Dog Training QUESTIONS – “How do I get my dog to walk nicely up stairs?”

Good evening, Steve,

First of all thank you for coming over. After couple of days of training I have thought of couple of questions: every day Maya and I go up and down a case of stairs and she loves the stairs since to her it means it is either going out for a walk or back home:-) she always speeds up on the stairs, and pulls very strongly. Now, when we are on a regular street, once she starts pulling I normally just change direction, it is a very narrow set of stairs and I am wondering how to deal with it? Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you,

Katja and Maya

 

ANSWER

Hi Katja,

With the stairs I would recommend backing up (safely of course) if she is pulling you up or down them. The turns may be too difficult in such a small space so if she is incorrect as you go down, walk in reverse back up the stairs, hopefully you aren’t too far down when this happens, and make her do it again until she is correct. This can be a very time consuming process so don’t get discouraged.

She should see that if she is pulling or gets ahead she doesn’t get what she wants, i.e. going for the walk or getting back home, until she walks correctly. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had to do this exercise without going for a walk a few times just to show her how to properly use the stairs. So you may want to try 5-10 minutes of just working the stairs, take a break, and do it all over again.

Unfortunately when we live in an apartment we have to take them out to go to the bathroom and often they get to pull because we must get them out so they learn they can walk any way they choose and the outcome is the same each time, you need to break the cycle. Try this for a few days and if you don’t see any change message me back and we’ll see what we can do.

Dog Training Questions,
Steve