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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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/product/9407203020880399263_4243698910087845158_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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #11
I think I'll give up on having Simon upstairs. He still won't go more than the first 3 steps, turns and leaps and hits the floor all cattywhompus. His is going to kill himself.

Car2ner- He is actually very good with my cats, for a dog that was diagnosed as dog aggressive when he first came to me. I figured my cats were toast if they went near him. My old man, nearly 17 years (?) rubs on him and Simon actually makes a face of disgust. Now cats outside or squirrels and groundhogs, another story. His recall is very good considering I have no clue what I'm doing. He had a hold of a squirrel, poor thing was screaming, I called him and he drop it and came. Poor critter ran off, so I hope it's okay. I attached a pic of my dog aggressive dog with my son's dogs. The bed is Simon's but the pit mix called dibs.
 

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Maybe you could fix a downstairs room for you to sleep in and the upstairs could be the guest room. He might eventually figure it out on his own.
 

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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.
Shadow grew up in a bungalow. The stairs were addressed as a pup by taking her to an outside area that had a huge set of steps going up a hill on the walking path. HOWEVER, the first time she had to deal with stairs in a house I thought we may both die, lol. I have some balance issues and she was like a disjointed puppet, legs everywhere. I got her up but had a bit of a time getting her down. Same issue, very narrow and steep enclosed stairs in an old house. I sat down on the stairs and we inched down one or two steps at a time. It only took 2-3 times and she sorted it out. She still looks like she may land on her head when she follows me down to "help" do laundry, but so far we have both survived although these stairs are much better then the other house.
 

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Is the area well-lit? If not, add a bright light so he can see depth. Can you sit halfway down the stairs when he is still up there and ignore him (no looking, talking, gesturing) to give him time to figure out how to get to you? That sometimes works better than luring and the dog feeling pressured, even with treats.
 

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Un-foster, I really enjoy your writing. I have to admit the stepper stairs of old houses can be daunting. My big-boy, as a youngster, had to learn to basically fall gracefully down a previous set of stairs, they were so steep. Thank goodness the stairs were carpeted. Now that he is full grown I think I'd avoid them all together, even though it would mean going outside to get to the lower level. We aren't in that house anymore so we've dodged that bullet.

I think some people confuse dog aggression with leash or fence frustration. I don't know your dog's back story but I'm glad he is good with your crew.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
There is an led bulb with the power of 7 suns in the stairwell, so I think he can see. He hasn't made it halfway up the stairs, only the first 3 steps, freaks, turns around and subsequently falls to the bottom. I am sitting midway up, just holding his ball, no baby talk or anything. Until he falls, then I just say 'what a maroon'. I think for his sake, it really is best to let him figure it out on his own. If he ever does make it up, the coming down is going to be more than interesting, probably life threatening for both of us.

Although he has come a long way confidence-wise, he needs more work. I'll work on that and maybe, someday, he will surprise me by coming up the steps. I would love to make a bedroom downstairs, but there simply is not a space for it. I'm not so good on the stairs, either.
 

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Do you have access to a smaller staircase simon can get used to. The carpet or non slip pads sound like a good idea giving simon better traction and feeling safer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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If he goes up three stairs and 'falls' back down, maybe you could work on 4 stairs then 5 stairs. One additional stair a week would be good.

The first time Inga ever saw stairs she was 7 or 8 months old on a trip to Oregon at a motel. These were cement stairs with gaps you can see through. She was hesitant and confused going up and more so going down the first and second time, then she was fine. But she had grown up climbing steep hills and scrambling down stacks of hay bales.
 

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that's it. Time to move to a ranch house, especially if you aren't so good on the stairs. Find the place and we'll all show up and help you pack and move...OK, maybe not for real but it might be something to consider for yourself.
 
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