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Monday, December 01, 2014

Puppies, stairs and joints, oh my!

We have an upstairs to our cabin. It's a large bedroom and an en-suite up there. For the first five or more months I carried Rach up and down the stairs.


Because studies are showing that going up and down the stairs for a new puppy can be damaging to growing joints.

In 2012, Norwegian researcher Randi Krontveit, outlined in a study that 'hip dysplasia (HD) in dogs is affected to a larger degree than previously believed by the environment in which puppies grow up. It is particularly during the period from birth to three months that various environmental factors appear to influence the development of this disease. During the puppy stage, preventive measures can therefore be recommended with a view to giving dogs disposed to the condition a better quality of life.'

And we would assess that other joint related problems could be prevented by not allowing the overuse of developing puppy joints which is why we, as well as other agility handlers and trainers, don't start teaching jumping skills and weave poles until puppies have fully developed, which in some cases may be one year and some 15-18 months depending upon the eventual size of the dog.

Now that Rach is seven months old, it is important that he actually learn about these stairs as we don't want him developing any fears related to them. So Mum did just recently teach him to gently walk up the stairs, but has yet to teach Rach how to go down them as they are a bit on the dangerous side as you can see. She doesn't even like me going down these stairs, even though I've got them down to a doggie science and only do them once per day in the morning when we head downstairs for the day.

Mum purchased some stair carpet runners for when it's time for Rach to learn how to descend the stairs as to help him better navigate them and not slip.

In the meantime, Mum lets Rach ascend them slowly and easily, he's got very long legs at nearly 19 inches tall, but she is still carrying Rach down the stairs every morning.

On occasion, Rach will get ambitious and climb the stairs on his own during the day. It happens about once per day and Mum can hear him whine just a little when he's ready to come down. Then she'll go up and get him and carrying him down.

It's a small price to pay for preventative measures to ensures healthy joints for Rach throughout his life!


  1. You are just too cute standing at the bottom of the staircase, Rach! Be careful!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  2. Hey you, what are you doing there looking at us from the botton? You've such a sympathetic doggie!


Thanks for barking in!

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