View Full Version : whats he afraid of?

17th May 2007, 09:52 PM
jadan gets really weird when we get to a bridge or flight of stairs. if we approach stairs or a ramp to a bridge he will put the brakes on and wont budge so we carry him up and over then he is fine. it came to the point where i did as someone suggested and just take a runningstart so he had to but the poor thing was tugged up even though he did give in and climb in the end. is he scared of heights do you think? its just the getting up and over:( he is fine at home on our stairs even though he only goes up when we call him so why outside is he freeked out? they dont have to be the ones you can see through either...just a ramp will do it....

17th May 2007, 11:24 PM
my girl was the same. she wasn't too bad if the bridge was straight off the path but wouldn't step up onto one. I took it that since she was only 10 inches at the shoulder she couldnt see what she was climbing onto. for all she knew she could jump up & there be a big drop.

matties mum
17th May 2007, 11:26 PM
How old is he if still young give him time he will get there in the end my Barney was very frighten of going on buses but he will go on them now good luck
---Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney--Sam)

19th May 2007, 10:37 AM
Don't try to tug him up and over stairs or ramps -- this will give an even worse association with something he already fears. :thmbsup:

The best way to address this (and dogs DO get phobias of things just as we do -- especially when we are kids!) is to use rewards to make the scary thing gradually less scary and then, *rewarding* for him.

So find a set of stairs and take a handful of realy yummy treats and first just practice walking towards it, not making a big deal about it. Don;t fuss over him or give other signals that going near the stairs is supposed to be a big deal. Walk him past them at a distance and toss him some treats or feed them as you walk right past and give some approval cue, like sayng 'yesss!'.

There is probably some distance at which he starts to baulk so your first goal is to get him to walk that close without getting worried. Then start walking towards the stairs and have a treat there on the first step that he can snatch as you go past. Repeat a lot of times. Next time, try the treat on the next step -- from now on you can start focusing on putting tempting treats like cooked ham or chicken on the next step, then the next... the idea is to let HIM make the decision to go up after the treats, not for you to push or pull him up or force him to cross them. I'd also try never to carry him from now on -- that just gives him a signal that the stairs are scary and he always needs rescuing. So focus on the training. Same approach with a ramp. It takes patience and time but treats almost always win out eventually, especially with a cavalier. :lol: If you use a clicker you can click as a reward along with the trea, of course.

If it is a real problem, talk to a good trainer -- either have someone come work with you, or get advice when you enroll in a class.

And as noted, younger dogs and puppies are often afraid of stairs. If they dn;t live in a house with stairs, they DO need to learn them. It is one of the things people tend to try to have puppies learn when young so that they don;t grow up to be fearful. Bruce has mentioned how they give all their puppies 'star practice' while they are young and inquisitive and learn fast. :)

19th May 2007, 11:19 AM
Great advice from Karlin!!! :D

Just listen to all that and he'll be fine before you know it

Barbara Nixon
19th May 2007, 11:28 AM
I would also suggest starting with a one, then two , then three etc step stair, if you can find them. This way the rise ahead won't be so daunting.

20th May 2007, 09:46 PM
maybe i wasnt too clear.....or i had another thought..anyway.....he isnt so much scared of stairs as he will happily go up the ones at home ...BUT!!! ONLY when we CALL HIM UP as he knows he is not allowed upstairs ! do you think that in training him not to go upstairs that he is actually being a good boy and not wanting to go upstairs in the outside world? on the odd occasion that we catch him maybe on the first couple of stairs it would be a firm NO! uh uh! and he has been very good with this at home since very little. he is 1year 2months now and even if the cat runs (really runs from the hoover running i mean!!!!) even then he will not go past the bottom step! have i trained him so well that he thinks he isnt allowed up ANY stairs and would that then apply to ramps also???

21st May 2007, 03:34 PM
Well yes, that is the likely reason then. Sounds like you will have to call him up stairs if you want him to go up them, or carry him. He doesn't know that you mean just one particular set of stairs! :lol:

21st May 2007, 10:10 PM
That's so funny! I bet that's what he's doing!! :rotfl: