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Old 07-28-2007, 02:59 AM   #1
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Default Steps in the garden and puppy's legs

Hello everyone.

My wife and I are the proud new owners of our first dog - an 8 week old Golden Retriever and she is gorgeous!

So far training is going well, but we live in a house with a small yard at the back and then six stone steps up into the garden. The first few days we would carry her up into the garden because I remember being told once not to let puppies climb steps as it could damage their joints. However, now she is getting braver and more inquisitive and when we put her out to try and convince her to go to the toilet she is starting to try and climb the steps on her own.

Should I let her climb them? I suppose that I am more worried about her falling back down and hurting herself.

We have a gate on the house stairs and she is not allowed up, nor is she allowed to climb up onto the sofa and chairs so she does not do much climbing normally!

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Old 07-28-2007, 08:26 AM   #2
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Hello johngc and welcome to the forum,
I don't see what is wrong with letting her climb the steps. Dogs are more resilient than we think, and Goldens are not delicate creatures. She will have to learn to claim stairs one way or the other so it might as well be in a place where she wants to do it herself!
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Old 07-28-2007, 09:18 AM   #3
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Welcome to DogForum.org.

I would be careful when allowing your pup to climb stairs. Your pup is growing very quickly, jumping and vigorous excerise can be harmful to their knees and growth plates. Allow your pup to do as much as it wants but do not push it just let it go at it's own pace. Breed really has nothing to do with whether or not the pup can handle excersion it has everything to do with age.

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Old 07-28-2007, 11:52 AM   #4
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Thanks both for the quick reply - Today has been a nice sunny day here so while I have been in the garden she has been climbing up slowly every now and then. She has a problem with going down though, as she just looks from the top and appears a bit nervous so I am happy to carry her down for the time being. I'm sure it will all come in time and I would rather carry her than see her take a tumble from the top!

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Old 07-28-2007, 12:00 PM   #5
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Hello and Welcome,

Congrats on your new baby too.

Have you thought about getting a plank of plywood and putting down the steps so he doesnt have to try to hard to negotiate the steps. So its more like a ramp for him.

I agree with Dobermans, just be very careful about letting your pup do too much with regard to jumping or climbling or putting to much stress on the back legs.

Puppies are resiliant, true, but its how they look after themselves now that will show later on in life where they may have problems with HD and arthritus. So its really a preventative measure you will be taking.

Just take it slow with the little guy and he should be fine.


Would love to see some pics BTW

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Old 07-28-2007, 12:35 PM   #6
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I agree with Doberman and Syler on this. Pups are reslilient but it pays in the long run to err on the side of caution with stairs or as already been said this can lead to problems ls later in life. Think a plank
of wood as a ramp is a good idea provided it is quite broad so puppy won't fall off.

Good luck witht your puppy.
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Old 07-28-2007, 01:03 PM   #7
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Good gosh, puppies aren't made of glass! If it's only 3 or 4 short steps let her figure it out with you there to catch her if she tumbles. Going up and down a few short stairs is actually an excellent way to build muscletone.

If it's a steep stairway, then yes she should wait till she's a little more coordinated.
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Old 07-28-2007, 01:49 PM   #8
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Well the steps are not steep but each one is around 10 inches heigh so a big climb for her. I will look into a plank for now - good idea that!

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Old 07-28-2007, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johngc View Post
Well the steps are not steep but each one is around 10 inches heigh so a big climb for her. I will look into a plank for now - good idea that!
She'd be in more danger of tumbling down or off a plank than she would be from learning the steps slow and easy on her own.

If you as the owner feel she shouldn't be using the steps, then continue to carry her up and down for another week or so. By then she'll be big enough to fly up and down them on her own.
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