Why won't he climb sairs and will my more space idea help.
This is two part, but first...
I too would like to take the time to thank you for the wonderful help that this site provides it is priceless.
I have a male maltipo ,4lbs. that is a little over one year(human age) and is acting a bit more persistent than in the past. He has an open crate which I keep in his play pen. He comes out the crate to play, eat in the pen and he naps in the crate. I take him out to potty. This is how I keep him to go to work. He is with us the rest of the day until around 10 or 11 pm when I put him in for the night.
He can go in and out the crate to suit himself as it is still in the pen. This was my way of giving him room/freedom but still keeping him safe while away. On the weekends, he stays out later because we are up later. He has figured out how to jump on top the crate and jump out the pen. He then goes to the bottom of the steps and barks until someone comes. I put him back over and he jumped out again. I tried several ways to keep him in and he kept getting out and doing the same bark for attention at the stairs.
This has been how I have kept him since I had him and he knows that when I put him in, I intend for him to stay. My idea was to open the pen as well so he can come out into a little more space and just block the area of the family room I want kept off limits. I thought maybe now that he's a little older maybe he feels the need for a little more room. I was wondering what your thoughts were on his new behavior.
Also, for some reason, he will not climb any of the stairs in our house. He used to when younger, but won't now. He will just bark at the bottom of the staircase until someone shows up.
I don't know if he's afraid of them or if he just really likes being carried up and down the stairs by us, better known as (spoiled rotten).
Thanks for those kind words! I really enjoy being able to help puppy owners deal with the worries and niggles that puppy parenthood brings :o)
As for your pup, his behavior is pretty normal. Most dogs will try to get out of any contained area, especially if they think the people they love are close by but out of reach! There always seems to be a 'the grass is greener on the other side of the fence' mentality. I have several dogs and 9 acres of land, but you can bet that the neighbors (distant) yard, or the fields across the street always seem more enticing than their own, big play space!
If you can allow him access to more space in your family room, while making sure he can't get into the areas that are off-limits this will probably help. However, you'll need to make sure the gate, or whatever you use, to prevent him access to these forbidden areas is tall enough for him not to jump over. Although he undoubtedly knows that he's supposed to stay in the area you've confined him to, he is very unlikely to stay there if escape is physically possible.
With a lot of time and corrections, you may be able to train him to stay in his own area, at least when you are around, but you will need to be very patient and consistent about reprimanding him and returning him to his pen. It's a personal decision really as to whether you want to invest that effort, and it's important enough to you. Or whether you just need to prevent him from being able to get out.
As for the stairs. Firstly, I would have your vet check him out just to make sure there aren't any bone/joint problems that are making it difficult, uncomfortable or painful for him to climb the stairs. It's unlikely, but it's always best to be sure first.
If everything checks out okay, you can encourage him to climb up and down the stairs by enticing him with a tasty treat help right in front of his nose. At first, reward him with the treat when he's negotiated 2 or 3 stairs, and gradually increase the number of steps he needs to go up/down before he gets his treat.
If he point blank refuses to go up or down, regardless of what treat or encouragement you use, you will again need to decide how important this is to you. Obviously, it would be better if he ran up and down the steps himself, and if he doesn't have any physical limitations, you can reasonably expect him to learn. You will need to be firm though, and harden your heart to his barking. Call him to 'come', in a happy, cheerful voice, from the top or bottom of the steps. If he just barks and won't move, then go about your business and ignore his complaints.
If you're patient and consistent about this, he will eventually decide that climbing the stairs is necessary if he's going to be able to join you. But, it could take him some time to accept this! As soon as he starts to make progress, even trying a few steps, reward him with lots of praise and a favorite treat. Once he's done it a couple of times, he'll be running up and down without a second thought in no time.
The alternative is just to carry him. He's a small breed dog, so you don't have the constraints of lugging a 60lb pooch around, but all the same it's a job you have to be willing to do. If you don't mind carrying him, go ahead and do it. But you may want to give the first approach a few weeks first.
Hope this helps you out. Best of luck with your pup!