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Hi Everyone,

My new dog (3 - 7 yo, approx) will go down stairs no problem. Yesterday when we brought her home, she seemed a bit skiddish about going down the stairs but now totally fine going down. But, she won't go up! And, she has to go up in order to go out to go to the bathroom! ::argh::

*We've put a sheet on the stairs in order to try and disguise the spaces between the stairs.

*We duct taped white paper behind the stairs to try, again, to fool her.

*We put a treat on each stair - she only came up as far as up as she could with her hind legs still firmly on the floor.

*We stood at the top and called her - she turned around and lay down.

::These are all suggestions we've read online.::

We're going to take a break for the night and try again tomorrow. But, my wife is physically disabled so this carrying her up the stairs (all 60 pounds of her) is not going to fly for much longer while I am at work all day long because she needs to take her out at least once a day. Obviously, we will get a trainer if we have to but we are hoping to avoid that (what I assume will be a) huge cost.

Please, please, please, any advice/helpful hints/thoughts are welcome. We have had this dog for one day and she does not seem stressed or anxious, she is perfectly happy, eating and drinking and sleeping, she's wagging her tail and being pet and lying at our feet. She's just ignoring our cats without any sign of anxiousness at all. She's going into her crate at night, absolutely no problems EXCEPT this. She's the perfect dog and she absolutely needs to do this one thing!
 

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I had the same problem when I got my 8 month old. Try carrying the dog half way and putting her down. Then walk up the rest of the way and down again. It took me two times for it to work.
 

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3-7 years is a pretty big range.

Does she look likes she's trying, but is in pain? Or doesn't it look like she isn't even making the attempt?
 

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You've got the right idea with baiting the stairs. Try higher value treats and walk away....no encouragement/coaxing. Let her figure it out on her own/develop self-confidence and don't be afraid to try this when she's really hungry/motivated.
 

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Open stairs can be an issue for many dogs. They worry about slipping..it's possible at first she was so distracted she didn't even notice it, then DID and things all changed. I agree that higher value treats may work and to go and stand at the top of the stairs like you are on your way out, see if she'll follow...
Are there carpet like covers on each step or are the wooden and slippery AND open? If they are not covered I would think seriously about doing so, for everyone's safety.
Also, how many steps in the staircase? Would a makeshift ramp (temporary) work at all? Sometimes an old sheet of plywood can be alifesaver.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She does not look like she is in pain at all. She comes on the couch without an issue. She also goes down the stairs very easily and doesn't even think twice about it. The stairs are not wood, they have a non slip coating on them but they are open in the backs. I had read online to cover the spaces int he stairs with paper and I did it so she could not see the spaces which did not work.

I live on the bottom floor of a condo so she does have to go up to get out and I have been carrying her and she has been alright with it but like I said I am at work all day and my wife is home and she has a hard time picking the dog up.

Also there are only about 5 stairs she does need to go up which is good. The stairs are outside of our unit however my wife and I were going to bring her to the stairs which are right outside our door in an semi enclosed area and just sit at the top on the landing and put treats on the stairs and not try to coax her and see if she will just come up.

The reason for such an age discrepancy was because she was brought to the shelter we adopted her from after being on the streets of Puerto Rico when she was found she was nursing 4 puppies and she had a hurt neck because she was tied to a nylon rope and got rope burn. On one side of her neck she does not have hair right now (they said it should grow back) and also a very small scab. The shelter told us her whole neck was a big scab when they got her and it has healed very nicely. Also because of where she was living they could not find her age because they suspect she was eating trash on the streets making her look older then she might be so it was a hard life for her.

Also she has been up for adoption for about a month at this shelter when on average they find homes for the dogs in days she has been there for a month. My wife who is a social worker could not let this dog sit in the shelter because she is such a beautiful collie. We were happy to give her a home after such a hard life.

here is a picture of our new dog Tandi

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just a quick update we got her to go up the stairs twice! we used advice found on a website of putting treats on the stairs and sitting on the landing not paying any attention to the dog. She came up and then we did it again and came up once again!
 

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If you're having success like that, try doing the same thing, but walk away from the landing so that she can't see you. Usually dogs will want to see you/find you and will be a lot more happy to run up the stairs in search of you.
 

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Are you putting her leash on, then asking her to come? (Saying "lets go for a walk!" in an excited voice). That might help.
 

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Are you putting her leash on, then asking her to come? (Saying "lets go for a walk!" in an excited voice). That might help.
I'm sure this would vary by dog, but I know my puppy hated this. It made it a lot worse actually and he tried scooting backwards out of his collar and leash, as if we were forcing him too much. We had a lot more success ignoring him and waiting for him to follow bait. Just my two cents of course.
 
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