Author Topic: Teaching a dog to use ramp?  (Read 3064 times)

Offline TGQ

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Teaching a dog to use ramp?
« on: August 06, 2012, 12:46:35 PM »
My dad built a ramp for my dog with hip dysplasia, so she can get on their bed which is pretty high up without hopping and straining. She won't touch it though. I've tried to coax her with treats, but she knows I'm trying to get her to do something and won't go near it. She just sits still on the bed and stares at me. I left the treats on it and she eventually leaned over from the bed and ate them x_x. Any ideas?
My rat children:  Storm, Charlie, and Nimbus

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Offline HowlsOfAngels

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Re: Teaching a dog to use ramp?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 11:51:28 PM »
How steep is the ramp? How wide is it? Does it wobble?

Some dogs can be intimidated by a steep, slender ramp, especially one that moves when they step on it or see someone else manipulate it. Also, it may be easier to start from the base, it's less scary for most dogs to climb up rather than down a ramp (it's easier for them to slip and fall going down, so going down can frighten some dogs).

Instead of trying to get her to use it right off the bat, get her used to being around it. Let her lay down near it, maybe a few feet away, and rub her down until she's completely relaxed, then offer her a treat and only give it to her if she takes a step toward the ramp. Don't push her too far by trying to touch it if she's not ready, let her become comfortable with this new tool first. When she takes a step toward the ramp lay her down, relax her and repeat until she's close enough to touch it, pay the ramp no mind and sit next to it. Try to get her close enough to lay her head in your lamp and get her relaxed again. Then see if you can coax her in to sniffing at the ramp and maybe taking a step on to it. Take things slow and she'll start using it.

Hope this helps. :)
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Offline TGQ

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Re: Teaching a dog to use ramp?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2012, 12:52:44 AM »
How steep is the ramp? How wide is it? Does it wobble?

Some dogs can be intimidated by a steep, slender ramp, especially one that moves when they step on it or see someone else manipulate it. Also, it may be easier to start from the base, it's less scary for most dogs to climb up rather than down a ramp (it's easier for them to slip and fall going down, so going down can frighten some dogs).

Instead of trying to get her to use it right off the bat, get her used to being around it. Let her lay down near it, maybe a few feet away, and rub her down until she's completely relaxed, then offer her a treat and only give it to her if she takes a step toward the ramp. Don't push her too far by trying to touch it if she's not ready, let her become comfortable with this new tool first. When she takes a step toward the ramp lay her down, relax her and repeat until she's close enough to touch it, pay the ramp no mind and sit next to it. Try to get her close enough to lay her head in your lamp and get her relaxed again. Then see if you can coax her in to sniffing at the ramp and maybe taking a step on to it. Take things slow and she'll start using it.

Hope this helps. :)

Thanks. Those are good suggestions. I'll try to get a picture of it tomorrow. It's pretty wide. It was kind of steep, but my dad added some chunks to the bottom so it wasn't such a drop, and evened it out so it didn't wobble at all. She wasn't afraid to take the treats off it eventually, but she just won't step on it.
My rat children:  Storm, Charlie, and Nimbus

Rest in Peace Echo, Skye, Murdock, Dirk, Duck, & Weetzie


Offline TGQ

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Re: Teaching a dog to use ramp?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 12:38:41 AM »
Here's a picture of it. She's getting more curious and will step on it if I'm on the other side playing with her.

My rat children:  Storm, Charlie, and Nimbus

Rest in Peace Echo, Skye, Murdock, Dirk, Duck, & Weetzie


Offline bit-bit

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Re: Teaching a dog to use ramp?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 08:20:38 AM »
I've had to get my dog to use a ramp recently to get in and out of the house.  Training was a bit different for him because he couldn't jump up the stairs anymore, so he was forced to use the ramp if we weren't there to help him.

It did take him a while to get used to the ramp... it's a big scary thing, and those silly humans left it right in the walkway  ::)  It sounds like you're on track with that, it'll just take some patience.  If she's anything like my dog, once she figures out she can get up and down the ramp, she'll love it.

Definitely start with getting her to go up, it took my guy a little while to master each direction, but down was definitely more difficult.