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I have a Jack Russell terrier boxer mix who is about 1 1/2 and a German Shepherd Rottie mix about a year. We moved from our first floor apartment to a third floor one, and they have adjusted fine except for the dreaded STAIRS. I have tried everything, treats, positive reinforcement, sitting on the steps, picking up back legs, etc. I know it's because the stairs are white concrete and are shelf like, so you can see right through them. I cannot modify the steps in any way but my dogs have to get down to use the bathroom! It's been months of putting down puppy pads on the porch and I've even gotten complaints from our neighbors about my bleach dripping onto their patio. They are both housetrained, schedule fed, and kennel sleepers. The only way I can get them down is to tether the little one at the top, carry the big girl down, who is about 80 pounds now, tether her, and then go get the other one. I cannot afford a dog trainer or any help other than my husband! I am desperate!
 

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Have you tried putting a towel down on the stairs? maybe if they cant see them and have that familiar scent they might use the stairs?
 

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How long have you tried all the things that you have tried? Because consistency is key.

First of all, I would try to modify the stairs. Even if it is just a non slip towel you put over the stairs when you go out, and then take with you so your neighbours will not be bothered. Is the concrete sanded or rough? It can be they simply find it too slippery, and therefore do not want to walk on it. In that case, perhaps ask your neighbours if it is okay you put anti-slip strips on it?

I think positive reinforcement can be the way to go. First, feed them treats or even their daily allowance of food from the first stair. Do not push this to the second one, they have had some experiences now already. The stairs are not neutral for them anymore, they are negative and scary. So just feed them on the first stair, do not make them climb it afterwards. Do this for a few days, or until you see they have no sign of discomfort at all to being near the stairs and eating on them.

Then see if you can put it on the second stair, continue.

Eventually, try to put the food in such a way that they have to actually step on the stairs. If they put all 4 paws on the stairs, click and give them the food (or lots of treats). Whenever you have a success, don't force it. Continue the same level of difficulty in a few more sessions (do not make sessions too long, you will build pressure in the dog) until you see the dogs being comfortable again.

That is what I would do anyway! Hope you figure this out. :)
 
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