These boots were made for walking (on salt)

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A few days ago we bought Amos a set of Gooby boots. I’ve always been kind of weirded out by the whole idea of shoes for dogs. But there has been so much wet salt on the ground lately and Amos whimpers and starts limping when he steps on it…

So, we decided to try boots.

We’ve only put them on him for a few minutes at a time, and each time we’ve plied him with treats–this is basic classical conditioning, creating a positive association with something that maybe kinda sucks at first. In the last trial, we had him walk across the room towards a big, juicy T-bone we’d had for dinner. In theory, he’ll be increasingly motivated to try to walk in the booties because his mind will pair the two things: shoes and steak bones. Is this happening? I’m not sure yet. But I do know that my husband and I have so much fun watching his wacky dance that we’re super motivated to put them on him.  It’s all about those positive associations!

Amos is a very tolerant beast. It’s going to take quite a few more sessions before he’s ready to take these booties to the street. In the meantime, I’m going to experiment with using Musher’s Wax on the pads of his feet

 

8 Responses

  1. bobbie

    January 27, 2011 7:21 pm

    During the last year of Hanna’s life, her back legs became very weak, and on our hardwood floors, her legs we splay out and she would fall. I found booties at our local pet store with leathery-non-slippery-soles. She too flapped around them and didn’t like when I put them on at first, so whenever I put them on, I took her immediately outside to play ball. By day three, she sat still while I put them on because she knew we were going to go outside and play. They were truly a life-saver.

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