I need help with my 7 month male. Fear of the stairs!!!
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Thread: I need help with my 7 month male. Fear of the stairs!!!

  1. #1
    Choc. Tyson is offline Junior Member
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    Dec 2007
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    DefaultI need help with my 7 month male. Fear of the stairs!!!

    I have a 7 month Choc. male. We've had him since 8 weeks. Great dog, no problems with people, other dogs our anything else.

    2 weeks ago we noticed he would'nt come UP the stairs that go to the upper floor of the house. It really did'nt seem to be a problem since we dont really want him up there anyways.

    3 days ago he went from the backyard porch DOWN the stairs to play in the yard. After that he would not come back up the stairs. He also acts the same way with the stairs from the garage to the kitchen.

    He stays at the bottom with is front paws on the stairs but will not come up them. He will bark and cry like he feels stressed and desperate. We have tried using treats on each stair, putting his meal at the top, using his favorite toys, nothing works. Sunday he stayed in the backyard with the door to the house open all day but he would not come up the stairs. My wife will stay at the top of the stairs with a treat and calling him while I come up behind him and help out by lifting his back paws up the stair. I do this for the first couple of stairs and then he'll go up the rest.

    The crazy thing is that he has no fear and will go DOWN all of these same stair cases. In addition he will go up and down the stairs of the front porch of the house.

    Please help us out with some suggestions or stories that you might have in this area.

    Thanks in advanced.
    "Live today to the fullest. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystry."

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  3. #2
    Gene Guest

    DefaultRe: I need help with my 7 month male. Fear of the stairs!!!

    My chocolate had the oposite problem. He would go up the stairs ok, but would sit and whine, scared to go down them. I tried luring him down with treats, even a steak once. I would always have to carry him down. This went on til he was about 6 months old. he weighed 70 lbs and I was afraid I would throw my back out. I finally just grabed him by the collar and walked him slowly down a few times and he was cured.

  4. #3
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 7 month male. Fear of the stairs!!!

    Are the stairs bare wood or carpeted? He may have scared himself slipping or doesn't like the footing. What is the lighting like in the stairwell?

    To work through this, set him on the step one down from the top. Encourage him up to the top, then repeat, repeat repeat till he is whipping up and down that one step. Then move to the 2nd step. Repeat, repeat , repeat - and continue working down the full stairs, one step at a time.

    You can reward after each success, but I prefer to use enthusiastic praise/physical touch and keeping the dog moving as quick as he can.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 7 month male. Fear of the stairs!!!

    I think I would try putting his leash on him make sure the collar won't slip off if he tries to back out. With confidence walk him up the stairs (pulling him some if you have to but don't hurt him). Don't make a big deal out of it just go up the stairs. If the stairs are slick at all try getting some runners to put on them.
    Mocha is scared of my parents basement stair but only those she goes up and down every other stair we've encountered with no problems. I think it's more the basement she's scared of then the stairs since the concrete floors echo a lot of sounds and she get kind of spooky with new sounds. She has gone down there before though if I put her leash on her she will go.

  7. #5
    Choc. Tyson is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 7 month male. Fear of the stairs!!!

    Thanks for all the advice. As of now, we've just slowed things down and are letting him just deal with this fear at his own pace. We dont want to make things worse by continuing to stress him out. The good news is that today he went up one of the stair cases on his own, to follow my wife inside. He's done it three times today so I think we're moving in the right direction.
    "Live today to the fullest. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystry."

  8. #6
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: I need help with my 7 month male. Fear of the stairs!!!

    That's good progress sometimes it's best to just not make a big deal of it and they will think it's not a big deal and not worry so much about it.
    Good luck.

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