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We study, experimentally and numerically, the increase of the stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) threshold in dispersion-shifted fibers (DSFs) by applying three different tensile-strain distributions. The best results are obtained with a 40-step stair-ramp distribution, for which we demonstrate a 8-dB SBS threshold increase in a 580-m DSF. The Brillouin frequency is observed to shift as a function of the strain at a rate of 0.464 GHz/%. We discuss the potentials and drawbacks of this technique for application in nonlinear devices.