Right STW – get my pup down the stairs!

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  • Right STW – get my pup down the stairs!
  • Alex

    We have two labs, an eight year old one that never goes upstairs and a 6 month old pup who loves it up there. Mainly so she can eat the cat food/harass the cats. Up till now we’ve prevented cat/pup interface using a stair gate. This hols we’ve tried to see if we can train her out of it

    It’s not gone well.

    She runs up the stairs but won’t come down. I carried her down a couple of times assuming that the traumatic experience would stop her running up again. Nope.

    Currently we’ve got a stand off. Dog at top of stairs boxed in so she can only come down and can’t get anywhere else. Tried treats on every step, abandoning her completely, trying to talk her down step by step, but she’ll not get further than the first step.

    She’s fine with steps in our garden, etc but these are a bit steeper.

    I want to bring her down, but my wife is all for toughing it out. On the grounds if she has to come down and hates it, she’ll stop going back up…

    Any ideas?


    Is your kitchen upstairs? Otherwise I’d be moving the cat food downstairs and seeing what happens then

    I’m guessing that then the 8 year old lab eats it πŸ™‚


    The cat food is upstairs as the cats tend to live up there and can get to the catflap downstairs without having to pass the pup. Both cats have taken umbrage at the arrival of a second dog and currently tihere’s not much mixing. If I put their food downstairs, one or both of the labs would eat it!

    Anyway here’s a sad looking labrador

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/Q7YxAJ]Amber stuck on the stairs[/url] by Alex Leigh, on Flickr

    I apologise in advance for the carpet. It’s better than the one on the stairs as that doesn’t have any carpet at all. Every time we have the cash to replace it, we go on holiday instead πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon DezB

    Stick with the abandoning her method. Dogs work things out.

    Our rugby clubhouse has those metal fire escape type stairs. A few weeks back I was going up and calling the dog up – at her eye level all she could see was the gap where risers should be so she’d keep running past the stairs round the back and wondering where I was. About 4 or 5 goes at this and then she’s straight up em. If a dog wants to get somewhere it will πŸ™‚


    What about putting the cat food somewhere the dogs can’t reach it (but still downstairs). The natural order will sort itself out soon enough after some hissing and spitting, sounds a bit like you’re just making things hard for yourself


    It’s not the cat food that’s the problem, I just don’t want the dog upstairs. Moving the cat food wouldn’t stop the inquisitive pup wandering upstairs looking for a bit of love at 5am πŸ˜‰

    Anyway after two hours, I’ve carried her down and stuck the stair gate back for the moment. Shall consider plan b…


    Stair gate at the top but on the stairs. Mutley then runs up but can’t go anywhere so needs to sort itself out…abandon it but make sure it knows the food is downstairs…sounds like it is working out who is boss and so far it isn’t you.

    Aw she has the expression of a dog who thinks if her humans really cared they’d fit a stair lift

    We had this problem with our Rottie. Had to have a stair gate on for 6 months I guess. Then kept an eagle eye on him and coaxed him down to begin with and then got sterner and sterner in ordering him down. He still goes up there occasionally even now at 18 months, in fact he had the fag end of the cats dry food last night for which he got a stern bollocking, but it’s rare. Your younger one only needed the gate on for a few weeks.

    If she won’t come down your treats aren’t tempting enough – plenty of cooked chicken or similar scattered over the bottom steps and then leave her to it. She’ll come down eventually.


    I think you need to persevere with the stairgate. Originally our pup (working cocker) would try to escape through the stairgate, but eventually he stops at it even when open.


    You have a lovely hand πŸ˜‰


    Toe under tail works perfectly. Give it a push and it will be fine. Its a bloody dog not a Ming vase. Speaking from much experience here.
    As for prevention, clip round ear and stern voice as you would with other dog commands.

    Premier Icon Drac

    Toilet roll? I’ve seen an advert where you use them to get lab pups downstairs.

    Premier Icon bruneep

    Cheekyboy wrote:

    You have a lovely hand

    I was thinking this as well, appears to be “spoken for” as well…… bugga!

    Ensure she’s upstairs when the postman calls.
    We had a stairs problem when we moved house last summer. Moved from 6″rise, 9″ tread to 9″ rise, 6″ tread stairs. Our fat little Jack Russell couldn’t cope at all. Legs and body length were just wrong and she wasn’t happy.
    The familiar sound of the postman’s van got her down like a rocket.


    Not my hand you cheeky buggers πŸ™‚

    I like the idea of stair gate half way up. Pup is pretty well behaved and has been given the standard clip round the ear and firm tap on the nose for misbehaving. I don’t really want to push her down the stairs until that’s a last resort. It’s a lab tho, it’ll do ANYTHING for foo so surprised she didn’t come down for a big treat. Especially watching older dog snaffle his at the bottom of the stairs.

    Talking of which, I taught Murph to swim when he was about 1 by chucking him off the end of a small pier in a local pond. Worked a treat. So we’re not at home to treating the dogs like humans. Just going to cut her a bit of slack for a bit longer….


    Not my hand you cheeky buggers

    Don’t ask Mad Captain Rum for help with those hands

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