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Teach Your Dog To Like Getting Nails Cut

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How to teach a dog to like getting his nails cut?

When working with your dog, you have to remember that each step needs to be repeated many times and in different circumstances. It might be days or months before you move on to the next step. Take your time.


How can I make nail trimming an enjoyable experience for my dog?

Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is important for their health, it affects their ability to walk and run. Thus we need to keep nail trimming as stress free as possible for our pet and ourselves. Habituation is a really simple way of learning. The dog, after a period of exposures to a stimulus, stops responding to that stimulus. The time it takes to habituate or get your dog used to something they are afraid of or don’t like can vary greatly from dog to dog. It is also important to do habituation practice when your dog is asleep or playing. You want to generalize (VIDEO) as much as possible.

Here are some steps that you can take:

1. Start at the level your dog is comfortable. It could be as simple as just touching his paw.
2. Praise him like crazy.
3. When your dog is comfortable with that, begin picking up the paw and holding it for a short time.
4. Start increasing the time you hold the paw.
5. Always praise and reward.
6. Then begin separating the toes.
7. Introduce the clippers. Show them to your dog and praise him if he shows interest in them.
8. Touch the clippers to the paw.
9. Hold the clippers in one hand and a paw in the other.
10. While holding the paw, touch it with the clippers.
11. Then separate the toes and touch it with clippers.
12. Eventually clip one nail.
13. Make a big deal about it.
14. Slowly increase how many toes you can clip.

Remember this is a long process and it can take days to months depending on your dog. So stay patient and positive and avoid having a bad experience with you and your dog by having a professional clip the nails until you can do it.