Tender Toes

Q. My dog is sensitive to different surfaces. Why?

A. Well, if you think about it, our dogs are always ‘barefoot!’ Even though most dog’s pads are pretty tough, that doesn’t mean they can’t feel anything. Very rough or hot surfaces bother their feet, some more than others. Another possibility is your dog’s nails may be a bit long and causing them pain.

If your dog is reacting to sand-treated surfaces such as are found on contacts, it might be best to teach them that it’s okay on their feet. This takes patience and lots and lots of proofing!

Start with a stationary, low surface – like an A-frame side flat on the ground, or a dogwalk board.  Shape your dog to go on the board, first by rewarding any interactions with it, and slowly raising your criteria.