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New Fear Of Going Upstairs


Guest mcleoddk

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Guest mcleoddk

My greyhound has been going upstairs in my house for the past year with absolutely no problems. Last Wednesday evening, he followed me upstairs when I came home from work as he always does. However, that night, he would not go upstairs for bed. No amount of persuading on my part would get him to budge. I tried treats. I even tried using a leash, which has worked in the past when he had been nervous with new stairs. However, he just pulled back. Since then, he has not gone up the stairs once. I don't think there is anything physically wrong with him, as I had him at my mom's on the weekend and he was going up and down her stairs without a problem. So he has clearly developed an anxiety about either my stairs or my upstairs for some reason. I wouldn't push him on it, however, he is very unhappy at night (as he usually sleeps in my bedroom upstairs). He is whining, pacing, and barking at night. I am at a loss as to what to do next to try to get him over this new fear.

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Are the stairs carpeted? If not, they make little rectangles to put down on the treaders.

 

Johnny slipped on laminate while I was at work one day--he wouldn't come down the hall with me until I put runners all the way from the living room to the bedroom.

Me & John Reese (Gable Dodge x O Jays) and the 4 kittehs!

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Guest mcleoddk

Are the stairs carpeted? If not, they make little rectangles to put down on the treaders.

Johnny slipped on laminate while I was at work one day--he wouldn't come down the hall with me until I put runners all the way from the living room to the bedroom.

 

The stairs are hardwood, but I do have carpeted treads on each of them. It is possible that he slipped on them one day when I was at work and now he is spooked. Any thoughts on how I can help him to get back up again?

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Sweep went through this in the fall (here's my post about it), except going down instead of up. Our stairs already had a runner, so we added a small area rug at the top, and almost immediately she seemed to feel more confident "launching" off down the stairs. As someone said in my thread, sometimes they need a little "reset," maybe because they slipped and now have a negative association. In your case, I'd keep working with him with super high-value treats and a short leash. A harness is ideal if you have one; you can go back to Stair Training 101 by holding the harness like a suitcase handle and walking him up. Some other helpful threads are here and here. Good luck!

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Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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Guest mcleoddk

Sweep went through this in the fall (here's my post about it), except going down instead of up. Our stairs already had a runner, so we added a small area rug at the top, and almost immediately she seemed to feel more confident "launching" off down the stairs. As someone said in my thread, sometimes they need a little "reset," maybe because they slipped and now have a negative association. In your case, I'd keep working with him with super high-value treats and a short leash. A harness is ideal if you have one; you can go back to Stair Training 101 by holding the harness like a suitcase handle and walking him up. Some other helpful threads are here and here. Good luck!

 

Thanks for this. I do have a small area rug that I could put at the bottom of the stairs. Maybe that would help him with his grip and give him the `reset` he needs. In the meantime, I will read your post.

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If he's unhappy enough alone downstairs, he'll come up. Try putting special treats on each step and just leaving them there. He MIGHT follow the trail! That's how I get Buck into the bathroom when it's time for his annual bath! Marshmallows. Falls for it every time! :)


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Any stair improvements with your boy?

Do your stairs have open or closed back risers?

 

Just wanted to add that if your hound experienced a slip/fall during your absence (even on flat hard surface floors), he may have hurt his spine, shoulder, hip, etc. He may have silently and stoically felt too much pain to attempt the stairs.

 

Our case is different, but one of our senior hounds suddenly stopped walking the fully enclosed main staircase (with wall-to-wall carpet) last year. I moved downstairs the same night. Post veterinary visit, she has never been asked or attempted to walk up or down that staircase again.

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