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My Golden Retriever, Samson, will turn 2 next month. We've lived in the same apartment ever since we got him at 8 weeks. We are on the second floor, with a 2-tiered stair (a landing in the middle). Every once in a while, he gets a phobia about going up the stairs. He just can't do it. What can I do to help him get over this? He's 78.6 pounds, and I can't carry him up. Oh, and the stairs are the kind that have no back - I'm thinking maybe at one time, his paw slipped through, and that's coming back. Any ideas?
 

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As an adult dog that has seen the stairs often it is unusual to be afraid of something on occasion but it happens.

Get his favorite treats and go up and down the stairs a lot. Do this 5 or 6 times a day for a week or so. Give a treat at the top, bottom and the landing. Give them irregularly so he is not sure when he will get them but he knows the stairs are the trigger. Stop part way up and part way down on the treads and give a treat now and then. Be sure to make it a happy event. If he becomes upset, do not give any more treats but don't stop going up and down the stairs. Once he shows his acceptance of the stairs resume with the treats.

Get his favorite toy and do the same as with the treats. Again, the stairs are the trigger for the toy.

Soon he will not be able to wait to get to the stairs.
 
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· Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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If it is so sporadic, I would also rule out a cardiac issue as well as any orthopedic issues with his hips, elbows and spine...note the weather and any other activities ( i.e. after playing a good game of fetch...after a run.. or a doggy playdate) that might coincide with his reluctance to take the stairs..
 
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