Desensitizing Your Dog to Nail Trims

http://www.sit-stay-play.comHas your dog ever had a nail or two trimmed too short? If he hasn’t, he’s in the minority because many groomers (and pet parents) accidentally go too short. Often it’s done because the dog pulls away just at the wrong time; other times unskilled individuals don’t pay attention to the anatomy of the dog’s foot and nail bed.

If your dog is scared of this now, start desensitizing him with these steps:

1. Get a really special treat that your dog loves, but doesn’t get much of;
2. Hold a small treat in your hand and touch the top of his leg softly. If he doesn’t pull away, give him a treat. If he’s so scared that you can’t even attempt to go near his leg or foot, touch his neck and give a treat;
3. After repeating this a few times with positive reaction, move closer to his foot;
4. Once you’re able to touch his foot, use a different pair of nail trimmers and just touch his foot with them, don’t cut yet;
5. Finally, trim one nail, and give a ‘jackpot’ treat (a handful of the special delicacies).

Gradually your dog will like the treats and will sit for nail trims. If you are hesitant or need help, feel free to contact us at 765-744-5688 or

One thing to remember, keep it positive. If you use too much force or anger when you’re dealing with your dog, he’ll pick up on those feelings and will react negatively.  Stay calm, patient and assertive.

Happy Trimming!

Kelley Stewart

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sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC

“Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists!”


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