Small dog breeds tend to use pet stairs to get up onto and down from furniture safely. A small dog or a tiny breed jumping off of a bed or a couch could suffer an injury. So owners of these sweet tiny dogs often buy pet stairs so their dogs can climb up onto couches and beds to join their owners without becoming injured. However, teaching your dog to use any stairs, even pet stairs, becomes a necessity if you have them in your home. Dogs aren't necessarily made, especially tiny dogs, to maneuver stairs. If you have pet stairs, take a good look at them from your tiny dog’s point of view, and ask yourself if they are in a position where your dog is safe. For instance, be sure to place your pet stairs next to a wall on one side, so your dog doesn't tumble off of either side as he's going up or down. While your dog is new to walking up and down pet stairs, stay close to him and keep a close eye on him.
Training your dog to use pet stairs is straightforward and won't take a whole lot of time. You will need to entice your dog to want to use the pet stairs. The reward at the end may be the ability to be on the couch or the bed with you. However, your dog won't know the dangers of jumping up or down from the furniture himself. He also won't be aware of the risks of using pet stairs, such as tumbling off the sides of them, so you need to be sure you are teaching him how to not only use pet stairs but also use them properly. Enticing your dog with treats to master one step at a time is an excellent way to teach your dog how to move up and down pet stairs. You can also start with the reward of being at the top with you and try to motivate your dog to maneuver the stairs safely.
Get yourself some high-value treats such as cheese or hot dogs to entice your dog to want to use pet stairs. Have some patience and be sure, while you are in training and until your dog masters his pet stairs on his own, you are close by, watching him each time he uses them. You may also want a leash to help guide your dog up and down the pet stairs. If you have a partner nearby who can assist, it is undoubtedly beneficial but not necessary, as pet stairs aren't typically very high. If you have a larger dog that is not going to use the pet stairs, you may want to keep him in a different room during training sessions so your small dog can learn how to use the pet stairs without distractions or someone too big for the stairs in the way.