Are Stairs Bad for German Shepherd Puppies?

Are Stairs Bad for German Shepherd Puppies?

Do you have stairs in and outside your house, and you wonder whether these stairs are bad for German shepherd puppies. I know you are familiar with your dog. He is that explorative guy who enjoys going top, bottom, sideways. Well, it’s that age of being supercurious.

Curious to know more about this hot topic? Then you are in the right section. In this article, you will learn of the right age to let your puppy access stairs. And later learn how to train your puppy to use stairs confidently.

Ready for it? Let’s dive in.

Are stairs bad for German shepherd puppies

German shepherd Puppies should not be allowed to use stairs unless they are of age. Veterinarians will often advise against letting your puppy use stairs as it comes with lots of risks.

First, letting your puppy climb the stairs can increase the chances of your pup getting joint issues like hip dysplasia. And as you know, hip dysplasia is one of the joint issues common to German shepherds. Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip ball doesn’t fit properly in the socket, thus causing pain when the dog tries using that joint.

Another thing, why you should not let your German shepherd puppy use stairs before they are of age is because the risk of severe injury is high. Most probably, you have seen how puppies have wobbly and uncoordinated movement. A slight mishap can cause your dog to fall from the top to the bottom, leading to serious head or joint injuries.

When can a German shepherd puppy start climbing the stairs?

Veterinarians advice that all dog breeds should not start using stairs before they are 3 months old. From this age, you can allow your pet to scale a flight of stairs under supervision. If you are uncomfortable, you can let your puppy start climbing the stairs even when they are 5 months or above.

How to teach your German shepherd puppy to use stairs

You don’t have to remove the stairs if your puppy is reluctant to use them. Don’t run away or let your pup run away from trouble. Let your pup know to tackle challenges—It’s all part of socialization.

At this point, your puppy will have it in his mind that the endless steps on the stairs are unbeatable. Thus, it will be your responsibility to harden your dog’s confidence and clear up that notion.

Let’s make the first step

Clean the stairs- ensure the stairs are clean without any clutter. Again, ensure the steps have soft material to protect your dog’s paw and increase traction.

Next, put the pup at the bottom of the stairs. Put some treats one step above your dog and encourage your pup to pick them. Anytime the pup does so, remember to reward him—this will come a long way to ensure your dog’s confidence is strengthened. Increase the level at which you put the treats from one step to the other. Later, you can remove the reward completely.

While still at this, it will be important for you to be patient. Don’t be in a rush as one; you may become frustrated or, unfortunately, cause injuries as you hurry your pup up or down.

All along, supervision is important; until the pup learns the art of going up or down the stairs unassisted.

Why is my German shepherd afraid of using the stairs?

Your German shepherd puppy has injured limbs

If your GSD is limping because of sore joints, he may be reluctant to put more pressure on the affected areas. And this could be the top reason why your GSD puppy is afraid to use the stairs.

Your dog is not familiar with the stairs

You just brought your puppy to its forever home, and you want it to use the stairs right away. You will be in a rude shock, as you won’t get any positive results.

 Perhaps even the puppy does not know what stairs are, thus the reason he is afraid to use them.

Your puppy has a traumatic experience

Did your puppy fall and was injured when he was trying to use the stairs? Then it could be the reason why it’s becoming hard to train your puppy to use the stairs.

Should I let my puppy up and down the stairs?

You can let your puppy use the stairs. However, some factors will determine that. First, ensure the stairs have a covering to provide cushion and traction. Ensure the stairs are well lit, and your puppy should be 3 months and above.

What should I do if my dog falls down the stairs?

First, check your puppy if he is having any discomfort or seems immobile, contact the vet. At this point, don’t try to touch or move your dog, as you may aggravate the injuries.

If your dog looks okay, it’s still advisable to visit the vet to examine the dog for any internal injuries.

Are stairs bad for large breed puppies?

Studies have shown that large breed puppies who start using the stairs earlier are at risk of getting severe joint issues. Thus they shouldn’t start using stairs until they are 12 weeks and above.


Have you been allowing your 2 months old GSD puppy to use stairs unsupervised? Then you should stop it. Besides causing severe injuries, letting your German shepherd puppy use the stairs can lead to hip dysplasia.

So what’s your view on this topic? Are stairs bad for German shepherd puppies? Share your thoughts here in the comment box.

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