Can Huskies Climb Stairs?

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When it comes to getting a new pet, you can have a lot of questions. When I got my Husky puppy, I certainly did. Many people wonder whether Huskies have the ability to climb stairs well. The answer is pretty straightforward.

Can Huskies climb stairs? Huskies can climb stairs very well. To prevent joint problems later on, a Husky should not use stairs frequently until they are over a year old. Some Huskies, like other dogs, develop a “stair phobia” from bad experiences. However, this is not very common.

Huskies are a very athletic breed and have high endurance, so most of these adult dogs will have no problem climbing stairs, whether that be out on a run or at home.

Huskies Climbing Stairs

When it comes to navigating stairs, Huskies are able to do so easily. Huskies are great athletes, so climbing stairs for a full-grown dog of this breed is usually a breeze.

Some younger dogs, especially pups who are still a little wobbly on their feet, will struggle with getting up and down at first.

You probably have seen videos of young Huskies being afraid of climbing stairs and wondered if this is a general problem with the Siberian Husky breed. The video below might be one of the things that lead you to believe that Huskies don’t do well with stairs.

Of course, there are some things, like being small and young, that may stop some Huskies from being physically able to climb stairs. As your Husky grows, going up and down stairs will be a lot easier. It is not typical for full-grown Huskies to be incapable of climbing stairs.

A lot of dog breeds, not just Huskies, may initially wait at the top of the stairs because they are unsure what to do, or they may have some fear.

Huskies are known to be courageous. They are definitely built to handle athletic challenges. Having been bred to be sled dogs originally, most Huskies will get over any fear they have.

The One Year Guideline for Huskies

While it is great to let your pet Husky get comfortable with stairs, you should avoid having your dog climb stairs regularly or frequently until they are about 1 or maybe 1.5 years old.

Huskies are growing rapidly in size until they are 18 months old, and stressing their joints by constantly climbing up and down stairs is not a good exercise. Huskies can develop arthritis and other joint problems.

To help avoid hip dysplasia, do not have Huskies less than a year old climb stairs frequently.

One common health problem in Huskies is hip dysplasia, which can be extremely painful. Delaying the stress stairs may cause on joints and limbs can help your Husky live healthier.

So, while they are growing, it is best to take it easy on them. Try to avoid having them climb stairs lots of times a day if you can help it.

However, Huskies should get a lot of exercise. It’s just that climbing the stairs is an activity best reserved until your Husky is fully grown.

Huskies with a Fear of Climbing Stairs

Most Huskies will have an easy enough time when it comes to going up and down the staircase. However, a dog will sometimes have or develop a fear that makes them petrified.

My Husky puppy started off a little timid of stairs, even after his legs were long enough to get up without too much effort. I took to some message boards and got a vet’s opinion on why this was happening.

Firstly, I should say, this is not only a Husky problem. It happens to all sorts of breeds.

The fear of climbing stairs is a problem many dog breeds are susceptible to.

Sometimes the fear of climbing these stairs for a Husky is because there has not been an early exposure. Being unfamiliar with such a big obstacle can make any dog scared.

If you got your dog from a rescue, there is really nothing that you can do about this issue. Your Husky may suddenly become scared around a flight of stairs. Proceeding with gentleness and continual exposure to this obstacle may help your puppy, but there is no guaranteed way to help a dog who has had little to no experience.

Other times a phobia is developed after a bad experience with stairs. This is similar to fears of water. If you leave your Husky alone at home for a few hours, you could have no idea if there was a fall, and that is what caused the change.

How To Get Your Husky Overcome the Stair Phobia

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The most important thing to consider before trying to teach your dog to become confident when it comes to navigating the stairwell is making sure there is no injury or illness hiding behind their fear.

If your Husky is in pain, he or she will not want to be hopping up and down the stairs. Take your dog to a vet before you start training, just to be safe.

The last thing you want to do is cause your Husky pain, so eliminating the possibility of an injury before teaching will give you extra peace of mind.

Here are a few steps to properly teach your Husky how to climb stairs with confidence.

  1. Make sure the path is clear – Get rid of anything on the stairs that could get in the way of your dog. You want to make sure there is nothing that could scare or startle your Husky
  2. Treats and distraction – To give your dog some confidence, use treats and toys to lure him or her down the stairs. Get the focus to be on and not the stairs. You should also use a lot of positive encouragement and praising as your dog gets closer. The best thing to do is to get the Husky to forget about the stairs entirely.
  3. Try to make the stairs exciting – In a lot of cases, stairs for your Husky might be associated with being bad, scary, or off-limits. Try to counter the negative feelings by making it look like fun. Make it happy. This is again where treats come in handy. You can also try to run up and down the stairs with excitement (the things we do for our pets).
  4. Go slow and start small – This requires a lot of patience. Try to get your dog to climb up just one stair with treats. If this is all your dog can muster, praise him or her. You can also try carrying your dog to the top of the stairs and go down first instead of up.

Some fears are easier to overcome than others are. If your dog has an extreme fear, do not try to force it, because that might traumatize your Husky even more.

How To Prevent A Fear Of Stairs in the First Place

Some say that Huskies who have fear, or at least a handful of them, have a “personality trait” or natural fear of stairs, just like how there are people who are inherently afraid of heights.

Whether that is true or not is still in question, but it does make you think. I do think there are some things that you can do to stop fear from developing into something terrible.

If you have a new Husky and you want to prevent the fear of stairs from developing, here are a couple of things that you should keep in mind:

  • Hardwood stairs can be slippery and cause accidents. Carpeted stairs are generally safer
  • The stairway should be kept clear
  • Baby gates can sometimes create a negative idea of stairs in your Huskies mind.
  • Let your new dog be curious about stairs by exploring and getting familiar.
  • New puppies might need supervision while they first get familiar with stairs.

Just by doing a few simple things, and by being aware of the things that cause such this fear, you can have a dog who is unafraid of stairs from the beginning.

Related Questions

Are stairs bad for puppies? When young dogs or puppies climb the stairs frequently at a young age, they can stress joints which may lead to health problems later in life. Carrying or avoiding stairs for a puppy can reduce health risks.

At what age can Huskies climb stairs? Huskies should avoid regular stair use until he or she is about a year old. You can introduce puppies to stairs at around 12 weeks, so they can become familiar with them, but daily climbing should be avoided until the Husky is grown.