My puppy wonít use the stairs at all. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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My puppy wonít use the stairs at all.

We picked up our 3.5 month old gsd pup yesterday and we love her. But she wonít go up or down the stairs. She does go up with treats and encouragement, and can go down if sheís distracted. She seems frightened of a lot of things.

This is making potty training difficult and we have to carry her down, and up sometimes... and this obviously canít continue as she will outgrow that. Weíve had her for a half a day so far and we are all adjusting.

Also she seems flighty and I worry about socializing her later than ideal. I donít think she had much, she acts terrified at nearly everything. Tail tucked and aloof. I donít mind working with her, we love her so much. Does anyone have any suggestions? I wanted to start training her today, but she cowers a lot. Iím not sure if itís because we are new or something happened to her or what. She likes to lay down a lot, like everything is too much, and sits and acts stubborn when we get close to steps. We have to do steps for every potty break.

She seems healthy and can get playful and is like the other gsds in my life, but she just has a nervous streak. How can we deal with stairs and help her be more outgoing?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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In true German Shepherd fashion she learned quickly, ah we went up and down twice no problems! Iím getting her used to a lot. Sheís learning the word outside and I sat on the porch and waited for her. She liked it best when I let go of the lead and let her just do it. I was worried she was going to run off though, going to get a microchip and check line. But eh sheís doing fine now 😊
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 11:46 AM
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She is young but she will get used to it with time and training. She has not been with you long enough to be comfortable.
Just continue to encourage her and get her used to the schedule/routine and she will adapt.

They are really smart dogs so it shouldn't take long as long as you are consistent. Just do it the same way every time. When you want her to go outside to go potty have a catch phrase you use "Lets go potty.. ect..", put her collar/harness and leash on (because I am assuming you are taking her outside in a public area) Get some treats and then get her excited to go outside and lead her immediately to the stairs. Be confident and relaxed so she is. I would even do this routine when you don't need her to go potty so she gets used to the program. The more you do it the quicker she will get used to it.

The more you build up her confidence the less flighty she should be. Everything is new to her right now and she is just nervous. Our male was a nervous, barker when we started socializing him. It took him a while to get used to other dogs and people when we would take him out. The more we introduced him to the more relaxed and used to it all he got.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 11:47 AM
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I'd be patient, not try to force things. Keep her out as much as possible, just watching the world. Don't focus much on the stairs yet. Maybe sit on them with her. Give her a chance to just see that things aren't a big deal, exciting or scary. Keep a light leash on her if you think she's going to bolt, but give her some time to just adjust.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 12:26 PM
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Try to stop the activity before she tucks tail. Your goal is to keep her in as confident a state as possible for as long as possible. Youíll probably notice small muscle movements that will indicate the seconds before she tucks tail along with change in facial expression.

You are learning about her as much as she is learning about you and this new environment. I wouldnít bother with structured training but rather behavior shaping and Iíd give it a few days to just let her be a puppy and observe and settle in.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Sheís not worrying me at all today, she is full on land shark mode and using the stairs just fine. It has to be me with her though, she is very bonded with me which is good. She is doing great, I donít think today Iíve seen her nervous once. We are going to start socializing as I got her when she was older and Iím worried that our window will close soon. Sheís seen strangers, cars, a highway, big trucks, and neighborhoods dogs so far... weíre going to try out some of the pet stores and get her used to that and the park. We live in a somewhat rural area, so I hope thatís good enough for her. I wanted to start recall training but I see that right now she does need to adjust. When I need a break from her chewing I crate her with a toy close to me, I hope thatís alright. Iím completely exhausted and barely getting sleep. Just making sure she goes potty outside. She is after shoes and she likes to jump up on the cabinets, Iím trying to keep her on a schedule with eating and going out. Iím frazzled but I couldnít be happier
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