Looking to make nail trims easier for your dog? Try building up to the actual nail trim incrementally and incorporating food into the process. You can break it down into simple steps that can help your dog feel more comfortable overtime! You can begin with a simple progression like the following:
- Begin with reaching toward (but not touching) your dog’s shoulder, then feed a treat.
- Reach toward and gently touch their shoulder, then feed a treat.
- Reach toward and gently touch their shoulder, then slide your hand down toward their elbow, then feed a treat.
- Reach toward and gently touch their shoulder, then slide your hand down toward their paw, then feed a treat.
You can continue this type of progression until you’re able to gently hold their paw and feed them treats, gently take one nail and feed them treats, bring the nail clipper toward their paw then feed them treats, and so on until you’re able to trim a nail. Once you’ve trimmed the first nail, you may have to take a break before you can trim another. Depending on your dog’s level of comfort with nail trims, these steps may need to be split into even smaller approximations, or you may be able to move through the process quickly. It may take several minutes, or several months to build nail trim comfort, but it’s worth the time and effort. Easy nail care is a skill that will be used regularly for the entirety of your dog’s life!
See you next time, at Central Bark!
Carla is an Operations Field Representative for Central Bark and co-owns a dog training and behavior consulting business, Good Karma Canine. Carla has three dogs Karma, a seven-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier Mix; Gypsy, a five-year-old Bull Terrier/Lab Mix; and Newt, a two-year-old Chihuahua.