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There are YouTube videos of dogs walking with socks on, in which the dogs are clearly uncomfortable with walking while wearing socks. Why is that? Sample YouTube video for reference.

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Interesting, I had never seen these videos.

Firstly, dogs (like people) require the use of all the pads on their feet to balance, as a person wearing socks can have difficulty on a slippery surface, so can dogs. Also, people who wear shoes that are not well fitted also have difficulty walking. Think about wearing shoes that are too loose.

From what I can see, the dogs, by and large feel uncomfortable with the socks on and in most instances are trying to remove the socks as they are walking; hence the funny walk. In the video you linked, the dog looks like he feels uneasy walking with the socks on, and his gait widens to help adjust his balance, indicating that he is feeling uneasy walking in the socks.

When a dog's claws grow too long they can have difficulty maintaining a normal walking gait, it is similar to this, in that anything that impedes balance, grip, especially something a dog is not used to will create a funny gait.

I noticed in some cases, when baby booties were used and tied on firmly, this would irritate the dog more, as s/he could not remove them easily, hence the gait was strange for a longer period of time, as the dog was continually struggling to walk and remove the booties.

This really is for the entertainment of the human, not the dog.

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  • -1 those are purpose designed dog boots. The dog/family appear to be in a hotel, it is probably the first time the dog needed to wear boots. – James Jenkins Jan 14 '15 at 12:56
  • "This really is for the entertainment of the human, not the dog." - no it's not, the booties are designed to keep harmful stuff from the dogs paws. A prime example is in the winter, the booties keeps the salt off of their paws – Huangism Jan 14 '15 at 15:17
  • The other bits of the answer are correct, though. – can-ned_food Apr 10 '17 at 12:31
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Because it is unnatural for dogs to wear anything on their paws.

In nature this never happens, so of course when we put something on their paws they will feel weird about it. The good thing is that they get use to it quite fast.

It is good that you put these protective gears on your dog as it protects them from the ground. For example, I live in Canada and when it snows the roads and sidewalks are full of salt. Wearing protective gear will keep the salt off the dog's paws.

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I disagree that it is for the entertainment of the human, not the dog. Dog booties are sometimes necessary. I've found that they are very handy when:

  1. Your dogs pads are cut or irritated. Walking outdoors with booties can prevent infection, especially if walking in dirt.
  2. If you, like I, live in an area which snows frequently, and rock salt is used outdoors for ice prevention. This can do damage to a dogs pad and booties prevent that.
  3. Finally, although booties are not meant for indoors, if you have a hazard that is unavoidable, such as cleaning a floor with strong cleaning material, and unable to prevent your dog from walking in the area, these booties cone in handy.

I'm sure there are other uses, but those are the to three reasons I use them. Although the funny walk is amusing sometimes, the purpose behind using them is primarily for your pets safety.

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  • Good answer, you might want to include the iditarod in your answer. – James Jenkins Jan 14 '15 at 12:52
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    This technically doesn't answer the question, but that could be fixed by adding a line explaining that the dogs just need time to get used to wearing the boots. – Spidercat Jan 14 '15 at 14:30
  • You're right, im sorry. The previously posted answer was perfect, except for that one remark which I had to correct. I should have been more specific, my apologies. :) – Wes H. Jan 15 '15 at 0:36
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    For the entertainment of the owners - NOT TRUE. The snow in our area starts to melt the freezes back leaving sharp ice crystals that cut our dogs paws thus causing the pads to bleed when he comes back inside. – user6541 Jan 25 '16 at 4:21

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