How to Carry a Large Dog Down Stairs

How to Carry a Large Dog Down Stairs

How to carry a large dog down stairs? Caring for your dog is the number 1 requirement as a pet parent. A dog may not want to climb down a flight of stairs for several reasons. It could be a result of aging, being overweight, weak eyesight, limited mobility, trauma, etc. Despite the numerous reasons, it is vital to get your dog some fresh air outside. You cannot simply leave it as it is. 

When carrying a large dog downstairs, make sure your dog faces you. Hold its limbs by wrapping your arms around it. Securely, but it should not hurt the dog. Now it’s time to lift your dog. Don’t lift it in a sudden and jumpy motion; ensure that your dog is comfortable. Lift your dog at your stomach’s level; not too high nor too low. The final step is to take the leap. Get down the stairs carefully, making sure you don’t miss any step.

If you live in a multi-story home with several staircases, it is likely that your large dog is not cooperating climbing up and down the stairs. A dog is a naturally cautious animal, and it makes sure to stay safe and marks the stairs as an unsafe area. This is true for most dogs. 

How to Carry a Large Dog Down Stairs

Tips for Carrying Large Dogs Down Stairs

Be it a small dog or a large dog, staircases can be a bit of a problem in getting used to. However, with proper training and habit, this problem fades away. 

Now, what if it never fades? What if it reoccurs? And what can you do about it?

Let’s start with, what if it never fades?

You are training your large dog every day to make it climb downstairs, but it simply doesn’t work. Maybe your dog just doesn’t like the stairs, and most likely, it won’t. It could be due to a trauma in the past. You cannot forcefully drag your dog downstairs. This will make them aggressive and lose trust in you.  

How to Take Care of Your Dog in Such Situations?

  • Identify the problem

Look for clues. Is your dog barking when it’s near the stairs? Is it whining? Is it trying to take a step but looks afraid? These clues can be found while you are training your dog. 

  • Take action

Maybe your stairs are slippery, so the dog is trying to avoid them. Try placing non-slippery carpets, and your dog may simply run downstairs. 

While training your dog as a puppy, maybe it fell down and hurt itself. This can cause trauma. It is important to make your dog feel as comfortable as possible in situations like these. Provide treats and reward them when they take a step. This will give them a sense of achievement and liking to the stairs.

  • Carry it downstairs

If all fails, the last resort is to carry it downstairs.

Has your dog suddenly stopped climbing downstairs? This can be true, especially if your dog is growing old or has some injuries.

An aging dog comes with several underlying health issues such as weak eyesight, lack of energy, arthritis, hip dysplasia, etc. These health issues can stop them from doing any activity requiring strength, in this case, climbing down the stairs. And it can be very inconvenient because as your dog is old, it requires daily walks, a good amount of sunshine and fresh air. But it simply won’t climb downstairs. 

Weak eyesight is a common factor in an aging dog. The ability of sharp vision slowly diminishes; the dog simply starts avoiding the stairs to not hurt itself. Their lack of energy will not allow it to climb up and down the stairs; it most likely just wants to lie down. As a pet parent, it might make you feel empathetic towards your pet and make you question how to take care of your dog in such situations. 

You have to look out for your dog with utmost care. Make sure you feed it with a proper diet provide vitamins and nutritional treats. Physical therapy can be a great form of exercise and relief for an older dog if required. Give your dog lots of care and love. An aging dog is vulnerable and requires patience. You can massage your dog gently to help them relax their muscles.

If your dog is young but has suddenly started avoiding climbing downstairs, it could be a result of an injury. Maybe it hurt itself while playing. Look for any signs of physical injury – bleeding, cuts, or wounds. You can take your dog to the emergency room if the wound is big. But if it is a small wound, you can treat it at home. Wash off the wound with saline water, apply topical anti-bacterial solution and bandage it if required. 

Treat your dog to physical therapy if the injury looks like a muscle cramp or dislocation. It will take a few weeks or months to heal. After which, your dog will be running down like before.

Tips for Carrying Large Dogs Down Stairs

There are several methods by which you can carry your large dog downstairs. It will require some practice and effort.

In order to carry your dog, especially if it is a large dog, you need to have strength and balance. Without these two, it is impossible. Build trust with your dog. Once your dog trusts you, it won’t feel the need to bark or question your intention. 


  • The power of arms

Use the power of your arms to get a grip on your dog. Your preferred dominant arm must hold the front set of the dog’s limbs, while the other arm can hold the other one. 

Holding the limbs doesn’t imply the lower limbs. Make sure you hold it higher so that your dog doesn’t slip out of your hands and hurt itself.

Lift your dog with power but make sure it’s not hurting it. 

  • Stomach level

When you lift your dog up to climb downstairs, make sure you are lifting it at your stomach level. Since it is a large dog, it will be heavy. Lifting it lower will not provide you with the mobility to lift your legs while getting down. If it is lifted too high, it can disrupt your sight. So the right level is the stomach level. Your dog can get more support by laying at the stomach level. This will also make it feel safe and comfortable.

  • Taking the step

The first step should not be jerky, sudden, or forced. Your dog must know that it is happening so that it is not scared. Your step should be gentle but smooth. It should also be taken carefully so that you don’t slip and fall, injuring yourself and your dog. 

Collar Technique

If your dog is extremely heavy and you are not able to lift it physically, you can try the collar technique. This technique will require your dog to wear a collar. 

  • One hand at the collar, the other hand between the legs

Without hurting your dog, pull the dog towards you with the aid of the collar. Make sure you do it gently. Don’t lift it up. Pull gently. While you pull it towards you, slowly using your other hand, lift its paws to move forward.

  • Bend your knees

Since you will be going down the stairs with your back facing towards it, You need to bend your knees for balance. As you slowly drag your dog towards you, with bended knees, climb one step at a time guiding your dog.


There are dog harnesses available in the market. Making use of such harnesses can be beneficial if you cannot lift the dog up. A harness is easy to use. You make sure your dog’s limbs go through each vent provided in the harness, and your dog is secure.

After that, you just have to lift it up gently and guide it to take the steps. This is especially helpful if your dog is recovering from paralysis or trauma. With your guidance and daily practice, it will boost your confidence to climb downstairs.


It is essential to take precautions before simply taking your dog down the stairs. Before you pick up your dog, practice on the ground level. Build trust. Your dog must not be foreign to the lifting. Especially if you are out with your dog in public, it may bark or whine, making others around your uncomfortable. 

Start small, with small steps at home. After a while, your dog should not feel the need to be scared or anxious with you holding it. Even during motion, your dog will feel comfortable.

How to Carry a Large Dog Down Stairs


As a pet parent, taking care of your dog is a serious responsibility. No matter if it is a puppy or an older dog, you should be able to meet its needs. No matter what, make sure your dog is comfortable and eating healthy.

Carrying your dog downstairs often may be inconvenient, but do not be impatient. Always guide and carry your dog with patience. 

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