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Stairs! Will Go Up But Not Down!


Guest Muzzychris

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Guest Muzzychris

Hey everyone, our new greyhound has been here a week and is an absolute dream. The only issue is stairs, he's figured out how to come up(and turn around halfway up and go down)

However after he follows us up he just will not go near them to come down, he freezes in the bedroom and I have to physically carry him down, he is petrified even though he's happy as Larry when he comes into the bedroom.

I've tried placing him halfway down and he just panics turns and runs back up!

Any advice?

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Do you have a harness?

That would be better than pulling on his collar to get him to move close to the top of the stairs.

And you need super yummy treats!

 

Nixon was scared of going down too, and when we got him to the top we pushed his body right up against the wall and held the harness and gently 'pushed' him down.

One slow step at a time, one foot at a time, with a yummy treat on every step.

 

It took many days and repetitions before he would do it on his own, but he eventually did it.

And for the rest of his life he always went down the stairs, quite slowly and right up against the wall.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Joshi.  Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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Guest Muzzychris

Yeah but he digs his paws into the floor and literally won't move so I don't want to risk hurting him! I've tried treats and everything also!

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I second the harness idea. You hold onto the top of the harness like he's a suitcase. Do your stairs have some good traction (carpet runner, pads) or are they bare and slippery?

 

Another idea: After he's been out and peed/pooped, entice him upstairs. Then you go back down and have an obviously good time down there. Eat, talk, laugh. Ignore him whining/barking (unless you have shared walls with neighbors). Make sure he sees you put yummy treats partway and at the bottom of the stairs. When he's lonely enough, he'll come down. But this way you risk having him establish a pattern of jumping over the last 2-3 steps, which is not really a safe method because they may one day slip when they land at the bottom. You could switch over to the harness method at that point.

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Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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Guest Muzzychris

Hey, stairs are carpeted, we have tried leaving him up their but he just wines for a bit has a look then gives up haha he was up there for 2 hours this morning and still wouldn't come down!

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if she can do a turnaround she WILL be able to get down and off. i would leash her, have the treat(soft hot dog) and in a super happy voice---let's go and bolt down the stairs. have someone in the room that the stairs go to call her and praise & treat her when she finally arrives on lead. my female used to freeze and not enter the kitchen from the yard(she wanted to come in just froze at the steps and with reentry). DH had her leashed with a super treat in hand. he ran up and into the kitchen a good 2 dozen times as i called her. DH nearly fell over from exhaustion, but my girl learned to run into the kitchen when called.

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Guest Muzzychris

Will he not trip over the leash if I let go and go down the stairs? We have tried leasing him and going to the stairs with treats but he won't go near them.

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Is it carpeted at the top of the stairs too? My girl did our carpeted stairs fine for years and then started balking at the top. We realized she was slipping on the hardwood floor as she "launched" herself down, so we put an non-slip area rug there. It solved the problem.

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Rachel with littermates Doolin and Willa, boss cat Tootie, and feline squatters Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Missing gentlemen kitties MudHenry, and Richard and our beautiful, feisty, silly
 Sweep:heart

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Guest Muzzychris

Yes carpeted, it's like the thought of going over the top is terrifying, yet he thinks it's great sleeping in the bedroom with us, picking him up (muzzled) he isn't a great fan off but then when he is plopped downstairs he's fine again he's like a prince!

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My guy is having more trouble with up than down, so this is entirely theoretical, but I wonder if it would help to have someone stand in front of him as he goes down so he can't see the whole scary staircase. Mine was also terrified to go near the top of the staircase, but I shoved him toward it and took hold of his harness and then he just went, so thankfully I'm not dealing with him being stuck upstairs. It's just hard to get him up there.

 

For what it's worth, the only treat that gets Percy to do anything is American cheese.

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I second the super yummy treats. When we first got Rosie, I had the impression she had never seen stairs before and while she followed our lurcher up, had issues coming down. Patience and treats did it for us. I sat a couple of steps below her and threw super treats her way, gradually throwing them closer to the top of the stairs. Eventually (10-15 mins or so later), I started moving down the stairs and throwing the treats back up to her (one step below her) ... and waiting. Once she ate it, next step down until she got all the way - if she won't move down for the next one, throw another closer to her. Only needed to do it a couple of times and now she charges up and saunters down the stairs.

 

Patience and super treats. Don't force him, let him work it out in his own time :)

 

Cheers

 

Tony

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Down can be scary because it takes some coordination to place the back feet right. My boy has almost gone butt over teakettle before, so gotta be careful and not surprised if he's hesitant. Carpeted stairs are a world of difference. If someone can stay far enough ahead of him like in the middle of the stairs to catch him, that might make him more comfortable. Or, might make him think "nope, someone is in my way, not gonna go." Make sure they are very well lit. High value treats (cut up hotdog) might help. :)

 

My question for you - is it absolutely necessary to use the stairs? (Does he use them to go to bed or to go outside?) He might learn it in due course when he's comfortable and brave, as opposed to being "forced." He's still super new, so if time is on your side, I'd wait till he figures it out and gets up his own courage. :)

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Guest Muzzychris

Well the first few days he slept in the crate downstairs (for obvious reasons, namely stairs) and that was fine, but we had been doing a little training with the stairs with not much progress. Then one day we went up into the bedroom and he came up. Since then he follows you up and will sleep in the bedroom with us at night which we don't mind. It's just that in the morning he won't come down. He seems better at working things out himself hence why we tried leaving him to come down.

We tried one of us blocking the stairs with a blanket etc and even his favourite cheese on the top etc. He's a big lad aswell to carry down lol.

I think he will figure it out he just gets massively worked up if you leave him upstairs and I don't really want to scar him ha

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Yeah, just give him some time and he'll prolly figure it out on his own. When he does, give him HUGE praise like you've never praised before! I've even just sat at the top of the stairs for 10-20 mins before without encouraging just to see what he might do because he might just be curious enough to want to try. Having you there might help him feel more confident.

Edited by XTRAWLD

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Guest Muzzychris

Yeah I'll try that! However he seems to use us been there as a comfort blanket. I think we are going to just go down on a morning, try a few treats etc getting him more comfortable at the top, leave him 10 minutes or so and gradually keep placing him further down the stairs.

Also make sure he doesn't go up during the day as it seems to have freaked him out a bit today been carried down twice! They are such great funny goofballs

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Don't you need to get him downstairs quickly in the morning to go out? That was my worry with ours. Now I'm relatively confident he'll go down ok, but he's still not going up, so he's still sleeping in the crate downstairs with us upstairs. I think one day he'll just come up on his own. Today he got halfway up for some cheese, but then turned around and went down. I didn't think he could turn around! And he kind of flew/leapt down, so that wasn't great. Hardwood at the bottom with just a small space before hitting a wall. (Stairs are carpeted.) Since I don't need him to be upstairs, I can give him time. But it seems you need him to go down in the morning!

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Guest Muzzychris

Yeah he needs to come down to go outside! Hence carrying him! He's that stubborn he would wait until he pops rather than come down by his own doing ha

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Im not sure how you are letting them turn around on the stairs? Not an option here, they are so lanky its dangerous - unless you have a landing they are doing it on. Next time he goes up, stand behind him and block his attempt to turn and go down. Going up is a different being from down...stand behind to support them and help by moving one paw at a time.

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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