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Old 01-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help with Stairs

My GSD puppy is now 10 weeks old and is terrified of stairs.. she wont go near them and when i try to pick her up to take her down the stairs off the deck she jumps backwards and starts to cry same with me trying to get her to come back up the stairs. I have tried using treat and calling her name and even helping her try to get her back legs up and she just doesnt want anything to do with it! My last GSD had stairs down pat after just a few days on her 8th week... Any suggestions?
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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*bump*
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I carried my puppy up and down till I couldnt carry him anymore. I did not want to risk him slipping. If puppy is afraid, just carry her. She will get confident quick enough.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Maybe you could help your puppy to gain confidence in other areas and not pressure her right now to learn the stairs. Give it a couple weeks, make sure she has lots of positive experiences and praise her for any act of bravery (no matter how small), then start doing fun stuff near the stairs but still not pressure her to go on them. After she seems more confident, don't ask her to climb the whole set of stairs, but maybe just to see if you can get her to voluntarily put her front paws on the first step (going UP because going up is less scary). After that, you will just have to gauge her comfort level and use that to determine how fast you will proceed.

If you get tired of carrying her, can you put a board down securely over part of the stairs to make a ramp for her to use?

I don't know if any of these ideas are any good, lol, just throwing stuff out there.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Could not you train the stairs as a trick? Have you ever tried walking your puppy over an object (like an aerobics bench) and rewarding? Have you ever rewarded your puppy for standing on a phone book, or getting onto a raised dog bed?

Treat it as a trick, and I bet you'll have this issue solved in no time.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How many steps do you have? We have lots, but we have options. If my pup had to do the steps to our upstairs or our upper deck - it would be a LOT. There are only two steps to my front porch, one step into the front door, two steps on one side of my lower deck and one step on the other. Like Wildo said - small steps. Reward your pup for doing them - even if you have to create them.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevenzachsmom View Post
How many steps do you have? We have lots, but we have options. If my pup had to do the steps to our upstairs or our upper deck - it would be a LOT. There are only two steps to my front porch, one step into the front door, two steps on one side of my lower deck and one step on the other. Like Wildo said - small steps. Reward your pup for doing them - even if you have to create them.
Both my front and back deck have 3 steps, they are very wide so there is lots of room even if she could just go up one at a time... Im not going to force her to do it because I do not want her to have any type of fear aggression, just didnt know if there was anything I could do, but I will just leave it for now she will probably go up them once she gets bigger, she was the runt of the litter and is still pretty small...
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A puppy shouldn't really be using steps and stairs until development is over. it's really bad for their elbows. Going up isn't as much of a problem but when they jump down it's really damaging. They found this with police k9s that used to jump out of SUVs over and over throughout the day that had lots of problems with their elbows. I just carry and drop over any curb or steps. At least until she is much older
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Lisl had mastered stairs at almost eight weeks. It was that or stay downstairs when I went to bed. I knew it was only a matter of a very short time that she would try and negotiate the staircase. At eight and a half weeks she was running up and down the stairs like she'd been born doing it.

15 carpeted stairs are not too bad for a young pup, but if they are not carpeted and are hardwood instead, I don't know that I would let her up and down the stairs until I knew she was confident of her footing.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandiah89 View Post
Both my front and back deck have 3 steps, they are very wide so there is lots of room even if she could just go up one at a time... Im not going to force her to do it because I do not want her to have any type of fear aggression, just didnt know if there was anything I could do, but I will just leave it for now she will probably go up them once she gets bigger, she was the runt of the litter and is still pretty small...
Could she not climb up one stair from the side, walk across and back down? I don't see stairs making a dog fear aggressive. She just needs to learn what stairs are, that they can be fun and won't hurt her. I'd have her get on the first step. Reward her with a treat and get down. Desensitize her to the steps. She has to learn. I would rather not carry the pup up and down steps. Greater chance of me falling, while carrying a pup, because I tends to be a klutz.

My pup, non-GSD, came from the shelter at about 12 weeks. No experience with steps. He was a bit apprehensive, but he got the gist of it pretty quickly. He is a small dog - 21.5 pounds at 7 months.
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