Question: How can I teach my dog to let me cut her nails? She dislikes having it done, and it’s so difficult for both people that we typically forgo it entirely.
Answer: Your dog isn’t really alone in her distaste for nail trims. Lots of dogs cower or leave the space at the simple sight of clippers.
The trim procedure can be a lot more of a battle if the dog flails, growls or tries to bite. Lots of animal parents opt out of trims altogether or delay trims to the groomer or veterinarian. But a worry of nail trims hardly ever disappears on its own and can in fact increase in strength as time goes on, making it tough even for a professional to cut a frightened dog’s nails without the help of an extra person, the use of a muzzle or, in severe cases, sedation.
Tips for Trimming Dogs Nails: Where, When, How…
It’s best to begin teaching your dog to relax during nail trims when she’s a young puppy, however if you’re handling an adult dog who already fears the process, it’s not far too late to set up a training intervention. There are various aspects to trims that animals may do not like: being limited, having a paw touched, the clipper noise and the feeling of a nail being clipped. In addition, a bad past experience– such as getting the quick clipped– can make future nail trims more difficult for you and your dog.
Start with new clippers
It is necessary to start with a clean slate. Dogs typically have an unfavorable association with clippers that have actually been used in the past, so switching to a new set of clippers that is clearly different from the old set offers you and your dog a new beginning. You can select a set of clippers with a various appearance or choose a totally various type, such as a Dremel-like clipper with a motorized file.
When you first present your dog to the new clippers, have an enormous young puppy celebration the moment she sees them. Take the clippers out from behind your back or someplace hidden, and as soon as your dog sees them, immediately start rewarding with adequate treats. Then put the clippers away and stop the circulation of deals with. Repeat as sometimes as it takes for your dog to comprehend that the existence of the clippers suggests that good things are going to take place.
How to Keep your Dog Relaxed during Nails Trimming
In a different session, train your dog to permit you to touch her paws. Begin slowly and keep your dog relaxed; initially, this might mean just a light touch on your dog’s shoulder. Slowly progress while fulfilling relaxation at each step. Either treat your dog yourself with something unique like licks of peanut butter from a spoon, or have somebody else feed her treats. Work down the leg toward the paw as long as your pooch stays relaxed.
As soon as you are able to touch her paw area while she remains relaxed, progress toward holding her paw in your hand. Next, pursue touching her paw pads under her toes with your other hand and ultimately touching her nails with your fingers. If she is still relaxed, include a little pressure as you touch the nails, which will replicate pressure during trims.
As soon as your pooch is readily allowing her nails to be touched, use one hand to hold her paw and another hand to use objects, such as the eraser end of a pencil, to touch your canine’s nails. When she is comfortable with numerous items touching her nails, use the new clippers to gently tap completions of her nails without doing any clipping. If your dog stays comfy and relaxed, place the clippers over the nail without clipping. Reward your dog after each nail as long as she remains relaxed.
The next step is to get your dog used to the clipper noise. Stand away from your dog and squeeze the clippers in your hand up until they make a noise. If you are utilizing a mechanical tool, turn it on and treat while it is running; stop the circulation of treats when you turn it off. The goal is to match the sound of the clippers with a reward so that it is associated with something excellent occurring.
Next it’s time to combine holding your pup’s paw and the noise of the clippers. Hold your dog’s paw as you were formerly doing, but this time hold the tool next to the nail and make the noise it will make when you actually do trim. For example, hold the paw and tighten up the clipper as if you were actually trimming the nail, however just clip beside the paw without actually touching it. If using a mechanical tool, hold the paw and turn the tool on beside the paw; beware not to obtain your dog’s hair captured in the tool (hold it far enough away or use a mechanical tool with a cover). If at any step your dog ends up being unpleasant, return a couple of actions and gradually progress towards using the clippers.
Now You’re Ready to Clip Her Nails
As soon as your dog has the ability to remain relaxed while you hold her paw and make the clipper noise near her, it’s time to do the trim. Hold her paw as you were previously doing and clip among the dog’s nails, making sure to obtain only the very end of it regarding prevent clipping the quick. Reward amply for your dog remaining relaxed as you trim one nail, then take a break and come back later to do another nail. As soon as your dog is relaxed enough to let you cut one or two nails, you can slowly begin cutting more nails in each session.
If your dog is still resistant to having her nails cut, talk with your vet or your groomer about techniques for restraining her. And make certain to share your training procedure with anybody who cuts your pooch’s nails to ensure your animal continues to have a favorable experience with nail trims.