How to NOT have your dog freak out when clipping their nails Part Two

OK, if you have a pup that is in a different place mentally than the one mentioned in the first post, you’ll work backwards. You’ll follow the instructions in this video before  you follow the instructions in the first video. Just like the last post, if you want to skip to the bottom to watch the video, scroll now.

Step 1:

You need to introduce the clippers to your dog in a manner so they don’t get freaked out. You’re going to let your dog approach the clippers in a slow manner. When they start moving forward, you’re going to mark the behavior and treat. If you have to, bait the clippers with treats and treat again when your dog gets closer to the clippers. This step isn’t about being stingy. It’s about changing the neural pathway your dog has in their mind about nail clippers. It’s not about you or how long it takes. It’s about your dog. You can start this by having the clippers on the floor or in your hand, whichever you find your dog to be most comfortable with.

Step 2:

Now your dog is alright with the clippers. Now we need to get them alright with you holding their paw while being touched with the clippers. (From here on out, it’s the same steps as in the first post but with more care given to your dog’s comfort level) Make sure that your dog is comfortable with having their paws manipulated. Pet them. Hold them. Separate their toes. Every time you touch their paw mark and treat them. Let them know that what they’re doing is exactly what you want and find acceptable. If you get tot he point where your dog is pulling their paw away every time, slow the process down. Touch with one finger, then with two, then with three, and so on. After you can pet their paws, then try and pick them up. Grab them softly, mark and click. Repeat until you can grab your dogs paw and THEN pick them up. The main take away here is to move slowly enough so you make progress but still have your dog be comfortable with what you’re doing.

Step 3:

OK, you’re in the homestretch. now we’re going to do the scary thing and touch your dogs paws with the clippers. Remember, you don’t want to go too fast. Don’t think you can be a ninja and slyly clip a nail and not have your dog notice. Touch your dog nails with the clippers. Then, progress to being able to put your dogs nails in the clippers but not ACTUALLY clip the nail. Then clip the nail. If you have to, clip a sliver off at a time till you get to the bullseye.

Remember, to take it slow. This is NOT a race. Repeat, not a race. Your dog will tell you how quickly to progress with the training.

Check out the video below. I’ll go over each step to show you various ways to progressing to the next step.

Dogs are people. You can force your dog to do many things but you can’t force your dog to be ok with something and this is definitely one of them.

As always, please, please, please let me know if you have any questions or if I didn’t cover something or heck, if you have a question about something completely unrelated:) You can contact me HERE.

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