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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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walk up a ramp

Hi everyone.

Any good tips on teaching Siena to walk up and down a ramp? She is having a THR in Feb (and has some elbow issues so they no longer want her jumping out of the car) and we want to get started on this. I bought a ramp over the weekend that we intend to use... it indicated that putting it on the floor flat was a good way to start getting her used to it and we started doing that last night (with pretty good success). I just don't know how to do it in increments. If we put it over the stairs, she still takes the stairs. We have at least 3 weeks to start as we know the surgery will not be before Feb 7.

We had tried this before as she is a big chicken and won't get in the van (and she weighs too much for me to pick up, so if Richard isn't around, we're in trouble). That training didn't go that well.

Now we don't have a choice, she needs to learn... and I turn to the experts ... YOU! I've not been let down yet, so THANKS!

Diana - owned by Siena Rose (Oct 29, 2006)

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 12:35 PM
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Re: walk up a ramp

I would like info on this too! Ellie hesitates now when getting in the car so I think it's bothering her joints. Thanks for asking the question Diana!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 12:36 PM
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Re: walk up a ramp

If you are putting it on the steps, you will need to block the portion of the steps that the ramp doesn't cover. I found that my DM dog, Dakota, still tried to do the steps instead of using the ramp. We had to block those steps until he went automatically to the ramp. You have to make it the ONLY option until she gets used to using the ramp. You may still need to make it the only option even after she has surgery.

Diana

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 12:38 PM
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Re: walk up a ramp

We had a ramp for Cassidy, and I started by laying it flat on the ground and luring her across it with treats. Once she had the idea, I put it on a very slight incline - try it on a curb, or a single step, like from the house into the yard. Stand on the side to block her from bypassing it, and continue luring with treats. Since she's ball crazy, you can also use the ball, rolling it a few few feet as she nears the end of the ramp. Make it a game, and increase the incline gradually. I went to the window seat in our family room next. You could try the couch or your bed. It didn't take her too long to use it with the car, we put it in the middle with one of us on each side to body block if necessary and practiced getting in and out a few times with the treat lures and then lots of praise.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 12:39 PM
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Re: walk up a ramp

Did you put it up multiple steps or just one? I would try raising gradually with just one step, then two, etc.

If you have some single steps or boxes that you could put under one end to raise slightly, that could assist as well. Just make sure whatever you use, the ramp is steady for Siena.

How high to enter the van will you eventually have to go?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: walk up a ramp

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Everett54Did you put it up multiple steps or just one? I would try raising gradually with just one step, then two, etc.

If you have some single steps or boxes that you could put under one end to raise slightly, that could assist as well. Just make sure whatever you use, the ramp is steady for Siena.

How high to enter the van will you eventually have to go?
Last night we did it flat first. Then, since that didn't bother her, we put it up ever so slightly while perched on her bed (4-5 inches max). We have one step down to the library, which can be our next goal, then the top step. Going off the porch, I think we have 3 steps. We have some heavy duty books we can use as well.

It is a GMC van, and getting into the back (where she can then hop up onto the seat (folded down like a bed) - at least right now she can do that) and the back is about thigh high. We always struggle to get her into the front of the van because it is slim (and she got it wrong once or twice which adds to her anxiety about getting in).

The regular transport car is a VW wagon, which is about equivalent to a low SUV. Make sense?

Diana - owned by Siena Rose (Oct 29, 2006)

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 08:11 PM
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Re: walk up a ramp

With Max, I didn't do the increment thing, so it sounds like you will have a much more successful approach

When loading into the back of the car, here are a few of my observations....

Max has a great tendency to try to fake me out. He might go half-way up the ramp, but then will try to either jump off the ramp, or jump the rest of the way. (hhhhmmmm, same problem when Indy was learning agility way back when - bet agility trainers are good with this).

I have to make sure that I keep a short leash on him, and I think I even hold his collar to quide him so that he doesn't try to jump it midway (careful for the fake!!)

Sufficient speed is required to go up the ramp initially, if they are not used to hills or climbing. I wish I would have gotten the one with rubber, I think it would have been better, I have the one that is kinda like sandpaper at the bottom, I didn't realize it when I sent away for it, I goofed.

Too little speed gives him time to think about jumping off. I don't know if it makes it more difficult to climb too.

When I first introduced it, I tapped it, named in "ramp" (how obvious, eh?), and we had to start about 3-4 feet back to get him properly lined up, he wouldn't go up it straight if he was too close to it.

Coming down, again, I have to grab him at the collar to guide him, so he doesn't try to jump mid-way.

He knows the words "ramp" and "step", so I do use those, going up, and coming down.

I haven't used it in awhile, since Max is on super restricted activity, so I may be forgetting some things.

My strongest word of advice? If you are not used to lifting out a 75 lb dog from the back of your car, it's best not to start now, I speak from experience


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 08:28 PM
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Re: walk up a ramp

I just went for it when Max started using his ramp. I set it on the back, got inside my vehicle and had my husband stand next to the ramp so that he wouldn't fall or jump off. Of course, being the exceptional boy that he was it only took that one time and then he went up it by himself. I would get behind him and brace his rear as he climbed. I loved the ramp we used (www.dogramp.com) but it had carpet which was slippery so my husband added this to it which helped a lot:

http://www.safetydirectamerica.com/1...FQnxDAodLm7R1A

You can get the rolls at the hardware store and it's not expensive. He put them across the ramp (not up and down lengthwise). You can put them as often as you want - 4" apart, 6" or more. They are really durable and never came unstuck the whole time Max used the ramp (several years).

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2010, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: walk up a ramp

Thanks for the top tips. I suspect Siena would go for the fake out as she does that with other things.

I ended up betting the 'sandpaper' one too our daycare provider got the carpeted one... so we'll see which works best in the long run

Perhaps I can get the bost of best worlds with the grippy tape. We ended up having to do that in her wire crate as a pup she would slip around in there trying to stand up or move around. That stuff comes in handy

Diana - owned by Siena Rose (Oct 29, 2006)

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2010, 02:38 PM
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Re: walk up a ramp

I thought I was getting a rubbery one, but I didn't read it carefully, I"m not sure it said in the description. With the sandpaper, I don't think you need the grippy stuff? I think the carpet one is slippery - I bought some stairs with carpet on it, tore it off and got the grippy stuff, which is a lot like the sandpaper stuff.

I wonder if it makes a difference at all!


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