Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi! Cyber is my 10 week old Dobermann. He's also my first doberman, and I really like dobermantalk, I've been using it since before we got him. Currently, one of our main struggles are stairs. Even though he's a pretty big puppy, he doesn't like going up stairs (even though he's done it before), and he has never even attempted going down them. Tips would be appreciated!

Also, we're working on crate training. He's crated alone downstairs because being with one of us isn't an option right now. We leave the tv on, give him a kong, and also a heated plush toy and blankets. He's currently only waking up once throughout the night. When we put him in the crate at the beginning of the night, we sit with him until he falls asleep, then he sleeps for about 6 hours. When he wakes up in the night, I take him out to potty, then just put him in the crate and let him whine (last about 20-30 mins) until he falls asleep himself. Is it wrong to be doing both? Should I be fully cutting out sitting with him until he falls asleep? If I keep doing that, will I have to continue forever?

Thanks!!
 

Attachments

· Premium Member
Joined
·
14,952 Posts
Hi Maya,

Cyber is only 10 weeks and the size of Dobe puppies as they are growing often causes us (the owners) to forget just how young that really is.

At 10 weeks Dobe puppies are not all that agile. And you'll find as he grows he often doesn't know exactly where all of his parts are. So being young and not so agile and clumsy beyond belief at times those stairs are scary for Cyber.

There are some hilarious pictures of one of the forum puppy's (Neo) just learning to deal with stairs--the first ones were only two steps I think and he'd put one foot up and take it down and finally get carried. And down was even worse. That was one happy pup when he finally managed to negotiate more than one step at a time.

The bravest puppy I ever had when it came to stairs was a small red boy and he'd never seen more than a single step up or down I when took him down for a weekend with my husband who was living about 40 miles south--I was in school in one town and he had just been promoted and moved to another town. The puppy had been cropped the week before. The older Doberman (18 months) didn't do stairs--and since his apartment was townhouse style there was a very steep set of varnished, open back, and a railing on one side and wall on the other. Getting him up and down the stairs involved him being carried with him trying to clutch at the wall all the way up. (And all the way down).

So we arrived--two Dobermans and a cat--so we fed everyone and walked the dogs on the levy behind the apartment complex--and were going to be to watch something on tv--my husband had carried the big coward up stairs and that left me still downstairs with the puppy. We stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked at them--the cat came down to see why we were still downstairs. The puppy watched the cat go back up the stairs and went to the bottom step. He put one foot on the first step and his nose on the second step and moved the other foot up where his nose was. Then he put the first foot up on the second step and one by one he put his back feet on the first step. Then he repeated the process--one front foot up on step 3, nose on step 3,second front foot up to step 3, back feet one at a time on step two.

The cat watched and sometimes went down to see how the puppy was doing and then ran back up the stairs to hang out with my husband and the other dog. We were about to steps 4 and 5 when I asked the puppy if he wanted me to carry him up--he said no--he knew how to do this. And he did--it wasn't a fast process but he did it. We all celebrated when finally made it to the top.

The following morning he went down pretty much the same way--except he plastered himself on the side by the wall so if he was clumsy about the down process he could (and did) lean on the wall to steady himself.

After the first up and down he got faster and in a couple of weeks could make it up the stairs almost as fast as the cat. He was slower and more careful coming down.

And just so you know--those stairs he learned on were the hardest for most dogs. Stairs in an enclosed stairway that have backs between the stairs are the easiest--there isn't all that unidentified space to think about. And stair with a landing are easier than those that go straight up. And it's worth finding stairs of all varieties: cement, wood, metal and making sure he'll deal with those so you don't end up having to carry 80 odd pounds of Doberman up some kind of stairs he's never seen before.

I don't think sitting with him until he falls asleep is going to create a situation where you have to do it his entire life. But I always have used a crate directly beside my side of the bed so that I could get up with a fussy puppy who wasn't making it through an entire night with out a trip outside. So my situation has always been a little different than yours.

Good luck--he'll learn about the stairs--and it'll take longer for him going down than going up.

dobebug
 

· Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are some hilarious pictures of one of the forum puppy's (Neo) just learning to deal with stairs--the first ones were only two steps I thing and he'd put one foot up and take it down and finally get carried. And down was even worse.
Sounds like Cyber! We'll keep working on the crate, hopefully he won't depend on someone sitting with him, we'll see
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
23,795 Posts
I agree with Bug - stairs are tough, and it can really depend on how steep they are, whether they are carpeted, etc. My pup just hit 13 weeks this Wednesday. I've been carrying him up and down our stairs until just a few days ago, and still do sometimes. We have wooden stairs and they are tough for him to navigate. Even though he's about 30 pounds and that gets heavy, I don't expect him to do the stairs most of the time...it's a lot! It took him a while to feel confident, and even now, I simply don't want him to do them all day long. He has no trouble with the couple of stairs in and out of the house.

I think it would be tough for a baby to be in a crate alone so I would definitely not feel bad sitting with him. My pup is crated in the bedroom (though we also have an xpen in the living room, and another crate in my office). At night, he crates at bed time, and does need to get up in the middle of the night. Depending on how "awake" he is when we go out for the middle of the night break, I sometimes let him fall back to sleep in bed, then put him back into his crate when he's nice and sleepy. He doesn't fuss at all then and goes right to sleep when I move him. I want his crate to be a happy place, so I don't want him being worked up and screaming. It works for us, and he is good in his crate. He's still a small baby and I don't expect him to be able to do super long stretches in his crate yet.
 

· Registered
1
Joined
·
380 Posts
What a cutie pie. I can’t help with the stairs as Kona never had issues with them but with the crate training, I sat beside the crate all still until she fell asleep and within a week didn’t need to anymore. Remember that he’s a baby and used to sleeping cuddled with his siblings so I’m sure having you near gives him security and comfort. He’ll be used to in in no time.
 

· Super Moderator
Hairy Dog RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
Joined
·
31,689 Posts
I think half of going up and down stairs is a fear factor (or at least the mental process of dealing with something new and sorta scary), and half is simple coordination. He's probably got the mental part figured out now so all he has to deal with is the coordination
 

· Registered
2
Joined
·
599 Posts
Do people here all encourage puppies to do stairs young? I've always carried my puppies up and down stairs until they weigh too much for me to do it, and the other owners of large breed dogs I know well enough to compare with do the same. I even did it with Gibbs the German Pinscher, although not as long for him. It's a matter of not wanting immature puppy joints to be subjected to falls. By the time I let puppies do stairs, they had no problem going up or down.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
So I carried mine up and down big stairs of where I lived until he was almost 6 months old. He was terrified of stairs. But he was getting heavier. So I just put him in front of me on the stairs, and manually moved up one leg at a time until he got to the top. He learned that the stairs were safe and started going up and down on his own.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top