A mix of the Labrador retriever and poodle breeds, labradoodles are generally easy-to-train dogs that can learn how to use stairs through positive reinforcement. Labradoodles range in size from mini to standard, so ensure your steps are not too tall for a smaller dog.
Take your labradoodle to the vet to determine he does not have any physical condition that would make steps difficult to maneuver. If he is a puppy, he may not yet be large enough to go up and down the stairs. He may be apprehensive if new to stairs and exhibit fear of going up them.
Station yourself at the bottom step. Go up the first step and turn to your labradoodle to encourage him up to follow you up. Labradoodles typically want to be close to their owners and may choose to follow you with little encouragement. If your dog does not follow and appears fearful, step down, stand next to him or behind and encourage him to ascend the steps again with you.
Praise your labradoodle once he climbs the first step and give him a small treat. Encourage him to keep going up the steps if he is comfortable. If not, repeat the exercise, offering praise and treats each time he goes up the first step. It may work best to try one step, then two, then three, as he builds confidence.
Place a small treat on each step to lure him to continue up the steps. Continue to give him verbal praise after climbing each step. Don’t rush your labradoodle, as he may need time to feel comfortable. Practice this training exercise on each set of stairs in your home and other steps he often encounters.
Train your labradoodle to go down the stairs once he has reached the top. Continue the same method of praise and giving small treats as he descends. You may need to stay next to him or go to the bottom of the stairs to lure him back down to be with you.
Items you will need
- Dog treats
- Stay patient and do not rush your dog. This training may take several days.
- Steps image by Juulijs from Fotolia.com