If your dog keeps going upstairs, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog keep going upstairs? Likely reasons why your dog keeps going upstairs are that they have learned that the behavior is rewarded, separation anxiety, or that they simply like the adventure.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog keeps going upstairs and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why does my dog keep going upstairs?
Below are likely reasons why your dog keeps going upstairs and what would make them more likely.
Encouraging the behavior
It could be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. If you tend to give them things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when they go upstairs, they will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
If your dog has not been upstairs much, it could also be the case that your dog is doing it because they want an adventure. In this case, the behavior should stop as they get older.
It might also be the case that your dog has been doing it due to separation anxiety. This would be more likely if your dog only tries to go upstairs when you are upstairs yourself.
Another possible cause is that your dog is bored and looking for a way to stimulate themselves. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more before getting exercise or when they have had to sit around for a while. In this case, it could help to give them more exercise or things to be distracted with.
It could also be the case that something has been causing them to be fearful. This would be more likely if they tend to do it more in situations such as when there are loud noises downstairs.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.
If your dog has always gone upstairs
If your dog has not always gone upstairs, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it. If the behavior started suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior is rewarded or separation anxiety.
The timing of when your dog goes upstairs
It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog tends to go upstairs. If your dog tends to do it more at a certain time, it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if your dog tends to do it when you are upstairs yourself, the cause would be more likely to be separation anxiety.
How to stop dog going upstairs?
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when they behave the way you want them to and to try to avoid rewarding them when they do not. When they try to go upstairs, it would help to get them to stop and then to give them a “timeout”, in a different part of the house, then to reward them when they are calm.
Limit reasons why your dog might be anxious
If it seems like your dog has been doing it due to separation anxiety, it would also help to limit reasons why your dog might be anxious. Ways to do so can include letting your dog stay in a different part of the house, exercising them, letting them pee and feeding them before leaving them.
Give your dog somewhere else to go downstairs
It could also help to give your dog somewhere else that they can go downstairs where they can feel secure. Often, people find that crate training can work well for this.