Tips to Teach Your Pup How to Navigate Stairs Safely
For some dogs, stairs are simple. They are confident enough to go up and down on their own. However, things can be a bit more challenging when it comes to safety.
Dogs that are more cautious may take a bit of convincing to go up and down stairs confidentially. Whether your pup is a daredevil or errs on the side of caution, all dogs can benefit from a slow and deliberate introduction to the stairs.
Introducing Your Dog to the Stairs
Start close to the top of the stairs. Usually, this is the easiest direction for most dogs. Put your dog on the second step away from the landing, then put a treat or some other enticing item on the landing they will want. The goal is to break down the stairs into smaller sections so your dog can learn the safest way to navigate them.
Staring up at eight to 12 stairs from the bottom can be quite intimidating. However, looking up from the second stair isn’t quite as bad.
Also, once your pup makes it to the landing and gets its treat, it will be eager to do it again.
Once they have the first step down, keep adding one more step until they climb from the ground to the top with ease.
Slowing Your Pup Down
When your dog gets the hang of going up and down the stairs, they may be eager to do so and go too fast from time to time. This could cause them to trip and stumble, resulting in an injury.
A good way to get your dog to slow down is by putting a treat on a stair or two in between the ground and landing. This will help them better navigate the stairs calmly and safely.
Teaching Your Pup to Go Down the Stairs
While it’s the same concept, going down the stairs requires an entirely different skillset for your pup. You can use the same treat idea when you begin the down the steps process. Just start with the lowest step and then continue moving up until they can confidently navigate the stairs – both up and down.
Remember, your dog must be able to go up and down stairs calmly and safely. It is up to you to teach them the safe way to do this. While it may take some time and patience, it is time well spent.
Seek Professional Help
If you aren’t sure you can handle training your dog to navigate your stairs safely, it may be time to enlist help from professionals.
Professional dog trainers can make short work of training your dog and ensure they are confident and safe when going up and down the stairs. Doing this will pay off and help you and your dog feel confident and happy in your home. Be sure to use the tips here if you plan to do this on your own.