How To Block Stairs From A Dog

How To Block Stairs From A Dog?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Your dog can be prevented from climbing stairs in three ways: A baby gate or stair gate, training them not to go up, and double-sided sticky tape.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “How To Block Stairs From A Dog“.

Have your dogs feet outgrown their boots and they’re wandering around the whole house as if they own it?

How To Block Stairs From A Dog

Are you simply too busy to clean up after your dog upstairs and downstairs?

In this article I’m going to talk about some of the different ways you can block your dog from the stairs.

Oh and did you know? Stair gates are not the only thing! 

3 ways to stop your dog from going up or down the stairs

There are three ways that you can block your dogs access to the stairs:

  1. A baby gate or stair gate
  2. Train them not to go up 
  3. Some assorted crazy ideas

Stair gates

Heres the easiest way to stop your dog from climbing (or descending) the stairs.

An effective barrier for babies and toddlers gates are designed specifically for this market.

These devices come in all shapes and sizes have different features and are available at all price points.

That is just what you can buy in a store.

If you want to build one yourself there are plenty of ideas to get you started. 

Take a look at some of the most common types of gates

Lets start with a standard stair gate.

Shops like Amazon sell these for two pennies each.

Since we are so familiar with them I do not want to spend much time on them.

These gates are the best solution if you want quick inexpensive and easy installation.

The best way to secure them is against a flat surface.

Where do you install these gates if there isnot a flat surface?

Most stairs only have spindles with rounded edges- there is not one piece of flat wood to be seen.

Boxing your spindles in

I have a solution for you if you find yourself in this position.

This guide will guide you through the process.

You can achieve a flat surface by “boxing in” your spindles. 

Drills and screws are not required.

As soon as you have a flat surface you can go online and buy that stair gate of your dreams!

Retractable stair gates

I would like to look at retractable gates next.

To get one of these again you’ll want to buy it online. 

When the gate is going into a smaller space that does not have enough room for it to swing out these gates are perfect. 

A retractable gate basically folds back on itself so there is no gate to swing out in front or behind the mechanism.

Going forward I will only show you the gates that I have made myself.

Homemade gates have the benefits of being cheaper being built to your exact measurements and being able to customize the style material and design.

Their disadvantage is the length of time they take to design and construct.

If you are looking for a long-term solution for a gate and you have a basic DIY skill set check out these options.

DIY wooden stair gates to stop your dog

As a general rule there are two main styles.

In the first style a palette is used.

Its great to have pallets. Cheaply or even for free you can get reasonably good wood (enough for a stair gate). 

One drawback of pallets is that for some the quality is only “so-so” and dismantling them can be quite difficult.

The following is a step-by-step guide.

In contrast the second style is more sophisticated and may be called “barn doors”. 

Although these doors have a more finished appearance you will need to buy the wood and take more time to produce a higher quality finish on them. 

As a guide please refer to the following. 

They are attached by hinges that require much more time to install than traditional stair gates which are secured with pressure “joints”.

Fabric gate 

You might consider making your own fabric gate if a traditional baby gate or even a wooden one seems a little bulky or heavy to you.

The benefits of fabric barriers are that they are lightweight they are customizable in terms of color and pattern and they are lightweight. 

The drawback of a fabric barrier is that if your dog is large or strong or perhaps one with a lot of determination it might not be strong enough for you. 

The following guide will show you how to make a fabric barrier if you’re looking for a little inspiration. 

PVC Pipe gate

There is another option for you DIYers out there: Build a barrier or gate out of PVC piping – you know the white stuff used to move water around our houses instead of copper pipes.

I was a bit skeptical of it until I created “roll bars” in a whelping box. 

In whelping boxes roll bars are built to prevent a mother from squishing her puppies too much in the first few weeks of life.

Pipes made of PVC are light and very very strong.

Also it is ridiculously cheap and can be cut to any length or shape using a variety of connectors.

Are you intrigued by this idea? Heres a video to get you started. 

This concludes our discussion. 

I have just finished my not so brief tour of some of the different stair gates that are “available”.

We will now look at how to train a dog not to go up a flight of stairs in the next section.

Building a “mental” stair gate to block the stairs

It is possible that you do not want to physically block the stairs from your dog by erecting a stair gate for a number of reasons.

Maybe you do not have the money to buy one or you are not confident enough in your DIY abilities to construct one.

Theres also the possibility that you do not want the inconvenience of one- and they can be a bit inconvenient.

Regardless of your reasons stair gates are not the only way to stop your dog from getting up and down the stairs. 

The best way to prevent your dog from climbing stairs is to train him not to do so.

A 15-minute training session will not be enough to complete this course.

Rather than achieving real success by doing just a few minutes a day for a few weeks think about it. 

Initially training will take more effort than installing a stair gate but the real advantage is that after a couple of weeks you will not need a stair gate cluttering up the bottom of your stairs. 

Using this training method you stop your dog from approaching the stairs by standing in their way and blocking them followed by using a strong verbal command such as “no.” 

After your dog walks away from the stairs: or if it walks back down after being blocked halfway up: reward it with lots of praise and a treat or toy. 

Read this article for a step-by-step approach. 

We have already discussed how to train your dog to not consider going up the stairs so lets take a look at a few ideas that are a little wacky and “left field.” 

Crazy ideas to block the stairs from your dog

OK I would not take up much of your time since I think some of these methods are somewhat dubious. 

To discourage your dog from walking up the stairs you need to place different objects or textures on your stairs.

Carpet runners

Runners or grippers are the most effective ways to stop your dog from running up your stairs. 

On one side these strips are flat and on the other side they have dozens of small spikes.

Under carpets they are intended to be placed.

You can be sure that if your dog walks on them they would not go further.

It may seem extreme but does it go too far? Does it cause physical harm to your dog?


Are you ready for the next object that will convince your dog that walking up the stairs isnot acceptable?

Start by covering the first few steps with aluminum or tin foil.

A dog stepping on it apparently makes a loud noise that makes them run for cover. 

Is it true that stepping on it produces a startling sound? 

If they slip on these sheets of foil I think they’re more likely to be scared than if the sound they make frightens them!

Double-sided sticky tape

The final weird hack I have is to place double-sided tape on the first few steps of your stairs to stop your dog from climbing them.

Your dog would not like the sticky texture- it will “stop them in their tracks” if you will!

That does not sound right to me. I do not think the stickiness will stop the dog from going up but it will certainly surprise them.

Here are three different approaches to blocking the stairs from your dog. I will then discuss some of the reasons why you might want to barricade the stairs in the first place. 

8 reasons to block stairs from dogs

I need to confess before I list 5 reasons why you should not let your dog go upstairs in your house.

Most of the time neither of my two dogs goes upstairs.

I have a cup of tea in bed while my wife and my four-year-old dog share a biscuit every morning!

I keep my dogs downstairs apart from that.

Lets quickly review some reasons why letting your dog go upstairs may not be a good idea.

Stairs are bad for young dogs small dogs and old dogs alike

Even though stairs in and of themselves are not bad for dogs our dogs do need to be cautious around them.

In the same way as they are for us stairs are dangerous in that if you slip or trip on the way down it is a long way to fall.

Also they can be physically difficult to climb for smaller dogs due to the height of the step compared to the height of their legs.

Most veterinarians recommend not letting a puppy go up or downstairs too often or unsupervised until they are at least one year old. 

Aside from the strain that going up and down stairs can place on developing bones and muscles this is also due to problems with balance and coordination.

Taking the stairs might be a bit of a challenge for older dogs with aching joints and a body that does not balance as well as it used to.  

Dogs in bed aren’t a good combination in terms of our sleep 

You should also restrict dogs from sleeping upstairs in your house because they can disturb our sleep.

Many of us let our dogs sleep with us and there are some benefits to this such as a heightened sense of security. 

However there are some downsides as well. 

Humans and dogs have different sleep cycles. 

At night we sleep more deeply and longer than dogs do and because dogs tend to move around more at night this can disrupt our sleep.  

More than 20% of dogs snore! Imagine the impact on your sleep!

Dogs are trip hazards around stairs

On stairs dogs can present a trip hazard.

In particular I am thinking about dogs who like to sleep on the top stair where they can snuggle up against the back of the step-like they are in a den or cave? 

Bumps preferred this spot when she was much younger (she is now 13 12 years old). 

Everything is fine and dandy in fact it is quite charming until one day as you are rushing down the stairs your dog stands up just as you try to step over it.

Heres hoping you can grab a handrail to keep yourself from falling!

A hoover that can effectively vacuum dog hairs off stairs has yet to be invented

Vacuum cleaners generally fail to keep stairs clean and free of dog hair am I the only one who thinks so?

We have purchased some of the best models available on the market.

Although I have to admit that hoovering the stairs does not produce the best results.

Have you ever used your slippers or rubber gloves to clean the stairs?

I think it will lift more hair from your stairs than a vacuum cleaner but its a vigorous workout. 

Cluttered and messy bedrooms

Childrens bedrooms are the last reason any sane and rational parent wouldnot want their dogs upstairs.

While some children keep their rooms clean and tidy they are the exception not the rule. 

A dog can find heaven in a childs bedroom.

There are often great things to chew on the floor such as socks and shoes.

Dogs love the smell of them!

There is also the added bonus of leftover food on plates in some bedrooms.

Is it possible that it can get any better?


With all this information and advice I have thrown at you I hope you have found a few gems to help you figure out exactly how to block stairs from your dog. 

In addition to stair gates the wackiest hack involves placing objects on each step. However perhaps the most rewarding technique is training your dog not to climb the stairs. 

You can train your dog to create a mental staircase in his mind by training him.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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