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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am looking for some help on stair climbing. My wife and I recently moved and we live on the 3rd floor of an apartment, the problem we are having is Suzie will not climb the stairs. They are the kind that don't have a back to them but the stairs themselves are cement. It is weird she'll go down but won't go up. We tried treats, toys, etc...nothing is working.

She has the look are you crazy daddy. I pick her up and a way we go(which she goes limp, doesn't struggle when I carry her)....but she's 50lbs now and it's getting a little old, not to mention strain on the ol back.

I wondering if anyone has any suggestions or perhaps why she apparently has this issue with stairs? Is this a common issue with dogs and stairs? At our other place we had stairs inside the house and she did those without issue, she has never had a bad experience with stairs.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I've never had to deal with this particular problem so take my advice with a tablespoon of salt! When you're trying the treats/toys thing, are you at the top of the stairs or just doing a few steps at a time? If it were me, I'd be taking it really slow and rewarding her every time she reaches you. Even if you did, say, 3 steps one day, 5 the next day that sort of thing. She should eventually make it up the whole way.

The other thing is to make sure you're always calm and getting frustrated with her as this will make it worse.

Again, others who have dealt with this problem might have other suggestions for you but I figured I'd give you some food for thought.
 

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We had this problem with the coonhound we adopted about 18 months ago. He had never been indoors and would not do stairs. Just be patient, she'll get it. In our case our other dog Maggie helped out a LOT. When she went upstairs he would sit at the base of the stairs and cry for her to come back. It took a few weeks but once he got up the nerve and the technique it was almost instant and you could forget there'd ever been a problem.

I think treating her on each successive step and then moving on to every other step might help - but if you really want to put it into overdrive perhaps you could borrow a friends dog that your dog gets along with to show how it's done and create an incentive.

On edit: Sorry, I skimmed your original post and missed that she was okay with your inside stairs before. So, she knows how it's done she maybe just doesn't feel comfortable with the different texture of the concrete stairs vs what you had before. If your other stairs were carpeted it's probably just the texture. When our old dog Rufus got older and had arthritis he became very nervous on smooth surfaces like tile and concrete. If it's texture make sure her nails are well clipped and you could try putting booties on her till she gains confidence.
 

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can you put some carpet runners? Maybe she thinks she is going to fall down them?
 

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We have had this problem with Rebel, our 6yr old dog when he first came inside. My methods are not usually the popular methods on here but I lean towards tough love style. In other words when he was downstairs and I went up, I would call him and wait for him half way up the stairs, he wouldn't come so I left him. I mean its not going to hurt him to go up the stairs and its not going to hurt him to stay down stairs.Not only that but when I stand there and call and call Im putting pressure on the dog and making him uncomfortable. He wants to come but is unsure. I just let him do it in his own time with no pressure. Now I know he wants to come up and given time he will, sure enough, 5 minutes later, up he came. Once he did it, it was never and issue again. It boils down to him being confident in doing the job at hand.

Given your situation and you cant walk off and leave the dog until its ready, what I would do is get a hot dog and cut it into slices. Get a LONG leash and walk to the highest stair the leash will allow you to. You need to be far enough away that the dog is not comfortable staying at the bottom of the stair case. Place a piece of hotdog on the second and third stairs, then fourth and so on. The dog will climb one two stairs, keep tension on the leash so it cant go back down but dont pull the dog up. It HAS to be the dogs decision to climb, if you force it, it learns nothing. Good luck and be patient, I hate patience but thats what it takes!!!
 

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Do not force them it can build fear and make it harder, like don't drag them up the stairs. I would carry her up about 4 stairs and let her walk down. Put her up there on leash and then go to the bottom and call her, you can try food at the bottom or like Andy said walk away. Andy has great advice i would try going down first I think it is easier than going up but both good ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice/tips. Yeah I don't want to force her up since that will pretty much defeat the whole objective. I will certainly be trying the suggestions. Hopefully she'll start climbing soon :)
 
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