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IvorysMom

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Registered: 11/07/09
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Reply with quote  #1 

We were told not to let our mastiff puppy climb stairs, sooooo we have been lifting her in our arms to take her outside....now here we are with a 70 lb 5 month old mastiff who will not even consider trying to climb the stairs...we thought we could teach her to at least climb a few of the stairs that are inside, carpeted and she will have no part of it... she is quite comfortable with us carrying her!!!!  Should we keep carrying her or insist she do it herself? 

CChauncey

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Reply with quote  #2 

We live in a bi-level with a deck that has stairs too so learning to do stairs was mandatory or we would've needed back surgery and/or trusses!  JMHO but before she gets any bigger or your backs go out....teach her the stairs NOW!


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Cindy

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pilgrimspal

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Reply with quote  #3 

when i got my boy ( first and only / so far ) i heard this also and was a wreck! so i carried my boy down stairs for about six or seven months at this point i would place him at the top of the shortest set of stairs in the house he would lay there at first some times wimmpering and eventually instinct took over ( he would here all the things going on down stairs and want to join us so he made the move - there are still stais i would never let him try ( our basement stairs end abruptly with no turning room so with his size and potential momentum these stairs are not for him.


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IvorysMom

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Reply with quote  #4 

We are at the point now that I cannot take her outside, I just cannot lift her anymore so my husband has to do it....we have steps from our kitchen that lead outside  but they are kinda steep so I would not want her to climb those, but the steps leading to our basement have carpet, but she does the same, she will lie there and wait for my husband to pick her up.... I tried to get at the bottom of the steps with her and walk up but it seems like she does not know how to coordinate her legs to climb them!!!  What have we done!!!! 

CChauncey

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Reply with quote  #5 

We don't have carpeted stairs inside or outside and Maxine had no problem learning them.  Having other dogs helped I think - monkey see, monkey do!  When your girl is hungry, use her kibble that you'd feed at a meal or some really good, stinky treats and start at the bottom of the stairs.  Do one step at a time until she's comfortable going up and down before moving up a step.  If any of the stairs have open backs, close them in.  If they slip thru/under a riser, that can scare them.  It'll take time, patience & perserverance but it will happen & your hubby's back will be intact too.  I think this has been discussed on the Forum before so doing a search may give you some other ideas/suggestions too.  Good luck!


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Cindy

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MMc

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Reply with quote  #6 
I have always let my pups do stairs. Have no choice...its 10 steps or so to get to the yard. But I taught them by walking up and down slowly. Walk infront on them..and they will go slowly. Both of mine are hilarious...they will RUN to the stairs...then gingerly walk up or down.

Just make sure if you are in a place with snow like I am...the stairs are clear and sanded ( I buy a pet safe volcanic rock sand for the yard steps I mix in some table salt)  Just to make sure there are so slips or falls in the cold weather...

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CChauncey

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Reply with quote  #7 

Unless & until mastiff pups come to their owners with engine hoists, learning to do stairs is a must.  I know people who have built elaborate ramps but what happens when you're out & about and there's NO ramps for them to use????  Mindee's right about clearing the stairs of ice/snow - same as you'd do for yourselves to be safe.


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Cindy

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gwenstone

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Reply with quote  #8 
I have always allowed my pups to do stairs as well.  In the beginning, when very young, you place your hand on the chest and support them.  They get accustomed to going down the stairs at a certain pace.  I have always encouraged my puppy buyers to do the same and they've had no problems.

Carrying a pup.... that stops immediately.  First off, it is dangerous to you and the pup.  I had to carry my PBGV pup down and up the stairs at my old house.  Not because the breeder told me to carry him but because his legs were too short and ears too long...LOL (really cute).  It was raining one day, and I slipped and fell down the 4 steps.  I didn't drop the pup...but that pup weighed a lot less at 8 weeks than a Mastiff.

I can understand that breeders want to be sure that there are no elbow issues...but, sometimes they take it to extremes and you are left with a situation you are currently experiencing.  I hear it very often and people call out of desperation...they are afraid to call their breeder.

You will have to tempt your pup with yummy treats.  Tease it with the treats and start placing some morsels on the step and praise...praise....praise.  Going up is easier than going down so you will have to support them.  Try a couple of steps at a time using a short leash and cut up a hot dog to tempt the pup.

Bes



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IvorysMom

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Reply with quote  #9 

Thanks so much everyone..... the carrying has gotten out of control, she is way too heavy, but being first time mastiff owners, we did not know the difference, we never carried our Shar Pei up and down the steps, I cannot even remember teaching him, but Ivory is such a baby and we have her spoiled...  the backs of the stairs are closed in so no worries there... I just wanted to make sure it was ok to start teaching her to climb them herself!!

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Reply with quote  #10 
A genuine adult Mastiff must be able to function ,without any physical risk , in quite normal circumstances of environment , the property & the usual goings with its Master . So if this latter lives at some hilly area , this dog must be able to run free , up- as downhill because the adult one has built up his frame , his muscles , ligaments, tendons , anex his coordination . So far the adult one .

The case is quite different re pups & youngsters , the younger the more fragile , things can go wrong and it ‘can’ be possible from time to time due to the proportionally enormous growth speed , bodily parts come into temporary asymmetries ; ie , who doesn’t know those young people who got knee- , hip and/or cervical problematics due to a temporay different growth speeds vis-a-vis the respective lengths of legs .

Another possible temporary discongruence is the mutal stability between ‘growing’ levels of mature qualities , ie it’s temporarily possible corresponding muscles , ligaments & tendons do go out of their natural balance vis-a-vis each other , p ex if a specific develops proportionally ‘faster’ than its corresponding tendons , then its quite possible by extreme ‘duty rate’ , the tendon loses control against the overpowering by its ‘fellow’ muscle , iow it can rip and a Vet visit is coming its way ; another last point , so I stop to remain a tad clear , is the respective temporary relations during growth speed of respective ligaments vs their specific joints , because also here there can be present different growth speeds in development whereby an optimal securement is not always guaranteed , iow the bony joint has some backlash within encapsulation by the respective ligament(s) .

So it’s advisable to be very careful with small puppies and to perceive them well in their day-by-day motion and to intervene quite rational if things seems to go wrong , this has nothing to do with ‘over-protection’ , the latter behavior inclined to become soft badly coordinated potato couches later on ; even small pups need to receive the important chances in order to develop their whole motion system , but everything here needs to built up gradually , repeat gradually , following the common sense factor of the owner involved , so no exaggeration or lack of exercise , it’s the dosage which is important , so also in stair climbing .


Edit - For the health' sake of those youngsters annex low Vet bills , please keep them rather lean , as show condition can become get later on !
CChauncey

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Reply with quote  #11 

How are the stair climbing lessons going????


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Cindy

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kiokeemastiffs1

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Reply with quote  #12 
  You don't want them running up and down stairs out of control--you put them on a leash and WALK them down and up the stairs.  It's not the stairs but how they go up and down them that presents a risk for injury.  Put a baby gate at the bottom and top of your stairs and you can make him stop and walk down.

Good Lord Honey--you have taught this puppy that YOU carry it up and down stairs!  LOL!  QUICK get it started on it's own or you are going to need an elevator! LOL!!

I use to pick up the front of my dogs and place their feet on the back of the truck and then pick up their rear to get in the truck.  WRONG!  All that teaches them is that the only way to get in is for mommy to pick you up!  Talk about ruining your back!  Basically--I taught mine a "bad habit" the same way--by being a tad over protective.

Sometimes we think we are protecting our dogs (or kids) but in reality we are re-inforcing/teaching them a totally different  thing.  It's OK we all do it.

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Reply with quote  #13 
Cautiously and in a gradual manner . I presently own three rather small 'indoor' dogs aged between 3/7y old , and they all need to enter/leave the home by taking three steps , each ca 8 inches in height , day in day out , and never , taking some wood in hand , had any problem at all .

Ps - Those step heights are proportionally higher for small dog breeds vs large breeds . So a mature genuine Mastiff must be able to overcome quite healthy , those same steps . Beware , it becomes a quite different story if one's living at the 12th floor without any elevator at hand .


Ps 2 - Vs Graduality - my pugs , when of puppy page used to jump upon the first step , a short break , jump upon the second one , short break , and finally jump the 3rd one annex a fast running to their feed bowl . So there are also smart and also less smart dogs , isn't it ?
IvorysMom

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Reply with quote  #14 

Thanks everyone!!!  What have I done?????  I created a beast that lies at the top or bottom of the steps and cries until my husband picks her up!!!  Good Lord she is 5 months old and already 75 pounds!!!  I make my 3 year old child walk up and down the steps on his own (holding my hand of course) and he does not weigh half that weight!!!  We tried putting her on her leash, putting a treat a couple of steps up and she lies down and starts to cry!!  I guess we will just have to keep working on this...gonna take a lot of time and a LOT of patience, no doubt!!!  Thanks everyone for your help and advice, we really appreciate it....I love this place!!

CChauncey

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Reply with quote  #15 

This isn't going to be resolved overnight and crying, whining, howling may be part of the solution too - sorry to say!!!  Got ear plugs???  Hang in there - think temper tantrums but in a fur coat!


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Cindy

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IvorysMom

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Reply with quote  #16 

Ha Ha Ha  I know Cindy, and my husband falls for it every single time!!  He forgets that she tortures him until he gets off the couch and she has it all to herself!!!  I am starting to think that she might even soon pay the mortgage??  Maybe??  LOL....Hmmm maybe not!!  She is such a whiner though, she whines over every little thing...I thought she may have did the steps after watching our Shar Pei, but not a chance..she doesn't even bother to look at me and cry because she knows I cannot lift her!!  She is so strong willed, it's unbelievable!!!

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Reply with quote  #17 

And by the sounds of it.....VERY smart!!!


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Cindy

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Reply with quote  #18 
Good Girl Ivory, you have trained those humans very very well !!

Erika M.


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IvorysMom

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Reply with quote  #19 

Ha Ha  Oh she has indeed trained us very very well...what more could she ask for??  Couch to herself, although she will share with me, carried outside, all she has to do is "squat" and do her thing, carried back inside again, stop in the kitchen for a treat on the way to the couch to have a nap!!!  She is just so sweet and she knows exactly how to play us...she will look at us, make her forehead all wrinkly with her eyes droopy, bingo!!!

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Reply with quote  #20 

I've always taught mine to use stairs also, BUT after a very hard lesson learned I no longer let any of mine use the deck stairs! You know the stairs with the openings inbetween them! I let Zahar use the deck stairs as a pup and when he was four months old he fell, got his legs caught in the stair openings and actually ended up breaking his elbow!!! NEVER again will I allow a pup to use deck stairs....mine all go out through the garage now and my deck stairs are gated off with baby gates and no one uses them!! So teach your pup the stairs but be very careful if you ever let them use deck stairs!!!


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Reply with quote  #21 
Deck stairs are all closed on the back here. Did that as soon as we moved in.

Easy to cut the wood and screw backs on the so the foot doesnt slip through....


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IvorysMom

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Reply with quote  #22 

Wow, now that is scary....thats what our outside steps are like, no backs on them, but the inside steps that lead to the basement all have backs as well as carpet, thats the steps we are trying to get Ivory to use, but not a chance will she even consider it!!!  We are planning to put backs on the steps outside when the weather gets a little warmer...

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Reply with quote  #23 

At least you've still got your sense of humour about all this!


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Cindy

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