German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,280 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,873 Posts
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".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
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.

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
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.:rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I placed him on the bottom few steps each time we went out today. Still no luck with him going down.

However, :wild: 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...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts
Sounds like he's going to figure them out at his own pace!
I would keep working with him on this. Keep him hungry in the am and keep up with the treats on the stairs and lots of praise.

When you have FOUR legs, and are growing every day, plus gravity.... stairs can be a real challenge and somewhat scary. The coordination for the 4 legs at the same time and being able to look at the HUGE DISTANCE :) plus worry about when you start to stumble/slide.

Thing is, if you are there, your pup can learn you can help, and the sliding isn't too bad, and LOOK.... is that a piece of liver I see on the next step?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,002 Posts
We live in a tri-level, 6 steps up and 6 down. Max would go up and down the steps leading to the upper level but not the lower level. My hubby even carried him down once and he came up but would not go back down.

I tried treats a leash, nothing worked. Until one day he was probably 8 months old he would go as far as putting his front paws on the 3rd step. I sat down right behind him so he could not back up. I then wrapped my arms around him and talked to him as he was kinda shaking by this time. I slowly lifted a back paw and moved it down a step then the front. I kept moving behind him sitting so he could not back up. By the time he got to the 3rd step he decided to just go for it. When he got to the bottom I threw a party!!!

That was all it took, it has been going up and down like a pro now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Just an update...using the methods that have been said above...Diesel has been going up and down the stairs for the last four days in a row without us needing to pick him up.

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
i must have a suicide pup... he learned the stairs at 8 weeks and i had to baby gate it closed because he wanted to go UP DOWN UP DOWN UP DOWN.... psychotic dog... ive given up on blocking the stairs since thats where he has to go to go outside and potty and lifting him up is getting harder on my back than anything else
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
For Jordan she follows me very closely... one day my hubby took her up stairs and I stayed at the bottom, he had her sit and wait then I asked for her eyes (attention command) I had a hand ful of treats and I opened my hand so she could see them (She associates me with training and treats so she typically assumes I have treats anyway). She wanted to be with me and the only way to me was down... she took about 10 minutes ...whined... stopped.... etc... we just kept encouraging her and she eventually made it (And got the handfuls of treats) we did this daily for about a week now she will take stairs with someone but not alone which isn't a concern b/c our house is one story. Anyway good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
My dog did the exact thing when she was a puppy was terrified of stairs. Then one day she just did it and know loves to run up and down them -- Good Excercise. They will do the stairs when they are ready
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
I think it's probably common for them to be scarred of stairs. It wasn't until I got Apollo that Riley would start going down stairs. He saw another dog so he started doing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,002 Posts
Just an update...using the methods that have been said above...Diesel has been going up and down the stairs for the last four days in a row without us needing to pick him up.

Thanks again!
Way to go!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
They'll eventually need to be slowed down or stopped. Sadie would leap off the last 4. I had to put up a gate. She was a bit over-zealous. Kelly, on the other hand is very mellow about the stairs. She waits at the top and when I get to the first landing, she joins me and again waits. I get to the bottom and she follows. Does really good going up too. Right by my side the whole way. Okay by me...
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top