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Best way to train stair climbing (up and down)
  • DaghainDaghain
    Posts: 113
    I live in a high-rise downtown, so Keiko has become a master of the elevator. However, if we have a fire, I'm going to have to walk her down four flights of stairs. So...

    Best way to train on stairs? She's much more willing to go up than down.
  • I don't know if this is this best way but I started with Nym on the lowest step, and when she mastered going down the one, I moved her to the 2nd lowest step. When she'd walk down two, on to the 3rd lowest and so on.... We live in a one floor walk up so it was imperative she learn how to navigate the stairs.

    Now she runs down the stairs... I have trouble keeping up with her, but to the leash I hold. Someone else might have a better way, but this worked for us. Good luck!
  • They usually do get it on their own, when they're older and able to control their back legs better and have better balance. Going up is easier than going down, so they learn that first. Just keep practicing, and be patient. I do like the method noted above, and have practiced that with my pups (I was actually using it to train for an agility stop, but it helps teach how to go down too.)

    It took my male Akita a long time to learn to go down, and he was a BIG puppy, so at one point, I was still having to carry him down stairs, and he was more than 30 pounds! I was so glad when he finally figured it out!
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Already great advice. Only thing I can add...if steps are a slippery surface, maybe try using a non skid mat(for training). Don't want her slipping/falling and becoming fearful of stairs.

    I read a very good article by Pat Miller in the WDJ, some time ago, on this. Unfortunately they won't let me access it now, as I don't have a subscription.

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • EJHEJH
    Posts: 48
    We brought our boy home at 16 weeks and he did not know how or want to climb up/down the stairs in our house. We used food treats as reward for each step he climbed up or down and to encourage him to go up/down. It took at couple of days before he was racing up and down them.

    They do have a little balance issue going down. Our boy is now 6 months old and he still flops around going down when he's too fast :)
    Post edited by EJH at 2014-09-22 16:51:03
  • My puppy would only go upstairs for about a month after we got him. Our apartment building has about 8 steps down to the sidewalk and we'd have to carry him down the steps 8 times a day for his bathroom trips. I wouldn't mind carrying him but he hated behind handled at the time and I could tell it made him quite uneasy to be carried. Then at about 13 weeks old, he had to go to the bathroom REALLY bad and, in his hurry, he just rushed down the stairs! I was amazed!

    In our neighborhood, there were some very broad, non-steep stairs that I'd encouraged him to try before. He definitely didn't like it but it did help a little. (I used treats to entice him to each lower step.) Also, he used to hesitate when jumping off the curb from sidewalk to street, but he picked that up very quickly and I think getting used to that motion also helped him learn to go down steps.

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