We take many things for granted as adults – walking up and down the stairs is one of them. When was the last time you thought about the process involved in climbing your stairs? Although things like that are like second nature to us now, there was a time when we were young when we had to learn how to manoeuvre up and down stairs. The same is true for cockapoo puppies.
If you live in a flat or a house with more than one floor and have recently brought a cockapoo puppy home, the question at the top of the page has probably crossed your mind. So, with that in mind, when can your cockapoo puppy climb stairs? We are going to discuss this in the following article.
Different Dogs Learn Things Differently
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that just like humans, one dog will do things differently from another. Whereas some dogs will find it relatively easy to climb the stairs, others will find it more difficult. How they learned can also be different from one dog to the next, regardless of breed. For instance, while one may learn how to climb stairs themselves, others need to be shown how to do it with a lot of encouragement from their owners or learn from watching their littermates or other animals in the house.
Age and Physical Considerations (Conformation etc.)
When trying to determine whether your cockapoo puppy is ready to climb stairs or not, you also need to take into consideration their age and physical development. There are a lot of different thoughts and views, but one that seems to come up repeatedly in trusted sources is that dogs tend to learn how to transit stairs from about the age of 8 weeks and onwards.
Some breeders and experts argue that cockapoo puppies and other puppies should not go up and down stairs until they are older than 6 months, because of the possibility of damaging their hips and other joints. While this may sound like good advice, it would be quite hard to enforce and concerning the possibility of them suffering hip damage, caution should be taken rather than completely banning them from going near the stairs. Young dogs that are not fully grown are more at risk of injuries and development conditions due to jumping.
You know your dog better than anyone else.
Tips for Training Your Cockapoo Puppy To Climb up and Down Stairs
The most effective way you can teach your cockapoo puppy how to climb up and down the stairs is by demonstrating and giving them lots of encouragement to try it and praising them when they do something. It is also best to start on a small section of stairs. Perhaps you have a small number before they turn, or your home is divided by two sets of stairs.
To be honest, you will find that going down is harder, the first time at least, than going up. That’s why it is best to focus on going up the stairs. Make sure you have some treats and an assistant.
Most dogs, when you walk away from them will want to follow you. So, start walking away from your puppy and then climb the stairs. It is likely that your puppy will try to follow but will get frustrated that they don’t know how to tackle the stairs. Don’t go too far up the stairs, just enough to be out of their reach is fine. Then if they don’t follow you fully, turn back and offer lots of encouragement and try to get them moving up the steps. If it seems like your dog is struggling with the concept, lift them onto the next step and try the same method again.
The treats can come in handy to give them the motivation to move up the stairs. An effective technique is to place a treat on the step above your dog at the edge so they can see it. Whatever happens, give your dog lots of encouragement and praise and reward them if they successfully climb a step.
Our Experience With Luna
Our cockapoo was around 12 weeks old when she started to hop up the stairs in our house. We let her go up, but only every now and again, as we preferred to carry her up and down until she was a little bigger.
While there is no clear age when dogs should or shouldn’t start climbing stairs, it is important to use your good judgement and knowledge of your own puppy. Whether you must train them or not, make sure you always supervise your cockapoo when it uses the stairs until they are fully grown. And finally, remember to have patience, as it may take some time.