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Piper's Assistant
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257 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Piper is afraid to go down a set of steps.

He'll cautiously come off the front porch where there is a whopping three steps down. They are concrete. The ones he totally fears are the eight wooden steps coming off the deck. Does anyone else have this problem with their Golden?

When I urge him to, he'll put one little paw down toward the next step and his little foot is actually shaking.

I felt so bad I carried him down. Hard to do with an almost seventy pound puppy. Hey Trainers ! give me some ideas about how to get him past this.
 

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Kate
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20,607 Posts
Teach him one step at a time. With treats. Put the hand with the treat on the next step and urge him to step down and get the treat. Praise and reward. Start with the three steps off the porch.

Set aside time every afternoon to train him to go up and down the stairs properly. Keep it fun.

Don't carry him. ;)
 

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Go out in public to someplace where there are a few stairs...in front of the library or post office or some other buildings. Going up and down only 2-3 is a start. Feed lots of treats! Each time! Even though it's easy!

And then... go ouside...at the bottom of the deck stairs. Have someone lift him and set him 2 steps from the bottom and feed when he gets to the bottom. Repeat several times.
Then set him 3 from the bottom and let him go down.

Continue the process until it's too dangerous to go up more stairs (for the person carrying him) or you're at the top.

I teach in the basement of the building....so I've had to train a lot of dogs to go down stairs!!
 

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Sit down on the step in front of you and encourage him to join you, then move down to the next one. or go two step down and turn to him to encourage him to try the first step. The other way is to encourage him to move down the stairs against the wall, they feel secure and may lean against it for several months when coming down.
 

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Piper's Assistant
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257 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the great advice

I appreciate the words of wisdom. Piper is such a "manly little man" - proud to be a watchdog and mostly fearless. I was so surprised by his fear of steps.

We will start working on this immediately using all of the tips you've shared.
 
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