I'm sure it is different if you know there is someone holed up there for sure. If it was to serve a warrent and the person was considered armed and dangerous, different tactics would come into play. I think a flash bang/and or tear gas would get their attention. If you are clearing your own house, stairs are a real pain in the butt.
Going upstairs is a real biotch as well. Your head makes a great target for someone who is laying prone with good cover. I think it is like that scene in the movie The Rock where the seal team enters the shower room. The bad guys are shooting from a elevated position with cover with criss crossing fire.
Don't get me wrong. I love my dog as well. I love my wife more though. I don't think my dog could defend her as well as I could. Hell, they would probably get killed if I was taken out. Some people are so silly about their animals sometimes. My wife's aunt decided to ride out Hurricane Charley last year at their home in Bradenton. They had no shutters and it was catagory 4 storm. She said that she would rather die than to leave her cats. I say take the damn cats and go some place that allows them. Even if she couldn't take them, she was putting her sons' and her husband's lives in danger. If I were her husband, I would have shot the cats so she wouldn't have to worry about them. They are very fortunate the hurricane swung south. Like I said, I love my dog. I love my wife more and I plan to ba around a lot longer than my dog.
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!