Stairs

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by BigDutch, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. BigDutch

    BigDutch Registered Users

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    Hi everyone this is my first time on Labrador forums so here goes. We have had a puppy (Riley) for 8 weeks now and now she is 4 months old. We have been told not to let her go up and downs stairs as it could damage a puppies hips. Does anyone know at what age it would be ok to give Riley access to the stairs .
     
  2. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Just lost a reply as Dexter patted the iPad....
    Welcome to the Forum,it's important to protect their developing joints when they are growing from the wear and tear of doing stairs ....jumping in and out of the car is something to watch out for too.Dexter is 3 now..he started doing the stairs in our house at around 13 months but with caution....we've had a few skids when he's skated across the tiles to be stopped by the wall.....not good! he's allowed to jump in the car now but I lift him out if we are parked on a hard surface.
    Great to see you here
    Best wishes
    Angela
     
  3. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

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    Hello and welcome to you and Riley (#2 ;) )
    I hav often wondered whether the stairs in our house were involved in Lilly and her hip dysplasia diagnosis.
    I would go with what Angela has said above and avoid stairs and jumping as much as possibe
    jac
     
  4. MaccieD

    MaccieD Guest

    Hi and welcome to the forum.Just to say I agree with the advice already given. No stairs or jumping until at least 12 months old.
     
  5. Oberon

    Oberon Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Sometimes it's difficult to avoid stairs, and eventually puppies get too heavy to safely carry up and down stairs. I'd gate off stairs with a baby gate. Once your pup gets to the point where they can walk on lead calmly and in a co-ordinated way then I'd teach your pup to walk up and down the stairs slowly, on lead, pausing a lot on the way down. Slow walking on lead should be fine - but free running up and down stairs is not a good idea and should be avoided at any age, but especially when under a year old. It's the repeated impact at speed that's the issue, and the risk of falling.

    At our dog club we allow dogs to start running and jumping sports (Flyball and Agility) at one year of age, but not before. I think that's a good guide for the age at which a dog can be given off-lead access to stairs, ideally having been trained to tackle them on lead at a walk. Stairs require a lot of co-ordination for a four-legged animal.

    It's a good idea to teach your dog to pause at the top and bottom of any flight of stairs and to walk down them at heel, stopping when you stop - that means flights of stairs can be managed safely when out on walks so you won't be in danger of being pulled down them by your dog.
     
  6. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

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    Hi and welcome ☺

    We have about five steps at the front of our house. When we first got Ella we taught her to stop at the top or bottom and then we carried her up or down. When she got to about 4/5 months it started to get a little impractical to carry her so we just started getting to stop and sit at the top/bottom then we slowly lead her up/down. At the beginning we actually got her to sit again after the last step as this helped to stop her running off and getting up to speed on the stairs.

    I'm sure not doing stairs at all is the best option but, like Rachael said, it's not always possible. ☺
     
  7. MaccieD

    MaccieD Guest

    You have to take a practical approach to stairs and train puppy as Emily says above. Juno isn't allowed up and down the stairs at home but has always gone up or down slowly on steps when out in town. I also use a ramp for her in and out of the car and have since she was around 5 months old.
     
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  8. Cath

    Cath Registered Users

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    Hi and welcome to the forum from Fred and me. Nothing to add to the good advice already given.
     
  9. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    LOL, our breeder said this too, NO stairs till six months old. Taking this absolutely literally, as I am wont to do, I carried puppy up and down the stairs in our split level house and even the three from the deck. Our Vet was horrified, she had another client with a Neopolitan Mastiff puppy who'd been told and was doing the same thing. Do you know how big Neos are? They're huge. OUr Vet was afraid that lady would fall and badly hurt or kill both herself and the puppy. Puppies can do stairs, they need to learn how to handle stairs, our Vet said, just not over and over, not running, with care.

    SEcond puppy came from the same breeder so this time I asked, just exactly what did she mean by NO stairs? Yeah, she didn't mean no, none, never till six months old. She meant what the Vet said, with prudence and careful watching and not to play by running up and down full flights.

    I still don't let my dog jump in or out of the car. It's a jeep, the load floor is high. Not jumping out is obvious but I've seen some wild slips on take off in loose sand or slippery snow that caused a dog to miss the landing and whack a leg or ribs on the edge and end up hanging partway in and partway out., while attempting to jump in.
     
  10. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    My dog has some joint problems (he is 2.5 now) and he does stairs - they are actually good exercise to build muscle.

    I carried him up and down stairs as a puppy until he got too big. I think I'd still carry a very small puppy, but not after 3 months or so.

    I've got a dodgy knee, and I just can't have my dog pulling me down steps (obviously, I don't want him pulling me anywhere, but down steps could have dreadful consequences). He is good at walking down steps slowly, and I trained it from the off when he was young, and I'm glad I did.

    These days he is allowed to go up and down stairs as he likes, although I do still have baby gates in place to stop him time to time (when I know he is just looking for mischief in the form of nicking the bathroom waste bins etc). He is generally really sensible, but none slip mats at the bottom of stairs is a really good idea. Dogs seem to struggle with the concept of slowing down for the last step!
     
  11. Newlabpup

    Newlabpup Registered Users

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    Hmmmm.. This is an interesting topic! My pup is around 4 months old and we do let him go slowly up and down our stairs because he's a little too big for me to carry around, although my husband does carry him sometimes. We don't let him barrel down the stairs or anything like that, but I hope that were not causing any damage!! I usually pick him up to get in and out of the car as well. I'll definitely be much more cautious and pick him up as much as I can from now on. As always thank you for the wonderful advice. I don't know where I would be without this forum!
     
  12. Oberon

    Oberon Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    People who are lifting and carrying dogs - just remember that the health of your back is very important too! :)
     
  13. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    Not to mention the increased potential for you falling up/down the stairs when carrying a dog!

    I live in an apartment that means I have to go up or down at least one half-flight of 9 stairs to get in or out, if I use the lift. If I don't use the lift, there are 18 stairs to go down or 27 to go up to get out. When we just had Willow and she was little, she got carried. When Shadow came along, DH and I carried one each. As they started getting heavier, though, they really disliked being carried by me. They were OK with J doing it, but I think I was too small and it just wasn't comfortable for them, and didn't feel safe, so they would wriggle. Obviously not safe when walking up or down stairs. So it was at that point that they started learning to negotiate the stairs themselves. Always slowly and, since there aren't any stairs in my apartment itself, it was only when going out on walks. I used the lift wherever possible to minimise the stairs - until Willow started to freak out about going in, and we had to go with the stairs again. Until she started freaking out about the slippery stairs when she had wet feet.... :rolleyes:

    We now (14 months) always use the stairs except if I come in the front door and they have wet feet. In that case, we'd have to go down stairs to our apartment, but it's not safe for Willow because she turns into Bambi on ice, so we walk up 9 stairs and go down in the lift, which she, incidentally, now thinks is the best thing ever. If we come in through the garage, we're below our apartment and so the stairs are up, and she's fine with that, even with wet feet.

    In an ideal world, there would be no stairs until the growth plates have closed. Real life sometimes gets in the way, though, and you just have to do what is best, and safest, in the circumstances.
     
  14. BigDutch

    BigDutch Registered Users

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    Thanks everyone some really good advice there. No doubt I'll be asking for other advice as and when I hit a problem.
     
  15. Ian73

    Ian73 Registered Users

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    Thankyou, for the advice. I will continue to carry Ed up and down the stairs until he becomes to heavy.
    I will teach him to go up and down slowly.
    As for picking him up, I lift him under his tummy, then put him on my arm and have my hand on his chest and support his head.
    (If that makes any sense).
     
  16. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Ian I would be very careful with respect to picking up the puppy there with my hand. It can be very painful if you gouge. Instead scoop the puppy up like a fork lift. So that your forearm is doing the lifting. In doing so you avoid gouging.
     
  17. Ian73

    Ian73 Registered Users

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    Thankyou
    I will pick him up as you suggest.
     
  18. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute Forum Supporter

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    Both of our pups did stairs fairly early, Cooper and Tilly never had any hip or shoulder problems. I don't think we carried them after two or three months. Tilly only lived to 12 because of cancer, but she was still getting around ok. She was not as spry as our first Lab, a Rescue named Ginger (no history prior to 4 years) who could still get around ok at 15-1/2.

    Cooper our current Lab is 4+ and exceedingly athletic. She can jump in or out of our Suburban bed effortlessly.
     
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