When we got Baxter as a puppy, he learned to up the steps to the next floor quite easily but was scared to come down and had to be carried. One can see why. If anyone of us got down on all fours, it would be easy for us to go up a flight of steps but quite scary to come down head first. I don’t think I could do it, frankly.
But he seemed to desperately want to learn and would go up a couple of steps and stop, waiting for me to carry him down. So one day when he and I were alone, I carried and put him on the third step and put a treat on the floor. His fear of coming down competed with his love of treats and the treats won. I then put him the fourth step and again he succeeded in coming down. Slowly I increased the height of the starting point until he came down the full flight.
He was so excited by this achievement that he started running up and down the stairs until he got tired. But as soon as another member of the family came home, he would begin running up and down the stairs again to show them what he could now do.
In this short video, an older and bigger dog teaches a puppy how to come down steps by modeling and encouraging. Very cute.