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Thread: Getting the dogs into the storm shelter

  1. #1
    Senior Member achiro's Avatar
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    Default Getting the dogs into the storm shelter

    Well we had to spend some time in the shelter this weekend and I learned something, the dogs do NOT want to go up and down those stairs. The tornado probably would have hit before I got them and myself down there(thank God it was a mile North of us)
    So I have something new to work on this week but want some ideas. First the stairs don't have any back(no risers) to them so its just wood treads all the way down. That freaks them out going up because they can see through but going down that shouldn't be the issue and the kids and wife were already down there, with the lights on, encouraging the dogs down so it wasn't just going into a dark hole. So it may just be a matter of teaching them to go up and down stairs.

    After it was all over we tried to encourage them up, one made it and two wouldn't budge even with treats, bumpers, toys, at the top and had to be carried.

    So short of building a carpeted ramp to lay over the stairs for them to run up and down, any ideas?

  2. #2
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    You could nail some 1x6 or 1x8 as risers so the stairs aren't see through . If that doesn't work you could call the nearest ft or hunt test and have them bring over one of the bitches in heat to lure them up the stares ! Glad you all are OK !!!
    Last edited by brlcon1; 04-27-2009 at 11:42 AM.
    Bruce Lyster

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  3. #3
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    LOL I can see that now. Glad your all OK. I don’t have any suggestions for you but I have been there done that. Hurricane Charlie hit us and we had to “hunker down” in the hallway with 5 dogs, three males and two females one of which had just come out of heat, as we watched the roof move up and down. Talk about a circus, nobody was happy……..
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

  4. #4
    Senior Member Vicki Worthington's Avatar
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    We have the same problem. I have spent lots of trips up and down the stairs--when the weather is nice & I am not excited--walking them up and down the basement stairs on leash. They are all pretty comfortable with the trips up and down now & I still regularly call them down with me into the basement so they don't "forget" and make it hard all over again.

    Also, we start our youngsters goint up and down before they get to the point that its really scarry.

    Glad to hear you're okay!
    Do Something! Lead, Follow, or Get Out of The Way

  5. #5
    Senior Member SueLab's Avatar
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    I have had the same problem at motels when the risers are not boxed in. You might consider putting carpet or some type of surface on the steps also. Probably the fact that it was storming (or a storm nearby) didn't help with the situation either...a couple of mine start getting nervous when a storm is approaching...

    PS...glad that the storm was not at your house!
    When it quits being fun...we retire!

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    I have a long open staircase that goes from my deck down to the back yard. For dogs that have a problem, I put a collar and leash on the dog, start well back from the top of the staircase and keeping them on a short leash, just heel them down - pretending like everything is fine even if they are resistant. I don't speak and just keep moving - relaxed and business like.

    Once down, I heel them out 15-20 ft. do an about face and march right back up. I heel them up and down several times. Usually that does it. Then for the next few days, I put a leash on them to go up and down in case they want to hesitate.

    Hope this helps,
    Kathryn

    p.s. Glad you guys are ok
    Never say never . . . never say always . . . know when to say when.

  7. #7
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    Move to a different house.

    Just kidding but that would suck. Was there any spiders down there? Don't you get spiders really bad. If there were those black widows down there then you would have to entice my arse down there.

    You sure the dogs weren't scared of thsoe spiders?

  8. #8
    Senior Member kindakinky's Avatar
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    I've never had a problem with my dogs using stairs (or escalators or revolving doors) but I once took care of a border collie who had never used the open stairs on the deck at her own home.

    I put her on a leash at the bottom of the stairs and threw a tennis ball up on the deck. And then did the same thing for going down. She was a tennis ball fanatic so it only took her about 3 times and she was flying up and down those stairs.

    You could also try just going down one step yourself and sitting down and having your dogs join you. And then just keep going down a step, sitting, and having your dogs join you. Then reverse the process and keep doing it until your dogs don't have a problem. Sort of like training for water with a dog who lacks confidence--going in yourself often helps.

    Sounds like you and your family had reason to be very concerned about the storm and getting to safety and that concern and an unnerving situation could have been discerned by your dogs.

    Glad you are all safe.
    J. Marti

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rick_C's Avatar
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    Our house has stairs on the inside and the back deck has stairs going down to the back yard so our dogs are quite comfortable with them. New pups don't take long to figure them out either. I think it helps that they just follow the other dogs who just run up and down them like they aren't there. Even my 9 mo was going up and down the outside stairs by the time he was 9 weeks old or so.
    Rick Curtis ~ Currently in Ontario, CA by way of Spokane, WA and Northern CA.

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    "If you train a young dog for momentum, precision will arrive. If you train for precision, demanding perfection, momentum will depart."
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Fowl Play WA's Avatar
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    I've seen Cesar start at a run with a dog and get them at a good pace, then run right through the obstacle the dog struggles with. I've seen this with stairs, getting into the back of a car, slick floor, etc. I don't know if it would work for you at all, but if the stairs to your storm cellar are anything like the shop loft stairs, I sure as heck wouldn't want to be running up or down them.

    I'm glad to hear you guys made it through okay. I'll take the rain around here any day!
    Joni
    I don't wear black because it makes me look slim, I wear black because it hides the dog hair.

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