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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Climbing steps

Izzy is now 4 months old and weighs 7.8 lbs. I have steps in my house, about 6 up to kitchen and 6 up to bedrooms. She is too afraid to climb them. She did slip a few times! I can entice her with treats or she will go up to follow my son when he visits, but otherwise I have to carry her up and down Am I expecting too much. How was it for all of you. Any suggestions if I sit on steps she will just sit there and cry. Afraid to go to top that she will fall down steps
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 04:29 PM
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Are your stairs wooden? My aunt has a puppy that, at 8 months, was terrified of the stairs. She laid a nonslip mat (the ones that look like checkerboards) on each step, and Grace now uses stairs like a champ.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Steps are carpeted I even put a nonslip mat at bottom, since there is a wood floor
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 08:41 PM
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Castro has built up his confidence to go up steps, but so far is too afraid to go down them (I don't mind so much at the moment as it does help to keep him in the office at work :P ). The only steps that has has actually attempted are in my parents garden, and they are large steps and not very high so there wasn't much chance of him tumbling down them.

When we take him out to the grass at our place there is a set of 2 steps which he bounds up without any problems at all, but when it is time to go down them he just sits at the top and stares at us waiting to be lifted down.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 07:13 AM
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Lola flies up the steps...16 of them. But then again she does everything at sonic speed. I don't let her go down any steps though at this young age.

From the sounds of your post your Izzy can go up steps since she follows your son up them. Were you with/near her when she slipped? She may need you to help her with her "trust issues". Perhaps you could offer her the treats while you sit on the second step and convince her she's brave and wonderful for going up on just one step. Repeat the one step exercise then add another step or two as she learns or cooperates.

Izzy may have developed a habit of depending on you to carry her. I think starting over, helping her know you're over the moon impressed with each part of her progress will bring eventual success.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 07:59 AM
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She's still very young, so I wouldn't worry at all about the stairs. Stairs are a potential danger for young puppies anyway. If she's not doing them on her own in a couple of months, I would teach her by "back chaining" them. This is somewhere that a clicker can be very useful if you know how to use it. (and have taught the puppy what it means) To teach the puppy to go up stairs, you start them on the stair just below the top one, then entice them up the single level with something yummy. As the go up, you click and treat. When they are acting as if one step is easy-oeasy, you put them two steps down and repeat. Don't add steps to rapidly... do this over a period of days, though you can have several repeat sessions in a day as long as they are short (30 seconds - 2 minutes tops)

You do the exact opposite to teach the puppy to go down. Start with the stair just above ground floor, then add one step at a time. Before long, she'll be flying up and down stairs, and you'll wish she didn't know how!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 08:57 AM
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Hi Izzy's Mom. My hav is the same age and is not afraid of ANYTHING but hesitates and lies down when I want him to go down a single step, so I don't encourage it. Consider the physical structure of a Havanese. The front legs are shorter than the back. It's like walking downhill in high heels. LOL I worry about knee joints (patellas) at this young age. I think Izzy will eventually get it as she matures. She is still a baby. Interestingly I have a single riser that is not a set of stairs but one architectural drywalled structure that is 8" high and 16" wide. He LOVES to jump up on it, play with his toys and flip them in the air off of the step and jump down to retrieve what he just tossed. He'll repeat that over and over, but doesn't want to go down a 6" porch step. It has shiny ceramic tile that leads to a driveway. I think the difference is he can propel himself further away rather than maneuver down a steeper incline such as regular steps. Nancy
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your suggestions. They were helpful. We are working on it. Tonight she went up 2 steps to get a chew treat she loves. It took time and coaxing, but she did it and then laid down on the step enjoying her treat. She is very hesitant. I think it will take lots of time and patience. She wants to do it, but is so afraid I don't want to push it too much, just don't know how long I should be carrying get up and down steps. There just isn't any other option right now. If I leave her at the bottom of the steps, she get very frustrated and cries.. She seems so little! I did have a big dog, so this is very different for me.just didn't know what was normal
Thanks for your interest!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 08:11 AM
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Jango is 5-1/2 months and has just started coming down the stairs on his own over the past couple of weeks. I actually liked it when he would just wait upstairs for me to carry him down, for times when I was running up and down the stairs frequently (like bringing down laundry, etc.). But once the kids started summer break and there was a lot more activity in the house during the day, he became very motivated to keep up with what they were doing. Now we laugh because if some of us are on different levels, he zips up and down the stairs as if trying to get us all in one spot so he can be in the center of the action!

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 11:41 AM
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yeah best to be careful with stairs at an early age. Puppies are not born with hip dysplasia. It develops for various reasons and only a small proportion is genetic. Environmental issues have a greater influence. "Puppies raised on slippery surfaces or with access to stairs when they are less than 3 months old have a higher risk of hip dysplasia,while those who are allowed off-lead exercise on soft, uneven ground (such as in a park) have a lower risk" (Krontveit et al 2012).

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