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    Thread: Wipe Paws

    1. #1
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      Wipe Paws

      Thor was born on January 6 of this year, in the middle of our California drought. He experienced a few rainy days in his first couple of months with us, but for the most part, rain is not something he has been exposed to. This morning we got our first little rain spurt since last spring. He seemed to enjoy it and sat out in the yard with his head raised to the sky.

      Then he came in the doggy door and tracked muddy paw prints across my kitchen floor! I hadn't thought of that - last spring during the last rains we hadn't yet given him the freedom of the doggy door. Every in and out was supervised, and paws were wiped with a towel.

      Now that he has the freedom to go in and out of the door to the yard where his paws are going to get wet, I want to train a paw wipe motion on the rug outside the doggy door. I know this is possible - my family had a boston terrier when I was a kid that would do this! Have any of you trained this behavior? What would you recommend?

      Bonus picture of Thor looking confused by the wet stuff falling from the sky:

      Mighty Thor, "So Much Dog", born 1/6/2014
      And baby Barley, born 3/9/2018

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    2. #2
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      ARTC's Avatar
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      Yea, some rain. My boy got wet today also!

    3. #3
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      Labradorks's Avatar
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      Hmmm...I don't know that one. I just teach mine that they have to sit on the rug inside the door as soon as they come inside. Then I wipe. But the rugs are designed to grab dirt and absorb water. I don't have a doggie door.

    4. #4
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      No real experience but maybe you can wipe each paw while saying "wipe" and treating? Practice even when its dry out or dampen his paws with a wet rag?

      I direct Shadow to walk around in circles on the mat to dry his paws.

      I managed to get Shadow, after walks in the rain, to shake the water off his coat by starting to say "shake" while he was in the middle of doing it (and making a little shake motion myself) and then treating. Now, when we approach the door and he is wet, I say "shake" and he obliges and then gives another just inside where he can't do too much damage. He also does it after getting rinsed in the shower, while the curtain is drawn, so I don't have water all over the bathroom. This shaking also helps get some of the dog park dust off him as we head to the car - just yesterday, my friends were laughing at the cloud that rose up from him. .

    5. #5
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Might want to google "shaping dog training." This is assuming you use a clicker or another marker for training. What you want can easily be taught with that method.

      Oh heck, here are some links to get you started.

      How Shaping Develops Learning | Karen Pryor Clicker Training (Karen Pryor site)

      Dog Tricks | Resources | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS (has links to videos showing shaping at bottom of page)

      Fun Training Techniques for Your Dog using Shaping! - Whole Dog Journal Article (Pat Miller's take on it)
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      Abby
      ​Decisions, decisions, decisions


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      “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”

      Cheryl Zuccaro

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by MightyThor View Post
      Every in and out was supervised, and paws were wiped with a towel.
      I still do this, and Ram knows how to give his paw. I don't think I would ever leave it up to Ram to wipe his own feet. Something tells me that we would have very different opinions on what we each consider to be "clean" feet. I don't mind cleaning his feet because it's also the perfect time to give him some kisses.
      Last edited by Sue-Ram; 09-18-2014 at 02:08 PM.
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      Ram - Adopted @ 6 y/o - 7/18/2011
      CGN - 6/10/2013


    7. #7
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      I have a little bit of experience training this to a dog for film-work. This is something you will want to train with lot's of praise, excitement and most importantly FOOD. Use a command like "wipe". Put a towel down on the ground. Throw pieces of high value food rewards on it. Begin to mess the towel up, and drop food into crevices in the towel. If the dog uses his paw to move the food, PRAISE...or you can use a clicker for this (if you are familiar with clicker training). Continue to drop food on the the towel and begin to fold the towel over the food to tempt the dog to use his paws to move the towel to get the food. Once the dog begins to understand the "wipe" command, try to get them to wipe on the towel without the food...once they wipe, reward with high value food rewards.

      Personally, I haven't trained this to my dog. I just hold out my left hand out to my left and say foot and he gives me his left, or his right paw same thing. Back paws, I tell him on your feet/stay, and I dry both.

    8. #8
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      POPTOP's Avatar
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      Plenty of dirty dog prints in the kitchen here especially with Mardi digging and Archie trying to keep up with her.

      I have a large cotton blanket in the entrance way and another which is one step up into the kitchen. That leads directly to the runner down in the kitchen for traction for Mardi. By the time they get to the baby gate to the living room, their feet are pretty dry. Mud, well that's another story. Mardi is very good with paw wiping; Archie thinks he has only three paws. Have a doggy towel hanging by the door.

      I've seen videos showing dogs wiping their paws so it's certainly doable.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by xracer4844 View Post
      I have a little bit of experience training this to a dog for film-work. This is something you will want to train with lot's of praise, excitement and most importantly FOOD. Use a command like "wipe". Put a towel down on the ground. Throw pieces of high value food rewards on it. Begin to mess the towel up, and drop food into crevices in the towel. If the dog uses his paw to move the food, PRAISE...or you can use a clicker for this (if you are familiar with clicker training). Continue to drop food on the the towel and begin to fold the towel over the food to tempt the dog to use his paws to move the towel to get the food. Once the dog begins to understand the "wipe" command, try to get them to wipe on the towel without the food...once they wipe, reward with high value food rewards.

      Personally, I haven't trained this to my dog. I just hold out my left hand out to my left and say foot and he gives me his left, or his right paw same thing. Back paws, I tell him on your feet/stay, and I dry both.
      Agree! I do this too, I get my lab to shake hands for front paws and for back paws I do a "stand" command. Although for the back paws my lab has used her intelligence and decided to introduce the "on you back" command, which I must say makes wiping the back paws much easier when they are up in the air.
      Last edited by Georgie; 09-18-2014 at 07:30 PM. Reason: Spelling

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