Help: Going down stairs. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Help: Going down stairs.

I have a 15 week old GSD. He is learning pretty fast, behaves well in a crate, is great around strangers and other dogs.

Only problem is...he won't go down stairs without help. We have to carry him.

He walks up them fine.

When it is time to go outside to play, go for a walk, or bathroom...he just gets frustrated and sits at the top.

We have tried putting treats on a few steps. He puts his front paws down one step and takes that treat only. We play around the steps to get him used to it, he has never fallen or anything. Several times when he has placed his front paws down one step I have taken his hind legs and placed them down a step as I support his head and chest and he slowly goes down them all, but he won't do it by himself.



Any tips?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 10:18 AM
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I just got through reading in Breed Basics: The German Shepherd Dog, that it's best if you carry your pup up and down the stairs for a while. You don't want to cause potential damage to the joints or potential arthiritis.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 10:23 AM
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Wolfie wouldn't go down the stairs until he was 5 months old. I have a video of him running away every time I mentioned going down the stairs. He went up just fine. Then, one day, he just walked down the stairs on his own.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 10:54 AM
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You might try putting him on the first step at the bottom and calling him, so he has just one stair to go down and then gradually increasing how far up you put him. His confidence will grow and eventually he'll "get it".
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GSD Fan View Post
it's best if you carry your pup up and down the stairs for a while. You don't want to cause potential damage to the joints or potential arthiritis.
I was actually thinking that picking him up over and over again could cause potential damage.

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Wolfie wouldn't go down the stairs until he was 5 months old. I have a video of him running away every time I mentioned going down the stairs. He went up just fine. Then, one day, he just walked down the stairs on his own.
I should add that my girlfriend and I share responsibility of him. 5 months huh...I could see him getting too heavy for her to carry down stairs, which I would then be more concerned about her health down the stairs as he is being carried.

Reading up on some things it sounds like a lot of owners have had similar experiences as you...just one day the dog did it on his own.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 11:37 AM
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You might try putting him on the first step at the bottom and calling him, so he has just one stair to go down and then gradually increasing how far up you put him. His confidence will grow and eventually he'll "get it".
Agreed. My boy is 4 months old and came home with us a week ago today. In the week he's learned to go up and down stairs on his own as well as jump up and down from the bed/couch.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 01:37 PM
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Are the stairs open at the back seems like it took longer for my dogs to go down stairs like that, but like others on here one day they just did it.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Are the stairs open at the back seems like it took longer for my dogs to go down stairs like that, but like others on here one day they just did it.
No. The funny part is he tries harder to go down the back steps from the deck, that do not have a back, then he does the front steps in side the house.

We took him to a friends house who have several stone steps down their back porch and he went down those. We know he can do it, its just the inside steps he is hesitant with.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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I placed him on the bottom few steps each time we went out today. Still no luck with him going down.

However, An hour ago he went down the entire flight of stairs down the back deck.

He eased his way down the first 5 or 6 and then got a bit excited and sped up for the bottom few. He hit the last one a little hard and limped a bit, but I checked for any damage and he was fine as he ran it off. It was a little nerve racking at first but he was fine.

So I tried to see if he would go up those steps going back in, and he didn't.

We tried again with the steps inside and still no luck...
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 06:12 PM
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Sounds like he's going to figure them out at his own pace!
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