7 December

Training Begins: Red And The Ramp

by Jon Katz

Red’s ramp arrived the other day and his training has begun. We put the ramp on the ground when it came so he could walk on it and  check it out.

Red is very anxious about surfaces, he freaks on linoleum and shiny or unfamiliar platforms. When Bud saw the ramp, he skittered up like a rabbit for a treat, and Fate just hopped up sideways and jump up onto the seat.

Red was not impressed, he froze and got quite anxious. I moved slowly and cautiously and patiently. On a leash, I guided him onto the bottom part of the ramp, and then I lifted him up and lay him on the middle.

He was calm and curious, a bit anxious. There was only one way for him to get off of the ramp and that was to climb up onto the seat, which he did.

That was a high note and enough training for the moment. It’s interesting to see the differences in dogs, Fate and Bud were both fearless and at ease with the ramp, Red will move more slowly and take his time.

He’s get there. Red and I have never failed in working together. Fate, as usual, wanted to see what was going on.

Yet Red is fearless with the sheep and Fate is afraid to challenge the sheep at all. Bud is a different case. He thinks he’s a mountain lion and would leap over Niagara Falls for a treat. We’ll need to take our time with Red. Once he can use the ramp, he can resume his therapy work. Not until.

We are assuming he has a fractured spine. I’ve taken him off all his anti-inflammatory medications, they were causing diarrhea and some nausea, I think.

Rest is the big thing right now.

(Just to be honest. I’m already starting to get dog/ramp advice, I appreciate it. I don’t want to waste anybody’s time. I am quirky in that I like to figure these things out for myself if I can, everybody is different, everybody’s dog is different. So I don’t really pay much attention to other people’s experiences, I do appreciate the good intentions, and thank you in advance.)


  1. Jon, I am hoping that you will continue to share your ramp training with Red…in detail…I have had several dogs who could have used one.

    1. I’m so glad you approve, Lorlee, and wrote a gracious note…Merry Xmas…(P.S. You might want to skip reading the blog tomorrow. Probably be one of those days when you disapprove of me again (quite a roller coaster, yes?) One day, I’ll just write what you say, and we can be friends..Maybe not :))

  2. I got a ramp for my dog a couple of years ago. He hurt his back legs/hips running the fence line with the dogs next door (we did everything to stop him from doing it but the neighbors never bothered to correct their dogs). Ace is about 52 pounds I have tried everything and he won’t go up the ramp I even put it away for awhile then tried it again so we lift him in the car. I’m going to read how you work with Red then try it again. The ramp you have looks like the one I have

  3. Thank you for inspiring a revelation in my thinking about unsolicited advice! My friends and family no doubt thank you as well.

  4. Looking forward to hearing how Red makes out. I have been thinking about a ramp for my dogs and they both are used to jumping into the car –not sure either of them would like it. Please keep us posted.

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