knocks on all the wood very quietly*

 

I'd love to have him sleep in my room. The original crate spot was next to my bed upstairs. I figured that would help him adjust and he would be with me in my own 'den' area. But as it is, the living room will have to work. There's a lot of my scent there too, as I tend to park in one spot for hours on end on my laptop. Maybe we can move him upstairs once he feels confident with the stairs. That way, his crate won't be occupying the spot I planned to put the Christmas tree :hehe

 

My anxiousness over having him on his own will probably keep me awake tonight, but that's the price you pay, I guess. Can't sleep without earplugs anyway, so that will at least feel normal to me.

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Guest Davros

do you know someone else with a friendly dog who will do stairs? that's what worked for us...

 

for the first week, Kath flat out refused the stairs on her own... trying to take her up on a leash resulted in a statue and treats only worked for as far as she could stretch her front feet... the back ones were firmly planted on the ground and not going anywhere... i either had to carry her or do the push the hound up the steps, lifting one leg at a time trick, taking us forever (i have a looong flight of stairs to get into the house) and leaving me with an exhausted, stressed and shaking hound....

 

i was literally a day or two away from giving her back - i couldn't have a dog that i had to carry every time we needed to do stairs, as it's winter here and wayy too cold to be able to leave her out overnight... and then i let the youngest belgian out with her (introductions had all been through fences up til this point)... she watched him run up and down a few times and then flew up after him 3 at a time - bitch! LOL.. after that she would go up and down on her own, a little wobbly and unsure at first, but within another few days she was fine on them, to the point of following me up and down whenever i moved about the place, including when i was fetching the boys in from outside one at a time...

 

i hope you can work something out... but it won't hurt for him to learn to sleep downstairs on his own, either!

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Guest Trammell

Haven't heard any crying yet *knocks on all the wood very quietly*

 

I'd love to have him sleep in my room. The original crate spot was next to my bed upstairs. I figured that would help him adjust and he would be with me in my own 'den' area. But as it is, the living room will have to work. There's a lot of my scent there too, as I tend to park in one spot for hours on end on my laptop. Maybe we can move him upstairs once he feels confident with the stairs. That way, his crate won't be occupying the spot I planned to put the Christmas tree :hehe

 

My anxiousness over having him on his own will probably keep me awake tonight, but that's the price you pay, I guess. Can't sleep without earplugs anyway, so that will at least feel normal to me.

I just saw/replied to your one about stairs :) I think everything will work out once the stairs are figured out - try searching learning stairs in this forum, there is a bountiful supply of topics about it with some great advice. Like I said in my other one, we didn't have a choice, so that took away any options, hehe. You'll have the crate moved in time for Christmas ;P

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Guest widowcali

When I adopted my first grey, I only used the crate as a safe place for her. I did live in an apartment, and didn't have to worry about stairs, so that is different. However, I created a "safe" haven in my room with quilts and one of my shirts, so she would sleep. We did have a few accidents, but I eventually learned her schedule and she learned mine.

 

What seemed to work, to make sure there were no accidents at night, was to follow a schedule.

 

I worked 8+ hours a day, so we had a potty schedule:

 

5 am - short potty right when I woke up

630 am - long, 1 mile or longer, walkies to do a potty

430 pm - short potty right when I get home (seriously, I would dump my crap on the couch and grab the leash. I wouldn't even do a potty first).

930/10 pm - long, 1 mile or longer, walkies to do a potty

 

I would keep to that schedule even on weekends and vacations. When we do the greyhound fests, I still keep to that schedule.

 

Eventually, she learned that she would get several chances to do a potty. I would also gate her in the kitchen area, with her multi-quilted crate to sleep in (open) so that she would snooze a lot. I also left the tv on, History Channel, to drown out any possible whimpers. There were a couple of messes in the first few months, mainly my fault, but I would be very proactive with my use of XXL puppy peepee pads.

 

This seemed to work, until we adopted Widow (who has serious food allergies). But I switched to a grain-free food, canned pumpkin, and yogurt, which seemed to work.

 

And we keep to the schedule.

 

Of course, now that I have a large yard, and live so close to the Grannilady, their potty training has been totally messed up. But they still, very rarely, make a mess on the floor. And only when they have eaten something that didn't agree with them or we were gone for more than 8 hours.

 

The trick is to develop a schedule, and keep it, and to maintain patience. It took us humans 3 or more years to stop messing outside of the potty. Frankly, dogs are way better at potty training than humans.

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Guest debster

He just slept through the night with no crying that I could hear. But, he did start crying to be let out at 6am, so that's when his clock goes off. That's about where I wanted his clock to be; gives me time to walk him, give him breakfast around 7, and do my own workout while he's eating and drinking in his crate. This way, we can get all the things done that we need to in the morning, and it will help prevent bloat. I eventually want to work up to the point where his morning walk becomes the workout. But that's too much, too fast for his little feet.

 

He really surpassed my expectations. And when I finally came down, he was wiggling all over the place to say hi. He knew he shouldn't jump up but he just got so excited that he couldn't help it. Crossing my arms ended up working; then he stood there with his back legs shaking because he was just so excited.

 

I've got to run some errands today, so I've got a frozen Kong with a small bit of yogurt and kibble in it for that time. So we've got one night down, thousands more to go :)

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Yea! Glad to hear things are going better. Have you tried going upstairs during the day and leaving him loose to see if he will try the stairs on his own? Sometimes wanting to be with their people will give them the incentive to try it.

He sounds like a really special boy. Congratulations! :beatheart

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Guest debster

I have not done that yet. I did that the night I got him and was surprised with poop on the floor. I just got him Thursday night, so he's still very brand new. We're still building trust and I see it building slowly. He clearly likes me but I'm not his bestest friend yet. I think that will get him up the stairs eventually, but he has to know the potty rules first.

 

Just a few minutes ago, he was pacing the living room and whining. I couldn't get him to stay in one spot and settle, so I put him in his crate and locked the door. He settled down after that.

 

He had quite a bit of alone time today; he slept on his own, then spent about an hour and a half alone in the crate while I worked out and got ready for the day. I wanted to stop at the pet store today, but I think I'm going to wait until mid-afternoon to make a decision on that. It's quite a bit of alone time otherwise. Could be too much too fast.

 

The crate is such a blessing. I can't overstate how wonderful it's been, and I just got this dog on Thursday. (I remember being a moody teen too and locking myself in my room, so I totally understand where he's coming from :hehe )

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On the topic of the stairs, I see that you said you got advice for that in another thread, but wanted to add my experience in case it helps.

 

When we got Capri, she was also afraid of the stairs but we wanted her to sleep in our room with us. For us, braving the stairs was a better option than braving a night alone in a strange place. (I understand if you have other feelings about this.) So my husband and I coaxed her up stairs using a combination of the "one foot at a time", body blocking and treats on every other step methods. We got her up stairs that first night, threw her a party at the top and then let her rest in her crate for the rest of the night. We left the down-stairs lesson for the next day. After that first 24 hours, she had enough confidence to do the stairs on her own with us calling her and rewarding her with treats. I mention this because I wonder if some people feel they have to teach both up and down at the same time.

 

Also agree that it does help if another dog can demonstrate. When we got Ajax, he saw Capri run up the stairs and he followed. We didn't even have to cajole him.

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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Why don't you take him upstairs?

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 PiagetsMom

Why don't you take him upstairs?

 

I'm thinking the same - I can't imagine that taking him upstairs would be any harder on him than letting him downstairs and crying. If not, I hope he settles soon....for you and for him.

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Guest debster

I wish I could take him upstairs, but he will not go and will not be forced right now. It's more than just freezing at the stairs with him; he will walk away from them if I try to get him up them. I've tried the foot by foot method, using a leash, being super enthusiastic, a trail of treats up the stairs, and he will not do them. I'll make an attempt again tomorrow but not tonight when it's lights out... I really do want the stairs to work for him. So tomorrow when he's had breakfast and is in a good frame of mind, we're going to give it a try again.

 

He started howling but stopped. We're in for a rough night, but I cant show him that if he howls he gets what he wants...

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Guest debster

Update for everyone:

 

He cried and occasionally howled until about 1-2am, but he did eventually settle in. When I came down, he was very excited to see me, but didn't have any mess in his crate, nor was his bedding moved around from the night before. Then we went for a walk, and his poo was almost as well formed as last night, so he didn't get too much intestinal stress from his separation. I'll admit, I was very anxious last night when I heard him crying. So it's training me as well.

 

So he was very brave. He can do this just fine. Today, I'm going to continue to work on separation. I'm very lucky a walk down to the corner of the street wears him out! With our slow walking and stopping to potty, it takes us 15-20 mins.

 

Today, we're going to make another honest attempt at the stairs, probably right after a short training session where he shows me how he knows down very well. That's becoming our go-to confidence command. He seems to be quite proud of his down!

 

I'm learning new things about myself from this process, so it's good for both of us. I want a healthy relationship with him and this beginning is going to be rough, but I know he's worth it.

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Here, with the one foot at a time method, there's no option for the dog not to do them. I get my knees behind the dog's butt, lift front end on to the steps, and then start moving feet one at a time on up the stairs. If he's done stairs before, he should get yours in just a few sessions. Good luck!

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

Thanks! I'm going to try that this morning.

 

While I was waiting for him to settle back down, I read the section in the Branigan book about stairs and it said the same thing. I've got confidence about it today.

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I don't know how old he is, but I honestly think he needs more exercise too. If he's crated a lot and only goes for a walk to the corner, unless he has a medical issue, he should get some exercise to help him stay healthy.

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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Guest debster

He's 2.5 years old. The corner is about a half mile up with a steep hill; our walk takes about 20 minutes. I do want to walk longer, but our street is a single cul de sac, and it connects to a 40mph road with a blind curve right where our street connects. I will be working on desensitizing him to the cars, as they spooked him last night. My plan is to tell him "there's a car coming" and give him a treat. Then when he associates that phrase with treats, I can use it when real cars come by and treat him for not reacting in fear. His reaction is quite mild so I think it's just the surprise of a car creeping up behind that startles him. Maybe we can stand on the corner and watch the cars come and go from both directions as well. I just got him Thursday night so this is just part of what we need to do together to make his adjustment go well.

 

I made him do the stairs today? I will not be doing that again, as it's a safety issue. He dug himself in at the top and he's heavy and I'm a very small person, so it was just unsafe. I couldn't lift him enough to get his back legs to not drag down the stairs (his head reaches my bellybutton) Taking him up? Not too difficult, as far as lifting. Going down was a balance issue. But being up there did seem to make him a bit more curious about the stairs; he liked my bedroom and the place I planned to crate him. I think he'll volunteer to do the stairs soon enough. He will stand at the bottom and look up and wag at me when I call him, then decide against it and leave. I think it's only a matter of time at this point.

 

Also:

 

969782_10100184666738882_1680924646_n.jp

 

He's been sleeping all day, but I was just treated to this for about a minute. His balance wasn't the greatest when he did it but wow! I'm doing something right.

 

I think I'm just obsessing over trivial things in the grand scheme of problems these dogs end up getting. Of course he's going to cry at night; of course he's going to have places that intimidate and scare him. He's slowly coming out of his shell and it's great.

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I believe it really is a help to *teach* the dogs to do the stairs rather than letting them figure it out on their own. Left to their own devices, some figure out how to do it safely, and some don't....... Maybe there's a larger person with your adoption group who could come over and give him lessons a few times?

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 Davros

ZOMG you have a thinkgeek Bag of Holding!! how awesome are they?!?!

 

gorgeous houndie too, btw : P i do hope you can figure the steps thing out... i know how frustrating it was for Kath and i until she got the hang of them!

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Guest debster

The bag of holding is the only thing that can hold my giant Asus! I love it.

 

Update for everyone:

 

I'm not pushing the stairs, and he seems to be doing just fine with his crate downstairs. Last night, he didn't cry once when he went to bed.

 

He's not a typical grey, at least, not typical from the ones I've met at M&Gs. His tail goes a million miles a second when he sees a person and he hasn't met a stranger. He is quick to love all over me and anyone who will let him. So perhaps, this was a blessing in disguise; he's learning better how to be alone at night, which could be helping with him learning to not be anxious when I have to go to work. With his personality (as was mentioned in his prison blogs), I have been concerned about him developing SA. Of course, we go on a nice walk twice a day, and go as far as he likes. He's a submissive and cheerful guy, a leaner, smiler, and shameless kisser.

 

(also, wow everyone was right: these hound farts smell like he's made a mess somewhere in the house! And some of them are unnervingly loud)

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