How to Teach a Dog to Wear Boots

a greyhound gets his winter boots put on

This greyhound of mine looks a bit embarrassed about having to wear his winter boots (a.k.a. “paw protectors“), doesn’t he?

Don’t be fooled by that hang-dog look — when we go outside in minus-20°C weather (that’s, um, 4 degrees below 0°F for our American friends), the big guy’s whole attitude gets adjusted pretty quickly!

So, when do you know it’s time for your dog to wear winter boots?

That will depend in part on the individual dog’s breed and on your climate and lifestyle, but here’s a good rule of thumb:

  • When you’re walking somewhere that salt has been spread to melt the ice and snow.
  • When the snow is cold enough to squeak when you walk on it.
  • When the dog tries to hold all his paws off the ground at once.
  • … or when it’s cold enough that you, yourself, can’t walk the dog in comfort without earmuffs or something over your ears.

We don’t bother with boots just to pop from the house to the car, but in the depths of a Canadian winter, dogs often will need boots to take a walk or even to go in the yard to do their “business”. Obviously, there are many parts of the world where paw protection just isn’t even needed. But for the rest of us…

Lots of people say that their dogs “don’t like” wearing boots, or just kick them off, or refuse to let the boots get put on their feet in the first place…

But no worries, if that’s your situation. This can be solved with a little bit of positive dog training. If you’re not near a dog school that offers clicker training, however, you can still DIY…

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What We Did for the Thanksgiving Weekend

corner of my yard in autumn
This past weekend was Thanksgiving, here in Canada, and I think I’ve figured out why we have our Thanksgiving so much earlier than the Americans do — it’s to take advantage of the fabulous Fall weather.

Around these parts, the colourful autumn leaves near at their best in the first week of October, and the apples are practically falling off the trees.

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