When are stairs safe?

9 replies [Last post]
luvmyMaddie's picture
Joined: 2016-04-24

I'm sure this has been answered before, but I couldn't find anything definitive.  Maddie will be 5 months old on June 11th and up until this week, she was confined to the kitchen space with baby gates unless she had just been outside to do her thing.  We are still in the process of getting the Smoosh Kitty, (our very neurotic cat), and Maddie together, but I think Smoosh is playing Maddie.  He has been trying to entice Maddie to chase him up the steps, but until last week, I would say "Maddie, Leave it!" and she would freeze at the bottom of the steps.

I think she believed that she wasn't capable of going up the stairs, so she didn't. Well, this past week, the temptation to try it was too much and up she went. And up she has gone on every opportunity she has had. Now we're back to being locked in the kitchen all the time unless there is direct supervision.  

I wouldn't mind having my girl upstairs. In fact, it would make life much easier since I have been somewhat contained in the kitchen myself so she isn't lonely, but that isn't condusive to getting ready for work, doing laundry, or most things not kitchen related. I just want to be sure that physically, she is ready.  I am concerned about the effects on growth plates since that seems to be a big topic on concern with our Dobie babies.

Thanks so much. I just want to keep her safe and happy!

Lady Kate's picture
Joined: 2009-10-28

Pet Profiles

I wish I had an answer for you.. am curious myself..I wouldn't think going up and down stairs would have an effect on her growth plates.. but I've never had a pup with stairs..

Will be following this thread with interest.. thanks for asking


Kim's picture
Joined: 2012-02-05

Well, no one's answered, so I'll throw my two cents in - LOL!

Make it easy on yourself. Let her do the stairs. All my pups have done the stairs as soon as they were able - and I was very glad they had no fear of them. I think you need to be more concerned about pounding on pavement or cement than the stairs. The only thing I would make sure of is that the stairs are non-slip - carpeted or a runner on them, so they have a firm grip on the steps.

If she developed joint problems from just the stairs, I would think it would be more from a dietary cause than anything else.

I've never restricted stair use - since to get to my back yard, they have to go down a full staircase, they all learned pretty quickly how to do stairs.  Forced exercise is not good on developing joints - so jogging or biking on hard surfaces is not a good idea, but I've never even heard of restricting stair use. Every puppy that left my house could do stairs by 10 weeks of age. 

dog123's picture
Joined: 2016-06-06

Rubes has been doing stairs since 10 weeks. I lived in a second floor apartment for the first few weeks we had her so it was a necessity! She fell going UP them more than down. She's basically an agility master at them now at 5.5 months! But yes, some sort of carpet is pretty essential.

AresMyDobie's picture
Joined: 2015-02-28

Pet Profiles

Ares learned the stairs at 8 weeks old. I have open stairs as well and he has never had a problem the early you start something the easier it is. 

luvmyMaddie's picture
Joined: 2016-04-24

Well, stairs are now a go. She likes to sneak up them like a ninja, so I have to keep my eyes on her. She's not as big a fan about coming down them, but if I just loosely hold her collar, she will walk down them slowly until the very bottom. I think it helps her feel a little more secure, so we'll do that for a while until she's more confident, (and I'm not as worried about her breaking her little "Bambi" legs. ;)


Mr. Mike B.'s picture
Joined: 2016-06-16

Izzy is almost 4 months old, we got her when she was 2 mos, the day after ear-cropping (had I known....).

Anyhow, for a month, we kept her downstairs only, didn't let her go upstairs.

One day, she got adventurous and VERY slowly crept up the CARPETED stairs (that have a landing 1/2-way down), she needed help getting down.  That lasted two days.

Now, she can FLY when she gets in one of her "I need to run" moods (not walk, not walk quickly, but RUN full-speed taking them seemingly 2 or 3 at a time).

BeccaGore's picture
Joined: 2017-11-06

Agreed. Luc is 4 months old, and he has to go up, and down our porch stairs to be able to outside, and potty. He really didn't want to at first, but after a little nudging he went for it, and there hasn't been a problem since. Well.... Other than his giant horse paw getting under him too quickly, and having a slight slip, but he has never fallen down the stairs. 

DobermanGuy's picture
Joined: 2017-12-11

My girls never had any issues doing stairs until I had an appointment at an OLD as heck building in the 'historical' district downtown. The office I was going to was on the second floor and when this place was built they did not have anywhere near the same building 'codes' that we do currently.

Those stairs were STEEP. Dogs had no issues going up but coming back down was a nightmare. Literally had to drag them to get them going and they didnt start to get comfortable till almost at the bottom. Was so bad that went back up and did it again 'just because'.