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Thread: Best dog stairs?

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    Best dog stairs?

    Hello,

    My wedding cake stairs aren't well suited for my 100 lb GSD, so going to have to buy some stairs for him (still considering a ramp but they take up so much space).

    The one I'm thinking about is the PoolPup XL found here:

    http://www.americas-pet-store.com/po...ol-stairs.html

    But thought I'd ask if anyone has experience with stairs\ramps they could recommend, whether specifically designed for dogs or not but used for that purpose?

    Thanks!

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Best dog stairs?

    Well, other than to step onto the top step to get a drink, I can't get my GSD to get into the pool, so can't help you there. But, the more we think about it the more we like the idea of him not swimming in the pool. For swimming we can take him down the street to the lake on the golf cart or wait until we are in the mountains where he loves the cool streams.

    He loves the water so much I'm afraid once he figured out the pool we would never have him dry. Which would not be a good thing because most of the time we have him and three or four cats in the bead with us....
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Best dog stairs?

    Thanks Tim,

    But it's important I get Buck into the pool because he's recovering from a partial knee ligament tear, and hydrotherapy is the best exercise there is for that type of injury.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Best dog stairs?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonesy119 View Post
    Thanks Tim,

    But it's important I get Buck into the pool because he's recovering from a partial knee ligament tear, and hydrotherapy is the best exercise there is for that type of injury.
    With a knee tear I'd almost say bite the space bullet and go with a ramp. We lost our female a few years ago because her hips totally went (at age 14 though) and I would probably want to avoid as many stairs as possible.

    I know Niko would never use the steps you linked to for the same reason he doesn't like our wedding cake stairs - he doesn't really know there is anything below the first step. We were swimming at the lake once and he though my wife was having a problem and dove off a dock to get to her, but that is the only time we have ever seen him do something like that. We tried until we were blue in the face to get him off the top step or to jump from the side - not happening. And as you probably know, when 95 pounds of GSD makes up his mind unless you want to fight it out he ain't doing it.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Best dog stairs?

    Tim,

    Thanks again but all dogs and their situations are different. With proper training, dogs can and do learn to use stairs to get into a pool.

    And actually, once a dog is well into his recovery for this type of injury, stairs are beneficial because they help to build strength. Much like
    walking up hills.

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    S1ngram's Avatar
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    Re: Best dog stairs?

    I once had a dog that had some depth perception issues. I had to paint the edge of our outdoor steps a different color from the tread. Would that help your dog know where the steps are? If it is only a training issue, I would hesitate to purchase steps just for the dog. You seem pretty knowledgeable on training. You may have already tried these things, but some things I would try in your situation are:

    -positive reinforcement training/clicker training using very high value treats to mold the behavior you want...just do baby steps and reward frequently for the behavior that gets closer to the one you want,
    -train your dog to touch a floating target and move it farther and farther away until the dog has to come down the steps to "touch" the target.

    If your dog hasn't done these things before, start out on the pool deck and move to the water when your dog seems to understand the fun new game you are playing. I'm drawing a blank at the moment, but if your dog has a strong herding drive, maybe there is someway that can be used to get it into the pool. Just some thoughts...best of luck.
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    Re: Best dog stairs?

    Another thought...our wedding cake steps are very steep. Maybe you could train the dog to come into the pool backwards instead of forwards. That will keep his/her head above water until they have gotten their body in deeper water. I'm sure that behavior could be trained!
    27' round Seaspray Evolution, AG, 17,100 gallons, Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Dual Speed 1.5 hp, Filter: Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter, June 18, 2014, Kreepy Krauley Lil Shark, TF-100 test kit, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System

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    Re: Best dog stairs?

    Hi S1ngram,

    Unfortunately my stairs are the problem, not training. The first stair doesn't have enough area for Buck to easily put all 4 legs, and because of the depth he isn't long enough to have his front legs on the 2nd stair with his hindquarters still on the lip of the pool (this is also where the depth perception issue already mentioned comes in).
    End result, he can't enter the pool by walking down stairs the way he normally would.

    Anyway, I did some more research and found another stair system and a ramp (if I decide to go that way) that with proper training should be fine. Total cost probably 200 or a little more, but Buck's health is worth a lot more to me than that. Besides, if I can't use the pool for his hydrotherapy, it means I'd have to spring around 50 a pop to take him to an animal physical therapist with a hydro pool.

    The math's pretty easy on that one.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Best dog stairs?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonesy119 View Post
    Buck's health is worth a lot more to me than that.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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