Dogs with long nails can damage furniture, cause injuries, and scratch floorboards. While nail trimming is an unavoidable part of life for domesticated, indoor dogs, many find the task very unpleasant. In fact, some dogs will even develop a fear of getting their nails trimmed.
Dog owners who want to keep their dogs well-groomed must train their pets to accept nail trimming without fear. If your dog is afraid to get his or her nails trimmed, these tips can help.
Touch Your Dog's Paws
Some dogs don't like to have their paws touched and must be trained to accept this part of the nailtrimming process. When your dog lies down, touch your dog's paws gently and briefly, and then reward your dog with a treat.
Lengthen the amount of time that you spend touching your dog's paws with every session, and reward your dog every time you finish. When you touch the paws, handle the toes and touch the nails.
In later sessions, introduce an object that you can use to touch your dog's nails. For example, touch your dog's nails with a pencil, a cup, or a spoon. Tap the nails with the object. Reward your dog every time you tap his or her nails.
Develop Positive Associations
In an ideal world, your dog will become excited and happy every time he or she sees the nail trimmers. You can help your dog develop these positive associations by rewarding your dog with treats, play, and love whenever you bring the nail clippers out.
Show your dog the clippers, and then immediately give your dog treats. Do this several times until your dog knows that treats bring happy things. If your dog shakes at the sight of the nail trimmers, then buy a new pair of trimmers in a different style so your dog will not know what they are. Trimmers come in clipper and grinder styles, so you can choose between the two.
Once your dog accepts the trimmers and their appearance, tap your dog's nails with them. Reward your dog every time you use the trimmers to touch their nails.
Start Out Slow
The first time you're ready to use the trimmers, start by clipping them near your dog's paws, next to the nails. Watch your dog's reaction. If your dog looks threatened or upset, stop the exercise, reward your dog, and try again later.
When your dog seems comfortable with the nail clippers, even when they're used right next to your dog's paws, you're ready to use them on your dog's nails. Trim the nails and have treats ready. Use soothing tones as you clip your dog's nails. Give your dog a treat every time you use the clippers to clip off the tip of a nail.
Use Nail Trim Mats
Some dog owners will lay down nail trim mats in an area of their home where their dog frequently walks. Place a nail trim mat near your dog's food bowl. Your dog's nails will be filed every time he or she eats at the food dish.
Get Help From a Professional
Professional groomers have a way with dogs. They're practiced in trimming nails on dogs and have a lot of different tools at their disposal that can make the process easier. If you're a dog owner who has trouble trimming your dog's nails, talk to your pet's groomer about getting your dog's nails trimmed at the grooming office.
Find More Information
At Longview Boarding & Grooming, Ltd, we're happy to answer any questions you might have about trimming your dog's nails at home. We're always happy to offer our expertise to pet owners in the area, so call us today!