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Old 03-30-2014, 04:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Teaching a dog to climb stairs

my Dog (2 years old) cannot climb stairs. Hes scared and when he does try he always keep one paw on the ground (stretches up)

Is there anyway to actually teach him to climb stairs?

Im going away for 4 days in the near future (posted another one about boarding kennels) and my mum would be able to look after him but she lives in flats where theres 3 flights of stairs and no lift.

ive tried putting treats on each step but that doesnt work. the furthest he has gotten is 5 steps up but then turned around and jumped landing hard

Anyway to teach a dog to climb stairs quickly and safely?
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You could try blindfolding him and walking him up the stairs on a short leash. Make sure he is next to the wall side of the stairs.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dylano View Post
my Dog (2 years old) cannot climb stairs. Hes scared and when he does try he always keep one paw on the ground (stretches up)

Is there anyway to actually teach him to climb stairs?

Im going away for 4 days in the near future (posted another one about boarding kennels) and my mum would be able to look after him but she lives in flats where theres 3 flights of stairs and no lift.

ive tried putting treats on each step but that doesnt work. the furthest he has gotten is 5 steps up but then turned around and jumped landing hard

Anyway to teach a dog to climb stairs quickly and safely?
Have you tried starting from the top, with short leash. Maybe once he knows its easy to slowly step down, he'll be less afraid of going up?
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mine slipped on the stairs and we had a couple of days she wouldn't go up them. I ended up getting carpet runners for the stairs so it was easier for her to go up them. Then we went to a different staircase that wasn't as intimidating and went up it with her on the leash. After she was comfortable on the other stairs I went back to mine and she was still reluctant. I walked up the stairs with the leash and when I got to the point the leash started to tighten she came up them. It was slow for the first few days. First I had to go to the top with the leash then give her a little tug (not pull her up just a nudge to take the first step). Then she would go up them with the leash walking next to me. Then we didn't need the leash but she wanted me there. After about a week of working with her she forgot she was scared of them.

Not sure how much of this if any can apply to your situation but hope it helps.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He's nervous about every staircase. And when I gently tug him he flips out and pulls backwards. Any other ideas. And I can't start from the top as he's to heavy for my to carry him up
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Some ideas:

Can you first get him excited (ie. tug, OB with food) around the stairs first then run up 1 stair step to do a tug/OB there, or lure with food? If he gets comfortable and excited around the stair it might be easier to get him onto the stair. Or, feed his normal meals on the stair case and up it slowly each time?

If there's a dog he likes to play with, can you borrow that dog and play your way up the stair?

I'd not make the stair an event in itself but incorporate it into something he likes to do and very little at a time so he's not so focused on his fear but the fun/motivator.

Would he follow you if you go up the stair and disappears - would he come looking for you? Have someone hold him at the bottom and release the leash if he wants to come looking for you?

If he's into flirt pole maybe you can use that to entice him?
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think you've waited way to late to be able to do anything about it now. But I did see this issue over come on the Dog Whisperer.

Cesar used an agility dog A frame and lured the dog up and over. Transitioned to the stairs with out an issue.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I had the same problem with mine. We have stairs at work and he comes to work with me.

I let him stay at the bottom while I called everyone in the office to come up to the top of the stairs and we all pretended to have a big party. We did this a few times a day for a few days and then he finally decided that he had to join in.
Then I had the problem of trying to get him back down the stairs. We basically did the same thing but it was much easier and took less time for him to learn that.

Don't worry, it will happen. Mine went up a few then jumped back off them. Did that a number of times before he got his mojo working.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My boys 1 1/2 and I still can't get him to go to the second floor of our home. Hes never fallin down stairs and I've tried everything ( food, play, puppy , etc) I can think of to no avail. He'll go up maybe 5 steps and stop then jump down. We thought about carrying him but I'm worried he'll freak out and hurt himself coming down. It sounds identical to your problem. If I find anything that works I'll let ya know. I'm to stubborn to give up and we would really enjoy him hanging out in our room with us.
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