Recently adopted 8yo Mixed GSD afraid of stairs - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 04-14-2014, 03:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Recently adopted 8yo Mixed GSD afraid of stairs

I recently adopted a Shelter mixed GSD. She is 8yo, best guess by vets. When I brought her home today she refused to go up the stairs. I tried to entice her with food but she would only go up the 1st step. My husband had to carry her up. She also refuses to walk down the stairs. She is fine walking around on the leash and walking around the house. Could it be that she never had any experience with stairs before? Or could she have a hip problem? Does anyone have experience with Adult/Senior GSD's being afraid of stairs?

thanks in advance for your input!
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Our rescue dog had issues with stairs at first. They guessed him to be about 5 or 6 years old. He does still have some probable arthritis or mild hip dysplasia in his left back leg, but over about a month he learned the stairs really well & occasionally bounds up them to greet us before our alarms wake us up. He had spent his pre-shelter life as a stud for a puppy mill. He hadn't seen stairs before, so wasn't sure how to handle them. If your pup doesn't start to get a basic understanding after a while, double check with the vet (for if there are joint or other health issues) or a trainer for other ways to help the dog figure them out. Even if the dog doesn't have joint issues yet, glucosamine joint health treats or supplements may help keep pup limber in the more adult/senior years. Good luck!

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Old 04-14-2014, 02:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for your response! Today my husband carried her to the middle part of the stairs and she when the rest of the way down on her own! I think she may have not had any exposure to stairs before we adopted her. She still won't go up the stairs but I think with patience and time she will learn to climb up. I will definitely take your advice of giving her time to adjust to them. Im glad to hear that your GSD is fine with stairs now, even with is slight hip issues! It gives me hope that even if she develops some hip issues she should still be ok.
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