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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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going down stairs

Zippy is now 7 months old, and while he will gleefully climb up a short sequence of steps (<= 4 steps), he is still fearful of going down steps. Can someone tell me when I can expect him to risk climbing down a short sequence of steps.

Also, what about the longer staircases. We have about 13 steps between our first and second floors. Any guesses on how old he will be before he decides to walk up and down those steps on his own ... instead of being carried?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 09:43 AM
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When we brought Benji home (13 weeks), he wasn't familiar with staircases. Our house has split levels too, but steps are just about 5-6. The breeder had come home to get him settled so she put treats on each step and slowly coaxed him to climb up and down and praised him a lot when he descended or aschended. She kind of made it game and he got over his fear in just a few minutes. We repeated the same with our deck steps too and it had only three steps!

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 09:48 AM
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My little girl had to go up and down two steps to get out of the house right away and she did that fine. However, down the basement steps (13), no way! At first, really she was just too little, lol, but when she was about your doggy's age I just started her at the bottom and put her about four up and went back down to the bottom and sat there egging her on with treats and love. As she braved those four, I moved her up and few, and so on, till she made it all the way to the top and came down by herself. Now she zooms!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 10:04 AM
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I'm no help, Tessa flew both up and down from the first day.

But she will not go down our unfinished basement steps - maybe they look scarier? And it's fine with me, it's just storage and an extra fridge down there. So she sits at the top and whines for me when I go down to get something.

Good luck, I suspect he will go down when he's ready.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 10:45 AM
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Cali had very little trouble going up the steps.

She was very fearful of going down the (14) steep wooden steps. Her furry paws and the wood created a slippery slope. I'd carry her so she wouldn't slip, as I was afraid she'd go tumbling down and break a bone.

I eventually carried her as far down as the 3rd step and let her go the rest of the way. No problem.
Gradually, as she got more comfortable and slid less, I began adding an additional step.
When she was 10 months old she just ran after the other dogs and down the entire flight.
it just took time.

Chico, Cali, and Finnegan
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 11:49 AM
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I'm wondering if you have carpeted steps, or are they wood...looks in your picture like they might be wood. My chihuahua would never go up OR down the wood steps in our house...for over a year, we tried to get her over her fear. We put a wool carpet runner on the stairs and she was gleefully going up and down the same day. It could be that he's afraid of slipping and falling.


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 12:24 PM
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I will say, to this day, when it is a lot of steps, I carry my dogs down. I know it might be something paranoid on my part but I have had two friends whose dogs tore their ACL on the stairs and one was an agility dog so definitely in great shape. I just think it even looks unnatural. I have my girls so trained that outdoors they run down our area of 4 steps to the big staircase and stand there till I pick them up. At home, they used to run down the basement and fly down the stairs but I just never liked them doing that.


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Whoever guessed that our stairs are hardwood gets the prize. We have hardwood throughout our house, with area rugs in various rooms. I'm thinking that perhaps I should put carpeting on each of the steps, as I think that Zippy might be afraid of slipping and falling ... those tiny bones of his are so delicate, he'd be sure to injure himself.

The steps leading from the deck to the yard is another case. While they, too, are wood, it's not the highly polished slippery type that's in the house; so I think I'll get him to go down those steps by using treats ... he'll do anything for treats.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 12:48 PM
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Holli just drop Zippy off at my house. I promise you can have him back after I train him on the stairs, it just may take a few years that's all.

My suggestion would be to start at the bottom, maybe one or two steps up and lure him down with the treat. Good luck.

Leeann, Riley, Monte & Rumor

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 01:47 PM
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Interesting thread.

Gucci went up the stairs much easier than down, but she DID eventually go down with some coaxing (treats)...around 5 months old, I think

HowEVER, when we were at my SIL's house (when she was about 7-8mo), she had wood stairs that curved and Gucci would NOT go down them. She'd stand at the top and whimper so they did scare her. I thought it was the fact that she couldn't see down to the bottom because of the circular stairs, but ehh...I'm thinking it was the wood.

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