For our second New Year’s Resolution Post we discussed clipping your dogs nails regularly. Some dogs get overly stressed from seeing the clipper, sometimes a dog requires a helper to keep them still while you trim but there in no helper around, and sometimes you are just nervous to trim their nails in case you were to cut the quick because you don’t want to hurt them. Whatever the reason you don’t want to use a traditional clipper and don’t like others on the market there is an option. You can teach your dog to trim their own nails! Not only that but this method is like a game so your dog will be stimulated and you will no longer have the stress of having to cut their nails.
When Indiana was a puppy our trainer told the class that for those who were scared to use a nail clipper or their dogs had black nails and they worried about cutting them she told us about a method where the dog does the work. She said dogs can be trained to use a scratching post just like a cat. A dog needs a stronger scratching post then a cat but the basic idea is the same.
What you will need:
heavy duty clear packing tape or wood glue
Tape the sandpaper to the plywood you now have the scratching post. Make sure that the area is wide enough and long enough for your dog to use easily. Place it on the floor or resting at an angle you can figure out which feels more comfortable for your dog to use.
Start out by teaching them to place their paws on the sand paper give a treat. Do this a few times rewarding the behavior. Next you will want to up the ante by only giving them a treat if they scrape their nail against the sand paper. You will notice that once they start scraping their nails they will only allow the nails to touch the paper so you don’t have to worry about their paw pads. Continue to up the ante making them use both paws and then multiple scrapes before they are given a treat your dog has now started trimming their own nails (at least the front ones).
Getting your dog to trim their back nails is a little bit more difficult though I have read that if your dog likes to throw dirt or leaves over their potty that they will be able to easily master this as well. A dog that doesn’t already display this behavior will need a few sessions before they really begin to trim their back nails.
Now you no longer have to be scared to clip your dogs nails!
Here is a video so you can see it in action. There are quite a few on youtube that you can check out:
Felissa Elfenbein is the author and creator of Two Little Cavaliers. She loves to travel and so do her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Davinia and Indiana. We have lived in NYC, Florida, Georgia, Berlin, Germany, & Hong Kong.
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