You Want Me To Wear What? - how to train your dog to wear shoes October 16 2014

Tips on how to train your dog to wear shoes.

In summer, the pavement gets a lot hotter than we think  and our four legged friends can burn their paw pads when they take a walk. To make sure they are safe, use the 5 Second Rule. Put your bare hand or foot on the pavement and try to keep it there 5 Seconds. If you can’t, then its too hot for your dog to walk safely. You’ll need to walk them on grass or put shoes on them to prevent them from getting burns on their pads.
burned paws from hot pavement
To many people the thought of training your dog to wear shoes can seem daunting so I’ve put together some tips on how to train your dog to wear shoes to make the process manageable for you and rewarding for your dog.
I usually suggest to my customers that they invite their friends in and serve cocktails since their pooch is going to provide the group with some great entertainment walking around the house with shoes for the first time.
Most important, make it a positive experience for both of you. Have fun!

1. First, be sure your dog’s nails are well trimmed and the hair on the paws is trimmed. Although you may hate to ruin their couture styling, this will ensure that the shoes will fit well and make it so much easier for you to get them on properly.

2. Buy the shoes at a store where you can try them on so you know you have the right size. If you are buying hem on line, measure your dog’s paws carefully – length and width like in the diagram below. Measure the front paws, since they are always bigger than the back paws.

how to measure your dog for shoes

If your dog is between sizes, buy a pair of socks to make the next size fit properly. Shoes that are too small or too big fall off a dog. If you get small shoes to stay on, they hurt like it does for us. For Summer I really like these sandals since they are lightweight, cool, and flexible so they are easier for the dog to get used to. The air mesh breathes and we sell them in pink, blue and red.

Dog Sandals Spoiled Dog Designs
Dog Sandals Spoiled Dog Designs

3. Start training at home before a meal so your pooch is food motivated, with collar/harness, and leash on.

4. Put on all four shoes for the training session. Don’t worry, you will get used to putting them on and it will go very fast in a short time.

5. Make sure the paw is pushed all the way into the shoe.

6. Then close the shoe and wrap the strap snuggly around the dog’s ankle. #5&6 are very important to keeping the shoe on the paw.

7. When you have all four shoes on, start to walk the dog slowly around the house distracting them with kibble or treats occasionally, praising them as you go.

8. Most people stop here because they see the dog lifting each leg up in the air. This is natural, they’ve never had anything on their feet before and they can’t feel the floor. Just keep slowly walking them, on the lead, praise and give treats.

9. Repeat this step again in the house the next day. After a while, the front legs will come down to a normal walk. It usually takes longer for the back legs to return to a normal gait.

10. Your dog is ready to wear their shoes outside.

11. Always praise and reward, and be ready to distract the dog if they look like they want to fuss with their shoe. Until the dog is very used to wearing shoes, don’t leave them alone with the shoes on, even the best dog may be tempted to chew them off.In other season, on when you are going on hikes in rough terrains, the style of shoes may be different but the training steps are just the same. Have a wonderful walk with your best friend.


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