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Discussion Starter #1
My shih tzu loulou who's 8 months old and we've had her for about 3 months! She has trouble getting down the stairs! She can get up them fine but when we try to get her to come down herself she starts whimpering and shaking! At the bottom of our stairs we have a little landing thing then 3 more steps! She just jumps down the last 3 from the top but she has before now actually climbed down them.

She won't come down even if we have her face treats all the way down but you can see the fear in her eyes when you try to get her to come down and in the end it results in us picking her up and carrying her down. Please can someone help!!!!!!!!
 

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When Sam first learned to navigate the porch stairs, we simply attached her leash and gently pulled her forward (edit: this was on a harness, not a collar) until she was forced to step down to the next stair. Then she got a treat. Rather than using the treat as a lure, we used it strictly as the reward. Just go one stair at a time, one treat at a time. If treats don't work, try toys or chews.

By encouraging her down with the leash, I find she learned quickly how to do it on her own, rather than babying her down by moving her paws myself (which we tried and it didn't work anyway). Just make sure you're on the stair down from the one you want her to be on, because you don't want her to topple forward. In essence you are encouraging her to come toward you, down onto the next stair.

Has she ever fallen down stairs perhaps? There may be a severe fear there if she has that will need to be worked through.
 

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Have you tried helping her down the stairs? Don't pull her down the stairs by her leash. Take her front paws, put them on the stair in front of her. Now pick up her back legs and bring them down. Show her how it is done and it is not scary.
 

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Have you tried helping her down the stairs? Don't pull her down the stairs by her leash. Take her front paws, put them on the stair in front of her. Now pick up her back legs and bring them down. Show her how it is done and it is not scary.
This strategy didn't do bubkus for us. Encouraging her with the leash allowed our dog to learn how to do it herself rather than being under the power of myself or my husband. But our dog is extremely independent and learns nothing unless she does it all by herself I find :p

I stand behind the leash method (on a harness, not a collar). The above method might work as well, don't get me wrong, but I just wanted to make sure to point out that different things work for different people, and it's all in how you do it and what works for your dog.
 

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This strategy didn't do bubkus for us. Encouraging her with the leash allowed our dog to learn how to do it herself rather than being under the power of myself or my husband. But our dog is extremely independent and learns nothing unless she does it all by herself I find :p

I stand behind the leash method (on a harness, not a collar). The above method might work as well, don't get me wrong, but I just wanted to make sure to point out that different things work for different people, and it's all in how you do it and what works for your dog.
For most dogs that works fine. Most dogs aren't completely terrified of the stairs, they are more confused as they don't really have experience going down. Basically your being a mama bird that pushes the kids out of the nest (which is sometimes all they need). But an 8 month old dog who is shaking at the sight of them leads me to believe it's not just stubbornness. If the dog is really experiencing anxiety than throwing them head-on into the situation isn't always the best approach. Getting over anxiety is best done in small steps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you and I will try this with her soon! She may have had an incident with going down the stairs befor we got her at her old home I'm not sure. Thank you very much
 

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We have done but on the second step she just jumps all the way down and the 3rd too
In which case you'll have to spend some quality time placing her on each and every stair, over and over and over again, until she gets it.

She WILL get it.. how long it takes is the only factor. :)
 

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I moved when my dog was 6 months old and had never used more than 3-4 steps before. My apartment has 6 steps to get in and out, and he was about 70 lbs at the time so I could not exactly carry him down the stairs. I know it is hard but don't give in and carry her! She is going to need to learn how to do them one way or the other. I remember taking Micah out to the bathroom, it took me a full 1/2 hour of coaxing him down the steps. It took him about 2 weeks before he did it without hesitation. I used a combination of the above methods, starting by putting a paw on the step and rewarding. If he ever voluntarily took a step I would give him a "jackpot" (a ton of treats and praise). Just remember that she is a baby. Another possibility is to find a set of stairs that are less steep and practice on those.
 
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