How to teach my dog to climb or go down stairs?

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My 6 year old lab will not go up or down stairs. At the base of our main level stairs, he will go up about 4 steps with his front paws only. He will not let his back feet off the main level floor. So I guess he’s not exactly afraid of the stairs but more curious and nervous to go into foreign territory and go up the stairs. He is a happy, pampered dog and he gets a TON of attention and love, never abused or anything of the sort. How can I encourage him to climb stairs with out forcing?
@hopelove- no, there was just never the necessity for him to use stairs. And I’m actually not afraid over roller coasters hahah so uh.

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    5 Responses to “How to teach my dog to climb or go down stairs?”

    1. HopeLove says:

      Is this a new house or has this issue recently started? Based on his age, I’m worried that it’s not that he doesn’t understand stairs, but that it may be difficult for him to actually climb them, putting too much pressure on his front/back legs.

      You NEVER want to FORCE a dog to do ANYTHING. Especially, by a leash. The dog will only learn that when he is wearing a leash he has to do things that are unpleasant to him. Imagine if YOU were scared to go on a rollercoaster & your parents strapped you up anyway!?

      If his health is not a problem & you have recently moved from a one-story to a two-story home, I suggest using yummy treats or his favorite toys & calling to him in a happy, upbeat tone.

      If this does not work, maybe he has another dog that he plays with often & that dog could come over & "show him" how to use the stairs. =]]

    2. Jacob says:

      Put on his leash and walk him up with you. He’s going to pull back and not want to go but when you coax him with your body language, not your voice, he’ll break free of his anxiety of leaving the bottom floor. It won’t happen right away and you’ll want to have positive reinforcement like treats for when he does make progress! Even if it is just one step or even interest in moving higher than the 4th step, praise and reinforce that behavior. Practice with him a couple times a day everyday and soon he should be ok with the stairs.
      Think of it like a mental block and you have to break it for him, with him, so he can succeed 🙂
      Hope that helps

    3. Ellia Matour says:

      You got a dumb dog.

    4. Bobbie says:

      With his favorite doggie treat on every step then every other step etc…

    5. Michelle says:

      Put on his leash and walk him up with you. He’s going to pull back and not want to go but when you coax him with your body language, not your voice, he’ll break free of his anxiety of leaving the bottom floor. It won’t happen right away and you’ll want to have positive reinforcement like treats for when he does make progress! Even if it is just one step or even interest in moving higher than the 4th step, praise and reinforce that behavior. Practice with him a couple times a day everyday and soon he should be ok with the stairs.
      Think of it like a mental block and you have to break it for him, with him, so he can succeed 🙂
      Hope that helps

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