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How big does a dog need to be to....

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Fasb's Owner, Nov 14, 2017 at 11:18 AM.

  1. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 21, 2013
    Morgantown, WV
    ... climb steps?

    Kinda dumb question, I know, but we've started fostering rescue dogs lately and the operators keep suggesting small dogs to us. Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Yorkies, etc. The rescue seems to take in a lot of dogs in the 10-14 pound range or smaller.

    We don't have anything against smaller dogs, but we're wondering if a small dog would have trouble getting around the house. We have a large house, but it's three stories, plus a basement, so there are a lot of steps to negotiate. We're wondering if some of the small dogs would have trouble getting up steps. Besides the rescue issue, we've considered adopting a small dog, but have the same concern. Only prior experience with small dogs was puppy Fasb and he grew to 17-20 lbs. and about 20 inches tall (floor to top of head, when he was standing on all fours) fairly quickly. Puppy Fasb had a fair bit of trouble negotiating our house because he was too small to climb the steps without difficulty.

  2. MissyGallant

    MissyGallant Premium Member

    Dec 20, 2011
    Sheridan, Indiana
    Not an expert on small dogs. But our next door neighbors had a 3lbs yorkiepoo that was the size of a can of pop. And Molly could bounce onto a sofa if she wanted. No problems. And an ex-bf had a toy poodle (are those the smallest ones?) that had no problems jumping into his big truck that I could barely get into. On the other hand, my step-grandma had a shitzu that couldn't really do much of anything other than just sit there like a mop. Maybe it's a breed thing and not a size thing?
  3. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

    Oct 15, 2009
    Mom and Dad had a small Shiztu that could do the stairs up there back deck until the end.
  4. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

    Aug 31, 2009
    New York
    My parents have always owned small dogs, mainly maltese and chihuahuas. Ranging from 6-11 pounds when they reached full adulthood. None of them ever had issues going up and down stairs in the house or outdoors.
  5. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

    Jul 11, 2015
    I think it probably won't be an issue with a young dog, but as the dog ages, stairs are definitely something to consider.
  6. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Southern California
    I've worked with many small and smaller Chihuahua's at the shelter, and fostered one. Never had a problem with stairs. You'd be surprised what these teeny dogs can do! I hope you are enjoying your fostering. It is so rewarding. :hugs
  7. JacqueZ

    JacqueZ Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 4, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    We had a yorkie and a chihuahua growing up, both did fine on stairs, even creaky, wooden basement stairs. My sister has a pom in a two story house who also has no problem. The bigger problem with the little puppies is little bladders, they can't hold it as long and all the dogs I've known under 10 lbs have had issues with full house training/have been more prone to mark. Those were also all male dogs though and I can't discount training being the issue.
  8. Daisy's Mom

    Daisy's Mom Forums Regular

    Aug 25, 2017
    My 11 lb. miniature pinscher is extremely active, although slowing down a bit now that he is 11. He used to jog with me, but now just goes on long walks. He has no problem jumping up on our rather high bed and stairs have never been problem. I did get a set of portable soft stairs that he or our Sheltie puppy can use to get up on the bed. They are available on Amazon, and great for tiny dogs or elderly who need help onto the sofa or anything too high.

    Regarding small dogs and bladders. My Min Pin has enormous bladder capacity and was very easy to housebreak. He can go 8 hours without peeing while my female puppy Sheltie seems to have a tiny bladder and has to go often. She is getting better as she gets older. Unlike @JacqueZ I thought it was a female issue, but maybe it is a breed issue?

    How wonderful that you are fostering. Good Luck!

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