Climbing the stairs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Climbing the stairs

Since Simon has decided to be unadoptable and will be remaining with me, I think it's time he was introduced to the second story of my home. As it stands now, he will only navigate 3 steps before trying to turn around and subsequently falling. There are 16 steps, enclosed stairwell, and I feel certain that I can work with him to get him up them....it's the coming down part that I will have trouble with. I am up there in years, with joint issues, there is no way I can carry him down and I feel he will just stay up there, forever, if left to his own devices. I take him to a park that has steps, just 5, and he does well with those, up and down.

His confidence has grown so much since he arrived, but this one thing throws him for a loop. Is there some way I can work this out? I would love for him to sleep in my room at night. My second story has no shepherd hair and feels neglected.

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 08:44 AM
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Have you tried his favorite treat as an incentive? Maybe placing a treat on each step, or holding the treat in your hand at his nose level so he can smell it, then trying to gently lead him up the steps and subsequently back down the steps?
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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I feel certain that I can get him to go up the stairs, with more effort on my part. But once he's up there, that's where the problem will occur. It's a narrow, enclosed staircase (my home is 120 years old, they did things differently back then) with barely enough room for the two of us to be side by side. I fear we will both die on the way down..... Since he does know how to climb and descend the 5 stairs, I don't think it's know how, but fear that prevents him from trying. I am wondering if maybe using his tactical harness would be helpful? It has a handle that I can help to keep him standing when he goes belly down on the stairs. Of course, that requires me to hold up 70+ lbs, on the stairs (note to self, make appt with attorney to revise will) I don't want to destroy the good that has taken nearly a year to obtain by forcing him to do this. If it's not worth it, I will leave it alone. He doesn't seem to mind sleeping downstairs, this is about what I want, so I can let it go if it will do him harm.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 09:33 AM
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Are the stairs wooden and slippery? If so, maybe stair treads or carpet runners might help him feel more confident?

https://express.google.com/u/0/produ...845158_8175035

Also, you might want to google ex-racing greyhounds and stairs. When former racing greyhounds are adopted out, they have to learn to use stairs, I believe. My parents had to train theirs to use stairs. I think they just used treats.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the greyhound tip. Lots of information, but sadly Simon cannot be around another single person without freaking. So help is not available. I also cannot support his full weight coming down, so I think the 2nd story of my home will remain cats only. Thanks for your time. I was really hoping there was an 'easy way' to teach him this skill, but he is Simon and nothing with this guy is easy.
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Simon 6/2016
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 11:59 AM
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Why not just sit tight to see if Simon will figure it out?

I can definitely understand why you want Simon to sleep close to you...that's a wonderful comfort.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 02:20 PM
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Maybe someone else will have some ideas. It would be nice to have him upstairs with you, I'm sure.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 04:54 AM
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I'm not sure if it's same with all dogs, but I literally moved my dog's feet up the stairs the 1st time he was introduced. It was the funniest thing. He was so scared of them and had no idea what to do LOL. I had to do same going down.



Now he will fly through those stairs...


I would say, literally guide where his feet need to go until he gets hang of it on his own.


We do have carpet. I'm not sure what you have. he slides pretty wild on the tile downstairs (or when he jumps down from stairs)
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 07:35 AM
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Along with the stair tread suggestion, if the staircase walls are painted and a darker color, if feasible, painting it a lighter color or white will give a more open feeling. It might help him if it's a plausible and easy project for you.

I love old houses but some of the staircases I have seen are scarey.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-22-2018, 07:47 AM
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my dogs go up just fine. Coming down is tougher. I noticed coming down the stairs with my big-boy, he always came down along the wall side of the staircase actually leaning along the wall. It means I need to clean the wall but it is worth it.

Actually having the upstairs as cats only might be a good thing for the cats.

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