Dog can't climb wooden stairs any more
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Thread: Dog can't climb wooden stairs any more

  1. #1
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    Dog can't climb wooden stairs any more

    Hello

    My sister's dog has been having this weird problem since about a month ago, and I figured I'd ask here, maybe someone knows what it could be.

    The dog is a female Mini Schnauzer, about 3-4 years old. She used to go up and down stairs, no problem, only a bit reluctant cause she's small and climbing stairs is actually hard work considering the very short legs.

    Now she can't climb the smooth wooden stairs inside the house at all. She's as active as ever outside, running and jumping, she jumps onto the sofa from the carpet all the time, and she climbs the stairs outside (those are a rough surface).

    Anyone have any idea what could have happened? Could it be that her nails grew too big? Or maybe she fell once and now is simply afraid?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
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    Re: Dog can't climb wooden stairs any more

    hi there,
    I hope that this dosent alarm you, as it is just a thought, but you may want to take the dog to the vet to see what is going on.

    Obvisouly there are a number of things it could be, but with my boy his reluctance to jump up and climb up the stairs, from just 10 months old onwards, were the signs of what we later learned was hip dysplasia and at the time we didnt pick up on it.

    hope all is well x

  4. #3
    Senior Member lovemygreys's Avatar
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    Re: Dog can't climb wooden stairs any more

    Since she seems to be running and jumping with no problems elsewhere in her daily life, my first thought was that something happened to make her frightened of the stairs. Wood stairs inside houses can be quite slippery, so maybe she slipped and fell...so it's not so much that she *can't* climb the stairs as much as it is that she doesn't *want* to climb the stairs.

    Of course, a trip to the vet to make sure everything is working as it should is always a good idea when there's a sudden behavior change.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Dog can't climb wooden stairs any more

    Since she seems to be running and jumping with no problems elsewhere in her daily life, my first thought was that something happened to make her frightened of the stairs. Wood stairs inside houses can be quite slippery, so maybe she slipped and fell...so it's not so much that she *can't* climb the stairs as much as it is that she doesn't *want* to climb the stairs.
    Yeah, that's exactly what I've been thinking. Those stairs are very slippery.

    Thanks!

  6. #5
    Senior Member the-tenth's Avatar
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    Re: Dog can't climb wooden stairs any more

    This is more common on wooden stairs, floors, and linoleum floors than you would think. If the dog has slipped and hurt himself coming down the stairs, he may relate the stairs with getting hurt. If you hurt yourself snow skiing, would you go skiing again? Some people do and for some people getting hurt once doing something is enough to keep them from doing it again. Are there any porch stairs, or concrete stairs that the dog coninues to use?

  7. #6
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    Re: Dog can't climb wooden stairs any more

    Are there any porch stairs, or concrete stairs that the dog coninues to use?
    Yep, the porch stairs and stairs inside the house that are covered with carpet are no problem at all.

    For example, the stairs from the basement:

    Code:
    \
     \       <-- smooth wood
      \
       -----
            \
             \       <-- carpet
              \
    She'll climb the carpet part and then sit on the platform whining. Usually she won't come whether I'm there asking her to, or even if I go out of the house for 15 minutes (she really likes sitting by the door waiting for someone to come home).

    Anybody have any suggestions about how to help her get over this fear? She's physically capable of climbing those stairs (did it for a year at least).

    Should I try to insist, or just wait until it passes?

  8. #7
    Senior Member the-tenth's Avatar
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    Re: Dog can't climb wooden stairs any more

    That tells me that it probably isn't a medical condition, but a fear response. Her hips wouldn't care what the steps were made out of, or covered with. I'm a firm believer in confronting your fears. IMO your dog will never go up those stairs on his own. If it's important for you for your dog to overcome this, then you have to address it because it's not likely that she will on her own. Does she walk on a lead? If so, I would put her on one and walk around the house for a few minutes, and then go directly up the stairs without giving her time to think about where she's walking. Don't pull her up, but make sure you aren't tense about it. If you start to tense up, then she will too. Rinse and repeat. Of course this is just my opinion though. At the same time, you don't want to do anything to hurt the dog (or anyone else), and wood stairs can be flat out dangerous. You may want to consider putting a runner on the stairs as well. That won't help with the fear part, but will help on the safety side of the issue.
    Last edited by the-tenth; 12-13-2007 at 10:27 AM.

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