How To Teach Your Dog To Use Pet Steps And Stairs

A Step-by-Step Guide to Training Your Dog to Use Pet Stairs

Tips For Pet Steps Training Success

Introducing your dog to a new set of pet steps or stairs can be fraught with difficulties. Some animals can be quite intimidated by them while others aren’t entirely sure what to do with them. But if your pooch turns his nose up at the new steps you’ve just invested in, there’s no need to give up hope right away.

As with many things dog-related, you need to teach your pet what they’re supposed to do and give them encouragement to use the new stairs. Yes, this can take time and patience but it’s worth it given the advantages of using pet steps and stairs for your dog’s health.

The two main things you’re going to need to show your dog are ascending and descending the stairs. This doesn’t need to be a challenge and many owners have great success when turning the training into a fun game which is also brilliant for bonding with your pet. So, grab some treats, the steps and your dog and let’s get started.

Tips For Pet Steps Training Success

When it comes to teaching your dog how to use their new steps, you need to be well prepared. Some dogs will learn more quickly than others and a lot of this depends on how you handle the training. It’s important to be confident in what you’re doing and also create an environment where your dog feels safe and willing to try new things. However, there are a few more things I would advise you to do for the best training success.

  1. Safety should be your main priority. When training your dog to use the steps, always make sure that you are close by and that the dog does not rush up and down as this could lead to them falling.
  2. Be patient with your dog. Learning new things isn’t always easy so take your time and try not to rush the process. It can be very helpful to break things down into smaller steps so as not to overwhelm your pet.
  3. A lot of homes have hard floors such as wood or tiles. While you can use dog steps with an anti-slip base on surfaces like this, it’s often a good idea to place a small piece of carpet at the bottom. This will prevent your dog slipping as they mount the steps. If they were to slip on the first try, this could put them off attempting it again.

Pet Steps Used in This Guide & Video

ZNM Dog Steps for Bed, 3-Step Dog Stairs for Sofa with Removable Washable Cover, Non-Slip Pet Ramp Ladder for Dogs and Cats - Send Lint Roller, 85(L) x 40(W) x 40(H) cm
  • 【Extended Step Design】Compared with the original dog steps, we lengthened each step surface, a gentler slope, which is more convenient for short-legged dogs and elderly dogs. Size:85(L)x40(W)x40(H)cm.
  • 【Anti-Slip & Stable】Our dog steps use 30D high density sponge, not easy to deform. The anti-slip bottom design keeps the dog steps firmly on the floor. For pets under 60 lbs.
  • 【Removable Cover】The cloth cover of the dog stairs has a zipper, you can easily remove the cover. Machine Washable. Supplied lint roller for cleaning pet hair from furniture.
  • 【Easy to Move】This dog ramp is compact, lightweight, easy to carry and store, our dog steps is the perfect accessory to help your pet get onto a high bed or sofa.
  • 【Notice】The dog steps is vacuum-compressed and takes at least 48 hours to fully rebound. If the pet steps you received has any problems, or is missing accessories, feel free to contact us.If you need a replacement cover, please search ASIN B0C2H45GZ2(blue)to purchase.

Last update on 2024-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ways To Train Your Dog To Use Pet Steps And Stairs

Every dog is different and will therefore learn how to use dog steps and stairs in different ways. You know your dog better than anybody else so you’ll be able to work out which method is best for him. I’ve put together some instructions on a few methods that have been proven to work well.

Teaching On The Lead

If your dog reacts well to being on a lead then this might be a good method for you. You’ll have more control over where your dog goes but of course, it’s important not to force him or her into doing anything they’re not comfortable with.

  1. Start by putting your dog’s lead on helping him onto the first step; this may take some encouragement or you could place your dog onto the step, if he’s comfortable with this.
  2. Now simply turn your dog around and allow him to step back off the bottom step. Once he has done this, you can offer him a reward which can be a combination of praise and a small treat.
  3. It’s best to repeat the above steps several times to ensure your dog is confident in using the first stair. Once he is, you can start leading him up the next steps and continuing to offer treats and praise to reward his progress.
  4. Be mindful that as you encourage him up each step, you’ll need to do the reverse and bring him down as well.

Teaching From The Top

Teaching Pet Steps From The Top

Sometimes your dog just wants to be near you so if you are at the top of the steps, this may be enough to encourage her to use them in order to get to you. This can also be a good way to encourage nervous dogs as they’ll see that there’s nothing to fear by using the steps.

  1. Start by placing yourself at the top of the steps whether this be on the bed, sofa or anywhere else you’re using them.
  2. Now verbally encourage your dog to come to you via the stairs. Make sure to use commands that your dog is already familiar with such as ‘come here.’ Using new commands is only going to make life more difficult than it needs to be.
  3. When your dog comes to you using the stairs, be sure to offer a treat.
  4. If you find that your dog is not responding, then it can help to place a treat on the top step. If this still doesn’t work, then try placing one on the middle step and giving your dog plenty of encouragement and praise once he uses the steps.
  5. Some dogs may still have a hard time getting used to the steps so it’s important that you show them how good the stairs are. Use an excitable tone of voice when encouraging your dog and try patting the steps to show him where to go.

Making Pet Steps Fun

Training your dog to use pet stairs can feel tricky at times but it can be far more enjoyable if you turn it into a game. This often receives a very good response from dogs and owners will have lots of fun as well.

Making Pet Steps Fun

  1. This method involves giving your dog a treat before they’ve even done anything. You’ll place the treat directly in front of the steps, on the ground. Your dog will likely snap this up right away.
  2. Now you will put a second treat down but this time, place it on the first step. Your dog will likely put his or her front feet onto the step to reach the treat and this is a good start so make sure you offer a lot of praise for this.
  3. Now it’s time to up the ante and put a treat onto the second step. In order to reach it, your dog is going to need to fully step up onto the first step and when he does, give him lots of praise. Some dogs may be a little unsure about this and that’s OK. You can carry on allowing him to use the first step until he feels ready to move on.
  4. Once your dog is sitting on the first step, try to lure him up even further using treats, verbal encouragement and praise. This may take some time although some dogs will learn much more quickly. Take it at your own pace.
  5. Now that your dog is used to going up the stairs, you’re going to need to teach him how to come back down and you can do this using the same steps but in reverse. It’s then simply a matter of practice until your dog feels comfortable using the steps alone.

To learn more, see my article and video guide – The Complete Guide To Buying Pet Steps And Stairs

Pet Steps And Stairs Training Video

Pet Steps And Stairs Training FAQs

Why do I need to use dog steps for my pet?

Dog steps and stairs are great for dogs of all ages. For young dogs, they take stress off the joints when jumping which can improve long term health and prevent conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia as well as hernias. In older dogs that may already have joint problems or other disabilities, pet stairs can make it easier and more comfortable for them to access higher surfaces like sofas and beds.

Do I need stairs or a pet ramp?

Dog steps are suitable for most breeds but smaller dogs with short legs may find the steps too high. In this case, a ramp or even a hybrid between stairs and a ramp may be more suitable. These products are also great for dogs whose joint problems prevent them from lifting their front legs as high.

Are dog steps and stairs safe?

When used correctly, dog steps and stairs are safe. You need to make sure you choose steps that are suitable for the weight of your dog and looking for good stability and an anti-slip base. You can check out my recommendations in my dog steps reviews.

How tall should dog steps be?

Your dog steps should allow your pet to access the surface without having to over exert themselves. The height of the steps can be determined by measuring your sofa, window seat, bed or whatever else your dog wishes to get up onto and buying steps that fit. Standard steps are usually 40 cm in height but some can be altered by taking away or adding steps.

How can I make my dog steps easier to use?

Make sure that your dog steps are stable and won’t move around as this could put your pet off using them. Also try adding some non-slip material to each step as this provides better grip. You can use the tips in this guide to encourage your dog to use their steps without fear.

How do I get my dog to use the doggy stairs?

Training your dog to use their pet stairs can take some time and patience. Using treats and verbal praise is a great way to reward positive behaviour but be sure to provide your pet with plenty of encouragement.


Product Reviewer and Author at | Website | + posts

For more than a decade I have been working with and reviewing a wide variety of household products, including pet related mobility products. My many years' of experience writing articles and creating helpful videos for various blogs and publications, have allowed me to recognise the benefits and shortfalls of a wide range of products and tools; providing me with the ability to not only identify what makes a good purchase, but also to help you choose a suitable product for your exact needs and requirements.

Veterinary Author at | Website | + posts

Being a 5th year Vet student and having a passion for improving the health and welfare of all animals, I am providing with a veterinary perspective / insight into the real word applications, including strengths and limitations of the products it reviews. This will allow you to make an informed decision as to the suitability of the pet products reviewed on the site to keep your pet mobile, comfortable and full of life!

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