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Hi there. When is it safe to allow your pet to climb up and down stairs?
We live one up and I’ve been carrying my girl Marley up and down the stairs since she was 8 weeks when we got her. She’s now 15 weeks should I be letting her go up and down herself by now?
thanks
 

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Try to avoid it for as long as possible. Long bone closure does not occur until around 14 months old in Labradors. I never teach my dogs to jump until around that time, and stairs are like jumping, in the all the weight is carried by the back legs going up and the front legs coming down. Trouble is, pups soon start to jump off the stair while still two or three stairs up.

Obviously you cannot put yourself at risk, which is always a possibility carrying a heavy dog, so really, you have two choices. One is to put a dog gate on the stairs and not allow her to go up at all. (Thats my preferred option.) Or two, put her on lead so you can control her on the stairs, prevent her running and jumping. Thats not ideal, but if she must go up stairs is probably the best compromise.
 

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Try to avoid it for as long as possible. Long bone closure does not occur until around 14 months old in Labradors. I never teach my dogs to jump until around that time, and stairs are like jumping, in the all the weight is carried by the back legs going up and the front legs coming down. Trouble is, pups soon start to jump off the stair while still two or three stairs up.

Obviously you cannot put yourself at risk, which is always a possibility carrying a heavy dog, so really, you have two choices. One is to put a dog gate on the stairs and not allow her to go up at all. (Thats my preferred option.) Or two, put her on lead so you can control her on the stairs, prevent her running and jumping. Thats not ideal, but if she must go up stairs is probably the best compromise.
Thanks John.
we live one floor up in a flat, so she’s getting heavy. I can carry her but my partner finds it hard. I’m not sure wether to introduce her to the stairs or should we wait until she is 14 months old and then learn her to go up and down. I’m worried she gets lazy and thinks I’ve been Carried up and down all this time
 

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I live in a house where access is at split levels, so at the front the door opens onto the pavement, but at the back you need to go downstairs to get outside. I carry pups up and down until they are too heavy, and then encourage them to be steady. I put more importance on the going down bit so carry them downstairs longer than I do up, but once they are so heavy I can't carry them then I have no other options. My girl who is now 8 was born here, and had the same routine as my current youngster (just over a year old), and her daughter, and her elbow grade is 0 and hips 5/5, so it doesn't seem to have had too much of a detrimental effect on her. I'll find out with her daughter soon, once she has her hips and elbows done.
 
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