How To Train Your Small Dog To Use A Doggy Ramp

Small dogs can be a handful. They’re full of energy and a delight to their owners and the people around them. These dogs are also very eager to learn but may sometimes show stubbornness. Training this kind of dog is a bit different; even with something as basic as using a doggy ramp can be a challenging one.  

Why Use A Dog Ramp?

A doggy ramp or dog ramp is a device that helps dogs to climb up structures like stairs and steps or furniture like beds and sofa, safely and securely. Small dogs like a Chihuahua, a Pomeranian, or a Pug are born with short legs and it could be difficult to climb up and downstairs and furniture. A dog ramp will help them access these areas safely and easily. 

Dog ramps are not just for small dogs. Senior dogs or dogs with disabilities, illnesses that involve the muscles, bones, and joints may find it hard to climb upstairs, furniture, or a vehicle. Ramps are easy to use and will give dogs of all sizes and shapes a chance to explore and stay with their owners. 

Different Techniques To Train Your Small Dog To Use A Dog Ramp

Learning to use a dog ramp is easy with the following techniques:

Let Your Dog Play With The Ramp First

Like most new things that you want to introduce to your dog (dog bed, a new toy, or a new pet), letting your dog discover the ramp naturally is one way to train him. Install the dog ramp while your pet is asleep or out for a walk and let him find it on his own. Don’t be too perky about it; just let him find the ramp and see what it’s like climbing up and down on it. 

Use A Leash To Guide Your Dog

Your dog is now acquainted with the ramp so it’s time to show him how it’s done correctly. Let your dog wear a harness or a leash and try to guide it by gently tugging on the line. If you placed the ramp on a few steps, step up and down on the steps as you guide your pet up and down the ramp. Do this several times a day and after every run, give your pet a treat or a lot of praises. Small dogs love the attention and will likely catch on using this method.  

Use Food Or Treats To Train

Place some treats from the bottom of the ramp to the top of the ramp. On the first run, place the treats close to each other and gradually increase the distance between the treats until only two treats remain: one on the bottom of the ramp and the other on the top of the ramp. Right after completing this technique, remove the treats. Offer a reward each time he uses the ramp properly. 

Use Another Dog As A Guide

You can let another dog show your pet how it’s done. An elderly dog or one of his parents or siblings will do. Let him see that it’s not a big deal to use the ramp. 

Train Every Day

Don’t forget to train your pet every day. Whether the ramp leads to your bed or couch or your car, make it a habit to use the ramp. Don’t cut corners and simply carry your pet instead. If the ramp helps your pet get on your car, ready the ramp before he even gets out of the house. 

Use A Safe Ramp

Choose the safest ramp as much as possible. Ramps vary depending on the size and weight of your pet. Small dogs will do well with lightweight ramps but choose one with side rails or sides to protect your pet from falls and slips. Use ramps with rough surfaces or grooves so it’s easier and safer to move about. 

A ramp can be a very useful tool for a small dog. Here’s a list of some of the best pet ramps on the market we’ve compiled. Whether you’re looking for dog ramps for bed, dog ramp to navigate a high SUV, or a pet ramp to prevent injury when your pup has taken a habit of jumping from high couch/furniture surfaces. Take time to train your pet especially when your pet has a health issue or is a senior dog. Be patient with your pet and reward him even with very small accomplishments. 

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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