|Barked: Mon Nov 27, '06 8:01am PST |
|I'm sorry you don't like escalators! I didn't like them very much at first, but now I much prefer them to stairs and elevators! Except for those annoying people who walk past us and then stop right in front of us so we can't do a moving exit... that's annoying!
The trick is to walk confidantly and quickly onto the escalator (a juicy treat in your hand helps with this!) and do a walking exit-- start walking about 6 stairs before the exit and your pup will walk over the thing at the end no problem. Just practice it a lot and you'll get the hang of it. When we were first starting out we used an escalator that had yellow lines painted where the steps break apart and that really helped Sabrina get her bearings. Now she can do any escalator but she prefers the ones with stripes at the stair breaks!
Below is something I copied from the PSDS website about escalator work-- it's not for everyone as you can get hurt if you're not steady, but it can be done if you want.
"Escalators: The team should practice using an escalator (ascending and descending), only if it is physically possible for the handler to do so, and safely. In other words, escalator work is optional, because if not done correctly, your dog’s feet could be seriously injured. Oftentimes, observing and then following a more experienced team on and off the escalator is helpful for a new dog to learn quickly how it is done. It is important to allow at least six steps between your team and the individual(s) in front of you on the escalator. You will see why in a moment.
When preparing to embark on the escalator, one should do so, ideally, in a full and confident stride. Hesitation or fear, on the part of the handler, will be communicated to the dog through the leash, and this is not the message a handler wants to send in these critical training moments. Most dogs will be fearful getting on an escalator for the first time. Thus, it may be necessary on the first (and possibly second) time for the handler to keep a firm grip on the leash such that the dog has ‘no option’ other than to step onto the escalator. Within 1.5 seconds of stepping on to the escalator, the handler should praise the dog profusely for his bravery, and then quickly collect oneself to prepare for stepping off the escalator shortly thereafter. A dog should never visit with others on the escalator; this is no time for socializing.
In order to step off the escalator safely, you will need to be walking at full stride. This is why you should have allowed at least six empty steps between you and the person in front of you when you first got on. In a full and confident stride, your dog will be able to step off the escalator without issue. If you hesitate, or in any way communicate fear through the leash, your dog could be injured. Some dogs prefer to pace themselves more quickly than the handler when getting off the escalator. So long as the handler is always in control of the dog, and the dog is not getting in the way of others who are stepping off the escalator at the same time, this is OK.
Escalator work is not for everyone. It requires a confident and synchronized approach on the part of handler and dog. The risk of permanent injury to your dog is real and should not be underestimated. On the other hand, for the team that has no problems with it, all the more power to you. Just realize that not everyone can do it, and that’s OK. This is what elevators are for! "
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