Monday, May 30, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I got the Ruff Wear hiking boots for Captain, mainly because they were on a major sale, and our friends have them. The last time we went hiking in Tahoe, the terrain was covered in lots of small sharp rocks, so we thought the paw protection might come in handy at some point. After putting the boots on Captain for the first time though, I'm not really sure we'll ever use them... but who knows.

The first try he seemed afraid to put any weight at all on his paws. He was totally bewildered.

I felt a little bad laughing... but it was pretty funny. Poor Captain.

Not quite ready to run up mountains in them, but I had him walk around the apartment in them, jump up and down from the couch, and run to me. He did get a little better, and treats were helpful, but he still seemed pretty uncomfortable. It's one of those things that I'm sure he'd get more used to the more he wore them, but it just seems so unnatural to me (and him)!

Hopefully we'll get to do some hiking soon (boots or not)!


  1. Our Vizsla, Leo, has been wearing his winter boots for years now and still he is awkward when he is wearing them in the house (your video reminds me SO much of him!)...once outside, he is a pro! May be the same thing for Captain?


  2. I use these with my Dalmatian during the winter because the salt irritates her pads. Every year, it takes time for her to get used to them again.

    I suggest starting with just two (fronts or backs) and taking him out for a walk. Once my dog gets a normal walking rhythm going, it's much easier for her to move in a natural way. (You can imagine what a strange sensation it is for a dog that has never felt boots before!)

    You might also try loosening the velcro slightly. I find that it's easy to get too much tension, especially in the front, which seems to put pressure on the ligaments/tendons that run up the back of the leg. (You will have to keep an eye out that he doesn't throw off a boot when he's running around.)

    Also make sure that his toes are not squished in the front of the boots. Remember that the toes lengthen/spread when they are bearing weight. I push my Dal's feet to the ends of the boot, then pull the boot back away from the toes a centimeter or so before closing the velcro.

    After a while, you will be able to recognize easily when your boy is feeling just a bit awkward in his boots and when one is actually causing irritation. That thing he's doing in the first video where he's holding up one paw sort of upside-down and limp, usually indicates in my dog that there is actual discomfort, not just awkwardness. Once you recognize this, you can take off and re-adjust the one that's causing problems.

    Good luck!

  3. A little update: We haven't used these, as I think it turns out these are too small for him. I ordered I size medium I think; for a male Vizsla, the large may be better.

  4. This literally made me laugh out loud this morning! I had to run into the bedroom to wake up my husband so I could show him. We've watched it at least 2389752934 times since then. We're thinking of getting a Vizsla, so thanks for the great blog and videos!

    1. :-) Thanks!! And post a pic of your pup if/when you get him/her on our Facebook Page (or through Vizsla Spotting- link through tab above)- we LOOOOVVVVE V puppies!!