It’s that time of year again. The warm dry days of summer are fading into those cold, damp and wet days of fall. This can only mean one thing, more mud and dirt are about to invade our house.
Our never ending battle to keep dirt out of the house moves into full swing. How we long for those dry summer days when letting Cookie, our Cockapoo, in to the house was nothing more than simply opening the door. Now that the weather has turned our wonderful little Cockapoo is more often than not covered from nose to tail in dirt and mud.
In this article I’ll give you a number of tips you can use to help reduce the amount of dirt your Cockapoo brings into the house. Some we’ve found work well for us and other are just not possible, putting fake turf in our yard just isn’t going to happen. Hopefully you’ll find a helpful tip or two that helps you stop the dirt at the door.
Get Rid Of The Mud And Dirt At The Source
Removing the source of the dirt would be the most effective way of keeping the dirt out. Your Cockapoo can’t drag in dirt that isn’t there.
Filling in wet and muddy areas of the yard with sand and pea gravel can greatly reduce the amount of dirt on your Cockapoo. Other alternatives for small areas would be wood chips, bark mulch or new sod. Anything to cover up those dirty patches every dog is so fond of playing in.
For smaller yards replacing the grass with artificial turf may be an option. Or in extreme cases concreting over everything can be considered.
In our case we’re fortunate to have a large yard. Trying to remove all sources of dirt isn’t an option. Nor does this solution take into account the mud and dirt our Cockapoo gets into during walks. Restricting your dog’s access to the dirt and mud source may be the better option.
Restrict Access To the Mud and Dirt Source
During those really wet and muddy days I find one way to keep dirt off Cookie and out of our house is to limit our pooches access to the mud and dirt she so loves.
Instead letting her have free range to our yard I bring her out on a leash. This way I keep her away from those areas of our yard that get muddy and messy.
Instead of playing fetch in the yard I’ll take her for a walk around the block. Keeping to the sidewalks and paved streets.
While this doesn’t keep Cookie dry or totally mud free it does keep the worst of it off her. For those days that are terrible and avoiding the mud and dirt just isn’t possible consider dressing your Cockapoo for the elements.
Dress Your Cockapoo For The Elements
There are a number of doggie clothing options that will reduce the amount of dirt and mud that gets on your friend during a walk or playtime.
As a dogs paws are the biggest offenders when it comes to dragging dirt into the house consider doggie boots for those really muddy days. Not all Cockapoos will take to doggie boots, you may have to try a number of times before your friend won’t mind wearing them. Just make sure the boots fit, fasten on well and provide the dog with good grip. The last thing you’ll want to do is dig around in a large mud puddle looking for a boot that slipped off.
Dog coats are another example of clothing you could use to keep dirt off your Cockapoo and out of your house. Coats that cover the dogs belly and legs work best. These two areas attract the most dirt after paws. An added benefit of a dog coat is in addition to keeping the dirt off it will keep your dog warm on those cold and rainy days.
Groom Your Cockapoo For The Elements
The longer the coat the more chance dirt and mud can be trapped in the hairs of the coat.
Grooming your Cockapoos coat, keeping it short, is a good way to reduce the amount of dirt they can bring back into the house.
If though you’re like me and like the look of a long haired Cockapoo then be prepared for some work. I swear their coats attract dirt like a magnet. Brushing your Cockapoo frequently removes dirt and mud trapped in their coat that would otherwise fall out throughout your house. A good set of grooming brushes and combs are a must for every Cockapoo parent.
At this point all of the tips have been on how to keep the dirt off your dog while they’re outside. Now comes the moment of truth. Your muddy Cockapoo is at your door waiting to be let in. While you may feel the urge to just leave her outside, which of course we’d never do, you know it’s time to tackle a muddy Cockapoo that’s actually in your house.
Don’t Let Them Bolt Once Inside
Some dogs, let’s be honest most dogs that have not been trained, will be full of energy and bolt right into the house as soon as the can squeeze through the opening in the door. It’s natural, they’ve just been outside having a great time playing in the dirt and mud and now want to bring their play time inside. Now instead of containing the dirt around the door you have muddy paw prints all over the house. Not to mention on the furniture.
Train your Cockapoo to stop, sit and stay as soon as they enter the house. Keeping a bowl of treats near the door will help. Reward them everytime they sit once inside. Practice this whenever your friend comes in and soon it’ll be second nature. They’ll just sit without being told.
Well maybe not always but most times and let’s be honest as long as its those days they’re muddy thats all we really want. Just that chance to get the mud off of them before they tear off throughout the house.
A Good Mat Can Snag A Lot of Dirt
When you get your muddy Cockapoo to sit and stay make sure they are doing it on a good mat. Really any type of mat by the door will help catch some of the dirt on their paws. You’ll be surprised how much this simple step can make. I was.
A good mat though, one with long fibers like shag, will capture even more of the water and dirt. There are a number of these long fiber commercial dog mat’s you can purchase for use in your home.
Another great thing about having a mat by the door is that you can get your Cockapoo to wipe their own feet. Well that is if you have the patience to train them. I’ve not actually trained Cookie to do this but there are a number of accounts of people who have trained their dogs to scratch their feet when entering the house. Self cleaning Cockapoo. I really need to put this on my Cookie To Do list.
Wipe, Wipe, Wipe Again
Now that you’ve got your Cockapoo sitting, hopefully on a mat, what’s next. Well this is when the elbow grease starts. Make sure to have a collection of towels handy to wipe off as much of the dirt as you can. It’s a thankless task and I can’t imagine what it’s like for those of you who have more than one Cockapoo. Near impossible I imagine.
If your muddy friend doesn’t like having their paws rubbed you may need to break them in slowly. A little at a time, continually reinforcing with treats. Hopefully, they’ll eventually sit there and patiently waiting for you to finish.
While bath towels or plain old rags will work they can get muddy and wet quickly and take some time to dry. If you’re friend is in and out many times a day your towel may end up damper than your dog. In that case you should consider a dog shamie. Which is a specific type of drying cloth. It’s designed to absorb more water and dirt than a normal towel and dry much quicker.
Another option is disposable dog wipes. Very similar to baby wipes, the dog wipes are already damp when removed from the container. The dampness helps remove some of the stubborn dirt. The downside is the dog wipes are single use and not that durable.
Water To The Rescue, Yes Really More Water.
Even with a dog shamie or dog wipes there will be times when your Cockapoo is just to muddy. No towel, commercial grad shamie or dog wipe is going to get your dog clean. At those times water is the only solution.
Sometimes you can get away with a quick paw rinse. A quick dunk and swoosh of a paw in a bowl of warm water will remove most of the dirt and mud. If your concerned a bowl may be easily spilled you can consider one of the many paw washing products instead. In either case you’ll have to wipe, wipe and wipe again after dunking their paws.
In those rare instances it’ll take a full on whole doggie rinse to get the mud off. Lets hope by following some of the tips I’ve mentioned the times you’ll need to do the full on rinse are few and far between.
Stop A Wandering Cockapoo
There may be times when your Cockapoo is just to dirty. Short of a full dunk in water, which for a number of reasons may not be an option, no amount of wiping will remove the dirt. In those instances you should consider confining your dog to a one area of the house.
Limiting the spread of the dirt is our main goal. As your dog dries off the dirt and mud falls out of their coat on its own. A quick brush once dry will get even more mud and dirt out in the spot you want. Not all over your house. Making clean up much easier.
Dirt, Get Use To It. It’s Here To Stay
Following the tips above should greatly reduce the amount of mud and dirt your Cockapoo drags into the house. But let’s be honest here, none of these steps will completely stop the dirt from getting in.
Dog’s like dirt and they will bring it into your house. It’s something every Cockapoo family has to eventually come to accept. We have, and you know it’s really a small price and one we gladly accept to have Cookie as part of our family.
Still we keep trying to keep our house as clean as possible. Have you tried some of the suggestions above? How successful have you been? Is there something else you’ve tried and found successful at keeping dirt out of the house that I’ve not suggested. If so or you have any questions let me know. We’re always on the lookout for ways to reduce the dirt our Cockapoo brings into our house.