Although it’s fun to watch Corgis with their fluffy butt going up and down the stairs…
It’s concerning when you see them struggle in doing so.
And this makes you ask:
“Are stairs bad for them?”
Smart question, which I have the exact answers to.
Keep reading to find out:
- Whether stairs are bad for Corgis.
- 3 simple steps to prepare your young Corgi’s limbs for stairs.
- 9 alarming things to consider when letting your Corgi use the stairs.
- And that’s just the beginning…
Are stairs bad for Corgis?
Stairs aren’t exactly bad for adult Corgis. However, since their body is built for flat terrain only, they must be trained to use the stairs properly. Plus, they require your supervision every time. Moreover, senior Corgis need to be more cautious when using stairs.
9 things to consider when you let your Corgi walk up and down stairs
#1: They’re prone to canine hip dysplasia (CHD)
According to AKC, this is an inherited condition of the bone. Which is common among Corgis.
To be exact…
This research says 20.1% of Corgis have canine hip dysplasia (CHD).
That aside, this condition leads to underdeveloped hip joints. The femur bone’s head doesn’t fit right on the socket of the pelvic bone.
All of those make it hard for a Corgi to climb the stairs.
Because with the movement that involves climbing and descending the steps…
The unjointed bones I mentioned will rub roughly with each other.
Which causes your pup extreme discomfort.
Moreover, using the stairs can make CHD worse.
Since their bones are rubbing together…
That could cause further damage to their bones.
And that could lead to secondary issues like:
- Laxity (loose joints).
- Degenerative joint disease (joints wear and tear).
What to do:
Because it’s a genetic condition, CHD is best caught early.
So, your Corgi must undergo screening for it as a puppy.
And if vets diagnose your pooch with CHD…
They might not recommend having your pup use the stairs.
Instead, they’ll advise you to get a ramp for your canine.
#2: They must be mature and trained enough to use the stairs
Dogs don’t know how to use the stairs instinctively.
However, they can learn how to.
Puppies should be curious about them at 8 to 10 weeks of age.
And once the pup turns 2-months old…
They can get the hang of using the stairs.
However, it’s not the same for Corgis…
Because their limbs will only function best when they mature.
And for Corgis, that happens around 8 months of their age.
What to do:
Even though your pooch isn’t ready to use them yet…
A young Corgi can be curious around stairs.
And you can let them explore under your supervision.
Give them the freedom to climb a step or 2.
Moreover, help their limbs get used to climbing and descending.
Just follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Start with training them to climb in a slope
Get a piece of flat plywood and lay it on your shortest staircase.
Also, ensure the wood is wide enough for your Corgi to balance.
This will serve as a training ground for them.
Step 2: Speed isn’t a priority, coordination is
Although it’s an indicator of progress…
Speed isn’t everything.
So ensure that your Corgi takes their time on the slope.
Moreover, they must use every limb synchronously.
Warning: If their limbs are uncoordinated, stop the training immediately. Your Corgi isn’t ready for it yet. For now, they must focus on walking on a flat and horizontal surface.
Step 3: Adjust the height
Before doing this…
Your corgi’s limbs must be coordinated when using the stairs.
And you must see improvement in their speed as well.
With that, move the slope to a slightly longer staircase.
Continue this practice regularly until they’re old enough to climb the stairs.
You might also want to know: 5 Must-Read Reasons Why Corgis Are So Popular
#3: It’s their leg length vs. the stair’s step height
This is the main reason why Corgi parents worry about this issue.
Their pup’s legs are too short to use the stairs.
And let’s put things into perspective:
The average height of a Corgi is 10 in (25.4 cm) to 12 in (30.48 cm).
While the US standard height for stair steps is 7 in (17.8 cm) to 7 ¾ in (19.7 cm).
Now, that step height is more than half of the average Corgi’s peak.
So it’s true that Corgi legs aren’t ideal for stairs.
What to do:
With the gap between a Corgi’s leg and the stair steps…
They’re at risk of tripping and falling.
That’s why you must always supervise your Corgi. Even if you trained them to use the stairs.
#4: They have an eager attitude
Corgis are part of the herding breed group.
That’s why they’re alert and keen to lead.
To prove that, here’s an eager Corgi taking charge of sheep:
Now, you might not have a horse or sheep that your Corgi can boss around…
But they’ll certainly keep an eager attitude no matter what.
And it can even show when they’re using the stairs.
They’ll do it by climbing too fast.
Which is dangerous, especially with their short legs.
What to do:
Unfortunately, you can’t remove your Corgi’s herding instinct from their system.
So, focus on this instead:
Preventing the instinct from harming your pooch.
That said, if you see that your Corgi is excited, don’t let them use the stairs.
To guide you, here are some signs of over-excitement in dogs are:
- Jumping on you.
- Non-stop barking.
- Panting without physical exhaustion.
#5: Mind their weight
Corgis have an average weight of 28 lbs (12.7 kg) to 30 lbs (13.6 kg).
So with short legs and a long back…
They might have trouble supporting their weight on an uneven surface like the stairs.
Which risks them to losing their balance and falling.
What to do:
Ensure that you maintain your Corgi’s weight.
Not only can that make this quest less worrying…
It’s also best for their general health.
For their ideal weight, just follow the range I mentioned earlier.
And if your Corgi is overweight and struggles to use the stairs…
You’ll need to put them on a diet. Which you must do under a vet’s approval and guidance.
While your Corgi’s losing weight…
You can let them use a ramp.
Moreover, its use isn’t only limited to replacing stairs…
But you can also set it up on other elevated places which are hard to reach for your Corgi.
#6: Their spine is made for flat surfaces
Even though you can train them to climb the stairs…
The task is still dangerous for a Corgi.
Mainly because their non-proportional body is made for flat surfaces.
Moreover, their spine is prone to decline due to illnesses.
And when those show up…
It becomes almost impossible for Fido to climb stairs.
Trivia: Research reveals that tailless Corgis are more likely to have spinal defects.
What to do:
Like in #5, I suggest getting a ramp for your doggo.
It’ll lessen your worries about your Corgi getting hurt from using the stairs.
Aside from that, most spinal issues go undetected for a long time.
So, ensure that you regularly take your pooch to the vet.
If any conditions are too subtle for you to tell…
A check-up and a few tests might catch them.
#7: They can get more trouble going down than up
Corgis are quite similar to Icarus.
In Greek mythology, he’s the one who flew too close to the sun.
And since his wings were made of wax, they melted.
So, Icarus fell hard from a great height.
Now, that story is a great analogy for Corgis and stairs.
Because, like Icarus, Corgis can get more trouble going down than up.
However, instead of wings, your pup has short legs.
Which don’t easily reach the steps when descending.
With that, they have to dive face first to go down.
Then, your Corgi must keep proper momentum when landing.
And if something goes wrong…
Say, they jumped too far or landed off target on the steps…
They’re going to get hurt.
What to do:
You’ll often see your Corgi hesitating to go down the stairs.
That means they’re trying to guess how much they have to jump.
When they’re in the middle of that…
You should carry them down instead.
Because if your Corgi is hesitating to go…
Chances are, they can’t do their best.
But if carrying them all the time is inconvenient…
I advise getting a ramp for your Corgi.
#8: Watch out if they have injuries
They already have a hard time with stairs…
So when they get injured by any of these, it gets more challenging for them:
- Muscle tear.
- Bone fracture.
- Large wounds on their legs and feet.
Moreover, wearing a cone gets in the way of using the stairs safely.
Aside from that, falling isn’t the only risk here.
Because if you let your Corgi use the stairs while they have an injury…
That might slow down its healing.
What to do:
Keep your pooch grounded while their injuries heal.
According to vets, fractures take a month to mend. While muscle tears only take up to 10 days.
So if they need to go upstairs or downstairs…
It’s best if you carry them with care for now.
And even though their injury has improved…
Don’t give your Corgi full access to the stairs yet.
Instead, introduce your pooch back to using them.
You can do it by letting them climb 1 or 2 steps only.
But if you see they’re in pain while doing so…
That means they’re not yet ready to do that.
So, keep the stair off-limits for your Corgi.
And when you’re in doubt, always ask a vet. They’re the best person to give the clear.
#9: Stairs aren’t suitable for an aging Corgi
As your Corgi grows old…
It gets more complicated for them to use the stairs.
Not only are they feeling weak in general…
But they might also face illnesses involving their bones and muscles.
For one, Corgis are prone to spinal decline.
And an example of that is canine degenerative myelopathy (CDM).
A study revealed that 1.5% of Pembroke Welsh Corgis have it in the USA.
Moreover, it’s a progressive and fatal disease that affects the spinal cord.
And vets tell us that it begins to impact a Corgi at 11 years of age.
With it, your canine will gradually lose their mobility.
In a span of 6 to 36 months, your Corgi will experience:
Loss of feeling in their hind limbs.
Then, that makes its way to the forelimbs…
Until it leads to paralysis of all their legs.
Aside from that, your senior Corgi might also experience these age-related conditions:
- Bone cancer.
- Bone infections.
Then, old age causes bones to become brittle.
So, it’s easier for senior Corgis to get injured.
With that, stairs aren’t a good idea for any old Corgi.
What to do:
Settle your senior Corgi on your place’s first floor.
Unfortunately, they must not use the stairs anymore.
But if you don’t want your aging pooch to feel limited on 1 level…
You can carry them or get them a ramp if your stairs aren’t too long.
And as you learned, the latter’s not just useful for stairs.
It can also help your senior canine get on other elevated surfaces.