Encourage them by putting down, Continue this exercise for a few days, encouraging the dog to climb or descend the first step. Watching others is a good idea,How I got my parents pup to go down the stairs is by watching my Rottie go up and down them,and then acting like I was going outside with the dog without him. Such experiences can leave a long-lasting negative experience for your dog. Fear of stairs — He had gone up and down these same stairs without incident for nearly a year before he just stopped cold in his tracks and refused to go down this set of stairs any longer. This learning should be be based on positive reinforcement and counter conditioning. Click to attach a photo related to your comment, How to help a dog that is afraid of stairs, How to help a dog overcome its fear of stairs - step by step, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6645454/, https://www.aspca.org/news/fearful-dogs-fresh-coat-paint-makes-all-difference, Why Does my Cat Lick and then Bite Me? Lack of Exposure to Stairs. Positive reinforcement involves rewarding your friend whenever they show the desired behavior, or show a calm and appropriate attitude. April 12, 2019 November 13, 2016 by Adrienne Farricelli. Learn how to help a scaredy-dog get over fear of going up and down stairs. Here is a step by step guide to help your dog overcome its fear of stairs. No! Next, place the dog in the proper position going down the stairs, 2 steps from the bottom, and legs on the proper stairs. The fear of going up or down stairs is very common among dogs and there are several factors that can cause it. Start by sitting near the stairs and calling the dog to you. Please note that patience is key. Training your dog to overcome its fear and teaching it to go up and down stairs is the best way to resolve the issue. Don’t try to rush your dog. Make sure you have the vet rule out any medical conditions before taking the next steps. By: David Codr. Counter conditioning is a type of positive reinforcement used to teach the dog to associate the stairs with happy and positive emotions, rather than fear or stress. If your large dog is suddenly afraid of using the stairs then it’s definitely worthwhile calling the vet for advice. Eventually, your dog will forget about how scary the stairs were before. This is because, to the individual dog, the stairs may look more frightening from one angle than from the other. I cover the technique and things not to do as well. If dogs are never exposed to something during their socialization period, they don't adapt the ability to handle it as adults. There are different associations that can trigger a phobia of stairs in a dog or puppy. [Help] Dog suddenly afraid to go up stairs. We also include a step by step guide to helping your dog overcome its fear of stairs and gain the confidence to use them. This is more likely to be the reason for dogs that are suddenly afraid of stairs if they show no signs of impaired mobility (i.e. My dog was young, just over a year old. This is to get the dog to get onto the first step. Most dogs and puppies dislike walking up or down stairs because they’re slippery. What Does It Mean When a Dog Lifts a Front Paw? Carry the dog down the stairs for now. It's quite similar to climacophobia , or the fear of climbing stairs, except in its specific focus. Older dogs may develop arthritis, which causes severe pain while stepping up or climbing downstairs. This can be done in several steps. He's going to be 6 in a few months and he's a healthy dog. If your vet has already ruled out any physical problems then it might be a mental obstacle that your dog needs to overcome. If the vet has ruled out health-related causes, the fear is probably psychological. A … For instance, cover smooth steps with strips of carpet or rug so the dog has a better grip when climbing. He didn’t fall down the stairs, didn’t get scared one time on the stairs, and didn’t have any other strange occurrences on the steps that we were aware of. Below are dog training tips to help a dog scared of stairs. Another reason your dog may be afraid of stairs is because it associates them with a traumatic experience, such as falling. If you see your dog wanting to go down the stairs to be with you, but seems scared, there are some things you can do that will make life easier. How old is the dog? Never force them, however, and always make sure the dog approaches of own will. If your dog falls down the stairs or obtains an injury while he or she is on the stairs, they may come to associate the steps with that negative, painful feeling, and that is what leads to a phobia. In the daily lives of our dogs, it is almost inevitable that they encounter stairs. Episode #178. play pause. A puppy that’s afraid of stairs is a much simpler problem to handle than a fully-grown dog who has either never used stairs or is fearful of them. In fact, a fear of stairs is surprisingly common among dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds. It takes balance and coordination to maneuver four legs within small spaces that suddenly incline or decline, and coordination has to be learned. If your dog is hesitating he may need a little extra support and guidance to feel like he can go down the stairs safely. Most dogs that are afraid of going up and down stairs is due to the lack of early exposure. As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day”. I have a 7 year old yellow lab that has lived in my house his entire life. For example, if a puppy falls down the stairs, they could develop a fear—or even the surface of the stairs, like tile, could freak them out wherever they are. Avoid forcing your dog continue, which could make it aggressive. e-mail; 54. shares . Using force will also cause the dog to lose trust in you. Or perhaps you have seen dogs paralyzed by fear at the very sight of the stairs. Another possibility is that the dog has an internal injury or is unwell. Recording these signs will help your vet understand what health issues your dog has if any. If you want to read similar articles to My Dog is Afraid of Stairs, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category. A dog that was never exposed to stairs as a pup and suddenly sees comes across them will often experience fear because the stairs represent an ‘unknown’. Dog Afraid of Stairs Suddenly . You can use rewards like small treats or toys to encourage them to come closer. Even if the dog doesn't set paw on the stairs in the early stages, don't worry. This may have happened when the dog was a puppy, or it may be a more recent experience. Other times, they might need pain management treatment. Allow them to rest there and pet or reassure them so that they know they are safe. Using force or punishment will generate stress and inhibit the desired behavior. Why is my dog suddenly scared to go up the stairs? Required fields are marked *. When he's at the bottom of the stairs, he barks and whimpers when we call him to come up. I have worked with multiple dogs who were afraid of stairs or shine surfaces. This harness provides your dog with full body support, with your help he can avoid an accident. Something similar to this happened to me and I waited when I should not have and it cost so much more than I was willing to give up. The fear of going up or down stairs is very common among dogs and there are several factors that can cause it. Investigating risk factors that predict a dog’s fear during veterinary consultations. Once the dog is willing to go right up to the head or foot of the stairs, you can proceed to the next stage. 4-minute read . Let your dog set the pace and keep practicing as long as your dog wants to. your dog is jumping and running around just fine when he is not close to the stairs). There is also a possibility of a dog having a traumatic experience with the stairs. Being raised by a fearful mother (or an over-anxious human who forbade the puppy from going near stairs) could lead to a dog being more likely to fear stairs, either based on a learned negative response to stairs or because they are genetically predisposed to be nervous about the new and unknown spaces. First, you need to get your dog comfortable with being near the staircase. … Should I Walk My Dog Before or After Meals? It may be that your dog normally climbs up and down the stairs with no apparent difficulty, but becomes suddenly afraid of stairs. Why is my dog suddenly afraid of stairs? By . Cause of a Fear of Going Up and Down Stairs . Dogs are afraid for taking the stairs for a lot of reasons. To train a scared dog to go down the stairs, place a treat on the first step and encourage the dog to step up and get it. Adrienne Farricelli. Each day bring the play sessions closer to the stairs, so that the dog becomes comfortable with being next to the object of its fear. He can run down them just fine but he refuses to go up. He had never been afraid to go up or down stairs before, but a few days ago, he was suddenly unable to go up the wood stairs of my deck outside. The dog may have developed a new phobia to stairs based on a traumatic experience like the ones described above, and which you did not notice. We’re always happy to help! There is a possibility where your dog is suddenly afraid of using the stairs because he is in pain when he uses it. If a younger dog refuses stairs, she may have an injury, congenital issue (hip dysplasia) or torn pad. Bathmophobia, or the fear of slopes or stairs, is a somewhat complicated phobia. This isn’t a one-time process. They will be best able to advise you on how to deal with your dog's anxiety, including its fear of stairs. In this AnimalWised article, we provide instructions for what to do if your dog is afraid of stairs, looking at possible the causes and solutions that you can apply. 80lb Dog Afraid of Stairs-I Live in 2nd Story Apartment Please Help! We will follow the general guidelines mentioned in the previous section, and use positive reinforcement and encouragement to help your dog progressively lose its fear of stairs. Tips to Deal with a Dog's Fear, Why Is My Dog Scared of Loud Noises and How to Help. In such cases, it’s possible to get your dog to no longer be scared of the stairs again through positive reinforcement and counter-conditioning. These can be genetic or health related, but are most often linked to the dog's socialization and experiences they have learned to associate with stairs. This can lead to approach avoidance behaviors where one moment he seems really motivated to go up or down, and the next, he backs away. Edwards, P. T., et al. Listen. But all of a sudden he is scared to go up stairs. Pant And Wag – Stair Climbing As An Exercise for Your Dog. Helping an Old Dog Get Over Her Fear of the Stairs . How to Train a Scared Dog to Go Up and Down the Stairs At some point in a dog's life , they will have to contend with going up and down the stairs, whether at home or out and about on walks . The reason may be physiological or psychological. If you have any questions, please call us at 888-253-0777. A Dog Trainer’s Tips for Dogs Scared of Stairs. It is a process that takes some time, but with love and patience, your dog's stair nightmare will soon nothing but a bad memory. 7 Year Old Lab Suddenly Won't Climb Stairs. These guidelines can be applied whether you are teaching your dog to go down the stairs, up the stairs, or both. Why is my Dog Pooping in the House Suddenly? How longstanding is the habit of fearing steps? Allow them to stop there if they seem reluctant to continue, and use vocal praise to help the dog. Once the dog goes to you, encourage them to.