New steps

A different set of steps - ideal for our bed which is quite high. You can see Jack immediately made the connection between these and the other smaller steps. We caught him using them earlier today - without even being shown. Spud, however, will need lots of "feel good" training with these. If your dog suffers from arthritis, do make an appointment with your Vet and discuss how you can minimise impact and prevent things from deteriorating. Give your home a visual inspection and look for slip or trip hazards. Lots of great ideas here https://www.caninearthritis.co.uk/

Second session

Second session with Jack. My standing near the steps is a trigger for the behaviour so very slowly I start to add some distance. Jack didn't take long to get the "going up and down the steps is wonderful" feeling. However, this training will need to continue because I want him to CHOOSE to use these steps when I am not here and that will take a great deal of feeling "wonderful" about using them. Repetition and patience are key.

Prevention

This is Jack. Jack is also a staffie. Jack doesn't have arthritis but we do have hard floors and he too loves jumping on and off the sofa. Jack doesn't like being left out so we decided to do some training to use the steps as a prevention. This is his first go at the steps and is a totally uncut version! You will see he is rather enthusiastic about working out how to earn a treat by trying to sit on the steps! Small steps, no luring but instead, shaping the behaviour and rewarding each step along the way. Time and patience is crucial. We want him to love using the steps and we do that by making it feel wonderful and rewarding to do so.

Spuds second session

Spudsy is not so keen on the steps - you can see she is a little worried about them. At times she stretches her body as far as she can to avoid placing her paws on the steps. In her rush to get down the steps, she had started to go sideways with her back legs. It is so important not to use luring - we may get a dog to do what we want but that does not build confidence or make them feel really wonderful about something. Spudsy needs to feel happy and relaxed about the using these steps. That will take time. Patience and tiny steps are key.

Arthritis and senior dogs

Spudsy is around 12 years old. Spudsy is a staffie and has arthritis. Like many dogs, she loves nothing more than jumping on and off sofas! We decided to try to minimise the jumping and teach her to use these steps. We could lure her up them - but that would not be her choice and she would likely jump up the steps. Instead, we go very slowly, marking and rewarding each tiny step towards the end goal. It is so important to take time, to ensure she actually uses the steps and doesn't just jump up them. This is her first attempt and we have a long long way to go yet. She needs to LOVE these steps and find them incredibly rewarding and feel so good about them that she will choose to use them. Th

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