Wednesday, July 6, 2011

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Stair Master

Our house is a tri-level house, so we have two sets of stairs (one small and one big), which is good for training puppies.

And it is really annoying for potty training puppies at night because our bedroom is on the top floor (of course) and the route to the backyard is down the long flight of stairs, through the living room, down the short flight of stairs, through the dining room, through the family room, out the french doors, down two steps (did you put on your slippers, because it's Florida and it's probably raining and if it's raining don't step on a frog!). We have koi ponds in the backyard and we have lots of frogs and evidently all they do is get it on, as evidenced by the video my father took when they visited us last month.

So at night, there are countless hazards to avoid. Squished frog on a bare foot is oh so not good! (Fortunately, this has NEVER happened.)

I tell you all of this to give you a general layout of the house so you kind of know what Jam is working with when he is walking around the house.

Now, the puppy manual recommends that you start the puppy off with carpeted, closed stairs, perhaps one or two at a time. What we do, is we start our puppies off with the back porch stairs since there are only two. We don't have a choice about carpeted or open or closed, since our stairs are our stairs. Because we have dogs, we made the conscious decision years ago to only have wood floors and leather or wood furniture and very few rugs.

Here are the back porch steps. There are only two and they curve. We let the puppy out on the porch and let him make the decision as to whether he wants to go down on his own or not. For HRH Berkeley, that took her about two weeks. She was uncomfortable going down, probably because she was so small. Jam, went down on Thursday.

And then it took him until Friday morning, but by then he was up and down the back porch stairs.

This is the small staircase. It has four steps and separates the living room (street level) from the main area of the house (kitchen, dining room, etc.).

Here is Jam at the bottom of the small staircase.

Now what has happened with our other dogs is that we have coached them up both the small and large staircases. Jam is a different kettle of fish. It just so happened that Fred and I were in the kitchen on Friday (DAY 1!!!) and I went to get something from the bedroom (upstairs).

As I was climbing the big set of stairs Fred said, "Look who's following you." I turned around and there at the top of the small staircase was Jam. He had followed me out of the dining room and gone to the small stairs and deliberated. Then he decided to try it on his own (under Fred's supervision).

Mind you it was weeks before Bingo and HRH would even think about the small staircase. Bingo even faked Fred out on the big staircase getting Fred to carry him for an extra week because he was lazy and liked to be carried.

Since Jam will do this on his own, we now keep him on a leash and do it with him step by step as seen here.

Here we are at the bottom of the stairs with me getting him started going up by patting the step.

He's taking it step by step.

All the way to the top!

But we know he has bigger things on his mind.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Y'all,

    Genius? Ah, Jam, the little genius in yellow Lab clothing.

    I always think of myself as genius. I try to run the house...only I have a Human even more stubborn than I am. Sigh.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    P.S. Sorry, you don't have the popup comment and I can't comment as myself, but must use my old journal. You'll find the link to my blogspot blog on the intro.