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I'm sure there are lots of posts on this - but for some reason the search function here really doesn't work for me!


Any advice on stair training for a really adverse dog who refuses to put back legs on the steps?


  • Can this be trained with lots of patience (or should we just give up and except she won't ever climb stairs) (she really really doesn't like it)
  • Any method that worked best for you?
  • If you did train, how long did it take you?
  • and lastly anyone just resort to using a ramp or some other method?


and p.s what am I doing wrong with the search function? haha



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With Sorella straight off the track she learned stairs by my standing behind her and placing each foot in the same order on the next step up. I'd congratulate the heck out of her as each foot went up. For all of her life her feet navigated stairs just the way she had learned them, in that same order, even when she was in a hurry!


To search for threads, click on the topic forum, eg Training and Behavior. In the upper right corner is a Search box. Type your key word/s there - they have to be more than three characters - then click on the magnifying glass. :) This is just one of several stairs threads that comes up. Try searching Everything Else Greyhound as well for more.


Good luck, you've got this.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Yes..go behind her and move/place feet on each step.

Super yummy treats will help.

We spent several days doing this with Nixon, but when he still refused to go up on his own we just gave up...and one day a couple of weeks later I was sitting in the upstairs office and he came up on his own :) Didn't want to be downstairs by himself, I guess!

It did take several times of holding his collar and 'leaning' him into the wall to get him to go down the stairs slowly.


Are these indoor stairs or outdoors?

If they're outdoors and are open p-backed, try covering them so she can't see through.


Wooden stairs may need sandpaper strips or carpet treads.


Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.




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My boys navigated stairs differently. One would make 3 jumps up a flight (I held my breath every time) and the other methodically one step at a time (much preferred thank you!) Some really do take to learning them at a different pace. Literally want to try the same day they get home or didn't want to try at all! Remember if learning the stairs aren't an immediate necessity, to wait until the dog is more comfortable and wants to try on their own.


Stand behind your pup and guide the legs up the steps. Treats and praise. Stay behind your pup the entire time, and let him lean against you as necessary. Do not let him turn around to go back down in the middle!! Your confidence in them is important as is lots of yummy yummy treats!!!


Search should work. If you type simply "stairs", what happens?

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We used chicken placed one step out of reach. I was behind him with my shoulder on his butt moving each foot one at a time. Took about 2 days. Down was easier, just grab the collar and go. Keep him between you and the wall/rail.


Now if I'm walking up and on the 10th of 12 steps and the dog starts, he still gets to the top before me. Funny thing, he never went down the basement stairs for months until one day we realized we never taught him. It never occurred to us that you had to teach him different stairs differently. That only took about an hour.....and now I think, "Why did I teach him the basement stairs?"


Patience + Incentive = Success


You'll get there.

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As you can tell, there are about as many different ways to teach stairs as there are people and pups. I think there are two basic approaches, -- the lure, and the matter-of-fact. In addition to the ways posted above, the lure includes things like having a party upstairs or on a landing to which the hound must get up on his/her own. Smelly food! Toys! Favorite people hanging out there, perhaps for an hour or two every day, until dog decides the result is worth the journey. When my knees were more able-bodied, I was a practitioner of the matter-of-fact. "This will be fun, and you ARE going to do it." Put a harness on the dog, grab the harness, approach the stairs at a fast walk with dog next to the wall and up-you-go. Reward reward reward.


Now that my knees are slower, I have changed methods. I moved to a house with no stairs. :lol


Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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Physical manipulation was too much for both me and Lila. I took an easier approach by getting her comfortable on easy stairs first. Big, wide, solid steps like outdoors at public buildings – schools, libraries, offices, etc. I took Lila to the local college and started out with just a few steps then moved to buildings with more or steeper steps. That was enough for her to figure out how to make her legs go and be confident going up and down.

Good luck!

Lila Football
Jerilyn, missing Lila (Good Looking), new Mistress to Wiki (PJ Wicked).



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I did a combination. I would place each foot, like others did, but he really seemed not to like having his paws lifted, especially his back feet. So I ended up standing behind him, placing his front paws up the step to start, and then kind of shoving his butt with my legs to get him to move. I also placed high value treats ever few steps. I rarely seem him go up the stairs because he'll come up after I'm already upstairs, but he does bound up. Going down he steps on each step.

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