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Can Great Danes Use Stairs? (Explained!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Let’s say you have brought your Great Dane home, and you are unsure if this gigantic dog can climb up and down the stairs with much ease.

Well, with their body size, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Great Danes won’t make it up and down the stairs. So, can Great Danes use stairs? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaway

  • Great Danes can use stairs, but it is important to consider their age and physical condition.
  • Great Dane puppies should be restricted from going up and down stairs to protect their growing bones and joints.

Can Great Danes Use Stairs?

Can Great Danes Use Stairs

Yes, Great Danes can use stairs, but it is advisable to limit stair usage for young Great Danes and provide proper training to ensure their safety and joint health.

I trained my Great Dane puppy to use stairs from an early age, and now he is comfortable using stairs. While they are certainly large enough to walk up and down stairs, you may be wondering if our gentle giants require any special considerations.

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a Great Dane, and one that many prospective owners may be concerned about is their ability to go upstairs and downstairs.

However, Great Danes can successfully navigate stairs with proper training and practice. Many Danes thrive in agility events and learning to climb stairs, and agility training encourages rear-end awareness, making your Dane less clumsy and injury-prone.

Do Stairs Cause Hip and Back Problems in Large Dogs?

Yes, stairs can cause hip and back problems in large dogs, particularly those with conditions like arthritis or hip dysplasia, as they may worsen the situation by increasing pressure, inflammation, and pain.

Climbing stairs can increase pressure on the joints, leading to inflammation, pain, and discomfort.

It is important to be cautious and limit stair usage for dogs with these conditions to prevent further damage and manage their overall joint health.

Consulting with a veterinarian is recommended for specific guidance tailored to individual dogs.

Can Great Dane Puppies Go Up Stairs?

Yes. Great Dane puppies are physically able to go up and down the stairs in your home like any other puppy. However, you should not allow your puppy to use the stairs until they reach a certain age. This is mainly because a large puppy such as Great Dane can fall down the stairs and hurt itself.

Great Dane puppies are fairly large to use the stairs. They are not small like Shih Tzu, for example. So, if you are asking if a Great Dane puppy can use the stairs, the answer is yes. However, should a Great Dane puppy use the stairs on its own is a whole different thing.

Whether you should allow your Great Dane puppy to use the stairs will be your decision. This will depend on the type of stairs you have and the age of your puppy. I personally would not let a Great Dane puppy younger than three months use the stairs. This is because they are large and clumsy and can easily fall down and hurt themselves.

You will know exactly when is the right time to let your Great Dane puppy use the stairs. I mean, you can either walk with them up and down the stairs or just observe them. See how they manage the going up and down the stairs and be the judge of whether you should let them use it on their own.

Should I Carry My Dane Puppy Up and Down Stairs?

No. Although it is okay to be concerned about the safety of your Dane puppy, there isn’t enough statistical data to prove whether or not stair usage plays a role in hip dysplasia at this stage. But, in practice, it’s probably not something you need to be concerned about right now.

When I first got my Dane puppy, I had to figure out how to live with a large dog breed, and I was overly cautious about letting the puppy go upstairs and downstairs unsupervised for fear of getting hurt.

In addition to being concerned about a puppy’s clumsiness and the possibility of a fall down the stairs, some are concerned that using stairs too frequently before their growth plates have closed may increase their chances of hip dysplasia. It is preferable to expose the puppy to stairs to navigate them before growing larger says Dr. Pol (DVM).

If they grow to be full-grown dogs and have never been up to or down the stairs before, you could end up with a heavy dog who is terrified of stairs! If you begin carrying your Great Dane upstairs as a puppy, you should consider what you will do when the dog grows too large for you to lift.

Should You Avoid Homes With Stairs if You Have a Great Dane?

No. You have every right to buy whatever house you want without regard for your Great Dane. On the other hand, Stairs may be worth considering if you have an older Great Dane or one with mobility issues.

I realized that, because of the large size of my Great Dane, it was a little bit of a challenge for him to go up and down stairs inside my home. Carrying him up and down the stairs was also not my list of options. So, I had to train bit by bit until he knew how to use the stairs properly.

They must have comfortable places to live and relax on the main floor, as well as common areas like your primary living room, so they can spend time with you without feeling isolated.

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a house with an elevator, this isn’t an issue! I’ll assume that most of us don’t have elevators for this article. While it may not be practical to sell your home now to accommodate your dog, these are things to consider for future houses.

When it comes to stairs, that is all-encompassing. Inside stairs, outside stairs, or any stairs other than the one or two used to enter the house.

How to Train a Great Dane to Use Stairs

Training your Great Dane to ascend and descend safely is an excellent way to avoid any injuries that may be caused by your Great Dane going up and downstairs.

This proactive measure will benefit you greatly in the long run. However, you can keep a baby gate up to keep them out of the stairwell.

The primary goal of stair training is to teach your puppy or dog to stroll up and down the stairs. Because Great Danes overgrow, they will undoubtedly be more clumsy during and immediately following major growth spurts.

Keep an eye on them during these times because they are more likely to misbehave.

1. Begin stair-training Early

While some may advise you not to allow your puppy to go upstairs and downstairs, it is preferable to teach them how to do so safely. This will help prevent tumbles, resulting in severe injuries for your Great Dane.

Teaching them to control their speed and bodies at a young age will pay dividends later when the dog is the size of a young horse and attempting to go up and down the stairs.

Teaching a full-grown Great Dane how to go up and down stairs safely will be much more difficult, if not impossible, than training a young puppy. Training an adult Dane could cause injury to the dog and you if they pull you down the stairs with them.

2. Using a Leash to Walk Them

When teaching the puppy to go up and down the stairs, use a leash. Walking them slowly up the stairs on a tight leash will teach them the proper pace to safely walk up.

Reward the puppy for a job well done. Going down the stairs is much more dangerous and can result in injury because gravity wants to pull all their weight straight down.

Maintain a tight leash while going down and encourage the puppy to go slowly by taking one step and pausing to treat. Do this down the stairwell. Give once you’ve reached the bottom safely.

3. Consistent Practice

One or two stair training sessions with your puppy or dog will not be enough to ensure that they can ascend and descend the stairs safely and reliably. The key is to practice regularly. If you need to go up the stairs for any reason, put a leash on your dog and bring them with you. Use your daily routine to practice stair climbing with your Great Dane.


Q: How can I help my Great Dane navigate stairs?

A: To help your Great Dane navigate stairs, you can consider using a dog ramp or a pet lift. These options provide a more gradual incline and can reduce the strain on their joints.

Q: Are there any specific recommendations for stairs for Great Danes?

A: When selecting stairs for your Great Dane, it is essential to choose ones that are wide, sturdy, and have a non-slip surface. This will provide them with better stability during their ascent and descent.

Q: Should I train my Great Dane to use stairs?

A: It is highly recommended to train your Great Dane to use stairs from a young age. Early exposure and positive reinforcement can help them feel more comfortable and confident while using stairs.

Q: Can Great Danes develop joint problems from using stairs?

A: Great Danes are more prone to joint issues, including hip dysplasia and arthritis. While using stairs alone may not directly cause these conditions, excessive strain and improper stair use can contribute to worsening symptoms.

Q: How can I prevent joint problems in my Great Dane while using stairs?

A: To prevent joint problems in your Great Dane, it is crucial to provide them with adequate nutrition, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid excessive jumping or running on stairs. Regular exercise and joint supplements can also help support their joint health.

Q: Are there any alternatives to stairs for my Great Dane?

A: If stairs pose a challenge for your Great Dane, you can consider installing a doggy door or using a ramp to provide them with easier access to different areas of your home.

Q: Can Great Danes get scared of using stairs?

A: Yes, some Great Danes may develop a fear of stairs due to past negative experiences or unfamiliarity. Patient training, positive reinforcement, and gradually exposing them to stairs can help overcome their fear.

Q: Should I carry my Great Dane up and down the stairs?

A: While it may be tempting to carry your Great Dane up and down the stairs, it is not recommended on a regular basis. This can create a dependency and may lead to even more difficulties as they get older.

Q: Can Great Dane puppies use stairs?

A: It is generally better to avoid allowing Great Dane puppies to use stairs until they are fully grown and their joints have fully developed. Consult with your veterinarian for guidance specific to your puppy’s age and size.


Great Danes can navigate stairs, but it may take some training and practice. Furthermore, young Dane puppies should limit their staircase aerobics because too much intense exercise can harm their developing joints.

If your Great Dane has mobility issues, you may want to avoid putting him on stairs entirely by arranging for him to live on a single level or installing ramps. With a few simple precautions, your Dane will soon be able to navigate the stairs like a pro!

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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