Our pups love to run around outside, but they really love the dirt :) It has been kinda dreary and wet here lately and so I need to dry or sometimes wash their paws when they come back in. The fluffy little girl is fine with this. Our littly guy, however, is another story. He is usually VERY easy going--more so than the girl. But, when we try to dry or wash his feet he yelps and squirms, etc. When I actually succeed he tries to bite and growls.
Keeping them out of the dirt isn't a possibility. I have thought about putting a towel in his crate during the day and putting him in the crate for a bit after being out, but this doesn't solve the mud--just the wet. Is it possible that I am hurting him. He sure behaves as if I am. Does anyone have any ideas? Thankfully his coat isn't fluffy and doesn't hold a lot of mud. . . but I do need the paws cleaned off (at least wiped off)!
My girl puppy absolutely thinks we are cutting off her toes when we clip her nails or touch her feet. I think people a mile away think we are killing her. Luckily both our pups will wear shoes in the mud - how weird is that?
You are not hurting him. How old is the dog?
Many dogs hate HATE having their paws touched. This is why we tell new owners to touch and play with the feet on a daily basis. There is nothing worse than having a dog come in for a nail trim because the owner can't do it....and then it takes us 2+people to pin the dog down a muzzle and someone to do the trimming. Nothing like showing a dog that :hey a vet hospital is full of nice people.
Sadly, Jan 21, 2011 m/c 6w5d
Try giving a treat if the dog behaves during the wipe.Do it often,even when not needed, to train him.My one dog hates it too,but I refuse to let him in the house without a wipe up.
I agree with lonegirl - you need to desensitize him to having his feet handled. We had to do this with our Chaos girl as it would take two of us to clip her nails before, with one person pinning her down. Basically when we were having mellow time (at our house this might be when we're relaxing in the evening or watching TV) I'd pet her, touch her foot, praise her, pet her some more. At first I didn't touch her feet very often or for very long, but slowly we increased the time, then I would touch her foot with a nail clipper, etc. I've also found that teaching her to give a paw on command (with treats) made her see us touching her feet as slightly less of a big deal.
Do you normally clean/wipe his feet every day? If not, I'd probably go through the motions of getting ready to wipe feet even when you don't need to, but then just give him a treat and let him go. The idea is to make him think that it's a good thing rather than running away, and that he'll get a reward - and sometimes won't even have to get his feet washed, bonus!
Thanks for all the tips. He is only four months old so I should be able to get him used to it. Thanks for reassuring me that I am not hurting him. I started to think that maybe there was something special or odd about his paws and that I was really hurting him. Fortunately, today isn't as muddy so I put down several towels and when he comes in, I wait on the towels and play or practice some of our commands with him there. That way, he is kinda wiping his own feet. But, starting now, I am working on desensitizing! I don't know why I never thought of that. But I need to do it--springtime will most likely be worse (with mud) than it is now.
Teaching a "spin" cue can also help wipe feet in the meantime - I would start by just having them follow a cookie in circles on a rough towel or mat. The spinning will get the worst off and then the cleaning process won't take as long as you desensitize them to that sort of handling.
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That is a great idea-- we lucked out and had some better days after I posted so I have been trying to desensitize him about the feet. I have had him stay occupied on a towel with treats, but I never thought to have him follow it by doing circles. I just finally let him go up (instead of always sitting).