Sometimes a change that can seem small to a human can make all the difference for a dog learning how to navigate something new.
That’s exactly what happened at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan when the employees were trying to figure out how to make going up and down stairs easier on rescued dogs.
When multiple dogs were having issues with the stairs at the ASPCA building, which they must use at least four times a day, the team of employees came up with the best solution.
“ASPCA behavior team suggested painted the monochromatic tan-colored stairs with colors used for dog agility equipment: blue and yellow,” their website read.
So that’s exactly what they did. The center painted the edge of each step a bright yellow and the rest of the steps a contrasting sky blue so that the dogs can easily distinguish where one step stops and the next starts
“Dogs must get used to riding in elevators and climbing stairs in order to go outside for walks,” ASPCA wrote on their website. “But for some dogs, stairs can be especially frightening.”
ASPCA Senior Manager of Behavior and Training explained in ASPCA’s article on the topic explained that a lot of dogs who are rescued have not experienced stairs due to their abusive pasts, which usually only include places like backyards, basements, and other space-restricting areas.
With that little fix, the dogs now have so much more confidence going up and down the stairs!
ASPCA explained that dogs only have blue and yellow photoreceptors, which makes their color vision lesser than a human’s.
Now with the change, dogs who were terrified of the stairs before can now more easily adapt due to the addition of the painted steps!
It is just one little change that makes transitions for these dogs go a little bit more smoothly!
If you have a dog that is having a hard time with stairs, obviously painting the steps of your house isn’t ideal.
However, this could give you ideas on how to temporarily incorporate the colors on the steps until your dog is more familiar!