Climbing stairs is awful for dachshunds. The motion and angle can put a lot of unneeded stress on their elongated backs. As time goes on, this movement could lead to IVDD- also known as intervertebral disk disease.
It would be best if you lifted your dachshund for going up and down the stairs as needed. You should also stop them from climbing the stairs; baby gates are a good option for these small dogs.
Why Climbing Stairs is Bad for Dachshunds
The most likely cause for injury is repetitive motion as your dog hops up and down the stairs. Dachshunds are tiny, making climbing stairs a physically exhausting task for them! If they have to do this multiple times a day, your dog could injure themselves easily.
Climbing stairs also requires your dachshund to jump and bend its spine at an awkward angle. This motion isn’t natural for them and can strain their back. The more your dog does this, the more likely they are to have problems with IVDD- which is already a massive problem for this dog breed!
Even going down the stairs is harsh on your pup. Now that you know why it’s so bad for them, you’ll need to know how to prevent your dog from following you up and down the stairs during the day.
Ways to Stop Your Dachshund From Using Stairs
Many people feel that dachshunds are stubborn and go where they want to go. This personality trait can make it harder to stop your pet from running up the stairs if they want to. It can be challenging to stop dachshunds from making a break for the steps- but not impossible without some planning. Here’s what you need to do:
Start a Routine
Dogs are a lot smarter than we often realize! Your dachshund will pick up on your daily habits and routines. If you start doing the same thing every day, your dog can quickly learn from you.
You’ll want to pick up your dog every time you go up, and down the stairs, so they don’t have to climb to follow you. Your pup likely wants to be wherever you are anyway, meaning they won’t try to go up the stairs alone. However, you’ll need to make picking them up into a consistent routine.
Always pick up your dog with two hands- one under their chest and the other by their back legs. This method gives them support and doesn’t harm their back. It’s also crucial to hold them close to your body for added support! Finally, keep their spine in a straight line as you carry them.
The earlier you start training your dachshund to let you pick them up, the better. Luckily, dachshunds are tiny dogs, and this shouldn’t be a problem for many people. However, if it is, you can always skip this tactic and move on to the ideas below.
Teach Your Dachshund With Treats
Treats are another easy way to adjust your dog’s behavior. You can teach them that going upstairs isn’t allowed. You’ll need to stay consistent with offering rewards, so it’s best to keep the treat bag close by the staircase for now.
When your dog goes towards the stairs, tell them “No” in a clear voice. When they respond by coming back to you, make sure to offer them praise and treats! Your dog is sure to learn very quickly when there are treats involved.
Use a Baby Gate
A baby, or stair gate, is very effective at preventing dachshunds from climbing up and down the stairs. These gates are also very easy to install and should keep your curious pet away. You’ll want to make sure you buy an option with a door on it, so you don’t need to step over the blockade to the first step!
You should purchase one for the top and bottom of the stairs unless you plan on keeping your dog downstairs all of the time. If you like to have your dachshund upstairs with you, you’ll want to make sure they can’t run down the stairs when you aren’t paying attention.
Use a Dog Ramp
If you have only a few stairs in the home, you can add a dog ramp. These also work very well on porches or decks with steps. The ramps also are great for getting your dog onto furniture without them having to jump up.
You will need to do ramp training after you add one to the home. You can set it up where you want it, then encourage your pup to step on it. When they need some help crossing, drop a few tasty treats on the other side. Then, offer your dog encouragement when they go for it.
Your dog might be nervous at first, especially if the ramp is steep. You’ll need to spend a lot of time training them to walk on it. If the ramp is adjustable, you can start lower to the ground, then raise the ramp as your dog learns to use it.
Consider a Puppy Playpen
You can also get a special playpen just for your dog. You should make sure that it’s roomy so your dog feels comfortable inside. You can put your dachshund in the playpen when you can’t keep an eye on them. That way, they won’t make it to the stairs. Adding their favorite toys and bedding to the pen makes it feel more welcoming for your dachshund.
Shut Nearby Doors
Finally, you may be able to keep your dog away from the stairs by shutting off doors. However, this option doesn’t work in everyone’s home. Your dog may also start bolting for the stairs whenever they get the slightest opportunity to squeeze past your legs.
It’s a decent option for some people but won’t work for everyone! If you can restrict your dog’s movement within the home, it’s still something to consider.
Overall, you shouldn’t let your dachshund climb stairs. Frequent use could cause IVDD, which is a very painful condition for dogs. Since this breed has a longer back, they’re already more at risk of getting the disease.