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Are Stairs Bad for German Shepherds? Yes Or No?

No, climbing stairs is a form of exercise for dogs. It helps improve their strength, stamina, and muscle and bone development. However, this should not be too much as it can result in German Shepherds developing some leg problems.

The ideal age German Shepherds can learn to start climbing stairs is when they are over 3 months and also in healthy shape. 

Are Stairs Bad for German Shepherds?

No, stairs are not bad for German Shepherds if they are healthy and free from leg problems because it helps to build their muscles and bones. 

However, you must make sure they do not have to climb stairs too much at their early and old ages as they are large breeds and can easily develop hip dysplasia or arthritis.

German Shepherds suffering from hip dysplasia or arthritis should be restricted from using the stairs as much as possible to prevent the worsening of their condition.

Are Stairs Bad For Large Breed Dogs?

Large breed dogs have more genetic tendencies of having hip dysplasia and arthritis. Therefore, they shouldn’t be allowed to climb stairs too often, especially at their early and older ages.

Dogs with long bodies, like the Dachshund, Corgis, and Basset Hounds, should also avoid using the stairs.

What Age Can A German Shepherd Climb Stairs?

A German Shepherd can start climbing stairs when it is 3 months old until old age. Make sure not to allow a German Shepherd puppy below 3 months to use the stairs, as it can cause bone and joint problems.

How Long Should Dogs Avoid Stairs?

Some small and large breeds are expected to avoid stairs until they are around six months old. This will make the small ones attain a height that is enough to make them walk on the stairs and not jump, while some other breeds can start climbing stairs when they are around three months old.

Should I Let My Dog Use The Stairs?

Yes, you can let your dog use the stairs if it is already used to climbing them and has no leg injuries or problems.

Why Is My German Shepherd Scared Of Stairs?

The phobia of stairs is called Bathmophobia. There are various reasons responsible for a German Shepherd being scared of stairs, and this can be a problem with the dog or a fault from the owner. They include;

  • Injuries or traumatic experience 
  • Pain 
  • Learned behavior 
  • Late exposure

Injuries Or Traumatic Experience 

A German Shepherd that once fell from the stairs and got injured might develop a phobia for stairs.


If your German Shepherd suffers from leg problems like arthritis or hip dysplasia, it might be scared of climbing and descending stairs because of the immense pain it will cause.

Learned Behavior 

In a situation whereby you have punished or prevented your German Shepherd from climbing up the stairs through barricades or other means, it might not want to climb up another day for fear of being punished.

Late Exposure

A German Shepherd used to bungalow homes or shelters during its early years might find it hard to adapt to homes with stairs. It might see the stairs as an intimidating obstacle.

What are the best dogs for homes with stairs?

Some of the most popular dogs that are best for homes with stairs are;

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Pug
  • Shih Tzu
  • Shiba Inu
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pekingese
  • Japanese Chin
  • Beagle
  • Dachshund
  • Collie
  • German Shepherd

Is Going Up And Down Stairs Bad For Dogs?

Going up and down stairs is not bad for dogs in good health. It helps them improve their active range of motion, muscle strength, and proprioception. 

Do Stairs Cause Hip Dysplasia?

Yes, stairs cause hip dysplasia if a puppy is allowed to climb when it is less than three months of age. This is because, at that time, the hip bone and joint were not well developed and tended to get deformed.

Are Stairs Hard For Dogs?

Yes, stairs are hard for dogs if they are suffering from leg problems like arthritis or hip dysplasia. Older dogs also find it hard to climb stairs because they use their hind limbs to push themselves up, which becomes more difficult as they grow older. They might also show signs of stiffness.

In both cases, the dogs will get tired easily or feel a lot of pain when ascending or descending the stairs. The stairs can also expose them to the risk of falling if they go off balance.

Are Stairs Bad For Dog Knees?

No, stairs are not bad for dog knees unless the dog has any type of leg problems like arthritis or hip dysplasia.

Conclusion: Are Stairs Bad for German Shepherds?

Wondering what bad effects stairs might have on your German Shepherd and trying to get as much information as possible shows how much you care about its health and well-being. 

We love German Shepherds just as you do, and this is why we have invested so much into providing quality answers to your question about stairs being bad for German Shepherds. 

Whenever you notice that your German Shepherd expresses pain or discomfort when climbing stairs, make sure you prevent it from using the stairs as much as possible. One more thing, hiking is another activity your German Shepherd will enjoy if you put them to it. 


  • Rob

    Hi! I welcome you to my blog, where I discuss German Shepherds. Cheers to your GSD's welfare. And I hope you have a good time surfing my posts. Rob

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