[nagdu] Hesitant on stairs

Tami Jarvis tami at poodlemutt.com
Fri Sep 13 15:28:05 UTC 2013


Glad you and Viva are doing well. I think you are on the right track 
praising her to keep her confidence up and help her learn the best way 
to manage all the stairs. It could be that she is just being super 
safety-cautious and trying to figure out the best way to help you adjust 
to whichever type of step you are on. The variations may be as confusing 
to her that way as to you. When I'm in environments like that, Mitzi 
will slow down if I seem to be having difficulty figuring out the depth 
and width of whichever flight of stairs we are on. Sometimes this is 
helpful, sometimes more confusing for me. I have to remember not to get 
too hesitant and frustrated myself and end up adding to her frustration. 
We don't have to deal with that on a day-to-day basis, though, or we 
might both end up in meltdown.

One thing you might check is her harness, in case it is bothering her 
going down because of the change of angle of pull. It could be that she 
is trying to adjust to the different feeling of the pull, but I think it 
never hurts to be sure the harness isn't causing real discomfort.

Hm... Since it sounds like there is a lot of traffic around you, would 
it help maybe to hang back and wait for a clear space between clumps of 
rushing humans? Or is that possible in the circumstances? I was just 
thinking that maybe Viva is affected by the added random moving hazard 
and stopping to try to get some clearance for both of you? I've noticed 
that Mitzi likes to have plenty of space for tricky areas when there are 
crowds, but so do I, so we have developed some strategies for that when 
we can. We're small town now, so no crowds to practice on, so I nearly 
forgot. I need to get up to the university campus here to work on all 
that city training we don't use anymore. /smile/


On 09/13/2013 07:46 AM, minh ha wrote:
> Hello all,
> I hope everyone and their furry little friends are doing well. I have
> a question about working down stairs. As I mentioned in an earlier
> post, there are about a million and one stairs all over my campus and
> they're not exactly all uniform and safe. I've noticed that Viva is
> becoming very hesitant and slow whenever we go down stairs, no matter
> whether they are outside or in a stair well. This is just going down
> mind; she practically rockets whenever we're walking up. I don't have
> the greatest balance and I get very hesitant walking down the stairs
> myself so it's not a terrible thing that she's walking slower.
> However, she does this thing where she would go down a few stairs and
> then stop and I would have to encourage her to keep on going. I've
> been overflowing with praise whenever we're going down the stairs and
> it seems to help, but she's still very cautious. Is she somehow
> sensing my own hesitancy and going slower to help me or is she scared
> herself? Also, I'm only hesitant at the top of the stairs when we're
> getting ready to go down, but once we're actually on the stairs, I'm
> fine. I want to help her get rid of her fears because I don't really
> want her to be afraid, but it would really help with congestion as
> well.
> Thanks,
> Minh

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