He is probably aggressive and scared on the stairs because it is very painful for him to move on them and being taken up/down the stairs without his normal balance and control is additionally scary. Pain can easily cause aggressive or panic reactions.We have a 6 year old Golden Retriever who recently broke his front right leg and was waiting for surgery next week. A couple of days ago he developed paralysis to the right side of his face and now has a partially torn cruciate to his back left leg. His surgery has been cancelled for further investigation. In the meantime, we have a basement entry house....so instead of keeping him in the basement alone, we have been trying to control him going up and down the stairs. We purchased a harness for him but when I put it around his chest, he is panicking on the stairs and lunging through the air with his back legs. He is 80lbs and I am 120lbs, so I end up going with him. He has now bruised my foot twice and I’ve fallen down the stairs and into the wall. I don’t know why he is so aggressive and scared on the stairs and I don’t know what to do. He is going to hurt himself more and me as well. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I could use or do to calm him down? He is going crazy from lack of exercise. He is such a sweetheart but right now he is frustrating me terribly.
I suggest setting up a large crate in the basement (assuming this is climate controlled?) and an air mattress or futon for a human. Crate him 100% of the time when not directly and immediately supervised. Put some blankets down for him to lay on and have a chew toy while you sit with him. Basically, set up camp for you and him in a location that does not require him to use stairs at all. He also should not have any furniture that he might jump up and down from like a sofa or bed that isn't only a few inches from the floor.
If he is really stir-crazy, ask your vet about a mild sedative to keep him calm now and for after surgery.