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Keeping Muddy Paws Outside

You just finished cleaning the house and in comes your dog tracking mud all over the kitchen. Sound like a familiar scenario?

Believe it or not, keeping muddy paws off your floors is easier than you think.

Nobody wants mud indoors. The trick is getting your dog to understand this.

Whether your dog has dirty paws or is completely covered in mud, here are some things you can do to ensure this problem is minimized as much as possible.

The most obvious precaution is keeping an outdoor mat and an indoor mat at both main doors.

You will teach your dog to "stay" and "sit" when entering the house. Keep a towel nearby, perhaps in an entryway closet. Use the towel to clean off the muddy paws after he obediently follows your commands.

Important: Be sure to praise you dog while he "stays" and you wipe off his paws. Use the "Good Boy" trigger command and reward his patience and obedience with a doggy treat.

From the beginning, it's a good idea to make your dog sit and stay EVERY time he enters the house even if his paws are not muddy. Get him into the habit early and you'll make life much easier when you DO need to clean him off.

The best kind of solution is preventative in nature. Always supervise your dog when he is outside. This will avoid muddy situations and it's also a good habit for you to get into.

When supervising outdoor activities, steer your dog clear from gardens, muddy areas and beds of loose soil. Develop boundaries for him. Let your dog know that just because he is outside, it doesn't mean he can stop listening to you.

Training a dog is hard work, but you must be diligent in your commands to reinforce his obedience. Outside or inside, your dog must "come" when you call him and "stay" when you command.

Practice, practice, practice.

Finally, never allow your dog to take bones, rawhide or other treats outside. Toys are generally okay as long as you supervise them. But with food, dogs have a "save it for later" mentality. They will often bury their treats with a plan to come back later and enjoy them. Breaking that habit alone will prevent a muddy paws situation.

With a ton of practice and a lot of patience, your dog will no long track mud into your home. Take the time to consistently train him, hold fast to your rules and always say "Good Boy" when he lets you wipe his paws.

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