Here’s a really simple dog training exercise to get your dog to clean his own paws. This tip was taken from the Dog Training Planner.
Outcome: Dog Cleans His Own Paws
This training exercise will create a situation where you dog will naturally clean his paws, allowing you to capture the behaviour.
Step 1: Creating Success
Get a rug and hid a food treat inside it. Hide it well enough so your dog has to use it’s paws to find it (not its nose). Click and give a food treat every time your dog uses his paw. Repeat until your dog understands that scratching the rug gets the click and treat.
Step 2: Verbal Cue
Repeat step 1 and include the verbal cue (e.g. “Dirt“).
Step 3: Open Rug
Repeat step 2 and open the rug.
Step 4: Wipe Both Paws
Give a single reward when your dog scratches the rug with one paw and give a jackpot (e.g. lots of food treats) for using both paws. The idea is to keep you dog guessing which paw he has to wipe with to get the click and treat.
Step 5: Clean Paws
Generalise this behaviour on different rugs and different environments.