Dog will NOT climb the stairs. Why?

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He stops when he sees the stairs and would not climb or move. I have to lift him and then go up the stairs. When I put him down on floor, he then walks comfortably. Why will he not climb stairs? He will also not go down the stairs. I have to lift him and go downstairs. Then too when I put him on floor, he starts walking comfortably.
he is 2 years old and has perfect health. labrador mix is the breed

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    7 Responses to “Dog will NOT climb the stairs. Why?”

    1. Cookie says:

      Sometimes the first sign of an eye problem is the inability to climb anything. It doesn’t necessarily mean he is blind or even close to it, but he could have a distance problem (I have a young sheltie with this) and can’t judge exactly where the stair leaves off which is frightening to a young dog. He could also have some pain in a joint or two, causing a refusal to climb. Some of the retrieving breeds can develop growth plate problems causing a type of juvenile arthritis for a time.
      Put him on one of the stairs, possibly the 3rd from the bottom, get a treat and see if you can entice him to come down, watching closely to see how he manages it. If nothing is wrong he will use each stair case, but if there is a joint or eye problem he will basically fall down. If this happens I suggest a trip to the vet, but it he uses each step to come down, it is no doubt simply a fear issue.

    2. Pegs Tegan says:

      I had that problem, my dog wouldn’t go up some stairs. What you do, open all the doors, run half way down the street with your dog on a lead, and turn around, sprinting towards your house with your dog. Don’t even give your dog time to think, keep running, run through your house, and run towards the stairs. Don’t let your dog stop, you don’t even hesitate, just run up the stairs. Your dog might stop half way up. If this happens, don’t let your dog turn around, just stay there. Tug on the lead a little, but don’t talk to him. Remain calm and don’t rush him. Urge him a little bit more, and urging him until he starts to take baby steps. DO NOT rush him, push him, or drag him. If you want this to work you have to be patient.

      If your dog stops running when he gets to the stairs, do the whole thing again! Good Luck! 🙂

    3. Angellafaye says:

      It seems as though he is scare of the stairs. Go out and buy the dog steps. Get the one that is four steps. Then use treats to encourage him to walk up and down the steps. Continue doing this training for the next few weeks. Once he is comfortable going up and down the dog steps then you can move to the regular stairs and do the same training you did with the dog steps. Soon he will be going up and down the stairs without the use of you or the treats. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

      If you have a lot of stairs in your house it’s better to start off with the dog steps because the dog steps has less steps than your regular stairs and they’re less scary for him.

    4. SanP says:

      He might be having hip or back pains. Labradors tend to get these things, though usually when they are older. Your dog could also just be lazy or afraid of stairs. Mine gets lazy to go up stairs. But I just pull him on the first step then he hops up all the steps like a rabbit.

    5. magesteff says:

      It could be that when young he was never exposed to stairs and didn’t learn how to climb them. You could teach him by taking treats and helping him learn that the stairs are safe and that he can step on them without problems.

      Take his favorite treat and take a small piece and put it on the first step, and let him sniff the treat and take the first step. Praise him for putting a paw on that step. gradually, over days, put the treat on a higher step until the dog has learned to climb the stairs. Do this for only a few minutes at a time, and only treat/praise for moving up or down the stairs (whichever direction you are training). Do not punish the dog for not walking on the stairs as that will just make him more afraid of them.

    6. Junior Hernandez says:

      Either he is getting old or he’s scared because he fell of the stairs once or twice

    7. thefinalresult says:

      V E T E R I N A R I A N

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