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Can Corgis Climb Stairs? [Safety Considerations For Owners]

When owning a corgi, or any other dog for that matter, you want to keep them safe and ensure that they cannot hurt themselves. One common question for new and prospective corgi owners is whether or not corgis can climb stairs. With their short and long bodies is it possible for them to do so and is it safe? I decided to conduct some research into the topic. Here is what I have been able to find.

So, can corgis climb stairs? Corgis can climb stairs. However, it is important that you watch corgis when they are climbing stairs and it is preferable to carry them down. You’ll also want to limit how often they climb stairs as excessive use can cause long-term injuries. This can prevent them from being able to climb stairs altogether.

Moreover, corgi puppies will need to be taught how to climb stairs.

It’s not something that will come entirely natural to them.

At the same time, the climbing of stairs should not be encouraged until a Corgi is at least 8-12 months old, or beyond the early growth stages.

Besides, we do not want any additional pressure on weak and vulnerable joints and growth platelets!

Let us now take a closer look into the topic and see exactly when and how corgis can safely climb stairs.

We’ll also be covering when it may not be a good idea for all corgis, and some practical and effective workarounds.

Should Corgis Climb Stairs?

Whether or not a corgi should or even can climb stairs is a question, that ultimately only you will be able to answer.

There are a number of factors that you need to take into account, like how steep are your stairs, are they carpeted (preferable), how old is your corgi and what physical shape are they in?

That being said, if you have a fully grown Corgi (aged 8-12 months and older) in good health and without any injuries, it should be perfectly fine and safe for your corgis to climb stairs. This is true for both Cardigan and Pembrokeshire breeds.

Getting your corgi to come down the stairs is more problematic, and experts/other Corgi owners/breeders routinely recommended that they should be carried down the stairs (if possible). If this is not possible you should limit how often and how much they do this.

You should always be watching your corgi when they climb stairs, particularly in the early days when they first begin to climb them.

It is also advised that you monitor their behavior when on and around stairs.

Do they hesitate? This could be a clear signal that they are not comfortable climbing and it could even lead to falls if they did attempt it.

It could also indicate their is a potential underlying injury with their hips, legs or back. In this situation it is advised that you prevent your corgi from climbing stairs and carry them instead.

Be sure to visit a vet if you suspect there is an injury as this will only worsen and become more painful in time.

Younger corgis, and those without any experience climbing stairs will need to be taught how to go up and down due to their short legs.

This can be done slowly, one step at a time, and using treats as a way to build their trust in you and their confidence.

When Should Your Corgi Not Climb Stairs

While it should be perfectly safe for your corgi to climb stairs, there may be some circumstances where they would be better off being carried if they did want/need to go upstairs (or kept downstairs altogether.

Here are the main ones.

Corgi Puppy Under 8 Months of Age

It it strongly advised that you do not encourage or allow stair climbing and/or jumping until your corgi puppy is at least 8 months old. 

This is incredibly important because under this age, a corgi’s legs have not developed to the point whereby they can effectively handle the weight of their body and the pressure/impact of the stairs.

More specifically, during their puppy months, a corgi’s legs will be naturally bowed and shortened and they will have open growth plates. The pressure of going down a lot of stairs/jumping off higher places can cause these growth plate to break and the legs not to form and shape properly. This will not only be very painful to your corgi, but it can stunt growth and lead to expensive surgeries down the line.

Once your corgi has reached around 8 months old, this growth process should have completed and they should be able to handle the stairs.

If you believe that your corgi has not fully developed by the 8 month stage, or your vet has suggested they are growing more slowly than the average, you may need to hold off letting them climb the stairs for a few more months.

Health Complications

There are several health problems that can make stair climbing painful and not feasible for your corgi. In this situation you should normally be able to tell because they will be hesitant to try or move gingerly when they do.

Hip dysplasia is caused by excessive use and when the hip has corroded. Complications in the joint arise and movement becomes painful.

When climbing stairs, your corgi will need to bear the weight with their hind legs but if they have hip dysplasia this will be very painful for them.

Arthritis is another health complication that can arise and that causes a lot of pain if the stairs are attempted.

Injuries

Corgis, like other dogs, are very active and are not immune to general injuries. Any type of injury requires repair and climbing the stairs can prevent or delay this healing from taking place.

A lot of injury’s require time to heal, so preventing your corgi from climbing stairs is a wise and sensible thing you should do. Any injuries to your corgis paws, legs, hips, back or muscles should mean stairs become off limits as they could exacerbate the problem.

Cones will also be a trip and fall hazard, so if your vet has fitted one of these over your corgis head, again, the stairs should be out of bounds for your corgi until it is taken off.

When your corgi has recovered from injury, introduce the stairs back slowly to them and monitor how they get on. If the injury persists, you will know to block of the stairs for a while longer.

Significant Weight

If you are feeding and exercising your corgi appropriately, then you should not have any issues with weight. However, it may be that your corgi is overweight.

Consider that ll this extra weight needs to be carried up and down the stairs, and this means more pressure on their joints and limbs.

If this is the case, you should take the appropriate measures to limit or reduce their weight, or limit their use of the stairs in the meantime.

Limiting their portions, frequencies of meals along with getting a food specially formulated for weight loss (like the Metabolite Weight Management All Natural Dog Food from Amazon) are the advised approach.

Aged Corgis

As your corgi age, their ability to use the stairs may be prevented through restricted mobility, eyesight or a lack of stability.

If your corgi is showing issues in any of these areas, then you should be careful or prevent your corgi from using the stairs at all.

How To Limit Corgis Using Stairs Too Often

Depending on your home or where you live, it may not be as easier to limit your corgi from accessing the stairs. This is especially true if you leave them at home alone for periods of time when you are at work or are generally out of the house.

Corgi’s are also active and lively dogs and they love to run around. So keeping them contained can be an issue.

For these reasons, if you want to limit your corgis from using the stairs too often, thankfully there are some things that you can proactively do. These things are particularly effective for those of you with corgis who should not be sing the stairs due to some of the factors outlined above.

Option #1 – Get a Pen

One of the easiest and best ways to contain your corgi without having to confine them to a cage/crate, and giving them plenty of room to maneuver is by getting a pen.

The Midwest Metal Exercise Pen from Amazon is a hugely popular favorite among corgi and other dog owners. Its cost-effective, can easily be set up/collapsed and you can move it about the home easily.

By placing your Corgi in a pen like this, they will have plenty of room but will of course not be able to run off and head up the stairs on their own accord.

Option #2 – Use Child Gates

This option gives more freedom for your Corgi and allows them more access around the house. It enables you to close off certain rooms (or you can even place them at the bottom of the stairs).

If you are interested in this option, thes Carlson Gate has a lot of positive reviews on Amazon.

However, if you have a lot of areas you want to restrict you may need to get quite a few gates and the cost can easily add up. Moreover, it can be problematic/tiresome to keep having to open/close gates but it can be a useful option depending on your house layout/setting.

Option #3: Shut Doors, Restrict General Access

The cheaper and free option compared to those above, however it does require careful consideration and management.

Here, you will need to shut doors and restrict general access to the house.

Make sure that all doors are closed whereby your corgi could sneak around the house and get access to the stairs without you knowing.

This may or may not be possible for your home, and you will need to keep an eye out for any doors that can be opened by your corgi themselves!

In Summary

So back to our original question. Corgis can climb stairs for the most part and they should be fine and safe to do so. Just make sure that they are of sufficient age, weight, and that they are not showing any signs of concern or pain.

A Corgi should be able to tackle them from 8 months onward, but if you are ever of the opinion that its not a good idea, it probably isn’t.

Remember the health and safety of your corgi should always come first.