I just adopted my doodle. He is almost two and absolutely will not come up the stairs. I have tried treats and putting the leash on him and he still won't come. He has to sleep downstairs by himself because he is too scared to walk up...what can I do?
I wonder if he needs to get adjusted to your home and build up some trust in you before he can do something that is that scary to him. I would just say to give him a little time and keep trying with the treats.
I'd suggest that you contact the person you got your dog from and find out what his circumstances were in his other home. If he has never been exposed to stairs, it could take some time. Remember that he is getting used to everything new and a large staircase can be scary.
If you have not already taken him in for a vet check, I'd do that right away too...for two reasons...you want to be certain that he is healthy and up to date on his shots...and you could ask the vet about the stair issue...perhaps your dog has suffered an injury that makes going up or down stairs painful.
If he is healthy, it will just take patience and you will need to work with him for a while...as the other posts say, he needs to gain trust in you and when he does, he will be more inclined to try...although you should be careful not to force him or he will become more frightened. He may have fallend down stairs before...his fear may be based on many factors...so patience is the thing that should work best for you right now.
We'd love to see him...when you get a chance, post a picture!
My pup would not walk up the stairs either. Start on small (2-3) steps and get behind the pup. Take his paws one by one and "help" him learn the stairs (front paw, back paw etc.). We use to do this with our greyhounds right off the track. It only takes a matter of hours! (many pups have never been in home with stairs, it's just new).
Our dog Penny went up and down the stairs between the first and second floor right away, but it took her eight month to go down the basement stairs. I don't know what finally clicked, maybe she finally wanted to be with us so badly that she had to try it. Maybe just give your new dog some time.
Thank you all so much for the advice. While I would love to "help" him up the stairs he is a 102 lb pup. That is what makes it so hard. I can't even carry him up the stairs to sleep in my room at night. I know he is current on all his shots and healthy for the most part. He does have early signs of hip displasia and it may be that it would be painful to walk up the stairs. I really think that it is more about fear of the unknown- his previous owners lived in an apartment and I think he has never walked up stairs. He does show interest, though. When I am down stairs with him he walks over periodically to look at the stairs. I think it will just take time.
It is hard when their big. When I fostered a 120 lbs greyhound, he had never been on any stairs. Our kennel was down a wooded flight of stairs. I had no choice (I'm only 5 feet tall), I actually had to push his backside up with my shoulder while moving his paws up each stair. But again if it is a fear thing no need to rush. Good Luck.
Hi Cowboy's Mom...I was going to mention hip problems earlier, but I tend to be one of those who toss in scary things and think that people might not want that info...but now that you have mentioned it...I must admit that you have a potential problem on your hands with the stairs...
When I had my dogs PennHip exams (to be sure that they did not have hip problems) the vet told me that there are several things you can do to help dogs avoid or at least reduce the chance of hip problems...
1) don't let them grow too quickly (watch their diet)...obviously, your baby has already reached his growth and he is really a huge dog...so I am afraid that if he already has hip problems, you are going to have to really watch and make sure that he does't get over weight.
2) don't let them play too roughly...no frisbee toss, no puppies crashing into each other and rolling about...(I know, easier said than done)
3) Watch out for stairs
4) No jogging until the puppy is at least 18 months of age
Now, given the fact that Cowboy is already very, very large and that he already has hip problems...the only thing you can work on is his activity. I suggest that you make a special visit to a vet (check the web for PennHip and they have a listing of vets that specialize in the test...which usually means that they also have a good understanding about hip problems) and see what you can do to minimize the growing possibility of Cowboy's bad hips.
I don't pretend to know what to do...and I certainly can't advise you about your personal situation...but I can, with near certainty, say that if Cowboy already has mild hip dysplasia (sp?) you are going to do some things differently.
However, if you still need for him to learn the stairs, the very best treat for us (my dogs will do anything for this) is tiny pieces of hot dog (you can get the turkey kind if you want). You could take a tiny piece and put it on the bottom step, praise when Cowboy gets it...then the next step, the next until he actually has to move up a step or two above his reach...then stop...and keep doing that same thing every day...after a while, either teach him to go down the steps from there or go up further...each week adding a few steps.
I hope that this helps...I hope that Cowboy keeps healthy and strong!
Thank you for all the info. I really think that Cowboy could loose a few lbs and that it might help him to not carry around so much wight. I was thinking he needed some excercise but I guess we will have to hold out a bit on that. I don't really need him to go up stairs, I just want him to...but if it is going to hurt him, it's not worth it...
At Cowboy's age, you can probably safely start a jogging program...but if you believe that his hips are inflamed, you are wise to talk it over with your vet.
Also keep in mind the heat, the pads of their feet can easily get burned on hot pavement or roads...cut by gravel or rocks...so start slowly and build up and perhaps go in early morning or late evening.
No matter what advice we give you, on this forum, you should always follow the advice of your vet...so I am happy that you are going in. That is the best thing you can do.
I am interested in his advice to you...hope you will keep us posted.