Beyond the Basics: Training Dogs to Wipe their Paws

This post is part of the series Dog Training Commands: Beyond the Basics

Other posts in this series:

  1. Beyond the Basics: Teaching Your Dog to Howl on Command
  2. Beyond the Basics: Teaching Your Dog to Walk Backwards
  3. Beyond the Basics: Training Dogs to Wipe their Paws (Current)
  4. Beyond the Basics: Teaching Your Dog to Army Crawl
  5. Beyond the Basics: Training Your Dog to Bring Items by Name

Living in the country, as we do, and having dogs that love to play outside in the woods, as we do, out floors can get terribly dirty from all of the muddy little foot prints.  Especially in the spring, or mud season around here.  Not to mention the furniture.  Black leather shows every little foot print.  Training  dogs to wipe their paws really helps us save time.

It’s also great this time of year to get some of the snow off of them. Instead of having them track it all through the house.  Although it may not be one of the basic dog training commands, it really is a time saver in houses with multiple dogs.

Training Dogs to Wipe their Paws

Getting the dogs to wipe their paws was pretty easy for our group, but I think it took them a while to figure out why they were doing it. I keep a rug at the back door, which helps.

Training the dogs to wipe their paws, I simply used an old towel, that I hid some treats under, over the rug.  I didn’t want to end up with them constantly dragging my rug around.

So to start, find an old towel, and some smelly dog treats.  Then stash them just inside the door your dog will be coming in.  Just before you let your dog in, hide the treats under the towel, in our case on top of the rug.  Keep a handful of treats in your hand ready to go too.

Hopefully, when you let your dog in, he’ll smell the treats and paw at the towel to get to them.  If not, tap on the towel, to draw his attention to it.

When he starts to paw at the towel, praise and reward him. Yes, even before he finds the treats underneath.  If he continues to paw at the towel, continue to praise and drop treats.  Any type of paw movement on the towel gets a treat.

Practice this every time you bring your dog in from outside.

Once he starts pawing the towel consistently when he comes in start adding in your command.  We just use “Wipe”, it’s easy.  But use whatever command words, and or hand signals you want.  Try to time your command just as his paws hit the towel.

When your dog is wiping his paws on command every time, start phasing out the treats.  After that, if you have a rug in place and want your dog to wipe his paws on that, start phasing out the towel.

And remember practice, and consistency makes perfect when it comes to working with dogs.

Header image credit: Jen DeVere Warner

This post is part of the series Dog Training Commands: Beyond the Basics

Other posts in this series:

  1. Beyond the Basics: Teaching Your Dog to Howl on Command
  2. Beyond the Basics: Teaching Your Dog to Walk Backwards
  3. Beyond the Basics: Training Dogs to Wipe their Paws (Current)
  4. Beyond the Basics: Teaching Your Dog to Army Crawl
  5. Beyond the Basics: Training Your Dog to Bring Items by Name

 

Continue reading this series:

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