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Going down stairs

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Sezzy, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Sezzy

    Sezzy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Any advice on teaching Misty to walk down the stairs?
    She has no problem galloping up them, but she point blank refuses to climb back down. She sits at the top looking down, and as much as I encourage her, she won’t do it. I sit a couple of steps down from her so that she can do one at a time with me there to help, but she’ll do one and then sit down and cry! I have tried leaving her there so that she will follow in her own time, but still she won’t come down. In the end I give in and carry her, but she’s hardly light at 24kg! :eek:
    Looking from her level down the stairs it is very daunting, and I don’t think I’d want to be going head first down them either!
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Can you start by putting her on the bottom stair and tempting her down? Then you can reward her as if she's done a really clever trick, put her on the next step up... and so on.
     
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  3. Sezzy

    Sezzy Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have tried that before, she’ll do the bottom 3 or 4 no problem, but it’s from the top that she won’t budge. I might try a trail of treats on the stairs all the way down. Or I could leave her up there and get on with all the things I need to do without her ‘help’! :D
     
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  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    If she can do the bottom 3 or 4, can you start working on 5, and then 6? Take as long as you need at each step so she thinks nothing of it before moving on to the next.
     
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  5. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    why must she go up a flight of stairs?
    If she sleeps in the bedroom on the upper floor, heck, shift her downstairs for the nights. :shrug:

    Or are U in an apt building w/o a lift, & U live upstairs? - in that case, i'd build from the bottom, & i'd also ignore her when she refuses to come down from the very top. Just let her get on with it, in her own time - or not. ;)

    - terry

    .
     
  6. Sezzy

    Sezzy Well-Known Member Registered

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    She doesn’t need to go upstairs, so that might be the problem as she’s never got used to them. The only time she goes up there is for a bath, or when I call her up to join me for a Saturday morning lay in cuddle :)
     
  7. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    ah! - yup, then i'd say a good part of it is novelty.

    In that case, i'd take her up daily, & let her work it out - but i'd sit 4 or 5 steps down, so she wasn't tempted to LEAP from top to bottom, she might get hurt. // Take along a book, yer laptop, crochet, whatever busywork, so U can wait her out, & don't forget a clicker or other marker, to note any approximation toward the goal behavior, AND goodies - protein, not carbs.
    Pea-sized tidbits are plenty big-enuf, even half-pea is fine; quality, not quantity.

    .
     
  8. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Where I used to work, the metal stairs had no backs so you could see right through them. Jimmy would neither go up or down them, so I had to carry him! He tried once, panicked, then slipped and fell off about the fourth of fifth step. Uninjured but he scared himself and me :( No amount of coaxing could get him on the stairs which wasn't a bad thing as it meant I could go elsewhere without fear of him trying to get to the stairs. Other office dogs coped with them fine, although one was a bit wary. Good luck with your training @Sezzy :)
     
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  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oh, I used to have a dog like that!
     
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  10. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    Dennnis is exactly the same with the stairs with no back to them and holes in the step! He will go up with some coaxing but he puts his paw on each step as if it’s going to fall away from him!
     
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  11. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Jasper got stuck going downstairs in a holiday cottage once... It had a steep staircase with a dog-leg and because he is so long, when his back legs were on one step his front legs really needed to be a good two or three steps down from there. As the risers were quite deep, when he moved a back leg forward it wouldn't reach the next step down. Unfortunately, I was in the bath upstairs and assumed OH would be responding to the whining, and OH thought he was outside the bathroom whining to come in, so he was there a while:oops:

    We helped him by taking hold of his back legs and guiding them (with treats to encourage him) and luckily he did master the staircase pretty quickly after that.
     
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