Brad Pattison's Dog Tips  

Running up the stairs shouldn't be ruff

A few years ago some clients of mine had their first baby, and after he was born, they came to class and they said that for them, the most important training tool that they had learned in my class was teaching their chocolate lab 'rules of the stairs'. With a new bundle of joy in their arms, they had peace of mind going up and down the stairs as their dog never got under foot.

Teaching dogs how to go up and down stairs may not seem like a big deal, but getting your dog to understand where it needs to be in relation to you can certainly diminish potential issues.

So, here are some basic rules to follow when working on stairs:

When you are training to go up and down stairs with your dog, you want to make sure you are always leading.

Start off at the bottom of the stairwell. With leash either in hand or umbilical method (leash around your waist), start going up the stairs. If the dog starts to get ahead of you, use the side of the stairway, or wall to cut the dog off. You can use your legs to do this. You always want to make sure that your feet are ahead of the dog’s paws. When you get closer to the top, you can skip a step to ensure you get to the top first. Same rules apply when going down the stairs. Near the bottom, you can even jump the last few steps to again, ensure you get there first.

As you practice this, and as the dog starts to learn the new expectations, you can drop the leash and repeat, and then repeat with no leash at all. You can also stop midway on the stairs and if the exercise is done properly, your dog will stop too, a few paws behind your feet.

Again, it is critical that you always ‘win’; you must always be ahead of the dog.

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About the Author

All about Brad Pattison:

Educating Others

  • Created & opened the first Doggy Day Care in 1991 in Vancouver, BC
  • Opened up Hustle Up™ Training School in spring 2008 (certifies people to become Certified Trainer Educator’s or 6Legs to Fitness™ instructors)

  • Currently 90 Certified Trainer Educator’s across Canada, 1 in United States, 15 6Legs to Fitness™ instructors in Canada and 5 in South Africa.


  •  Host of hit TV show “At The End of My Leash". Currently airing in 50+ countries with a total of 6 seasons, 78 episodes.
  •  Host and Producer of ‘Puppy SOS’, which premiered on Slice Network April 6th, 2011.
  •  Guest appearances on Canadian Television shows – 3 Takes, X-Weighted, The Mom Show and Simon & Chris

  • In 2008, at the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Awards, “At The End of My Leash” won 4 out of 5 nominations including Best Series and Best Host.
  • ‘At The End of My Leash’ was also nominated at the 2008 Gemini Awards

  • In 2010, at the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Awards, “At The End of My Leash” won Best Lifestyle Serie


  • Honorary Chair for Canadian Cancer Society’s ‘Bark For Life’ in 2010 and 2011, held in Toronto, ON.

  • Affiliation with the Painted Dog Conservation project in Zimbabwe to help raise awareness of the declining Painted Dog population. The Painted Dog leash and collar line, designed by Brad Pattison– donates $3 from each item purchased to the Painted Dog Conservation. www.painteddog.org


Rescue Missions

  • Created Pattison K9 Rescue team with first mission down to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Helped rescue over 200 dogs.
  • Partnered up with CANDi International for a dog rescue projects in Cancun, July 2009 and Puerto Rico in November 2009. www.candiinternational.org
  • Aid in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010.
  • Brought an eight-person team down to Cancun in February 2011 to help Spay and Neuter program alongside the Cancun Animal Rescue organization.


  • Author of 3 books: Synergy in Training between Man & Dog, Doggy Business (kids book for Dog Babysitting) and bestseller, Brad Pattison Unleashed (published through Random House Canada).
  • New Puppy book to be released May 2012 through Random House Canada.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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