View Full Version : Basement stairs

11-09-2000, 01:19 PM
We have a finished off basement with lots of room where Duke (our 22 month old black lab) could play safely but he refuses to go down the stairs. I've tried bribing him with treats by sitting a few stairs down from the top, but it doesn't work. Every time we go down, he just sits at the top and waits for us to come back.
The stairs and basement are well lighted, and the stairs are enclosed on both sides.
Any suggestions?
By the way, I'm new to this website and I love it!

karen israel
11-09-2000, 02:05 PM
Hi Dukiemom! Welcome to the Family! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif Are the stairs carpeted? Or have a runner? Maybe Duke is afraid he'll fall, up is lots easier than down, at least it still is for my dog. My Cody never shows much interest in the basement-he'll look down, see us do our laundry etc, come down for 1 minute and go back upstairs. It's unfamilar territory to him. I think he feels "safer" upstairs. Maybe if you stay down there..is that where you watch TV like a rec room?- he'll eventually go down to be with you in his own time. By going back upstairs, you're doing what he wants you to do so he has no reason to go down. Believe me, I'm not perfect but I really try NOT to give in my Cody when he expects me to, whining and all. Good luck!

11-09-2000, 02:55 PM
I have the same problem with my dog Hercules. we have had him since he came out of the birth canal and we have never been able to get him to go down the stairs. we can't carry him he's 100 lbs. I don't want to force him down the stairs because he might fall. But its not that big of a deal for him to have to learn to go down the stairs.

11-09-2000, 03:59 PM
Going up and down stairs is very difficult for dogs and takes some practice for them. Very often the first few times end in a panic with feet slipping and legs being hurt.
Try to find a couple of steps outside to start with. Practice going up and down VERY slowly making sure the dog stops on each step. This should be pretty easy and gets the dog used to the idea of stairs mean slow. Once he can do six or seven with confidence tackle some inside stairs, not down to the basement. When these have been mastered you can move onto the basement stairs. Always do these excersises on the lead and very slowly. The dog is anxious and wants to get it over with as soon as possible so will rush, be prepared for this. As his confidence grows he will no longer feel the need to rush when on the lead. Once he is going down and up on the lead just hold the collar for th first couple of steps and let him go.
Terriers and the like are happy to go into small holes in the ground but it is not unreasonable for a dog to dislike the idea of going into a very large hole in the floor - he doesn't know what dug it and from the size of the hole, doesn't want to find out! By making a big deal of him going down there you are confirming his view of it as being different and possibly dangerous.

11-09-2000, 05:35 PM
This reminds me of a situation we once had with a Saint Bernard - we were at a strange house, and she followed us up a steep flight of stairs, and then was "stuck" and wouldn't come down. We finally realized the angle was so steep, her loose hide rolled forward and partially obscured her vision when she started down. You try coaxing 180 pounds of reluctance! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif We had to lead her down, gripping her extra skin gently and collar firmly. She never went up there again!

Does your dog go up and down other stairs? Maybe there is a lab-eating boogieman in your basement, and you haven't noticed! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

11-09-2000, 05:40 PM
That could be what dug the hole (basement)!!

Karen, I laughed out loud at the St. Bernard story! Funny and sort of sad at the same time.

11-10-2000, 05:19 AM
My dogs never really liked going in the basement much and I think it was because the steps are not carpeted. You could see how cautiously they went down and their little paws would sort of spread (for better traction? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif ) as they went down. They had no problem at all running up and down the carpeted stairs in the house though! Also, another fact that didn't help, I'm sure, is that's where their grooming table was and every 6 weeks or so, being that they were poodles, it was time for a "haircut!" That was never the high point of their lives!! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif