Puppies and stairs

Watching the video of Oscar, the Yorkshire pup conquer the stairs, brought up a memory. There is a very successful Golden Retriever breeder here who is adament about no stairs for pups. She even comes to your home to make sure the pup won't be forced to take steps for the first months of life.

She believes stairs lead to possible hip problems later on. The puppy structure is just too delicate to withstand the stress put on them from climbing up and down steps.

Her dogs all are high rated for hips. It's not like she's trying to think of a way to keep marginal hips from becoming bad.

Your feelings?
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in a bungalow with our first two dogs so stairs didn't come into it. Fred and Sprocket both had to be in our bedroom at night-the stairs are to big and steep for them for a few months so mum simply carried them up and down untill they wanted to do themselves at about 4 months of age or when they werre to heavy for me (Sprocket) and he had to have "stair training"!! He would go up by 6 months but not down. It took 2 of us to tempt him down. At 9 months he does them ok but wont go down without someone just in front of him.To much downward weight on their front legs when they are small must be a strain.x
well so far lily has no hip issues and she was climbing out of her whelping box at the breeders at as soon as her eyes were open. The breeder had to keep putting up a higher pen and lily kept climbing out of it...she also was climbing on the breeders couch at 5 weeks. Her breeder eventually gave up and lily got what she wanted, free run of the house (She was the only pup to do this) I definitely knew what kind of attitude I was going to get with her!! lol

What would that breeder do about a super persistent spider puppy like lily? There where no steps in her puppy pen.....

I think that a puppy is going to do what a puppy wants to do whether there's stairs or not. It also seems as though they should be introduced to things like that early in their development so they don't get an irrational fear or nervousness climbing up or down stairs.
Personally, I think since the average 8 to 9 week old OES pup (which is the average age of adoption for puppies) is a much larger puppy than a Yorky that stairs really would not pose a problem. Bailee actually started walking up and down stairs within 2 hours of arriving home. He is almost 4 and does not present with any hip issues.
Oscar did stairs at three months old, and is now 8 years old. He doesn't yet have arthritis, and has never had a bone or joint issue. I guess carrying the pup up and down stairs could be helpful if the pup has some propensity for hip/joint troubles, but quite frankly, Oscar weighed 20 lbs at 10 weeks. He was 40 lbs by 20 weeks, and underweight due to his IBD. 8O Once we got that rectified, at 10 months, he balanced out at 103 lbs. I'm not sure how long I could have carried him!

Laurie and Oscar
Hate to say it, but it's just a pain to try to avoid it. A breeder near me insisted that the dogs stay away from stairs until they turned one so being an overprotective and cautious mommy, I kept Izzo away from them. Well, one week later he was climbing out of his pen, onto the couch, onto the other dogs, and tumbling all over. I quickly realized that I could only do so much in attempting to preserve his apparently delicate hips.

Now he's tipping the scales at about 28 lbs. and my hands are usually full. I'm working on encouraging him to use the stupid stairs just so I can get ready for work without making an extra trip up and down.

When you consider the effects of jumping before the puppy turns a year old, stairs seem mild. I'm sure avoiding them helps, but I can't say it seems like a huge contributing factor.
it's just that we have an old house and the stairs are very big and steep,our pups couldn't reach to climb them at first. Coming down they would do a couple but gravity would take over and they would tumble down so that's why I carried them and Sprocket doesn't like to come down,we have to hold him back a bit so he doesn't fall and crash into the wall at the bottom.x
There is a study floating around (UK vet student I believe) who has these results. The findings were most conclusive that stairs caused more long term orthopedic issues than any other thing pups do.
got sheep wrote:
There is a study floating around (UK vet student I believe) who has these results. The findings were most conclusive that stairs caused more long term orthopedic issues than any other thing pups do.

So walking up stairs would cause more orthopedic issues than a puppy climbing up an xpen like a ladder and then proceeding to throw itself over the top just to get out?
Lily did this multiple times a day as a puppy til I got her. I wish I could find those videos the breeder sent me of her doing it at 4 weeks!! 8O
(To this day lily has no orthopedic issues, shes just as bouncy, jumpy and playful as she was as a baby. Yes she can still climb. She'll be 2 in oct.)

Is this the study?
Yes, well, Bond & chohorts did their share of climbing and leaping.

And they did stairs at a fairly young age. So we'll have to wait and see how their hips x-ray I guess.

I do suspect that the study has some validity. On the other hand, some of us have stairs to contend with and some of us have puppies who have places to go, people to see at a young age, so...it is what it is. I always figure if the genetic predisposition isn't there, the environmental factors, within reason, shouldn't be too big an issue. If it is, it is what it is. Others feel differently.

[quote="sutterst"] Izzo[quote] and from MI...Perhaps a SPARTAN fan :yay: :clappurple: :cheer:


LOVE :hearts: :hearts: the escape artists!! I think that type of climbing would be considered normal litter behavior.....trying to get out of the den. But daily steps, especially a whole flight, day after day would be more impact that the "escape" sequence. We've all had pups roll down steps without getting hurt....or so we think. Makes one wonder.........

Just as we don't over exercise pups by taking them out jogging for great distance or at least the first year, would the constant stair climbing and descending constitute excessive wear?
Does the study say whether or not it's flights of stairs, just like a 3 or 4 steps off the porch or both? I can see how if they were already predisposed to hip issues that flights of stairs as a puppy could put unnecessary strain on them. The study I found doesn't say.
My dogs never learend to walk up or down stairs as we live in a ranch on one level. But I think the stairs will be better for them if they are carpeted. And I think when they talk about not jumping, etc, I think they mean not forcible jumping - like training to jump. My dogs did fine jumping in the bed and on the couch as pups!
My breeder told us not to let George do stairs - can't remember how long she said for. he LOVES the stairs but he's not allowed up there so doesn't really get the opportunity but there's one or two steps to do everywhere in our house.

When we first got him, he'd leap over the step out of the back door, rather than stepping down to the next step. tried to curb that immediately, it made me wince watching him!! he loves to jump up at things and stand on his hind legs, like standing at the baby gate, my mum was worried about his hips with this.
[quote="Guest"][quote="sutterst"] Izzo[quote] and from MI...Perhaps a SPARTAN fan :yay: :clappurple: :cheer:

Yes, so many tell-tale signs. Izzo and I are die-hard, green blooded Spartan fans. I went with Izzo for the name after ruling out Zeke, Sparty, Dantonio (Danny), Mateen (Matty), Jerel an Draymond. Had to order his football jersey big so it would fit him in September for our first football season so for now, he rocks the green collar and spartan bandana.
I have the article link here:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 112842.htm

Edit - looking back at posts, I see Annastacia posted the link. :wink:

Some interesting data in it.
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