Is your dog scared of nail trims?

Is your dog scared of nail trims?

If your dog hates nail trims, it may be time for some old-fashioned desensitizing!  This is a process that varies depending on your dog.  It can be very helpful to begin your new puppy with this desensitization process as well.

Some dogs can be successfully comfortable with nail trims after a week of patience; others may take over a month or more to get used to it.  So, how do you begin to help your dog realize nail trims aren't the worst thing ever?

All you need is patience and high-value treats!  We carry things like Stella & Chewy’s beef and lamb liver treats!  You could also use cooked meat that your dog isn’t allergic to, such as unseasoned chicken or steak.

The trick here is to associate the nail trims to something positive; meaning, your dog will only get these incredible treats during nail trims.

How your dog reacts to seeing the nail trimmers varies; some dogs really don't mind being in the presence of them, while others might flee at the sight of the trimmers.  Due to this, you might want to slow down the introduction process.

It's also important to begin checking if your dog minds having their paws touched; some dogs are more protective of their paws.  If you don't teach your dog that they are okay when their paws are touched, you won't be able to calmly and effectively trim their nails!  You can desensitize them by giving a treat every time they let you touch their paws with no fuss.  This process is also important for new puppies!

Once you have good idea of whether your dog minds his paws being touched, you can move onto the trimmers! 

If your dog doesn't seem to be phased by the trimmers, you can begin desensitization by showing your dog the trimmers.  If she sniffs it or even looks at it, say your marker word (like “Good!” or “Yes!”) and immediately give her a treat.  She will soon start to realize that the trimmers bring good things, and will actually try to interact with it more!  Repeat this process over a few days; try not to immediately grab her paw until she’s more comfortable.

Once you’ve given some time to that training, begin to touch the trimmers to her paw and immediately treat her if she doesn’t react.  Chances are, your dog probably won’t care.  But, she will be used to the trimmers being near her feet.  Dogs are protective of their paws, so gaining their trust with a seemingly alien object is key to make nail trims easier for you or your groomer!

The next step is to either ask your dog to shake or grab her paw, and touch the trimmers to her paw again.  Treat her every time she doesn’t react, and repeat until she is completely cool with it.

Now, onto the actual trimming.  Ask your dog to shake or grab her paw, try to snip her nail, and treat her if she doesn’t react!  Make it a huge celebration once she lets you do it. 

As you can tell, it is very important to take this process very slow so as to not traumatize your furry friend!  Good luck on desensitizing your pup!

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