Training a Lab Mix to Go Up Stairs on Command

By: David Codr

Published Date: September 20, 2018

For this Omaha dog training session, we taught 1 year-old Lab mix Pilot to run up and down the stairs as an alternative form of exercise and to stop him from refusing to go up when called.

I met Pilot outside of his home as his guardian had just finished letting him out to potty. He showed nice confidence, curiosity and a playful energy.

However as soon as we walked inside, Pilot stayed at the door while we ascended the stairs. His guardian mentioned that one of Pilot’s issues was he refused to go up the stairs to the apartment.

He said that this behavior had only started a week ago, but since the dog’s only been in the house a month or so, I’m guessing this is related to the dog having a slight case of separation anxiety. Its definitely not a case of a fear of the stairs. I think that the dog’s thinking is that by waiting at the door, Pilot knew the guardian couldn’t leave without him.

I pulled out my camera and handed it to the guardian so that I could show him how he could teach a dog to go up and down the stairs on command.

My positive dog training approach to this dog behavior problem worked beautifully. Pilot was running up and down the stairs to gobble up the tasty treats within minutes.

Training a dog to go up and down the stairs on command like this is not only helpful to stop this particular problem, the guardian can use this up-and-down activity to get his dog some much-needed exercise.

For the rest of the session, we discussed the importance of rules and structure as well as how to pet the dog in a way that boosted it self-esteem and confidence. This is important as many people pet insecure and needy dogs in ways that amplify or augment potential separation anxiety.

I also walked the guardian through a number of various dog training exercises to stop his other dog behavior problems. One of these was to teach Pilot to stay. I have found that this is an invaluable skill for dogs who are starting to develop a case of separation anxiety.

Mastering the stay will allow the guardian to have the dog stay in another room so that he practices being calm and confident when he cannot see or be in physical contact with his human. If the guardian develops a good stay with Pilot and practices it as I outline in the above free dog training video, he can stop Pilot’s separation anxiety from getting worse.

In the mean time, the guardian may want to do some positive kennel training in case he starts to show some destructive behavior. Many people think crate training is simply putting a dog into a crate and then closing the door. That is a good way for a dog to develop a fear of the crate. The positive crate training tips I share in this free dog training video should help make sure Pilot continues to like his crate.

To help the guardian remember all the positive dog behavior tips I suggested in this in home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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