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How to Distract Your Dog and Make Them Stand Still

How to Distract Your Dog and Make Them Stand Still

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Dogs have this special way of being totally uncooperative when we want them to especially behave, don’t they?

It’s like they know we need to get something done and try their hardest to make it difficult as woof. Kolchak wiggles like a worm while I try to dry him off. Felix squirms like he’s being tickled when I dremel his nails. They both dance around like we’re playing a game of keep away when it’s time to brush their teeth. Somethings are just a little harder than they need to be.

Yesterday, some friends and I were chatting and Julie from the Daily Dog Blog, (who has the cutest puppy in the whole world) asked:

Can someone tell me how to get your puppy from chewing & snapping on the towel while you are trying to dry her feet??

Oh puppies, such adorable little pains in the butt! Is there anything they won’t do to squirm away when you’re trying to get something done?

It doesn’t have to be this way. A few years ago, I discovered the secret to distracting your dog and tricking them into standing still.

Holy woof, you guys, it works like a charm. I call it The Peanut Butter Wall

or, you know, a cheese wall, if you happen to prefer it or the “anything smearable” wall, but I’m going to go ahead and say that one doesn’t have a great ring to it and just sounds awkward.

Anytime I need Kolchak to stand still for a moment or two, I smear a thin layer of peanut butter over an easy to clean surface.

Then, while he’s occupied trying to lick the thing clean, I shift into ninja mode and I get things done. I’ve sneakily designed every room in the house with an easy spot to put a peanut butter wall, if needed.

  • In the entry way, where we stop to dry off our feet, I’ve hung a full length mirror on the wall. It’s perfect for keeping Kolchak cool while I towel him down.
  • In the kitchen, where we wipe the floors and bowls out after meals, a quick smear of fat free cream cheese on the fridge keeps Kol occupied while I disinfect the surfaces. (Since they are raw fed, it’s important they don’t track meat juice all over the house. Gross, man).
  • In the bathroom, where we dremel our nails, the side of the tub is the perfect spot to spread some liver paste and in the tub, where we take our bath, the tiled wall works like a charm too.
  • In the living room, where I brush Felix’s fur, a bit of canned pumpkin smeared on the siding glass door is enough to distract your dog while you groom.
  • In the office, where sometimes you just need to distract your fussy dog, maybe while you finish a quick email or get a blog posted, a bit of peanut butter wiped on the glass front of a picture frame can buy you the minutes you need.

Yes, it may seem a little weird that I have tiny jars of peanut butter hidden all over my house, but I’ve found ways to keep them hidden, but accessible. You never know when you might pick up a picture frame to find some PB behind it or open a drawer and find a tiny jar inside. It’s like a treasure hunt and it’s worth it because the peanut butter wall works.

Do you have any sneaky tricks for getting your dog to keep still? Will you share them with us?

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jana rade

Wednesday 12th of March 2014

LOL Now that is a creative idea.

Mary from YourDesignerDog

Wednesday 12th of March 2014

That is a great idea! Sometimes I put peanut butter on my finger or on a popsicle stick like my vet does, but then I have to try to accomplish my task one handed while distracting Sadie with the peanut butter in the other hand.


Wednesday 12th of March 2014

That is a really good idea. Chase and Slater actually like to get wiped down with a towel when they come in. This does mean they get really excited and wiggle all over the room. I am working on having them both sit while they get their paws cleaned. I won't touch either one of them until they are both sitting. If one gets up I step back and don't pay attention again until they are sitting. The peanut butter wall would be a big help in keeping them behaving :)

Pup Fan

Wednesday 12th of March 2014

Genius! I'm totally going to try this.

Kimberly Morris Gauthier

Wednesday 12th of March 2014

This is completely brilliant! Does he ever return to past spots to check them out for new smears?


Wednesday 12th of March 2014

Oh yes! When we come in from a walk he heads straight to the mirror and I've caught him licking the slider a million times. I don't worry about it since I clean glass using vinegar!

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