How do I teach my GSD to go slow on hardwood stairs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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How do I teach my GSD to go slow on hardwood stairs?

I have brought home a six-year-old GSD this week who is retired from breeding. She knows all her commands and has been incredibly well-behaved since we brought her home. The one thing she's not familiar with is hardwood floors. She's done fine with the floors, but she is struggling on our hardwood stairs. She wants to run up and down them as fast as she can, which just makes it harder to maneuver on the wood floors. Any advice for how to get her to take the stairs slowly?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 08:12 AM
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first, Yeah for bringing home a retired breeding gal. I was thinking about doing that when I myself am too old for young dogs.
Only thing I can think of is what I did with my dogs. I go with them up and down the stairs with them in a stately graceful manner. I hold onto a collar or pressure them against the wall a little to slow them down. I have also learned to never give them a good reason to race down the stairs. Up is not so bad, but down can easily get out of control, especially since my stairs turn 90 degrees at the bottom.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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first, Yeah for bringing home a retired breeding gal. I was thinking about doing that when I myself am too old for young dogs.
Only thing I can think of is what I did with my dogs. I go with them up and down the stairs with them in a stately graceful manner. I hold onto a collar or pressure them against the wall a little to slow them down. I have also learned to never give them a good reason to race down the stairs. Up is not so bad, but down can easily get out of control, especially since my stairs turn 90 degrees at the bottom.
We are in a townhouse style house with three floors, so lots of stairs! Yesterday was the first time I have let her leave our bottom floor and explore the upper floors, so she was a little overly excited going up and down the stairs because it was all new. We have cats, and we are still going through the introductory phase, so she doesn't have full run of the house yet. I will definitely try your idea as she gets out and does the stairs more.

And bringing home a retired breeding dog has been an awesome experience so far! I wanted an adult dog who could go running with me, and who we already knew was good with cats, so she is the perfect fit for us. ♥️
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 09:33 PM
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My shepsky had same issue...running up fast was ok, but coming down he would go “accelerando”...(in music, it means to go gradually faster and faster!) Then he would slip at the bottom, legs flailing, and crash into the wall!

I taught him to go down slowly by walking beside or a little ahead of him, I held my hand down in front of him saying “slowwww slowww”. When we both made it to the bottom he saw that it was much more pleasant to go down in a controlled way! He learned in several repetitions, it did not take much. When he forgot, if I Saw him coming down but I wasn’t on the stAirs with him, verbally saying “slowww sloww” worked as a reminder. Now he steps daintily off that bottom step and looks pleased with himself.

We adopted a “middle-aged” adult too ... I feel like this age is great. :-)
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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My shepsky had same issue...running up fast was ok, but coming down he would go “accelerando”...(in music, it means to go gradually faster and faster!) Then he would slip at the bottom, legs flailing, and crash into the wall!

I taught him to go down slowly by walking beside or a little ahead of him, I held my hand down in front of him saying “slowwww slowww”. When we both made it to the bottom he saw that it was much more pleasant to go down in a controlled way! He learned in several repetitions, it did not take much. When he forgot, if I Saw him coming down but I wasn’t on the stAirs with him, verbally saying “slowww sloww” worked as a reminder. Now he steps daintily off that bottom step and looks pleased with himself.

We adopted a “middle-aged” adult too ... I feel like this age is great. :-)
Thank you! I am going to be working on this with her. And I agree with you, this is a great age! I can't imagine not doing it again. It has been so easy!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 08:36 AM
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My BF has a retired 7 year old girl from a working kennel/home. She is wonderful. She is still very fit and can jump like a gazelle lol I would just go down the stairs with your dog and hold her on a lead or something...show her the pace you would like and the rules about stairs. My large male is careful on stairs when people are on them (training)..but if they are empty he takes them a bit faster than I care for, and sometimes launches from 5 steps up. Oy. Sometimes with stuff like that there isn't much you can do if you want them to have free reign. *Often* they are pretty good at self limiting/self preserving behavior.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 11:48 AM
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You might also check out Dr. Buzby's Toegrips for dogs -- they're amazing and work really well:
https://toegrips.com/
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2019, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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My BF has a retired 7 year old girl from a working kennel/home. She is wonderful. She is still very fit and can jump like a gazelle lol I would just go down the stairs with your dog and hold her on a lead or something...show her the pace you would like and the rules about stairs. My large male is careful on stairs when people are on them (training)..but if they are empty he takes them a bit faster than I care for, and sometimes launches from 5 steps up. Oy. Sometimes with stuff like that there isn't much you can do if you want them to have free reign. *Often* they are pretty good at self limiting/self preserving behavior.
Thank you for the feedback! We have three cats in the house, so when she's running up and down the stairs and flailing around they get totally freaked out, and there are already a little skittish around her as they are still getting to know her. She doesn't have free reign of the house at this point, but I do need to be able to take her between floors with me.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2019, 10:08 AM
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We have no stairs but all hardwood floors. He is zero to sixty in under 2 seconds. How to teach slow???
He speeds off from solid slumber skidding and slipping around corners. Never slow.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the feedback, all! Going up the stairs in front of her and blocking her from passing while saying "slow" worked after about two trips up and down the stairs. She's doing them like a pro now!
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