I have noticed that Dugan the Dog is starting to show his age at 5-1/2 years. Dugan has trouble jumping up into the back of the truck as easily as he used to. Dugan gets to ride in the back of the truck after his occasional bath. This allows him to dry off quickly so he won’t get filthy outside while he is wet or smell up the house with his powerful wet dog smell if we were to keep him inside to stay clean while he dries off. He now seems unsure of himself when trying to jump up there and I am afraid he could seriously injure a leg by banging it on the edge of the trucks tailgate.
So I took some scrap lumber and constructed a ramp so he can walk or run up into the truck bed. First, I the set the ramp up in the back yard propped up on one end a little with some blocks. I then would take Dugan by the collar and lead him up the ramp and off of the end as I enticed him with a treat. He was reluctant to cooperate at first because he could see no sense in it. After all, he could plainly see perfectly good solid ground on each side of the ramp, so why bother going up a ramp? After some days he got the hang of it so I raised the end up a higher to make it steeper and we practiced some more.
Then at last I figured he was ready to graduate to going up the ramp into the truck. I set the ramp up and tried to get Dugan to go up into the truck as I held his collar. At first he would get nervous and rear back like a scared horse, but after a little encouragement and some enticement with treats he started going up the ramp like an old pro!
Who says you cannot teach old dogs new tricks?