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Wolfgang is totally afraid of the basement stairs

2106 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  davismiro
and I havent been forcing the issue. We HAD a small set of stairs outside that he freely went up and down (they were taken down in lieu of a new deck)... We live in a ranch so the basement are our only set of stairs.

I dont want to force the issue but I dont want him to be afraid of the basement (in the event of a tornado - slim chance but ya never know).

any advice?
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put treats on the stairs
if you have open risers, maybe putting down a carpet runner to "close them off" may alleviate his fears.
Heidi is afraid to go down our basement steps too, but I can't blame her. We live in an 80-year-old home and the basement steps are REALLY steep. We've tried luring her down with cooked hamburger patties and other great treats, but she'll only come down two stairs and she has to have her two back feet on the landing.

She'll go down into the basement of my in-law's house with no problem but their steps aren't as steep and they have a landing halfway down.

No advice--just commiserating!
My Crested fosters had NO idea what stairs were when I got them. Here's how I worked with them.

First, I carry them down the stairs and play with them in the new area. This gets them past the "it's a new area" issue. I also fed them down there - they are VERY food motivated!

Next, I carried them down to the last step and set them down, facing the ground. All they had to do was ONE step - that was easy. We did this several times then added another step (set them on the 2nd step from the bottom).

That and watching my gang rush up and down the steps really worked to get them past their fears.

Now every time they can they try to run down the stairs to see if there's any food!
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Sarge had not seen stairs until a year ago. They were carpeted stairs going down into the basement. He stood at the top for a long time and would not come down. Nobody pressed the issue and let him work it out on his own. When everyone was downstairs and he couldnt see them it wasnt long before there he was!! He went back up very slowly and carefully. After a few times he would RUN up the stairs, turn around with pride like...DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID!!!

I wouldnt worry about it, that proplem is apt to take care of its self fairly quickly.

I do agree a really good treat would probably speed up the process.
Originally Posted By: Clare

I dont want to force the issue but I dont want him to be afraid of the basement (in the event of a tornado - slim chance but ya never know).

any advice?
if there is a tornado...grab him and carry his butt anyway...
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Also remember - all stairs are NOT the same to dogs. Our basement stairs are a straight shot with walls on both sides. The stairs to our second floor have a landing and are open (no railing). The deck stairs have a much deeper tread and are wood with no backs.

All these stairs had to be 'learned' by my fosters.
Our basement stairs are extremely steep and JoJo was scared of them at first. We had a hard time luring her down them so we started by going up them. She instantly gained some confidence! Then I laid a pinch of her favorite treats on every other step and her favorite toy at the end. Told her basement and off we went down the stairs... a slow trip at first but now she darts up and down like it is a game!!! Good Luck.
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