How many of you love trimming your dog’s nails?
How many of you have a dog who loves having his nails trimmed?
Probably not many, no matter which question. Many dog owners are scared to trim their dog’s nails, but it’s something that must be done for both the comfort and the health of your dog. And no one enjoys having their leg ripped with their dog’s paw as he playfully jumps on them.
Many dogs exhibit discomfort as soon as you pick up their paw. If you want your dog to enjoy having his nails trimmed, you’re going to have to start with getting him comfortable with just having his paws handled. So that’s where we start.
Below the video are the steps I’m using with Schooner to help him get more comfortable with simple paw touches.
Step 1: Get your supplies ready.
Start with really delicious treats. I’m using summer sausage and colby jack cheese for Schooner. Have a comfortable, cushy bed on the floor for your dog to relax onto.
Step 2: Touch a paw.
Touch your dog’s paw gently. As soon as you touch, click (mouth click or a “yip” like in the video) and immediately deliver the delicious goody.
Step 3: Allow the dog to control the pace of the session.
If your dog wants to get up and leave, let him. It’s his choice. If that happens, what he’s telling you is you were going too far, too quickly. Next training session, go slowly. Treat more frequently. Your goal is that the dog wants to stay in the training session with you because he’s enjoying it.
Step 4: Keep practicing!
Side note: Interestingly, Schooner showed sensitivity in this video to one of his front paws being touched. As I reviewed other video we shot that same day, he’s also showing sensitivity on that front leg. He’s since recovered from whatever injury he had, but the sensitivity of his paw wasn’t just related to my touching his paw, but even to him standing on that leg.