November 23rd, 2005, 04:52 PM
It would appear that the access to one's private messages is not functioning at the moment, so I wish to see if Tenderfoot, (our saviour!!), is out and about and can post publicly, the steps for training a dog to climb stairs.
I have lost my copy! and need to refer to it again. This goes back to the early summer I believe and was a private message, so I hate to ask you to re-compose this beauty again, but I kinda need it again:rolleyes:
I thank you!
p.s.: I have reported the glitch to Marko et al.
November 23rd, 2005, 11:46 PM
give me a minute......
November 23rd, 2005, 11:59 PM
I couldn't find it in the PM's but I did save something in my personal files - I hope this is it.
If we as humans have a fear or insecurity, we have to go through the fear to get confidence. The more times you face your fear the more confident you become. You are desensitized to it. Picking your dog up at the stairs avoids the problem and does not teach.
Pretend your hands are full (so you can’t pick him up) and you have to go downstairs with the dog on the leash. Put the dog at the top of or preferably towards the bottom of the stairs. Walk 4 steps down to the end of the leash. Slowly pull the leash just hard enough to move your dog 2 steps & quickly loosen the leash. Human does 4 more steps up to the end of the leash. Repeat this all the way down the stairs.
Never allow your dog to go even 1 step backwards by using the leash as a control. Do have a totally loose leash and lots of verbal praise when the dog chooses your direction. Every step gets a warm verbal reward. At the bottom of the stairs reward your dog with loving touch and your voice (be super proud and happy). Immediately head back up the stairs with a cheerful “heading to a party upstairs” attitude. Up and down about 6-7 times. The first 3-4 times are the hardest and quickly they will loose their fear and get desensitized.
We believe in “the reason a dog performs for you is relationship – love, trust and respect.” People work on the love but not on the trust and respect side. To perform stairs or something scary might come down to trust and/or respect. On our video “Love Them & Lead Them”, we explain a drill to teach your dog to give to the pressure of the leash and not fight it. If your dog pulls back on the leash they are fighting pressure. If you pull your dog softly up or down the stairs they should give to that pressure and come with you. Put the leash on the dog for control and as nicely as you can go up and down.
Try not to ‘coo’ at him when he fights you. Pull & release on every step and use your energy and voice and treats to reward and encourage him. Never let him go in the other direction and don’t let him stop you and learn he can.
You have to be strong with this lesson. It has been an entire year and he should have overcome this by now. We are often confronted with dogs with this very issue and in a matter of minutes they are over it. It just takes you providing strong leadership and praising the heck out of every step in the right direction. He will take account of what has happened and realize that he didn’t die – he will take a deep breath and wonder what all of his fussing was about.
PS - today we had a 6 mo. lab pup who thought he was terrified of stairs. We did this drill 2x's and now he has forgotten all about it.