Friday, April 9, 2010

ramp training

Misty is getting older, and lately she has been crying at 4 in the morning, wanting to get back on the bed (she tends to jump off the bed in the middle of the night and sleeps somewhere else, but likes to cuddle toward morning). In the past, Misty would just jump up. Now, she wants to be lifted back up on the bed. Plus she makes a loud, "hmph" sound when she jumps off. Can't be good on her joints.

Given Oreo's condition, and his inevitable, sneaky bed jumps, I've been looking for a ramp to help them get up & down off the bed. I saw some online, showed them to Jeff, and knew what I would hear, "I can make that."

Have you priced ramps for dogs? Holy moly. They're not cheap, especially the taller ones. Clearly, I don't mind spending money on my dogs, but if I can save some by having Jeff construct something, I will!

Yesterday, Jeff built them a custom ramp out of aluminum. That helps keep it lightweight for me to move around, but sturdy enough to hold the dogs. It saved us lots of money, and hey, it is environmentally friendly. You can recycle aluminum!

You should have seen how happy Misty was when we first got her up on the bed via the ramp. It was as though she was saying, "Thank you, I've been having such a hard time lately. This is great." It was really sweet.

I've been training both dogs, intermittently with praise and treats, to use the ramp properly.

Here is a video from our third training session. No treats this time. I'm trying to keep Oreo's use to a minimum, because I don't want him doing too much climbing. However, I do want him to know what it is for. He'd rather practice his agility contacts on it, which is completely bizarre because we haven't worked on contacts in well over a year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnbgRh4G_Y8



Last night, at 4:30AM, I hear Misty crying. Guess she forgot about the ramp. More training to do today.

Oreo, on the other hand, was up and down it several times this morning.

12 comments:

Priscilla said...

How sweet of Jeff to build a ramp for Misty. I've never heard of a ramp to go up the bed, but its the sweetest thing you could do. Misty looks soo happy that she can get on and off the bed so easily!!!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Good job, Jeff!!! I have priced ramps and steps before and we don't have anything because there was no way I was going to pay that much money! Jeff's ramp is totally awesome!

Misty sure did get it right away. And Oreo is too funny! I loved it when he went half-way up and you picked him up to put him on the bed - he is a great human-trainer! LOL!

Dawn said...

Our previous sheltie, Bonnie got so she couldn't jump on and off the bed either. And she made the same noise when she landed. We thought about a ramp, but she seemed happy just to sleep on a pillow on the floor so we never did get one. I like Jeff's it's a lot more streamlined and takes up less space than some I saw.

How do you guys get any sleep with both of them on the bed? LOL

LauraK said...

That's awesome, must be nice to have a "handy" husband. It's so ridiculous how much those ramps and stairs are- it's not like they're made out of gold! I'm glad your dogs are enjoying their new ramp :)

Jules said...

Oh, I am so jealous! I ended up buying stairs. It looks like they are really taking to it!

Kathy said...

FANTASTIC, Jeff did a great job. I had to make a step that is not nearly as nice because our bed is really high and cricket and breeze were killing me watching them jump on and off and hearing the impact on their shoulders. I wonder if they would use a ramp better then my step, lately they jump right over the step, grrrr.

madcobug said...

Jeff saved a lot of money by building it himself. They really are learning how it works fast. Helen

AC said...

Nice work Jeff! It's amazing how a little elbow grease can save a lot of money. I do have to remind myself that if I'm trying to do/build something new, it'll be a lot of elbow grease, some swearing, a thrown tool or two...

Oreo and Misty did both seem to get it. Maybe the generalization/use it when mom doesn't tell us to, isn't quite there.

Sam said...

I'm sure they'll generalize it eventually. Maybe you can try training it by sitting on the bed and calling them up on to it via the ramp, so they can make the connection? They look like they're having fun playing on it for now! Funny that Oreo wanted to do contacts - I guess he must really miss agility.

Diana said...

We have ramps too. Mostly for the chihuahuas. The bed's to high for them and sometimes they break there legs jumping down from things. We built them ourselves too. Im sure they arent as nice as yours. Funny thing is all the dogs use them. I also have an ottoman next to the bed to use as a step down. Miley actully sleeps on it at night. Diana

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh God, I so agree about the outrageous cost of ramps! We've looked into them for Honey - she's not allowed on the bed but we think eventually she may need one for getting in & out of the car...but so far, we've always cringed at the prices. Especially the XL ones that can take the weight of a giant breed! I guess we'll have to cave in eventually - shame my husband isn't such a handyman...he can't even hammer a nail in straight! :-) I can never understand how a surgeon who has to do the most intricate, skilled procedures with his hands is so useless at DIY!! :-)

Hsin-Yi

Gerry said...

I just came to your blog via Connie's Place who is always giving us new blogs to visit. I loved your blog because your dogs remind me of Baby, my son's dog. They look a lot alike and your videos are inspiring me to try to take a video of Baby while my son and she are here visiting. I love watching people interact with their pets on video. I have taken photos of her.