My Dog Won’t Go up the Stairs Anymore

Sometimes, a puppy who previously went up the stairs may suddenly decline to do so. Without any reason, dogs can develop new phobias anytime.

It is common for dogs to become hesitant or struggle to move up the stairs all of a sudden. However, there are several reasons why your four-legged friend may exhibit this behavior. These include weakened eyesight, pain, old age, and fear for the stairs.

Weakened Eyesight

Like humans, canines can also experience vision challenges. Over time, your dog’s ability to see clearly can change. Poor eyesight can make going up the stairway an overwhelming task for your pet. 

A deteriorating vision can affect your dog’s depth perception. Because dogs have fear for the unknown, your fur friend can hesitate to take an uncertain step.

However, walking beside your fur friend can encourage your puppy to go up and down the staircase without any problem.

Injury and Pain

Some injuries may not be visible to the naked eye. Your rover’s sudden refusal to go up the stairs can be an indication of pain from an injury. A back injury on your canine friend may cause your fur friend to refrain from using the staircase all of a sudden. 

More so, an injury can cause your rover to push his weight on one side, which may lead to a lack of balance. A paw injury may also not be noticeable immediately. Your fido may experience increased pain in a swollen paw when going up a set of steps. Your puppy may not feel safe going up or down the stairs on wobbly fours.

Old-Age and Weakness

Senior dogs can be hesitant to use the stairways. More so, old dogs find it strenuous to navigate the staircase because of weakness, aches, and pain in their limbs. 

Furthermore, older dogs can be reluctant to use the stairs because of weakened hind legs.  A rover with wobbly back legs may find it hard to navigate a stairway. A lack of control over the stairs can trigger your puppy to decline from using the stairs.

Even so, it is also common for senior dogs to tire quickly. Going up the stairs can be exhausting due to limb weakness and loss of strength. Exerting pressure on the back legs can cause pain and aches in an older dog. Eventually, your rover may feel insecure using the stairs without your help.

Fear for the Stairway

Your fido may suddenly shy away from using the stairs because of a recent unpleasant experience. Missing a step and stumbling is one reason your fur friend may fear going up the stairs again. Your puppy may feel out of control of the situation and may not be willing to go through the same incident.

Sometimes your canine friend may have heard a loud noise while going up the flight of steps and thought it came from the stairs. Because dogs are fearful, your rover can develop a new phobia because of a recent occurrence. Even so, it may take time before your puppy gains the confidence to go all the way up the stairway again.

Can Your Dog Go up the Stairs Again?

A healthy dog can learn to use the stairs again. Giving your dog control over an anxiety-triggering situation can help your pet to overcome fear. You may have to teach your fido to go up one step at a time once more.

When to Worry

There is a need to worry if an energetic rover refuses to use the stairs. A majority of dogs are left alone at home when the masters go to work. Your canine friend is likely to stumble and fall from the stairs or some other height when you are away. 

A back or neck injury may cause your fur friend to decline using the staircase. Therefore, a sudden behavior change can be a pointer to a more serious problem that requires veterinary attention.


Going up the stairs can be a daunting task for an aged or injured dog. Even so, puppies are constantly learning new things, and it is not uncommon for dogs to fear something that didn’t exist before. A new phobia can cause your canine to stop using the stairs all of a sudden. Nevertheless, your fur friend’s fears pass with time and training.

However, it is critical to get concerned about your rover’s change of behavior. Sometimes It may be that your pet has an injury or some other health complications. Therefore, it is wise to contact your vet if you are in doubt about the situation.

1 thought on “My Dog Won’t Go up the Stairs Anymore

  1. Kristina Greenwell

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