7 month puppy scared of stairs

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Chucklevision
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:11 pm

7 month puppy scared of stairs

Post by Chucklevision » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:33 am

Hi all,

It's been a while since I posted for some advice. Dudley , my nearly 7 month old beagle puppy is scared of going downstairs so I'm after some advice on how to tackle this.

So the situation is that I often homework, and try to do this as much as possible.

Dudley went through a phase (and it seems to be coming to an end) where he would cry, whinge, bark etc if I left him downstairs although eventually he would calm down. My office is upstairs ( and I can't transfer it down stairs due to space) and because my job is front-facing on the phone I can't really have a barking dog in the background.

I left dudley down stairs on a couple of ocassions in his pen (checking on him regularly) however I found that I couldn't tell the difference between his "I need a wee" barks/crys and his other barks so it set back his housebreaking. This was really frustrating as he was so very nearly there but ho-hum that's on me!

I decided to bring him upstairs with me with some toys so I can keep an eye on him. For the most part this works fine as I'm better able to tell when he needs to go out.

The minor issue being that he is afraid to go down the stairs. I've tried putting treats on the bottom two stairs to ease him into it but he is really nervous and reluctant. At the moment I carry him down the stairs which is fine for now but obviously he will get heavier. Also he is really reluctant to allow me to pick him up to so I have to encourage him with treats etc but he runs away. He's fine on other stairs I. E. Just one or two steps.

Any suggestions oh wise ones?

Erica
Posts: 2697
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: 7 month puppy scared of stairs

Post by Erica » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:47 am

Are the stairs hardwood or carpeted?

Think of it from his perspective - one or two stairs, at worst he's falling his body length. Unpleasant, not ideal, possibly dangerous, but survivable. A full flight of stairs is like tumbling down a cliff. High potential for injury, and scary!

Additionally, at his age, going down stairs could do a number on his growing joints.

I would at this point, work on getting him happy to be carried. Really fabulous treats when you pick him up, a steady stream as you go down the stairs, and put him down gently as soon as possibly.
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

JudyN
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Location: Dorset, UK
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Re: 7 month puppy scared of stairs

Post by JudyN » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:30 am

You could also try putting him, say, three steps up from the bottom and encouraging him to come down the rest of the way, then four steps up, and so on. Or, if you haven't tried it, encourage him to come down with you sitting just a few stairs from the top - then maybe you could shuffle down a step at a time.

Though as Erica says, it isn't great for young dogs' joints. Would it work if you sat him on your lap and came down one step at a time on your bum?
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Chucklevision
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:11 pm

Re: 7 month puppy scared of stairs

Post by Chucklevision » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:02 pm

Thanks both for your replies.

Erica - the stairs are carpeted.

I have been putting him on the bottom stairs with treats to get him used to it. Or as suggested sitting underneath a few stairs.

I'll just continue to carry him and try on work on his fear around this. I guess I was just worried that if I continued to carry him that he would never get used to the stairs and I would be creating a problem down the line.

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