Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Here are some simple steps to help your bestie adjust to his or her new footwear.
1. Make it a conditioning game.
Hold the sock or shoe in your hand. Give a reward treat when your dog shows an interest in the sock or shoe or moves toward it. Pavlov's theory: show boot, give treat. Your bestie will soon be condition. Patience and repetition.
2. Ok. Now it's time to slip one sock or shoe onto a paw.
Once your bestie is conditioned, place one paw in a sock or shoe. Socks will be the easiest so it's a good idea to have success with these first and then move on to a shoe or boot that needs fastening.
When trying a shoe that requires fastening - depending on your dog's reaction - you can try fastening it. Give bestie a treat. Remove and replace. Another treat. Repeat as needed until your bestie is focusing more on the treat than the footwear. until your dog is more focused on the treat than his boot.
If your bestie isn't keen on you handling its paw or the paw being put in the sock or shoe, lightly touch the footwear to bestie's paw. Repeat for a few sessions. Don't force your dog or scold or it will develop a negative association.
Repeat the previous step, once for each paw. Don't skip this important step! Don't assume that because your dog has complied with front paws, the back ones will be easy. This depends on the dog. Patience. Repeat.
After your dog is relaxed and compliant with a loose bootie on each paw, try placing one bootie on, securing it, rewarding your dog, and then taking it off. This goes for the socks.
5. Fasten All Four Shoes
Place the socks or shoes on each paw. Leave thefor a couple of seconds, reward your dog, and then take them off. Gradually increase the amount of time he spends in his booties during each training session.
6. Bestie's next move
Encourage your dog to strut his or her stuff around the house, rewarding and praising him or her constantly. Get out your camera and get ready to laugh. Your dog’s first steps will probably be hilarious.
7. Indoor Practice Fun
Let your bestie get used to his or her new footwear around the house before going outside. Play a game of tug or fetch in the house so your dog can have a fun association with them.
Don't forget the treats and praise when you go on your first few walks.
8. Wearing Booties Just For Fun
Do whatever you can to help your dog build a positive association with his booties. This might mean having your dog wear his booties while you play a quick game of tug or fetch, or putting his booties on before he eats his breakfast or dinner.