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Old 03-12-2008, 03:43 PM   #11
Sunshine's Mom
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Thanks for your ideas all - you guys are great!

1) Both sets of stairs are carpeted. We even took off the decorative runners that were taped down so there was no threat of them slipping out from under her.

2) There are no noises that would bother her. Nothing that has anyway. The only thing that ever bothered her was when I used the dishwasher one time at Christmas a few years ago. I think it was more of a rumbling in the floor that she didn't like rather than a sound. She wouldn't go in the kitchen for weeks afterward except to run in (not in front of the dishwasher), eat and run out. To this day, we still do dishes by hand. Always.

3) Sunshine won't go over slatted stairs either. I think all dogs have that fear and I can't blame them.

4) She sometimes will bark when she's in "her room" and if we go out and chat her up and pet her, she's fine. She doesn't want to come in. We don't really mind this especially because the weather's getting nicer (that room's not heated but it's enclosed and we have beds in there for her), however, she does like to sleep with us at night and we like having her with us too.

vaknitter, you may be right though in the fact that she's a bit older and likes to be alone. How old was your dog when you brought the new one in?
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:23 PM   #12
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I know you said you had her checked by the vet, but did he/she check her back?? That's all I can think of, I'm sorry. Something must have happened for her to all of a sudden start this behavior. And you just weren't there to witness what it was.

to you for loving and caring for your dog so much.

Personally, I would wait on the second dog until this gets resolved. If she's that scared then having a puppy might make her even more nervous. I really don't know. Honestly I would call a animal behaviorist about it. One visit shouldn't set you back too much money-wise and they do know what they are talking about. Ask your vet for a recommendation so you don't end up with a cukie person whos in it for the money and not for helping the dog.

Good luck!
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:14 PM   #13
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Our old fart was 11 when we brought the puppers in. We took him to the SPCA to meet her and he just ignored her so we brought her home and introduced them in the yard. He got sooo much attention from us for days that he thought he was in heaven (not that he wasn't normally spoiled, but we wanted him to associate the new puppers with good things). We feed him first all the time and got her a new bed, crate etc.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:16 AM   #14
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Yeah, we were going to wait until she was older before we brought in a new puppy. She's only 5 now. We may have an opportunity to bring in an older (2 or 3 year-old) dog. He's housetrained and very sweet. But we're not sure if we're going to.

Yesterday was much better than it has been in a while. We got her to come up to bed and she stayed the night. We're going to take her to the vet again. Thanks for the suggestion about the animal behaviorist. I'll ask the vet about it.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:41 AM   #15
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Take her for a LONG walk and when you get home RUN to the door and just keep going through the door and up the stairs. If you have to have someone there to open the door WHEN you get to it.DON"T stop just run.Then take her back outside running down the stairs.Repeat many times till she goes up and down without hesitation.See the walk wears her out and the run to the door doesn't give her the chance to think about the stairs,she just follows you.If she puts the brakes on DON"T panic or she will too.Just go down the walk way and try again.You might have to pull her a little bit.Don't say ANYTHING to her until she has done the stairs.Just pretend it is a everyday thing for her to do.Don't feel sorry for her or she will sense that something is wrong from you and panic.Good luck!!
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:42 AM   #16
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And did your vet check her eyes? I'm wondering if it could be a vision thing as well. The stairs may be difficult for her to see clearly? Her distance vision may be ok, but maybe she needs bifocals LOL! Seriously, I've heard of dogs who have had problems with stairs because they can't accurately judge the distance of the stairs well.

Another thought was that for stairs that only have a few steps (like 3 or 4) could you build her a small ramp that she could walk up instead?

I'd also call a dog trainer who may have some suggestions on helping your dog navigate steps. Maybe some intensive stair climbing to get her comfortable with them?
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Old 03-16-2008, 01:35 PM   #17
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It could also be that it's a control thing for her. I have one that doesn't like to climb up on the bed when I'm in it, she wants me to get up and lift her onto the bed. She will circle around and then put her front feet on the bed and wait for me to lift her. She does that 4-5 times before she gives up and jumps up on her own. It took me a while of lifting her to realize that she could do it on her own, but I finally caught her on the bed during the day and I hadn't helped her.
On the second dog. We got our female from the pound when she was about 2 years old. We had her for a year and decided because she was so high energy and demanding of attention that we would get her a dog of her own. We heard of a male that was brought to a local vet to be put down because his owners were leaving town and didn't want him. We brought our dog to the clinic and they brought him out into a fenced area and introduced them. They are best buds to this day 4 years later. He was about 3 years older than she and didn't mind being her wrestling buddy. They are similar in size and are mixed breed.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:43 AM   #18
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We've always had dogs, and they seem to do fairly well, happy, healthy, etc. Our oldest now is 13, and really beginning to slow down. She doesn't like the flooring in our kitchen because she slides on it, even though her nails aren't all that long. She's 60 pounds, so when she falls on those old hips, it's hard to get up sometimes.

Since it seems that you have checked out EVERYTHING, maybe it is a control issue. My Maddie has a behavior like that, she won't poop in front of me. Her dad has to take her out. Only if she has some kind of abdominal distress will she let me take her. It's funny in a way, but also kind of annoying.

Let us know what you find out, OK? I'm hoping you get her a companion.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:25 AM   #19
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Thanks to all of you for your input, help and suggestions. I've talked to my DH about all of them and we're keeping an eye on her.

However, I believe she goes in phases with the "I don't want to climb the stairs" behavior. This past weekend she's been much better. We still have to stand with her and say "get up the stairs", but she's not nearly as difficult about it. It's a control issue.

Oh - and we did have her eyes checked and they are okay.

Plantgoddess, I loved your story about getting your second dog from the vet. Very cool. I love a happy ending.

Thanks again all. I'll let you know if we get a second dog.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:47 AM   #20
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I didn't see this mentioned - have you checked your dog's toe-nails? My dog has always had a very difficult time with stairs and it has been a combination of him having a very hard time with linoleum (due to his nails) and also of his being a scaredy-cat. There have been many times where I have had to 'push' him up the stairs (we have 11 stairs between the basement and the main floor) from his crate. My dog is 85 pounds, so I wouldn't be able to carry him up the stairs unless I felt like busting a gut!

We trim his nails but we can only get them so short before he yelps and starts bleeding. :(
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