One of the hardest things about your dog growing older is watching him struggle to do many of the things he used to do as a young dog. Things like being able to hop into the back of your SUV or pickup truck. To make it possible for your dog to continue doing the things he loves doing, like going for rides with you, a good quality set of ramps can make all the difference in the world. The best thing about ramps is that they are designed to fold up, so you can take them with you.
As you look at the different types of ramps on the market, choose one that has a non-skid surface so your dog won't slip going up or down them. This will help to make your pup feel much safer, help build his self-confidence, and make the training go much easier. Also, be sure that no matter which method of training you choose, you use plenty of positive reinforcement.
Getting your dog to walk up a ramp may not seem like a big deal to you, but to your dog, it can be very scary. The ramp bounces with every step he takes, it's narrow, sloping, and completely unfamiliar. This means he is likely to balk the first few times you try to get him to walk up it. However, if you do your job right, it won't take long before your pup is bounding up and down the ramp with wild abandon.
Your pup is a pretty smart guy, it won't take him long before he figures out that going up and down his own personal ramp is his ticket to being able to go for rides with you once again. Typically, this type of training is reserved for older dogs, but you can also start "ramp training" when your dog is a pup and can't yet jump up into your vehicle.
You can choose to start teaching your dog when he is still a puppy and can't even reach the bumper of your vehicle, let alone jump up inside of it. Or, you can wait until he has reached an age at which he is visibly struggling to do so. The choice is yours, but if you can, start this training as early as possible, as teaching things like this is much easier when your dog is young. You will need a few things, including:
The big thing here is to ease into the training rather than jumping in with both feet. This will make it much less stressful for both you and your pup and ensure the training is a roaring success.
My 8 week puppys demure, quiet, and affectionate, but this sullen attitude seems to stem over everything. He doesn’t play with toys, doesn’t like treats, isn’t big on food, doesn’t play with other dogs. He seems so boring and unbelievably stubborn when trying to train him. Right now, he literally is starving and thirsty. He hasn’t eaten since yesterday and I’ve taken him for a walk. But he won’t budge from his crate as I try to tempt/coax him out with food and water. What the hells his problem. To get out requires a step but it’s tiny and I even made a ramp to make it easy. But he doesn’t even attempt.
He will even pee in there now.
Hello Elke, I would HIGHLY suggest visiting your vet. This sounds like a health issue and possibly a more serious one. I would not wait to contact your vet, especially at his age. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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my dog is now having a hard time jumping on the bed and the couch, she can still get on couch occasionally, i am taking her in to see if she needs meds, ive always gave her suppliments for joints and digestion,my husband built a ramp for the bed, but she is just not going for it, ive used treats, and put carpet on it, ive walked up it, she still not giving it a chance, as it is built, there is no way to lower it to train, but it is not too steep, any advice would be helpful, thanks.
Hello Jodi, I would certainly continue with your vet to see if there is any pain that could be managed better. Since that could also help pup be more willing to go up the ramp. Check out the article I have linked below. Even though this method if for teaching bed stairs, you can use the same concepts to help encourage pup up the ramp. Since pup isn't responding well to the treats just, I would try using the Harness method - pup may be unwilling to go up with treats because they don't feel stable enough walking up the ramp on their own, and fear falling do to leg weakness. A harness assist could help them get enough practice with your help to build more confidence. https://wagwalking.com/training/use-bed-stairs If pup is still pretty active in other ways and playful, you can also try the Chase method in the article I have linked above. Often, dogs overthink physical obstacles like stairs and ramps at first. Things often go smoother if you can help them go up and down the item quickly a few times during a time when they aren't thinking about the fact that they are doing it, like while chasing you or playing. Keeping your energy up and the activity fun can help pup do it a few times so that they become comfortable with it while not thinking about the fact that they are on it. Obviously there is a fine line between this and what pup is physically capable of with weak muscles and sore joints, so you can gage that based on what pup's normal playful energy level is when not on the ramp, and not exceed that during training on the ramp. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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