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Old 11-24-2011, 10:50 AM   #1
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Question for small dog owners

This is probably a stupid question. My Morkie puppy is 7 months old and she still cannot go down the stairs. She managed to climb up them at about 5 months old. Now she climbs upstairs, gets stuck, and barks until I go get her. I've only owned large dogs before and never owned a puppy, so I don't know if this is normal or not. I searched the net, but all I got was ads to purchase puppy stairs. Are there dogs that are too small to climb stairs (besides the teacup dogs)? Is she just afraid? Lazy? Am I raising a snowflake?
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
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My first 2 small dogs could not figure out how to go down stairs either. I got the 2nd when the first was about 2. The first had eventually figured it out on his own. When the 2nd still wasn't doing it, I had the first dog demonstrate a few times - he understood the words upstairs and downstairs and dog #2 figured it out.


Have her practise with maybe half a flight - see if you can stand in the middle and "catch" her - give her some more confidence. A morkie might be too small yet to go down stairs.
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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boy did she train you well. She goes up those steps...leave her there...do not give into her barking. She will come down.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SetzKitten View Post
This is probably a stupid question. My Morkie puppy is 7 months old and she still cannot go down the stairs. She managed to climb up them at about 5 months old. Now she climbs upstairs, gets stuck, and barks until I go get her. I've only owned large dogs before and never owned a puppy, so I don't know if this is normal or not. I searched the net, but all I got was ads to purchase puppy stairs. Are there dogs that are too small to climb stairs (besides the teacup dogs)? Is she just afraid? Lazy? Am I raising a snowflake?
It is common. She's just nervous about the stairs. Try carrying the pup to 3rd step from the bottom, set the dog there and call her to you, even try bribing with food. Keep doing it over and over and over. Might have to block her from going up higher when training. Even try putting her on a step and place a treat 1-2 steps below her, try to get her to get the snack. I'm afraid she's probably not even trying learn to to climb down the stairs cause she has trained mommy to just come and get her when needed...lol.

Might even help if she's at the 3rd step if you go where she cannot see you and call to her. I know with mine, if mommy gets out of eyesight, they will come looking. Always afraid they may be missing out on something.

As a perspective, imagine standing on your roof and looking down to the ground from the edge...that's what the puppy sees. If you don't know how to climb stairs, that can be quite scary...so start from the bottom. She just needs to learn a little at a time, and become comfortable with it.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:26 AM   #5
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I had the exact opposite problem with my Pomeranian when she was younger. She used to love to run down our porch stairs, but she was very hesitant coming back up them. We spent a lot of time carryiing her back up the stairs, eventually, she learned on her own to come up. It just takes time, patience is your best friend.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
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Yes it's normal for small dogs to be afraid of the stairs. I'd try ignoring the barking first and see if she doesn't eventually figure things out on her own.

Are your stairs carpeted? If not, perhaps some treads to give her traction might help.

My grandmother's has three small dogs. Two have trained her very well and she now has to make two trips up and down to carry both dogs. Funny thing is, the Chihuahua used to go up and down by himself. But when he saw the dachshund waited to be carried, he started doing that too and now sits around and whines until she gets him. Smart dog.
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:38 PM   #7
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My little dog used to do stairs with no problem, but now that she is a senior citizen, going down is a huge problem. They are not carpeted, and twice she slipped and tumbled down (luckily not hurt!) so now we prefer to carry her. Funny, she is OK with going up!
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:23 AM   #8
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We have a Morkie who is now 4 years old. He had trouble going up and down stairs when he was young. No problems now. They told us he would be between 9-12 lbs and the vet has him listed as 25 lbs now. Last I knew he was at 18 lbs. He is the size of a Maltese basically with the Yorkie coloring - more tan not much black and a little white. They are so cute. He is a good dog.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:58 AM   #9
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Try having a german shepherd that can't climb stairs.

When we lived in base housing our main bathroom was upstairs. During the winter we would give the dog a bath inside. We had to carry her up AND carry her down. She could not do either.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacaju View Post
boy did she train you well. She goes up those steps...leave her there...do not give into her barking. She will come down.
this.

She has you very well trained
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
We have a Morkie who is now 4 years old. He had trouble going up and down stairs when he was young. No problems now. They told us he would be between 9-12 lbs and the vet has him listed as 25 lbs now. Last I knew he was at 18 lbs. He is the size of a Maltese basically with the Yorkie coloring - more tan not much black and a little white. They are so cute. He is a good dog.
He sounds adorable. I never thought I would like a small dog, but they really are sweet. Mine is currently 9 pounds, but I wouldn't be surprised if she gets bigger. A workmate of mine got a dog at the same breeder and hers is about 20 pounds. I hope mine stays at the weight she's at. I've let her go upstairs and left her there for hours. She shows no interest in coming down on her own at this point. I have to carry her every time.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #12
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My Frenchie is afraid to go down but she has no problem going up the 2 steps to get out of the garage. I carry her down them. (yes I know I am not helping but it's not worth the fight to me she's only 25 pounds and it's a short carry)
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:01 PM   #13
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There are videos on youtube on how to teach it.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:07 PM   #14
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google 'operant conditioning' otherwise known as positive reinforcment training.
works great on all sizes of dogs, my chi mix was 1 lb when we got her,(is 9 lbs at 5 years) and went through this phase-
I basically ignored the fear,since I knew she could do it, and did lots of positive rewards for going up or down. and I never gave in and picked her up to go down till she figured it all out. For Tink, it was teeny bits of cheese,plus us calling her that did the trick. I think it took a day or two of work off and on to get it.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:32 PM   #15
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Our Malti-poo was terrified of the stairs. Same thing, he would go up, but not down.

So we started on one step and I bribed him with treats, then 2 steps, then 3...etc. Finally got him down! Now he doesn't have any problems with steps.
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