scared of going downstairs?!? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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scared of going downstairs?!?

at 8 months, Ive run out of ideas. Dexter doesn't seem to like going down to the basement, when he was younger, I carried him down because the stairs a bit steep. now I wish I could rewind and let him try it on his own. he seems fine with other stairs, just the basement stairs. everytime I go down, he'll whine and wait for me at the end of the stairs. also, if he's in one of his very reactive moods , he needs to be coaxed just to pass by the stairs. I can get him down 3 steps while he's on a leash and after that, the breaks are put in place. I've used treats , tried to give him his meals near the stairs, running down the stairs by myself, putting some pressure on the leash until he starts to move forward, but hes quite stubborn.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 11:56 PM
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Food goes downstairs. Act like its not a big deal, because it's not. He won't starve himself to death, and when he decides to go down there the reward will be there.

Make sure it's not a pain issue, as HD makes stairs painful

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 12:14 AM
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Is there a smaller flight of stairs somewhere where he could practice?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 12:23 AM
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Kaiser doesn't go in the basement either. He's fine with stairs because he will go upstairs but for some reason he refuses to go into the basement. I've always wondered why myself about that.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 06:54 AM
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Niko won't go down the basement stairs in my parent's house. I think they are too steep for him. He is very attached to his pack, so when we all go down to the basement and he stays upstairs, I know that if he could physically manage the stairs he would. I do not think there is anything food-wise that would compel him to go down there.

Is there any reason why he HAS to go down there? If he's even to the point of being scared of being near the stairs, I would not press the issue. Why add stress to his life if you don't need to?

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 08:25 AM
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I doubt that the stairs are too steep for him....having said that most dogs can be desensitized to going down basement stairs. The hard part is the owners, but if the dog doesn't need to go down the stairs it is probably better to leave it alone.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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good karma, well the basement really isn't a basment anymore. its been remodeled into a studio. I spend 90% of my time in the studio and sleep there as well. I want to start leaving him out of his crate at night and would rather him stay with me at night instead of roaming the house all night.(:
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 11:48 AM
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Like I said, try a smaller flight of stairs. Then work your way up.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 12:02 PM
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Can you get him downstairs at all?

If so, start by sitting a couple steps up from the bottom and get him to walk up to you, then toss a treat back down the stairs to get him to go down. Gradually work your way up to the top. You might need another person to coax him back down when you get further up.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 12:30 PM
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Freyja was the same way until the day that I went downstairs with the furnace repair mechanic. Now she has no problem going up or down the stairs. I had tried food, the leash, calling her name, walking with her, etc. Nothing worked until she decided that I needed monitoring. Not that I'm encouraging you to invite a stranger in your

Similar thing happened with the hayloft stairs. She wouldn't go up until I was with hubby as he loaded bales (I was on the disabled list) and I made a noise as a result of being spooked by a mouse. Next second she was besides me. I have no idea why certain stairs spook her. I know its not the steepness as we live in an antique house that has really steep stairs and she has climbed ladders...odd.

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