How to Help Dogs Walk on Slippery Floors

With a bit of confidence building, your pup might even be up for obedience training on the slick floor.
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Some people love hardwood and other solid floor surfaces, but the first time your pup sets foot on that slick surface, he's probably going to slip and immediately back out onto the carpet. A little persuasion will go a long way in making him more confident.

Step 1

Trim your pup's nails regularly. Long, curling nails can make traversing slick floors a real challenge, even for a pup who has no fear of the hard surface. Plus, you're not doing your floor any favors by letting your little guy's nails become excessively long. If you're not confident in trimming his nails, don't hesitate to make an appointment with a groomer or your vet.

Step 2

Groom the fur between his pads. Short-haired dogs don't usually have a problem with fur sticking out between their little toes, but it's a fact of life for long-haired pups, like Gordon setters. Think of their hair as a sock. When you're walking on a hardwood floor, you have a far easier time sliding across the room with socks on than if you're in your bare feet. Drop your little guy off at the groomer's if you're not comfortable with a little fur trimming, especially if he's likely to throw a fit.

Step 3

Keep the floors dry. A little bit of water on a hard surface and your pup will be jet-skiing his way into a wall or lying flat on the floor. Wipe up any spills, especially oily ones, and keep your dog out of the area if you're cooking, washing dishes or cleaning the floor.

Step 4

Place your pup's food dish on the floor. If he isn't too sure about the whole slippery floor deal, encourage him to give it a shot by feeding him there. Remember that easy does it. Put his dish at the edge of the floor, where he can safely remain on the non-slick surface at first, and then keep moving it further and further in.

Step 5

Persuade your pup with treats. If his standard kibble isn't doing the trick, entice him a bit more with tasty snacks, like pieces of cheese. Sit at the edge of the floor and persuade him to come to you by showing him the treat, clapping your hands and urging him on positively. If that doesn't work, attach his leash, dangle a treat just in front of him and slowly start walking onto the floor.

Step 6

Lay down some rugs. If your pup isn't convinced your slippery floors are safe, consider throwing down a few rugs so he can safely walk into the room. This is especially helpful if your dog simply can't walk on slippery floors. Canines with medical problems, such as advanced hip dysplasia, may not have the strength or mobility to keep themselves from falling on hard, slick surfaces.


  • Never force your pup onto the floor. Let him decide the pace.


  • If you try to persuade your dog with treats, use something he really loves. It's not a bad idea to use a dog biscuit, but if he goes crazy over tiny pieces of chicken, opt for those instead.

  • Make sure any rugs you lay down have a rubber backing.

  • If your pup isn't motivated by food, try using a toy of his as a reward instead.

Items You Will Need

  • Treats
  • Leash
  • Toy