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Question
Posted by: Kim | 2011/07/04

Freeze frame dog

My labrador has decided he does not like going up/down stairs and in/out doors anymore. Freezes on the spot and I almost have to bribe him to move forward. If is in in the kitchen, he will only reverse out. He is a healthy dog and eyes are fine - is he just going crazy??

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Kim, it sounds like he may have had an expereience with either the stairs, door or both and this has impacted on him and caused fear. What i would suggest is firstly try some TTouch on him which will lessen the stress and as TTouch also works at a cellural level, can help to change the dogs prespective of the fear. Additionally, start right at the beginning, similar to what you are doing now, one obsticle at at time and lure and reward a few steps forward, either through the door or the stairs. Take this very, very slowly and as we say at TTouch 'work with where the dog is at'. Going too fast will only bring you back to the beginning again. You can even use the dogs two daily food allowances for this and get him to eat a few pieces of kibble going in and out the door and then the same procedure at the stairs. As i said previously, you must go slowly to build up his confidence. If he does not want to take the kibble, dont beg him, leave it on the floor and then walk away. Remember that to a dog attention is attention, whether negative or positive, and he is receiving extra attention from you by the 'begging' behaviour you are doing. Also make the door and the stairs a 'fun' place to be - an example of this is that dog is on one side of the door and you are on the other with a nice bouncy ball that you bounce up and down. Give this a try and if you are not coming right, do get in some professional help, also let me know how you go, thanks Scotty

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/07/06

Hi Kim, it sounds like he may have had an expereience with either the stairs, door or both and this has impacted on him and caused fear. What i would suggest is firstly try some TTouch on him which will lessen the stress and as TTouch also works at a cellural level, can help to change the dogs prespective of the fear. Additionally, start right at the beginning, similar to what you are doing now, one obsticle at at time and lure and reward a few steps forward, either through the door or the stairs. Take this very, very slowly and as we say at TTouch 'work with where the dog is at'. Going too fast will only bring you back to the beginning again. You can even use the dogs two daily food allowances for this and get him to eat a few pieces of kibble going in and out the door and then the same procedure at the stairs. As i said previously, you must go slowly to build up his confidence. If he does not want to take the kibble, dont beg him, leave it on the floor and then walk away. Remember that to a dog attention is attention, whether negative or positive, and he is receiving extra attention from you by the 'begging' behaviour you are doing. Also make the door and the stairs a 'fun' place to be - an example of this is that dog is on one side of the door and you are on the other with a nice bouncy ball that you bounce up and down. Give this a try and if you are not coming right, do get in some professional help, also let me know how you go, thanks Scotty

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