When Can Puppies Do Stairs Safely?

Cute little puppy climbing steps

Nothing is cuter than a puppy who has just arrived home and still sniffing around. We all know how lovely these videos of little puppies who are trying to hop over the stairs.

Or the videos which show daddies trying to teach puppies how to do stairs! These videos may be the cutest video we can ever see. However, does this mean that what’s happening in those videos correct?

When Can Puppies Do Stairs Safely?

Medium-sized and small-sized breed puppies can do stairs safely at the age of 12 weeks. However, large-sized breed puppies aren’t supposed to do stairs until they are at least 16 weeks.

That’s because large-sized dogs are very prone to Hip Dysplasia, which can harm him if he kept doing stairs at a young age.

Little dog laying on public city stairs
Little dog laying on public city stairs

Why Shouldn’t Puppy Do Stairs At A Young Age?


Statistics show that 16% of the puppies suffer from Hip Dysplasia due to doing stairs at a very young age.

When puppies start to ascend the stairs, their bodies will be in an angle that puts too much pressure on his hips.

To correctly understand what I mean, let’s have a quick comparison between adult and puppy dogs.

In adults, you will always see that stairs level beneath their hips level. However, in puppies, the level of the stairs will definitely be higher than the hips level.

That makes them need to stretch their bodies to be able to ascend the stairs, which will put too much pressure that can lead to moving their hip bones that are still developing.

Larger breeds are worse because their bodies have much more weight, which can cause them to suffer from Hip Dysplasia at a very young age.

However, this isn’t the only reason. Another reason is that stairs can be a perfect place for accidents for a puppy who hasn’t understood yet how to balance himself.

We all see videos of puppies who start to fall from the stairs and roll over the floor, how cute! However, these videos worry me because those puppies can be in terrible pain if they had a direct hit to their hips.

Games on the stairs

Playing fetch on stairs

I have read on Facebook once a post that said don’t make your love be the worst puppy’s enemies. What this means is that you shouldn’t harm your body coincidentally because you love him too much.

I see a lot of people who play fetch with their babies on the stairs. While I adore playing fetch with my dog on the stairs, I started to do it when she reached 8 months old, never sooner.

Puppy’s excitement can make unbalanced, especially since he is still exploring and isn’t aware of all the environmental conditions. When he runs fast on the stairs, he could have an accident.

When you play games on the stairs, this can force the puppy to jump out of excitement and harm himself.

Psychiatric Reasons

Yes, psychiatric.

Puppies are actually afraid of stairs at a very young age, and yes, we try to train them to do the stairs. However, this can destroy our trust at a very early stage.

That’s because those puppies might not be familiar with training yet. Therefore, they may not interpret that you are trying to help, but they can understand that you are trying to push them to the scary stairs.

Doing so, you are risking the relationship between you and your little buddy,

There is another reason that can lead to psychiatric issues.

If the puppy was doing the stairs and had an accident, it can make him afraid of the stairs for the rest of his life. A small accident can develop a fear of the stairs that aren’t easy to overcome.

What Should We Do With Puppies Who Can’t Do The Stairs Yet?

The only things you can do are either to carry the puppy whenever you want to do the stairs or to make the puppy’s living place downstairs.

What I prefer to do, however, is when you want to purchase a puppy, the puppy should be aged 3 months. That’s because of a lot of reasons regarding his behavior, training, etc. We can speak of this topic in another article.

Getting a puppy who is 12 weeks old will definitely ease the burden on your shoulders and make the puppy safe.

How To Teach Your Puppies How To Walk Up and Down The Stairs?

Whenever you think of teaching the puppy to do stairs, you have to think of safety.

Safety is your biggest concern, even if you teach your puppy, who is older than 3 months old, to do the stairs. However, when the puppy is 3 months old, it will be easier to teach him, but you still need to take care of it.

To make the stairs safe, you have to do the following:

  1. Don’t make the stairs slippery. If you have really slippery stairs, you can always make them more robust by adding any substance to it like carpet or anti-slip adhesive stair sheets.

    Or you can follow my steps, and just stay beside your puppy to take care that he never falls.
  2. Add pillows at the end of the staircase. This way, you will make sure that he doesn’t fall over the ground at the last step. If your stairs are very high, then you can always train your puppy on less steep stairs.
  3. Don’t carry your puppy and put him in the middle of the staircase. Always encourage your puppy to do the stairs but never force him to do so.

    Imagine that you are afraid of snakes, for example, and someone pushed you in a place full of snakes. It doesn’t make any sense.

    You always have to encourage him with treats and very slowly. If the puppy seemed to be too afraid, that is fine, let him take his time, and never shout at him to move.

    You can put treats, chicken, and toys on the next stairs to encourage him to do the stairs safely.
  4. Don’t repeat it too much in a short time. I believe you can encourage your puppy to do the full stairs once every 2 days. Don’t over repeat it, help him to do it slowly and steadily without exhausting him.
  5. If your puppy’s bones are weak, consult your vet. If your puppy has any medical condition regarding his bones, it’s always better to consult your vet. He can prescribe medications that you can give to your puppy to make his bones stronger.
  6. If your puppy had an accident, then please go to the vet immediately.

Personal Experiences

As always, I like to write my own story at the end.

The treating vet of my dog has a French Mastiff dog. If you know the French Mastiff, then you for sure understand how massive this dog is. It is considered as a dog that exceeds a large-sized dog.

He was explaining once to me that he wasn’t applying baby doors around his stairs, and his dog started to ascend the stairs, he fell from only one stair.

This led to the complete removal of his hip. A tiny accident led to the total replacement of his hip and changing to an artificial hip.

Large-sized and huge-sized dogs are very prone to Hip Dysplasia, and any accident can lead to a disastrous ending.


Everyone wants his puppy to grow fast and run happily around the house. However, we all worry about the safety of our doggy friends, correct?

That’s why we always need to take care of them, don’t force them to do the stairs at a very young age that can possibly harm their little hips.

Soheir Maher

Hi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too. My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.

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