Dog on car ramp

Many dog owners clamp the ramp to the back of their SUV, put a lead on their dog and attempt to get their dog up the ramp by dragging it. This method rarely works, and can result in a severely traumatized animal. Instead of using force, there is a simpler, common sense approach. It is what I have used, successfully, for many years with my clients.

Ray’s Approach

Bring the ramp into your home, open it and lay it flat on the floor, preferably along one wall in a hallway. Leave it there for a day, allowing your dog to see it and begin to get used to it. To begin, leash your dog and simply walk with he/she alongside the ramp, close enough to the ramp so your dog walks on the ramp next to you. Give lots of praise and, if you wish, a food treat when your dog completes the walk. One or two successful walks is enough. Do 2-3 sessions daily.

In a day or two, move the ramp away from the wall (the safety net), repeating the exercise. By day 4 or 5, place a couple of bricks next to each other to raise the ramp to brick height. Continue the exercise, with upbeat encouragement. Bring the ramp out to the drive, sloooowly adding height (cinder blocks work well) until the ramp is close to the height of your SUV.

When your dog is walking up the ramp with confidence, hook up the ramp to your vehicle, have a family member get in back. Bring your dog to the ramp, have the family member begin to encourage to come up the ramp, and give lots of praise when the dog completes the job. I use the word “ramp” when you begin having the dog walk across and up the ramp. This procedure can take from 10-14 days; however, it’s worth it, and your back will say “thank you.” Just remember not to rush it; better to take a bit longer than to rush things and mess it up. And, I’m always available.