I have a 7 year old chocolate lab who all of the sudden two days ago decided he did not want to climb the basement stairs. These stairs are carpeted, he doesn't limp or have any physical ailments, he does not respond to us luring him with treats, adn he will climb other stairs, such as our outside stairs to the deck which are much steeper and wooden. The only way he climbs the basement stairs is when we put on his leash, which is only used when we take him on walks, and I hate doing that because he gets all excited for his walks and its just a letdown. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any suggestions? Thanks for any advice.
-Jordan
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Any suggestions?

Back problems, soft tissue injury, arthritic problems, cognitive dysfunction, vision problems, bad experience on the stairs making him feel hinky, etc. - time to see a vet.
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I have a 7 year old chocolate lab who all of the sudden two days ago decided he did not ... for his walks and its just a letdown. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any suggestions? Thanks for any advice.==

Have you noticed him crossing his rear legs lately when he walks similar to tripping over them?
do you have a chiro who can check him over? Also, might want to get his vision checked. My guess is it is a physical problem. BroomSandy
Has anyone had a similar experience? Any suggestions? Thanks for any advice.

First thing is a veterinary visit. Something may have spooked him on those stairs, he could have had a misstep, all sorts of things, but ruling out physical issues before treating something like this JUST behaviorally, is just a good idea. What's his weight like? 7 is young for some dogs, and other dogs are "old" at 7. Weight, general physical condition and activity, etc, can vary greatly. Any other pets in the household? Children? There are so many variables and knowing them can often lead to the answer.

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Nope, he walks fine just like he always has.
He is heavy for a lab, 120 pounds, but is very active, taking walks/runs everyday. He still acts like a puppy, runnign around, always wanting to play, that is until about 2 days ago. No other pets or children in the household. I guess I have to take him to the vet tomorrow.
@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:
I have a 7 year old chocolate lab who all of the sudden two days ago decided he did not ... for his walks and its just a letdown. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any suggestions? Thanks for any advice.

Any sudden change in behavior or ability like this definitely warrants an exam by his vet. He may have pulled something, slipped a disc, torn a ligament..anything. Just because he is able to climb the stairs when he's excited by the prospect of a walk doesn't preclude a possible injury; dogs are amazing at masking pain, especially when they're excited about something.
In the meantime, if the leash gets him thrilled enough to climb the stairs, is there any way to reward him with an actual walk (even if much shorter than usual) in order for it to not be a letdown?
But, FWIW, I would definitely take him in to see a vet for this. Until then, I would keep his activity level to just walks. And I would try to keep this from being an issue (and try to prevent further possible injury) by not having him go down the stairs in the first place if at all possible.
Tara
@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

I have a 7 year old chocolate lab who all ... had a similar experience? Any suggestions? Thanks for any advice.

Any sudden change in behavior or ability like this definitely warrants an exam by his vet.

Since he climbs other stairs with no problems, and there's no obvious physical instability, etc., there are some other things to ponder, IMO, before she needs to take him to the vet for an exam.

Does he have any problem going down* the stairs? Is there something down in the basement that he really enjoys? A special, cool spot on the floor? Favorite toys? Has anything unusual been going on *upstairs? I.e., could there be some reason he might want to avoid it? Recent family spat? Noisy kids? Construction?

Before I'd take him to a vet, I'd try to do more sleuthing. Since the OP is a Googloid, I'm hesitant to get too far into this one, but there are many possible reasons for the behavior being described by the OP, none of them having to do with a physical problem.

She should quietly sit down and think if there's anything that could make the dog want to remain downstairs, or not go upstairs. And lots of experiments that she can try before taking him to the vet.

If she'll give us a little more feedback, it would help a lot.

It would also help to hear back from the OP regarding how it all worked out.

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