Train a dog to wipe his feet
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Thread: Train a dog to wipe his feet

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    Senior Member hulkamaniac's Avatar
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    Train a dog to wipe his feet

    My dogs are fond of tracking mud into my kitchen. It's to the point where it's useless to even mop in there when it's rainy out as they're just going to destroy the floor again. I'm wondering if it would be possible to train them to wipe their feet when they come in. As I ponder this I don't even have a clue where to start. How do I get the behavior I want in the first place? Shaping doesn't seem like a good option as dogs don't normally wipe their feet across the floor. I don't know that luring is much better though. Any ideas?

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    Senior Member Shaina's Avatar
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    Re: Train a dog to wipe his feet

    Do they scratch their feet after relieving themselves outside? Might give you a place to start if they do...

    I has the same issue and just trained them all to target a big rug by the back door and auto-sit on it until released. Gives me a chance to wipe their feet and underside as needed before they make it very far into the house.

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    Senior Member winniec777's Avatar
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    Re: Train a dog to wipe his feet

    The auto-sit/wipe might be easier. Also not sure having them wipe their feet themselves would get enough of the dirt off. Would be a cool trick, though!

    Since I leash-walk Poca to her potty area, I just loop her leash around the door handle while I fetch a towel and bowl of water to dip her paws in. A swish of each paw in the water and a quick pat dry with the towel and she's good to go.

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    Senior Member hulkamaniac's Avatar
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    Re: Train a dog to wipe his feet

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaina View Post
    Do they scratch their feet after relieving themselves outside? Might give you a place to start if they do...

    I has the same issue and just trained them all to target a big rug by the back door and auto-sit on it until released. Gives me a chance to wipe their feet and underside as needed before they make it very far into the house.
    No, I've never noticed them doing that. I could train Zero to auto-sit, but I'd have no luck with Brutus. Not that I'd have any luck training him to wipe his feet. He'd probably deliberately walk through mud. The auto-sit would be easier probably.

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    Senior Member melgrj7's Avatar
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    Re: Train a dog to wipe his feet

    My dogs are trained to "circle" on a rug before continuing into the house. We have a big rug at their door and they all do a few circles on it before moving on. Seems to get most of the mud off. I just did this by luring.

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    Senior Member Poly's Avatar
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    Re: Train a dog to wipe his feet

    Quote Originally Posted by melgrj7 View Post
    My dogs are trained to "circle" on a rug before continuing into the house. We have a big rug at their door and they all do a few circles on it before moving on. Seems to get most of the mud off. I just did this by luring.
    Yes - this is what we do. The spin trick is relatively easy to teach most any dog and will be as effective as anything else you could use. It's also a nice trick just by itself.

    Of course, you can also get the dog to lie down and then you can wipe off his feet, but that isn't much of a trick.

    Just one thing. Whenever you teach a 'directional' exercise or trick - let's say spinning clockwise - you should also teach the other direction. Use two different cues that are easy for you to remember, such as "spin" for a clockwise spin and "nips" - opposite word - for the counter-clockwise one. Or vice versa. Anything that makes it easy for you to remember.

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    Senior Member Hallie's Avatar
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    Re: Train a dog to wipe his feet

    I made Hallie go straight to the rug and let me wipe her feet on the rug then she could go to her crate and get her treat. Eventually she started trying to do it by herself in haste to get the treat faster. She doesn't individually wipe them she just does this cute stomp thing. It's so funny, but it does work!
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    Re: Train a dog to wipe his feet

    I trained my my dog to wipe his whole self when he comes in all muddy. It kinda looks like this (below) but with more enthusiasm.



    The alternative is to grab an armful of towels, and tackle him before he really gets going.

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    Re: Train a dog to wipe his feet

    this is what my obed. inst did. She calls it Wipe your Paws. She places a towel ont he floor near the door and has her dogs do it when they come inside. She uses spin for clockwise and twirl for counterclockwise. And starts to train it by luring. I confess I've not had time to work on 1/2 the things that she's taught us in class, and this is one I've not spent any time on. But it sounds like a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poly View Post
    Yes - this is what we do. The spin trick is relatively easy to teach most any dog and will be as effective as anything else you could use. It's also a nice trick just by itself.

    Of course, you can also get the dog to lie down and then you can wipe off his feet, but that isn't much of a trick.

    Just one thing. Whenever you teach a 'directional' exercise or trick - let's say spinning clockwise - you should also teach the other direction. Use two different cues that are easy for you to remember, such as "spin" for a clockwise spin and "nips" - opposite word - for the counter-clockwise one. Or vice versa. Anything that makes it easy for you to remember.

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