Andie is almost 6 months old now and has yet to go upstairs.


I have put treats and favorite toys on the stairs just out of reach of his stretch with back feet on the floor.  Just once did he put his back feet on the first step.  I tried taking his food upstairs but he got so upset that II was concerned it would cause an upset stomach.

There are 3 steps to get on the back porch which cause no problem.  We took Andie to a park which has some wide steps going down to the river.  Andie had no problem going up or down them 

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get him to go upstairs?  (I have been sleeping on the living room couch for the past 3 1/2 months with Andie in his crate next to me and I would like so much to sleep in my bed again,)

UPDATE April 25, 2021

The stair treads arrived a couple of days ago but we haven't had a chance to install them. 

Last night Otis painstakingly coaxed Andie upstairs one step at a time.  It took quite some time to get him all the way up but when he was finally there he had a great time exploring.  Coming down was VERY quick, so quick it scared me.

This morning Otis quickly coaxed Andie upstairs.   : )

8834374060?profile=RESIZE_710xAndie had a real "poodle party" and grabbed a sponge in the bathroom and ran around avoiding capture.  When Otis did capture him it took 2 of us to get the spong out of his mouth.

Otis leashed Andie for the trip down to keep him from flying down.  


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  • Can you install some kind of runner on the steps, or those things with treads so there is a little more traction for him? Honestly, I think I would be afraid to go up or down a long straight staircase of smooth wood steps like that, too, lol. I think it's likely the surface and possibly the lack of a landing that's frightening him more than just that they are stairs. Three steps when you can see the destination is not the same as a long flight like that when you can't where you're going to end up. And I'm betting the ones at the park were also more graduated, had more visibility, and had a rough surface. 

    • A young Riley protesting going down a similar set of stairs lol.  "NO mommy I don't want to! Scary!"


      and another image of the stairs, I agree they can be a bit scary sometimes.  It's a long way down.


  • I probably shouldn't even reply, but my Echo had a horrible time learning to go through my doggy door (its electronic with a sensor. It makes a 'whooshing' sound when it opens.) I got this hint from the Ian Dunbar stuff.   I started with tiny, tiny steps.  First by treating and praising her even when her nose got near the door, with high value treats. *Then doing that like 20 times*. (The repetition is what makes the difference.   I got this from the Ian Dunbar Dog Academy hints.)  It takes a LOT of patience.  Then, going a tiny bit farther, when the door would open (about 1-2 inches further), *and doing that 20 times*.  It took several months to finally get her through the door, and now she loves it.  When she wants to escape from me (say when she knows its time to brush her) she escapes outside.

    So, I would get her to stretch out towards the top of the stairs, and treat her. If she won't stretch out, or if that happens too infrequently, then start with something she will do, such as sitting at the base of the stairs, *Then repeat that like 20 times.* Then an inch or two further, then lavishly treating and praising him, and repeating that like 20 times.

    I haven't been able to train Echo to stop barking or reacting to dogs when I'm on my property, but I have gotten her to use the doggy door effectively.

  • Riley had the same issue with the main stairs in our house that are similar (a straight flight of wood stairs) when she was a puppy.  She did eventually grow out of it but we had to carry her up/down a lot (mostly down it was "scarier").  I think it was that she was clumsy and she found the slippery stairs intimidating.  Toby has no such issues (he is a brave little bunny rabbit, likes to run and jump everywhere!) but he stumbles on the stairs sometimes so most of the time we carry him still.  Getting heavy though!

    What about a carpet runner for the stairs (or you can get little stick-on stair treads that are carpet)?  I don't know if the stick-on ones would be easy to remove when you no longer need them but it might be worth exploring.

  • What I am seeing from the dog's perspective as potentially scary is the lack of traction and the tunnel aspect of this dark path between two white walls going up for a forever distance.   

    Agree with the runner or carpet pieces on each stair--maybe something lighter in color if it doesn't look too horrible to make it seem like a bigger/wider space. 

    Are you able to lift and carry him?  If so, I wonder if you could leash him up, pick him up and carry him all the way to the last 3 stepsand then set him down, then with gentle but steady pressure on the leash get him to go all the way up.  

    Conversely, carry him a few steps up and let him come down so he can see he CAN get down if he's on there.  

    Just ideas, not sure if any of them will work, but I think anything might work if you stick to it and make it required and repeat a lot.  Clearly luring isn't working, so you might have to make it compulsory and let him see he won't die and he can do it over and over without dying.

    • Yes. I totally missed that "tunnel" aspect you mentioned, and your phrasing about the "forever" distance is much better than mine. That's exactly what I meant. 

  •  I appreciate everyone's input.  It could very well be the slippery stairs although they are well worn and due for an overhaul (240+ years old).  I finally got Otis to agree to nonslip stairs treads in an oriental pattern.  They will arrive Wednesday.  I don't expect a miracle but at least it will be one element out of the way.

    Andie is the third puppy I have raised in this house.  Cole' and Haley had no problem with the stairs but had terrible thunder storm anxiety.  Andie doesn't seem to have a problem with thunder storms.  Each one is different.  Love 'em all. 

    • Great!  Hopefully it works and Andie will be more comfortable on the stairs.  I know that Riley certainly doesn't like uneven footing, probably because she is so tall and clumsy :p  That doesn't seem to stop Toby, he is a wild child though.

  • I agree that some kind of tread on each stair would be the best idea.  Look online in Orvis, Chewy, and other dog product purveyors or google stair treads.  

    Also be sure to keep the fur on the bottoms of his feet clipped below the pad part that has no fur.  When Tigger and Murphy feet fur gets too long stair climbing becomes a problem. 

  • These poor kids!  Sometimes it's just too much and somethings they can 'live' without.  I have to go to the ends of the earth to coax Skadi to just walk on hardwood floors.  I believe she is afraid of I have throw rugs all over for her, providing the safety and confidence she requires to navigate through the house.  This happened as she aged and has unfortunately had both stifles repaired.  They certainly have their 'quirks'.  On the other hand, Elli who I snatched off Craigslist when she was 6 years old is afraid of nothing...the vacuum doesn't bother her, fireworks she's fine, stairs, floors, jumping, running...she's good to go!  Enjoy your sweet baby!  8815744664?profile=RESIZE_930x

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