Spence is not allowed upstairs at home and therefore he has not had a lot of practice with long flights of stairs. He is pretty good at going up short steps; it's coming down steps that he is not so sure about. We took Spence on a trip to a house in the mountains. There were stairs leading to the main floor. When Spence was smaller there was no way he would have been able to do the steps on his own, however he is a little bigger now and does have the capability. He just needs the confidence. I was not going to be able to carry him up and down steps forever. This pup needed to learn he could do it.
I was careful not to sweet-talk him in a way that would show him affection as he was very unsure of himself. I didn't want to tell him I was happy with him being unsure. Instead I talked to him with a bit of authority, yet nicely at the same time. Calling him down the stairs from the very top with treats was not going to work. There were just too many stairs overwhelming him. I picked him up and placed him seven steps from the bottom and told him to "Come." Spence looked very unsure and worried. I helped him along a bit by showing him how to move his front feet forward and let his back feet catch up. I did that twice, and then let him try on his own. "Come!" Spence moved one of his front paws forward, and the second front paw, then moved his back legs. I think he was rather surprised at himself. His tail went from unsure to more relaxed. He did it again and went down one more step. Now his tail started to wag slightly from side to side. He cautiously went down one more step and his tail moved faster. Another step, the tail went even faster! Spence was very pleased with himself. He made it to the bottom and the tail was going good. I told him "Good boy" and took him outside for some play.
I'll have to have him practice more when we are around more steps. I cannot do it at home since I do not want him upstairs. It would be confusing for me to practice on the steps at home and then tell him not to use them.