Large staircase - ???? do I need a puppy elevator :)
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Thread: Large staircase - ???? do I need a puppy elevator :)

  1. #1
    nyindallas is offline Member
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    DefaultLarge staircase - ???? do I need a puppy elevator :)

    Greetings,

    Today is my last day to prep/puppy-proof the house for the arrival of Bess Friday night. Most of my upstairs is dog friendly (extra game room with crate and 4 bedrooms and a closed media room.) Most of my downstairs is very puppy unfriendly. Formal living room with lots of breakables, family room with home theater vintage hi fi collection, master bedroom with home theater and more vintage hifi. Huge kitchen and breakfast area where I typically work. I have a huge crate upstairs in the game room with a divider. I have a smaller travel/puppy crate that I will use to get her and let he stay in downstairs in the beginning. We will spend much of out time together upstairs while she is in the destructive puppy stage.

    Question: in order to go downstairs to the back door, or go upstairs to the Bess bedroom (game room) there is a very large flight of stairs. I was reading that we must be careful when it comes to puppies and stairs. I have attached a view from upstairs and downstairs. Do I need to carry her up and down? Or, do I let her do it for the exercise?
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  3. #2
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    I'd sure carry her up and down for now until she's probably about 6 months -- and then try to keep the up and down to a minimum until a year old.

    If she's like most Labs, she'll hate being separated from you and her peeps for anything over 2 seconds so anything over a minute will seem like an eternity to her and a signal to start whining or barking.

    In view of the distances and layout you have (this may provoke loud cries of "NO!") you might want to consider toilet training to an inside the home place -- one upstairs and one downstairs.

    Most people on JL recommend training a Lab from the beginning to go outside on the grass but thousands of people with Lab puppies live in high rises or other circumstances so that when the urge to pee or potty strikes a pup, the time needed to get outside to grass is t-o-o l--o--n--g.

    That was my situation with Puff and I successfully and quickly trained her to use an inside potty tray in the kitchen area to which she was puppygated with me. Perhaps I saved a description of that and if I can find it, will ETA it below.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Following is a copy of a post I've often made:

    If it was me, I'd train my puppy to use an indoor potty tray. (Whenever I've posted this before, there's always a chorus of JL members who scream "No!" that grass is the only place to teach a pup to potty.)

    I disagree.

    What about the millions of city dwelling dog owners who live in high rises 5-10 minutes away from sidewalks and where it's illegal to use grass? Should they give up their dogs?

    I faced this problem when Puff (@ 9 weeks old) came home. I puppygated her mainly to the kitchen since it had an easily cleaned tile floor. While there was a sliding door to the back yard, it had some problems that needed fixing and was unusable. The other door was across carpeted halls and living room, out the front door. Much too long a distance to take a pooping or peeing pup.

    I bought the largest size of Purina's Second Nature Dog Litter 22"W X 28"L X 9"D and kept it in the kitchen within just a few seconds distance from Puff. I lined the bottom with layers of newspapers.

    Whenever I noticed Puff beginning to assume her peeing posture (hind quarters squatting, tail lifted) I'd whisk her to the tray (only a few feet away) and always praise her and treat her for making her deposit IN the tray.

    Likewise for her Poop posture (arched back, rear paws placed farther forward than her front paws).

    I was careful to clean up any dribbles, using Nature's Miracle or OTC 3% Hydrogren Peroxide to nullify any odors being broadcast to a dog's nose, "here's a great spot to pee or potty."

    Puff learned quickly.

    It helped that I noted on the side of the fridge the time of day she peed or pottied. I found that she'd be fairly consistent in when she went -- UNTIL she changed her old rut for a new one.

    IIRC, within 2 weeks we had a 90-95% success rate. Within 3 or 4 weeks, it was essentially complete.

    And she had not the slightest difficulty making the transition to peeing or pottying on grass.

    This may have been helped by reciting a mantra to her in her training of either "Puff, Pee-pee!" or "Puff, Potty!" whichever one she was doing. That probably also helped make the transition to outside.

    ("Puff, pee-pee!" results in almost immediate compliance. "Puff, potty" always has to be given several times with some excercise in between recitations to be effective. My supposition is that my first few recitations of "potty" are needed in order to get the peristalsic movement going to move the deposit through her intestinal tract until it's at last in firing and depositing position.

    I was motivated to teach Puff to use the tray not only because of our back door problem but also because I needed her to have a good way of getting elimination relief when she was sailing with me, say overnight, and grass was out of reach.

    Previously I helped a friend, Miriam, who lived in an apartment above the Episcopal student center at the U of Fla. solve a similar problem. She had a dachshund puppy, "Reinhie" (after Reinhold Niebuhr) that she'd trained to use paper. It was at least a 5 minute trip from her apartment to grass, over to and out her door, down the stairs, across the great hall, out the door, across the porch, down to the brick courtyard between the SC and the chapel, and then across the courtyard to either front or back grass.

    Reinhie became so used to going on paper that he wouldn't pee or poop outside. So I suggested Miriam take newspapers with her and gradually provide smaller and smaller areas. Within 7-10 days, Reinhie was peeing and pottying outside. IF I'd suggested that she use a mantra (such as "Reinhie, pee-pee" or "Reinhie, potty") it would probably have made for an even quicker and smoother transition.

    BTW, once Puff finished using her 2nd Nature potty tray, after thoroughly cleaning it and putting a bed pillow in the bottom, it serves as her often preferred bed.

    We've not yet had any long sails where a tray was needed to serve as her auxillary "head".

    I'm sorry Purina stopped making this largest size tray but there are many inexpensive large plastic trays at hardware & home improvement stores, and Wal-Marts that could be easily modified to serve the same purpose.

    I never did use Purina's 2nd Nature litter -- we found newspapers quite satisfactory and free.

    The first link below is for Purina's Second Nature system:

    http://www.doglitter.com/GetPage.asp...&MenuItemID=16

    The following review was written when Purina still made the larger tray which was used by the owner of a 50 lb. Lab mix:

    http://www.epinions.com/review/Purin...t_107505225348

    I thought the following lengthy review by a person living on the 23rd floor of a condo was very useful:

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Review-of-...stem&id=144649

    Last edited by Bob Pr.; 10-11-2009 at 03:13 PM.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  4. #3
    nyindallas is offline Member
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    Bob,

    You certainly a wealth of knowledge in this area. Is it a hobby, have you written a book, or is this a life long passion?

    Over time I hope to get Bess acclimated to being downstairs most of the time. Initially she will be in the large kitchen/breakfast room. That is where I work during the day. When I had my last dog (4 years ago), she was very good about being downstairs. It took her a few months and she was perfect. My last dog knew she was supposed to keep away from the old hifi systems (lots of wires and vacuum tubes) and she never jumped on the leather furniture. So I will just see how Bess does. I use the word large to describe some of these rooms since Texas style homes are huge. Just added a PIC of the family room. It is obviously not puppy friendly.



    There is a bathroom connected to the Bess Room (game room). If she can't wait hopefully she will learn to use that bathroom. I could put down newspapers or puppy pads? in that bathroom.

    I guess time will tell. The goal will be for her to ultimately be downstairs most of the time. Thanks for your replies.
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    Last edited by nyindallas; 10-11-2009 at 04:49 PM.

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    You certainly a wealth of knowledge in this area. Is it a hobby, have you written a book, or is this a life long passion?

    Thank you -- I sent you a JL PM.

    If she can't wait hopefully she will learn to use that bathroom. I could put down newspapers or puppy pads? in that bathroom
    Effective house training always involves a 2 party interaction.

    It's never so much the location or the materials (newspapers or pads), it's the timeliness and type of your response to Bess when she starts to pee or potty, as in:

    Whenever I noticed Puff beginning to assume her peeing posture (hind quarters squatting, tail lifted) I'd whisk her to the tray (only a few feet away) and always praise her and treat her for making her deposit IN the tray.

    Likewise for her Poop posture (arched back, rear paws placed farther forward than her front paws).

    I was careful to clean up any dribbles, using Nature's Miracle or OTC 3% Hydrogren Peroxide to nullify any odors being broadcast to a dog's nose, "here's a great spot to pee or potty."

    Puff learned quickly.

    It helped that I noted on the side of the fridge the time of day she peed or pottied. I found that she'd be fairly consistent in when she went -- UNTIL she changed her old rut for a new one.



    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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