I can't train my 3lb Chi to use the stairs to the bed

Small dogs have big personality! This is the place to talk up your favorite small breeds, ask questions, and share tips and stories. Be sure to visit our Small Dog Breeds area for profiles of all your favorite small dog breeds, featured articles, and more!


Barked: Mon Feb 13, '12 8:52am PST 
My new Chi "Bella" is 3lbs and is a tiny little thing. I've tried and tried to 'teach' her how to use the steps to the bed to get up, but she just doesn't 'get' it. I've used treats and tried to guide her up, using 'up' as the cue word, but it doesn't click for her.

I have a 8lb Chi named Nacho for 5years and I taught him once when I adopted him and he caught on to use the steps and knows words immediately.

It seems "Bella" just can't get it and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. The only thing I've taught her is her name and even with that she sometimes doesn't come!! LOL HELP! dog walk
Jake Earned- his wings- 10.02.15

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
Barked: Mon Feb 13, '12 11:46am PST 
I had to train my 35lb beagle to use dog stairs after his back went bad and jumping was no longer allowed.

To do it i guided him up the stairs using lures (hotdogs, cheese home made cookies). When he would use the stairs i'd praise him like crazy and treat him. I made it impossible for him to get up onto my bed or the car without the stairs. After a while (30-40 minutes) he realized if he wanted to get in bed with mommy he had to use the stairs. It's just about getting him to need the stairs.

Do you have a clicker? have you tried clicker training? For the car i had to click and treat for jake using the stairs.

In the beginning I would lick just for him going to the stairs and he'd get a treat. then when he started using a step i'd click and treat then finally when he climbed into the car he got a click and treat.

My roommates 4lb with a cat collar and tags on Chi, Woody uses stairs. We got him to use them by luring and getting deep steps. The ones for jake's stairs were too small and narrow for woodstock making it uncomfortable and awkward for him to use them. Deeper steps worked best for that little chi.

Good luck.

Barked: Mon Feb 13, '12 1:02pm PST 
Is it possible the stairs are too much for such a small dog? I have chis and use a bedside ramp that is covered in a ridged carpet. My 3# will use that, but not stairs. Just a thought.

Ch. Ali, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!
Barked: Mon Feb 13, '12 4:01pm PST 
My four and five lb toy poodles will use the rigid steps (hard plastic covered with carpet), but would not even step on the ones made of foam and covered with fleece.
I taught them to climb by having them climb DOWN, then after a few times of that I blocked the bottom with my body and they had to turn around and climb back up. I have one that will not use them if they move even slightly.

I came, I saw, I- chewed.
Barked: Tue Feb 14, '12 5:01am PST 
My chis hated those stairs and it took a long time to train them to use them. I put treats on the each step to get them to go up and down. The ramp suggestion was good! I wish I had thought of that.

Barked: Tue Feb 14, '12 8:32am PST 
Thanks for the replies! I don't know what to do. She just won't even try and she'll come to the side of my bed for me to pick her up. My other Chi loves the stairs!

Are there bedside ramps? I've never seen one...
Remington's- Saturday- Night Spe

Cute-- and I know it!
Barked: Tue Feb 14, '12 8:52am PST 
There are bedside ramps but for that small a dog you could easily make one out of fiberboard or plywood. Either cover with carpet or nail thin wooden slats to it every few inches.

I bought a ramp at first off my local CL for Remi to use. He was up and down it in about 2 seconds!! It took up too much room though so I started looking on CL for some stairs and found some a couple of weeks ago. I replaced the ramp with the stairs and had to treat him with food a couple of times first. Now he runs up and down the stairs with ease.