View Full Version : Stair Question

Denise G.
28th September 2006, 04:09 PM
Mia still has NO interest in learning to go up/down my stairs. I have a sort of large spiral staircase with riser type stairs (space between each stair). I've tried to encourage her to use the stairs but she tries to bail out through the side rails :yikes when I put her on the second or third step to go up. I haven't tried putting her leash on and leading her up yet. I guess I thought she would eventually follow me and Wrigley up the stairs on her own. She's a little bigger now, but she could still fit through the space between the stairs--so I guess I'm a little unsure of whether or not to encourage the stairs yet. Also, she and Wrigley chase each other all over the place and I'm a little concerned they'll start playing on the stairs if she gets accustomed to using them...

Any suggestions? Thanks!

28th September 2006, 04:47 PM
Denise what I did with King was I put him on the second step then tapped his tush a couple times then said "King Up-Up" and slowly but surely King started to climb the stairs....But going down was another challenge... :lol:

To get King to go down stairs I first started with a staircase that only has bout 2-4 stairs so he could get the feel of it... Then I tried a staircase with more stairs...so it may take sometime, just be patient wit ur kid

28th September 2006, 07:10 PM
We bought puppy stairs for the couch and the bed - it only took a week before the house stairs were mastered!

28th September 2006, 07:59 PM
Charlie's mastered the stairs (unfortunately)!! only cos he wants to be by my side all the time :roll:
I'm sure he's too young though? Can't it damage their hips etc if done too soon??

28th September 2006, 08:06 PM
I'd encourage her a stair or two at a time with small treats placed on the step. However -- if she can fall through the railings or risers you need to put something there to protect her from doing that or just block the stairs til she is older. I think a spiral staircase would be far more daunting to a dog and I'd be really careful as if they are not carpetted, they could really go flying off the stairs due to the hair on their paws. She may simply never want to go up and down a spiral staircase -- from a dog's pov they can't see anything ahead or below especially if the staircase is narrow.

Denise G.
28th September 2006, 11:26 PM
The stairway itself is pretty wide, but I can see how it would be daunting to a little dog. Good thing she only weighs 12 pounds--looks like I'll be carrying her up/down indefinitely! ;) Gives me an excuse to cuddle her...

29th September 2006, 12:04 AM
Personally, I don't blame her. Never mind little dogs- I hate riser stairs myself, even though I know the chance of slipping through them is minimal to nil. I think I was traumatised by falling off slide stairs in a pool as a kid; your dog hasn't that excuse but she's little so I'd leave it. Look at it this way- she's a Cav. If she really, really wants to be with you, she'll find a way up (and down) those stairs, come hell or er, high stairs. Pardon the daft puns. I'm slightly tipsy. ;)

29th September 2006, 01:50 PM
When I teatched Bono to go up and down our stairs, I actually had to show him how to move his legs. When we had gone up and down with me by his side, he started do go by himself, but very slowly

29th September 2006, 02:22 PM
Same with my lot - they could get up but not down, ended up moving their front legs onto the next step then moving their back legs down after.... I am sure that Woody slides down on his tum sometime though... :D

29th September 2006, 02:27 PM
our Daisy Boo is absolutely terrified of going down stairs. We don't know if it's related to a fall she had down a couple of steps when she was younger or something to do with her patella problem.

Going UP the stairs is not a problem though! She'll happily bounce up the stairs, mess around with any spare socks, underwear, shoes that she can find and then loudly let us know she is ready to be carried back down :lol:

Denise G.
29th September 2006, 03:11 PM
Good to know I'm not alone with the stair problem. I tried to put her on the stairs to go up and she just freezes and doesn't quite know what to do. We'll keep working on it--she'll get at some point because she's brilliant!! ;)

29th September 2006, 03:54 PM
Ella wanted to go down the stairs so badly but was shaking with fear whenever she got close. I never encouraged her as I didn't mind taking her up and down and she is still a baby so I figured it would come in time. Well, she got up the nerve one day and now she thinks they are terrible fun to run up and down. Every once in a while she misses on the way up and can't pull her hiney up - she promptly acts like she was never trying to get up the stairs in the first place, she meant to do that and find something nearby to play with as though that was the plan all along.

Denise G.
29th September 2006, 06:21 PM
How cute! Gotta look cool going up the stairs for sure! ;)

30th September 2006, 12:35 PM
Last weekend, I had a dog trainer here for a two hour session with Abby. Abby would go up the stairs, but not down.

She showed Abby how to go down (physically helping her, moving her back legs when Abby stopped, etc. and said the key was showing her three times. Sure enough, after showing/helping Abby three times, Abby now goes down the stairs.

We do not have her go down our main staircase yet, because it's very long, it's not carpeted, and I'm afraid she'll get scared and go through the railing, resulting in a very long drop down.

Good luck!

30th September 2006, 01:25 PM
Jeremy is quite happy to go up and down stairs. But My Golden retrievers wont. I still have to lift them into the car even :roll:

Cathy Moon
30th September 2006, 02:41 PM
One of the first things we did in agility was to teach our dogs hind leg/foot awareness. This kind of awareness helps the dog to do stairs, too.

This is done by laying a ladder on the floor and letting the dog explore it on his/her own, clicking and treating the pup for sniffing it or putting front feet into the sections. Gradually we encouraged our dogs to walk in the sections of the floor between the ladder rungs, stepping over the rungs. After awhile, they are able to do this easily, moving quickly back and forth the entire length of the ladder. That's when you know they have awareness of their hind legs.

Another exercise that helps develop hind leg awareness is teaching dogs to walk backwards by facing them and slowly moving forward, clicking and treating them as they move backwards.

One more activity is to place a book on the floor and click and treat your pup for sniffing the book and for touching it with front paws. After awhile, encourage your pup to put both front feet on the book. Then, standing next to your dog and facing the same direction, take tiny sidesteps closer to the dog, clicking and treating when he/she moves hind legs to circle around the book with his/her front feet still on the book. Do this in both directions, moving clockwise and counterclockwise.

After practicing these exercises the dog will become very agile, which makes it easy to do stairs, ramps, and all the agility contact obstacles! Geordie can even climb a small step ladder. :shock: :lol: