Ah, there is nothing quite like taking your favorite four-legged friend for a nice walk in the woods. But, when the two of you get home and your pup's paws are covered in mud, the last thing you want is muddy paw tracks all through the house. If only you could teach your pup to wipe his paws before he goes into the house. After all, you wipe your feet, so why shouldn't he do the same thing?
The good news is that teaching this trick to your dog is really not that hard, it just takes time and patience. Oh, and of course you are going to need somewhere to go for walks where your pup is going to get his feet muddy. But, if you don't have a muddy yard or trail to walk down, you can still do so with dry feet, but he may not get the full concept down until he has muddy paws. One more thing you should be aware of is that your pup will only wipe his front paws, most dogs will not wipe their hind feet, but you may still be able to train them to.
The basic concept here is pretty simple, all you need to do is teach your dog to wipe his paws just like you do every time he comes into your house. Sounds pretty simple, but in reality, it can be more challenging than you might think. This is because wiping paws is not something that comes naturally to a dog. You should also realize that no matter how much wiping your pup does with his paws, they are not likely to come completely clean, you may still have to finish the job.
As you introduce your pup to this concept, you can introduce a simple command word such as "wipe your paws" or you can use a single word such as "wipe" or "paws". As with any type of training, be sure to use plenty of patience and avoid being angry at him when he gets it wrong. Be sure you have a healthy supply of your pup's favorite treats on hand at all times.
While waiting until you have a nice muddy day to start training your pup to wipe his paws, you can start working with him as soon as he is ready for training that goes beyond the basics. You should try to pick training times when no one else is around to distract him from what you are trying to teach him. At the same time, you should decide which door, front or back, you will be using for training and stick to it at first. This will help to avoid confusion and make the training process go far more smoothly. The idea is not to just teach your dog to wipe his paws but to make it fun as well.