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Thread: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

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    Dog Park Attendant Become a 4 Paw Member Maximus's Avatar
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    Default My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    Does anyone else have this problem? Maximus will not use the stairs...
    He just turned 8-months, and he weights about 60lbs. and I can't get him to go up or down the stairs.....My duplex is on the 2nd and 3rd Floor and he is much to heavy to carry up and down stairs.....
    so I have to use a "Wee-Wee" Pad in the house. Is there normally a problem with Bulldogs using stairs ..?

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    Chester (9months) will go up the stairs..but the most he will go down is 3 stairs out to the patio, and then he takes them one at a time. The basement stairs, forget it. He follows my husband around so closely and when he goes downstairs - he just lays at the top of the landing, waiting not so patiently. I wonder if they feel uneasy about it because of the top heaviness of their shoulders?

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    Mine will go up the stairs, after all that is where their, I mean, my bed is.
    My son has a German Sheppard puppy and at his condo the stairs have open backs. Xero does not like them. I think it freaks him out to be able to see through them. It took months for Pierce to get him up and down. Regular stairs were fine from day one. It just took love and patience.

    Good luck

    Always with me

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    Samson does stairs no problem. I have a 2 story house so I can't avoid it all together but I try to limit his stair use because I worry about his hips and joints.

    "Looking at a bulldog is said to cure the worse of the blues, living with one, serves to prevent them!" -Author unknown

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    That is rough. I am guessing you carried him up and down the stairs as a puppy? It sounds like he needs some motivation to give himself the confidence to go up and down the stairs like a big boy. Maybe try breaking up his favorite treat and putting some on each stair to encourage him to come down or have someone at the base of the stairs to cheer him on down?

    The other thing, which I do not think is the issue, is that it hurts him in some way to go downstairs. Make sure next vet appointment, you mention it to them to make sure he has comfortable full range of movement so you can rule out going down the stairs as painful.

    Speaking from experience, my three bullies never minded stairs but it did take more practice to go down, rather than up, so maybe start with up the stairs first and it will seem less scary. Good luck!

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    They actually have "lift Assists"
    Something like this.... http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...82&pcatid=8082
    There are alot of bulldogs that hurt themselves pretty badly trying to manuver stairs. They are not too graceful. The steeper the stairs the scarier for them. Does your bulldog have a hard time going up and down? I could see a problem going down, but usually going up should not be a problem.

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    Gertie and Ida have never been up and down stairs. We have stairs, but they stay downstairs at home. So we are here in Denver, visiting my in-laws. They have a little fenced-in front yard, all grass and trees, and flower gardens. The girls LOVE it! But there are about 4 or 5 steps down off the front porch, so we didn't know how they'd react to them. But they both hop up and down like little bunnies! I was watching them come up this-morning and it was so cute! They both "hop" up not one foot on one step and then the next on the next step. They went right up and down, no problem the first night we got here.
    I agree with jillh, you need to get him going up and down. I can't imagine a dog that big using the puppy pads.

    There is nothing nicer than two sweet Bully girls, unless it's THREE sweet Bully girls!!
    Julie, Gertie, Ida & Clementine in Az.

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    Dog Park Attendant Become a 4 Paw Member Maximus's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    Well, I got "Maximus" when he was 4-months old. He came from a Breeder in Kansas. He lived in a garage with a big open backyard. So he never had stairs to deal with. My stairs are steep. I am on the 2nd and 3rd floor. So for me to have to take him outside to Potty would mean that I have to Carry him down the stairs and back up the stairs.........problem is he is 60lbs. and 8-months old. Carrying him is not an option. I would injure myself. But I think you're right --- the stairs are steep and he is afraid. . . . so I think it will take awhile. One step at a time , with a piece of cheese on each step..... LOL

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    Maggie took a while with the stairs at our house too. Upstairs was a lot faster because she would get impatient if we went up stairs to do anything ... she probably thought she was missing out on something!!! We did carry her up and down when it was bedtime ... and when she learnt to come up herself we would still carry her down.

    I agree with the people above who have said about the "top-heaviness" of a bulldog. I think that's what scared Maggie! As she grew bigger and I knew she could probably do the stairs as long as she was slow and careful, we started to "train" her a bit. First of all I would carry her down and leave her on the 4th step up so she had to go down the last four by herself. We gradually increased that - but it did help getting my daughter to sit half way down so it kind of broke up the stretch of stairs and made it seem less intimidating.

    Maggie goes downstairs fine now - but I notice that she does wait until any and all other dogs have gone down first. Especially our lab who doesn't so much go downstairs but THROWS himself down them! I think she worries about being knocked over so she seems to like going last.

    So maybe staggering the amount of stairs he goes down ... gradually increasing it little by little would help the same as it did Maggie

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    Its going to come down to training. Put him in his harness so you can get a close hand hold. Start by getting him to go up just a few (2) steps at a time . Gently lift him up by the harness,but not so his feet are in the air, just a bit so you are taking the slack out so to speak. Some encouraging words and a small piece of milk bone for a reward. Remember we are owners of a stubborn breed of dog BUT one of these most intelligent breeds. Don't give up and don't get discouraged . Use a soft but firm tone when you command him to climb. Try it a few times a day. I suggest you may want to get him trained to climb the stairs as soon as you can because you don't want to end up having to lug him up and down the steps which he will be more than happy to let you do. You know they want to expend as little energy and effort as they can.
    Also maybe start by training him to go DOWN a few steps at a time so he gets used to doing that and once he is comfortable going down try UP then.
    One question does come to mind. Are your steps the Open Back type that you can see through? Sometimes dogs have issue with walking up and down those.

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    Quote Originally Posted by Maximus View Post
    Well, I got "Maximus" when he was 4-months old. He came from a Breeder in Kansas. He lived in a garage with a big open backyard. So he never had stairs to deal with. My stairs are steep. I am on the 2nd and 3rd floor. So for me to have to take him outside to Potty would mean that I have to Carry him down the stairs and back up the stairs.........problem is he is 60lbs. and 8-months old. Carrying him is not an option. I would injure myself. But I think you're right --- the stairs are steep and he is afraid. . . . so I think it will take awhile. One step at a time , with a piece of cheese on each step..... LOL
    I know it's not funny but it is...I bet it will be kind of cute to watch him go step by step to obtain those nibbles of cheese!

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

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    Default Re: My Bulldog won't use the Stairs ... !

    it took stig the second week after we got him to go up the stairs. going down the stairs is still a problem. he'd go down one or two steps then go back up looking and acting frazzled. it's true that they're a smart breed, sometime it surprises me how he can follow directions with the right motivation. patience (and their favourite treat) is key!

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