Ramp or Stairs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Ramp or Stairs?

11 year old Buddy is starting to struggle to hop in and out of the outside dog door. We have it set up high to keep critters out.

What would be better for a senior dog, a ramp or stairs up?

He does just fine the few steps to the house.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 06:11 AM
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i would do a ramp without a lot of angle. i also would use a harness
or sorts to support my dog when going up and down a ramp, steps
or general walking.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 07:19 AM
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It depends on his weight. I was just looking for something to get my golden into the car, he is a big boy and I can't lift him anymore None of the stairs covered his weight(unless your making them). I ended up with a ramp, that he won't use

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 07:36 AM
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I have a 13 year old dog (small dog) and he goes up and down stairs every day getting off our deck and they are getting to be a bit of a struggle. If your dog would use a ramp, it would be easier on his joints.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 09:31 AM
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Definitely ramp in my opinion. I'd mount it with hinges so I could fold it up against the door when not in use.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:09 PM
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I've had my dog ramp over 15 years, it's been used by many of the elderly/infirmed Hooligans during this time (and by me when my knee got injured). The young guys and the older ones without issues use the stairs/ramp, whichever is closer, but the ones with problems always have used the ramp. With this unscientific observation in mind, I suggest you build a ramp for your pup!!!

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:49 PM
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A ramp will be easier on them, physically. My last elderly dog got to where he couldn't manage a stair near the end.

But, it was really tough getting him to use the ramp at first. I went through a few of them before I got one wide enough that he felt safe on it. I'm not a very proficient trainer, though, so that's probably partially my bad.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 02:02 PM
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I don't have a senior dog, but I do have some experience with ramps. I've found that there are two issues that may inhibit a dog from wanting to use a ramp:
  1. Traction
  2. Stability/flexibility (of the ramp)
The ramp MUST have excellent traction. I recommend non-skid self adhesive strips that you can buy at Lowes. They are kind of pricy, but they are VERY grippy.

The ramp must not flex or feel unstable under the dog. If using plywood, be sure to brace it with dimensional lumber, or metal.

...From there, it should not be difficult to get the dog to use it.

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Last edited by wildo; 04-03-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
Definitely ramp in my opinion. I'd mount it with hinges so I could fold it up against the door when not in use.

COOL Picture!

Amy and the dogs,

Jack - male GSD b. 8/9/10
Lillian - female Weimaraner b. ~2005
RIP Mattie - female GSD 10/18/02 - 7/24/2013
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm saving them to share with my husband when he gets home from work.
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