Training New Pup Not To Come Down Stairs Until Called
by Ranee, Ricky & Joker
(Irwin, PA, USA)
Hi – I'm Ranee, mom to Rick (9) and soon to be mom/partner to "Joker." (We are adopting a 5-month-old Aussie this week.)
We live in an apartment above the pet boutique and grooming shop where I work. While there is a door between our apartment and the steps going down to the first floor of the business where clients enter and leave, one of our first training tasks must be training Joker that he is not permitted to come down the stairs unless given the OK to do so. I'm pretty sure that there will be times when the apartment door is accidentally left open and the downstairs door/entrance to the building is only 25 feet from a MAJOR highway! A notice will be prominently posted and our receptionist is willing to act as backup, but some clients simply will not remember to insure the outside door is shut when they enter or leave. Training him not to exit the outside door is not sufficient as some client dogs are dog aggressive and could hurt Joker or incite a fight. (Besides... I'd rather he not be doing his own shopping in the pet boutique when I'm not with him... I can just see an Aussie left to his own devices with hundreds of treats and toys to choose from. LOL)
I should also add that although I've worked with dogs in one capacity or another most of my life and am competent in basic obedience training both on and off leash as well as behavior modification with troubled dogs, Joker will be the first Aussie I've ever owned. (I always liked the breed – but always said I didn't have one because I like to believe I'm smarter than my dog. ;-) I made the decision to adopt Joker as both a companion and playmate for my very active (and fairly dog saavy) son, and also because I've always wanted to progress further in my training skills and get involved in agility, therapy dog work and/or S&R. We will be joining a training club within the next couple months.
So... you guys know this breed best – can anyone give me some guidance on how to best insure Joker's safety – given his natural instincts – by training him to stay in the apartment unless called down?
Thanks in advance!
Ranee & Ricky