How do I teach going up and down stairs. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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How do I teach going up and down stairs.

I have been trying to get goofy to go up the stairs with no luck. I have put treats but he only goes up 3 stairs to get the treats and goes back down. he will then sit on the bottom and just wait for me.

Also how do you get your dogs to get into your SUV? I have a Jeep grand cherokee and a Nissan Armada. Goofy is 3 months old today by the way. I know the Armada is too high for him to get in for now I think.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 06:44 PM
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Re: How do I teach going up and down stairs.

Give him time. Shane was scared to death of the stairs until he realized if he wanted to be with us he had to climb the stairs and if he wanted to chase the cat he needed to get up the stairs. He is still young, so be patient and reward him for the progress he does make.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 07:36 PM
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Re: How do I teach going up and down stairs.

Where are your steps leading to/from? How manysteps are there? If the top is where you want him to go, try putting him one/two steps from the top and going up. Does he have a favorite toy/treat? When you are treating from the bottom, try tossing a treat on the next step up as he is getting the first one-make sure he sees it going to that step.

Start tossing one of his toys (high value toy here) up two/three steps at a time - after tugging with him and getting him excited with getting that toy!

As far as the SUV - Lancer just turned six months, he puts his two paws on the back and I boost him the rest of the way. I really don't want him jumping into the back at this age. And have been thinking about getting a ramp/steps for the SUV.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 08:10 PM
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Re: How do I teach going up and down stairs.

At 5 months, Otto has just started getting himself into my stationwagon - I had to lift his bum until maybe 2 weeks ago.

Otto learned the stairs in the mudroom first (there's only 3 stairs), before he was 3 months. Then he learned the basement stairs - there was motivation to get down to where I store the kibble.

My stairs to the second floor are split, 9 from the bottom then a landing then they turn for 6 more to the top. It took him the longest time to dare these. I think he was about 4 months when he mastered them.

Go figure, the main stairs have a nice thick runner where the basement stairs have thin thread. I do have the same treads on the mudroom stairs as the basement stairs so maybe that's why he was in the basement weeks before he went up to the second floor.

Funny - a few weeks ago I had to get a box of gloves and hats out of the attic, those stairs are hidden in the closet in my daughter's room. Otto came to investigate the noise in the closet, saw the stairs and dashed up to the attic with this look like Hey Cool I didn't know this was here! The lightbulb up there burned out and I haven't gotten around to changing it. I heard him running around there like it was some great adventure before he finally came out covered in yuck!


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-05-2008, 03:48 PM
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Re: How do I teach going up and down stairs.

At that young age I would not want my dog jumping OUT of those vehicles. They are too high and it could put too much force on the growth plates.

As for the stairs, I start by carrying the pup/dog to the 2nd stair from the top and place them there. I then put a couple treats on the next step up and toss a handful of REALLY great treats to the top landing. Usually doesn't take a dog long to learn to go up 2 steps.

Continue anbd add one step every 2-3 days (or when the dog feels comfortable).

And remember - carpeted stairs look different to a dog than wooden stairs or those with no backs (like deck stairs).
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-05-2008, 05:35 PM
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Re: How do I teach going up and down stairs.

Doing stairs really requires coordination between the front and hind legs for the pups, so can be scary for them and take some time. I just wouldn't push it. Use treats and give them the opportunity to try the stairs.

As far as jumping in and out of a vehicle, I pick them up when they are smaller, specially to get into a taller vehicle. They seem to be able to jump out easier and younger.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-06-2008, 03:27 PM
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Re: How do I teach going up and down stairs.

Juli learned stairs pretty fast. I think she was more scared of going down then up. Our stairs are solid so you can't see through the steps. I took her to an office building once and she would not go up the cement stairs maybe because she could "see through" them, since they were just flat cement with no vertical facing.

I would try to use treats and work him up the stairs to build confidence. He will be doing them in no time.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How do I teach going up and down stairs.

thanks for the info everyone. There are 12 carpeted stairs going up and 10 into the basement. So far he will go up to 3 stairs now with the treats, but stops right at the turn going up. Will keep trying.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 12:12 PM
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Re: How do I teach going up and down stairs.

Some dogs will never do it. My parents had an akita they tried since she was a puppy to go up/down stairs, even carrying her up to see if she would go down. Nope. She passed at 8 yrs old and still wouldn't do the stairs.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 05:03 PM
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Re: How do I teach going up and down stairs.

I just took my puppies' legs and helped him walk up and down them one leg at a time. It took about five tries, but now he goes up and down the stairs. Your dog will get the point eventually.
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