GSD won't go up or down stairs in house - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

Hello. I just bought a new house and my Tripp is afraid to go upstairs or downstairs. I would like to let him know there's nothing to be afraid of by using the stairs. There is carpet on both sets of stairs so it's easy for him to grip and get up or down. He's just scared for some reason. I don't want him to be restricted to just the main floor of the house. I've tried putting "goodies" on the stairs for him, but he won't go any higher then 3 steps. Any tips or advice?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 07:57 PM
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Re: GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

Take it slow. How old is Tripp btw? If he's never seen stairs, it's reasonable for him to be afraid. I would keep doing the treat thing...place a couple on each step, and maybe just ignore him for a minute. He might be looking to you for help, especially if it's happened before lol. Use the yummiest thing you can find.

If he is still not wanting to go any further, go play a favorite game, and try again later. Make it as fun and positive as possible.

~Stephanie

Alexa (04/25/09)

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 08:19 PM
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Re: GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

Has he done stairs before?
If yes then I personally would suspect just patience would be required as he got used to the new stairs. If no then I might worry about physical reasons he won't climb stairs- like pain. How old is he?

Lisa
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 09:49 PM
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Re: GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

Beau had this problem went I first got him. Once he went up and I helped him down, he got the hang of it. He'll go up easy, but still needs help coming down. The steepness gets to them. Keep working on it and hopefully it will get easier.

Kim (MSPCA Vol.), Lainey (Lainey Express Destiny Ryanhaus) and Beau (formerly Booker GSD/Lab?- Rescue)


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 10:27 PM
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Re: GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

Are they the stairs with no risers perhaps? Just the treads? I've told the story before of Barker the Younger, my working lines dog & the stairs at my friend's... I arrived late & we talked for a while, then headed upstairs for the night. These were open stairs. BTE, and the humans headed upstairs. BTY backed up, looked at us on the landing and barked! and barked! A great deep bark at 2 AM! Coaxing didn't work. Treats didn't work. She still had on her seat belt harness - matteroffactly carrying her up by that worked. Stairs were conquered never again to cause fright.
Now neither dog would go down the stairs to my basement in Wyoming. Never would.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 10:46 PM
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Re: GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

Quote:
Originally Posted By: middleofnowhere Now neither dog would go down the stairs to my basement in Wyoming. Never would.
Luther runs merrily up and down the stairs in the house and everywhere else - never had any hesitation - but he will NOT go down the basement stairs.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 11:15 PM
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Re: GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

Mandalay was not allowed down in the basement in the old house. When I would go down, she would just stay at the top. Then once she decided that she couldnt take it and tried to come down. I caught her halfway and she stopped. Then she was stuck....she had no idea how to get going again.

Maybe the dog just does not know how to go up/down.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

Tripp is just over 1 year's old. He's never gone up or down before except 3-4 of my parents' porch steps. I tried to help him one time, but it felt more like I was forcing him and it felt wrong to do that. I'm hoping that with time he will just do it on his own... ?

BTW, the stairs have risers. I will keep trying with treats.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 09:35 PM
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Re: GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

I think it DID take Lucy a while, and down was harder than up.

Lisa
Owned by:
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Fancy Me Deuce (Tedy) APHA gelding
Purple Haze Nirvana AQHA mare
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-18-2009, 03:44 AM
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Re: GSD won't go up or down stairs in house

To make Tripp climb up the stairs .....

1.At meal time,take his food and climb up the stairs and keep calling/encouraging him to follow you......he will try climbing the first step with his front legs on the step while his hind legs firmly on the ground.(that's how it was with my girl)

2.Once you are upstairs,disappear with his bowl of food and wait for few minutes.....and then appear again with his food and call/encourage him to climb up.

3.After few minutes......(this is important)....you come down the stairs,lift him and climb the stairs,keeping him as close as possible to the stairs...occasionally his legs touching the stairs......you are just simulating the experience of climbing the stairs ......and give his meal.

4.Leave him down at 2 steps from the top and gently push/pull him to climb the remaining steps

do this often and he'll figure out that climbing the stairs means food n fun .

once he's learned climbing up......start teaching climbing down.

1.lead him upstairs (by now he must climb the stairs at ease)with toys,treats and play,feed him.....just basically have fun upstairs....gently interrupt the play/feeding and go down stairs while encouraging him to follow you.....he'll keep staring at you for your help.....(In his mind he'll sort of feel like "if only i could go down stairs,i could continue the play" ).

2.Now that you are down stairs while Tripp is still upstairs looking for your help or just trying to figure out how to get down......Place the toys,treats that you were playing with him on floor visible to Tripp.....go away for a minute and come back,call him down...call him for a play.....

3.after doing the calling thing 3-4 times....you go upstairs,lift him and bring him down....while keeping his body as close as possible to stairs......

4.(this is important).....Leave him at 1 step to the floor the first time......the next day.....leave him at 2 steps from the floor......he'll probably jump from there.......but gradually increase the height from where you leave him.

With patience and pain in your back (lol).....you'll succeed !
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