Fewer things are there more terrifying than peeking outside, where the crisp spring breeze is finally blowing in to bloom and your fine, fully fenced yard is…a mud hole. Fewer things more terrifying than letting your pup out in that mess, but we do it anyway. Fewer things more terrifying than when you bring that mud puppy in, he breaks loose from your confident grasp and makes for the living room rug!
Mud–A Fact of Life
When I was a kid I loved playing in the mud. Okay…that’s a lie. I still enjoy mud at times! But not all over my house! So how do we manage our pups when they love to squish the mud between their toes? Not all of us can take walks with our pooches every time they need to go out. And, let’s face it, as beautiful and refreshing as spring is, it brings mud! And lots of it!
Let’s be real here. Our dogs love mud, too!
The ground is getting softer with the warmth. Rain pours down at will. Dogs rake the yard with their paws and nails in high-speed fantasies of chasing bunnies. It’s a fact. It all makes mud. So what do you do? Besides carry them to the bathtub time and again?
Cleaning–Another Fact of Life
We all have worn out towels, shirts and such that most use for rags in the garage or basement. I keep a small basket just inside the back door, where my dogs go in and out, filled with those worn out towels. Every time they come inside, I give the “Wait” command, grab a rag and wipe off their paws. This may seem time-consuming, but it takes less time than cleaning the entire house…over and over!
Too, I found that teaching them to wait at the door for a short spell helps calm them from being all worked up around the yard. This can be expanded to other areas of training as well, whenever you need them to wait for a short time they already have this command down. When you have two or more, I can say from experience, it is realistic to make them all wait while you clean one at a time!
As maddening as it can be, remain calm! Mud is a fact of life (especially with a dog!) and can be easily cleaned before they let loose inside.
Key #2: Keep all old towels (I use kitchen towels for they are a manageable size) in a basket or bucket right inside the door. You can get a decorative basket so it fits in.
Key #3: When your pup (or dog) comes inside, show her where you want her to wait (I usually say, “Here” and point). Then tell her “Wait” and keep her standing. I usually make up a silly song to sing to them. Yes, because I am silly, but more so because it helps them calm and pay attention to what you are trying to do. I let my dogs know that I am going to clean their paws.
Key #4: Most important, do not scold your pup if she happens to get away and run through the house. At these times, I put mine in their crates to let them calm a bit. Then I bring them out, take them back to the door and start again. They get the hang of it after a few tries.
Key #5: Have fun with it! The more fun you make this for your dog (and yourself!) the quicker they are apt to abide!
Hanani in “Wait” by door, while cleaning Mia’s paws 🙂
Please send her a note and share your tips to combat muddy paws!