One of the concerns for most pet parents is knowing when puppies can go up and down stairs. Are you worried about this too?
As part of a puppy’s development, you must teach them how to go up and down stairs. Every responsible dog parent has to know when and how to teach this to their puppy. Knowing the right time and training your puppy to navigate stairs will help avoid injuries to your furry friend and keep them from developing any bone and joint issues further down the line during their growth.
How old does a puppy need to be before they can go up and down stairs?
You should carry your puppy up the stairs for the first six months. After six months, you can slowly start teaching the puppy how to navigate the stairs by holding on to their leash and guiding them. Take the time to train the puppy, starting with going up the stairs at first.
Please note that six months is not an age that is set in stone for when to start training your puppy to use stairs. Each dog is different and if you feel that your puppy is not ready after six months, allow them more time before you start the training. Additionally, ensure you take all precautionary measures when beginning the training.
Being careful during the training will help you avoid any injuries to your dog and make the whole process a pleasant experience for them.
This will make them more willing to learn and follow your guidance during the entirety of the training period. Let us look at what to do before your puppy is old enough to train and how to train them when they are ready.
When Can Puppies Go Up and Down Stair
Every stage of a dog’s development is vital for any dog parent, especially if you adopt a puppy. You must be extra careful about when and how your puppy can start navigating the stairs.
What to Do for the First 6 Months?
As stated earlier, most puppies are ready to be taught how to use the stairs once they reach six months. However, what do you do about your stairs if the dog is younger?
It would be best to carry your puppy up and down the stairs during this time. It is never a good idea if you start teaching them how to go up and down stairs before they are big enough. If your puppy wants to use the stairs while they are still very young and unprepared, you should stop them.
You may install a stair gate to ensure they do not use the stairs early during development. Some breeds, such as the French bulldog, may develop hip dysplasia if you let them start using stairs earlier than recommended.
When Is the Right Time to Start Training My Puppy to Use Stairs?
There is no universal answer to this question. It all depends on the breed of your dog and its size. Some dog parents have stated that they started training their puppies at around 16 weeks old and had good results without any issues. Some even indicate that they began even sooner, at about 12 to 14 weeks.
You must consider your dog’s breed and size before you hurry into starting their training just because someone else’s puppy was ready at a certain age.
You need to take every precaution possible and ensure the puppy is prepared before starting the training. Because of this, we recommend to be on the safe side and considering everything.
Most puppies are usually ready to start learning to use stairs by the time they are six months old. Around this age, most puppies, no matter the breed, are big enough and have strong bones and hips to handle going up and down the stairs.
You may have to wait a little longer in the case of medium-large dogs because even though they might look big, they may still not have hips and joints that are strong enough to support their weight as they use stairs.
How To Train My Puppy To Go Up And Down Stairs?
When you feel your puppy is ready, how do you train them to use stairs? Training your puppy to navigate stairs is your responsibility; it does not have to be challenging, especially if you do it correctly.
Remember, as with any training routine, you must start small and encourage your puppy. Ensure the training process is a safe and pleasant experience for your puppy. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to train your puppy to navigate stairs:
- Always start from down going up. To puppies, going up is more straightforward than going down.
- You can start from the bottom of the stairs and place a treat on the next step (going up). If your puppy is reluctant to go for the dog treat because they are afraid, please encourage the puppy and gently guide them up the step by holding its harness and lead. Never try to force them, as this will make them unhappy and even more terrified.
- When they take the step and get the treat, place another on the next step. Repeat this until they get to the top of the stairs.
- Ensure you give them two or more treats and the praises they deserve.
- Once you are confident they can climb from the bottom to the top of the stairs after several repetitions, you can start training them to go down the steps.
- Use the same approach and place a treat one step down each time until you get to the bottom. Again, give more dog treats and praise.
- Finally, you can train them to go up and down in the same session.
Precaution to Take When Training Your Dog to Go Up and Down Stairs
If your stairs are made from hardwood, you should carpet over them to make it easier for your puppy to navigate. If that seems expensive, you can install a carpet runner at the centers of your stairs from top to bottom. Once your puppy is more confident and does not need help going up and down the stairs, you can remove the carpeting.
Ensure your puppy has a harness and lead when you first train them to help you guide them when they are afraid.
Stair training your puppy is not a quick process; you have to be patient and encouraging during the whole process. Be supportive and do not force them to move unless they are ready to take that next step.
During training, do not allow your puppy to go two steps up or down at a time. Also, jumping around should not be permitted as doing so might lead to injury.
For most dog breeds, you can start training your puppy to use stairs when they get to 6 months. For some species, you may have to wait until they get to 18 months before you can begin training.
You should take every consideration and precaution when you are training them. The process can be slow, and you should never hurry your puppy to get through it. Be patient, encourage and praise your puppy every time they make progress.