Large Breed Pups and Stairs
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Thread: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

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    Senior Member Ginny01OT's Avatar
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    Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    Should large breed puppies be allowed to negotiate steps? What age would you allow a large breed pup to negotiate steps?

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    Senior Member RubesMom's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    I have a saint pup, and I think they should be allowed to negotiate steps as early as possible, for the exposure more than anything. I realize that large breed pups are not supposed to do a lot of jumping and stair climbing, but doing a step or two here and there is a good way to introduce them to something that is basically unavoidable in life. I started mine off slow; first I would carry him up and down steps, but around 10 or 12 weeks I started letting him try to figure out a step or two at a time---not a whole flight---just a couple of steps such as from a garage into a home or from a yard onto a porch. Up is a whole lot easier than down, and the fewer steps you ask them to take down, the better. I want to give my pup the confidence to try it rather than scare him off by making him face a whole bunch of steps at once. I praise him when he goes up or down and I don't force him to do anything he doesn't feel comfortable doing; I figure he knows his body better than I do, and it's growing so fast that I don't even know how he keeps up with it!

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    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginny01OT View Post
    Should large breed puppies be allowed to negotiate steps? What age would you allow a large breed pup to negotiate steps?

    Yes, with supervision, and training to prevent racing up and down the stairs. A woman I know with a beautiful young male Standard Poodle was devastated when this wildly joyful boy fell, and broke his neck racing down the stairs.

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    Senior Member Ginny01OT's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    Oh boy that is horrible. My sisters 8 week old pup is already go up and down steps, kind of makes me nervous--Riley didn't negotiate steps well until about 6 months

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    Senior Member Tess&Coco's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    A sobering thought that a pup can break its neck by being too confident on stairs. We stopped carrying Coco up and down at around 4 months, and she took a long time to learn to come down the stairs by herself (up was no problem). I had to coax her by putting treats on every few steps.

    I posted on another similar thread about my friend's wolfhound who could get up but not down the stairs - and he (at 150+ pounds) was too much to carry!
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    The breeder we got our Malamute from recommended we waited till he was 7 months to let him tackle the stairs,to give his hips the best chance of good development,even though his mum and dad had excellent hip scores.


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    Junior Member whiteshepherd27's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    i just got a white german shepherd and at 5 months he can already negociate stairs pretty well. I'm only talking 3 or 4 stairs at a time here (out of the house, then back in) nothing too big. He is a little cautious with it but I would rather him be that way then the opposite. Honestly from the point we got him he could go up and down them. I will be more cautious now though after reading this post

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    Senior Member onyxdaily's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    My Saint is 6.5 months and he goes up and down the stairs very well. He does sometimes race down them, which now reading about the broken neck, I am going to monitor more closely.
    When he was younger, we did carry him up and down. He learned to go up first, and we did a few at a time and he built up to the whole flight. We still carried him down. Well, my husband did because he quickly got too heavy for me. He got carried down the steps probably until he was 3.5-4 months old.
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    Senior Member Ginny01OT's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by whiteshepherd27 View Post
    i just got a white german shepherd and at 5 months he can already negociate stairs pretty well. I'm only talking 3 or 4 stairs at a time here (out of the house, then back in) nothing too big. He is a little cautious with it but I would rather him be that way then the opposite. Honestly from the point we got him he could go up and down them. I will be more cautious now though after reading this post
    My sisters 8 week White American GSD (same as yours) is already doing steps, I told her she should wait but her vet and the breeder said it was okay?????!!!!!

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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    wow I learned something new here I have small dog she dig stairs as soon as she could reach. Did not think about how a large dog may race too fast.

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    Senior Member DogsforMe's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    We have 6 stairs at our back door & when our dogs were young I never thought they shouldn't negotiate the stairs when they were used to them. It was hard to stop them & Sooty at 9-10 weeks wouldn't stay off the bed although I didn't want her to jump up. I know stairs are no good for short, long bodied dogs.
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    Member bonnie bear's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    I am so glad that I read this post...hope the damage has not been done already. We have a mutt we got when she was 5 mos old (32 lbs). She is now 55 lbs. We have a two storied house and she loves going up and down. To tire her down I throw her toy up and she climbs and brings the toy down. We do it quite often. Didn't imagine this could have bad effect on her hips. I will stop this stair climbing and down game.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Large Breed Pups and Stairs-photo.jpg  


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    Member volito's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by RubesMom View Post
    I have a saint pup, and I think they should be allowed to negotiate steps as early as possible, for the exposure more than anything. I realize that large breed pups are not supposed to do a lot of jumping and stair climbing, but doing a step or two here and there is a good way to introduce them to something that is basically unavoidable in life. I started mine off slow; first I would carry him up and down steps, but around 10 or 12 weeks I started letting him try to figure out a step or two at a time---not a whole flight---just a couple of steps such as from a garage into a home or from a yard onto a porch. Up is a whole lot easier than down, and the fewer steps you ask them to take down, the better. I want to give my pup the confidence to try it rather than scare him off by making him face a whole bunch of steps at once. I praise him when he goes up or down and I don't force him to do anything he doesn't feel comfortable doing; I figure he knows his body better than I do, and it's growing so fast that I don't even know how he keeps up with it!
    Excellent advise The research and science of it is when a puppy is in it's critcal stage they should negotiate EVeRYTHING possible "without overwhelming them/ and safe" including stairs as advise above one at a time or two. As well as many different floorings. Off the top of my head no jumping above dogs elbows until over one year "definelty small dogs" large maybe more. Have to double chek that one

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    Member bonnie bear's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    After posting in this forum I also emailed my vet that I let my dog run up and down the stairs may times a day. She said it is absolutely normal and shouldn't be a problem. Hip dysplesia is more of a genetic problem. So either the dog has it or not. But, playing by throwing ball up and down the stair shouldn't cause any problem.


    - Owner of 3 humans (as they like me to call them "Mom, Dad and Big Sis")

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    Senior Member malamutelove's Avatar
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    Re: Large Breed Pups and Stairs

    Its fine. Actually it was funny, maggie learned to climb up the stairs but she would howl at me because she couldn't figure out how to get down. lol


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