It is essential that you keep your dog's nails well-groomed. Some dogs will need more regular nail clipping than others. Things like the breed, lifestyle, and where you live will play a big part in how often a dog will need its nails groomed.
Nail clipping can be pretty scary for dogs, and they might resist what you are doing even though they trust and love you. So, it is essential you get a new puppy used to nail clipping early on in life, so it becomes second nature to them. If you have just got an adult rescue dog, they may be used to it already, or you might have to be even more patient with them until they build a level of trust with you.
Here are eight simple things you can do to make nail clipping less stressful for your dog:
There is nothing better than taking your dog for a walk on long rolling hills, through forests, and on beaches. However, these will not help with your nail clipping issues if you can make at least 30% of their weekly dog walking time on hard surfaces like concrete paths. This will help naturally file down the dog's nails. If it is a puppy, you need to be careful how far and how often you walk them, especially on hard surfaces. So, make sure to use good judgment.
The act of giving your pooch plenty of walks on hard surfaces means you will not need to use the nail clippers as often.
Sometimes your lack of experience and confidence can be a part of the problem, significantly if you cut the nails too short and hurt your furry best friend.
However, a trained dog groomer will do the task very quickly and efficiently, taking a lot of the stress away for the dog. They might still get scared, but the job will be over so soon that it will not be much problem.
Whether you cut the nails yourself or have a professional, do it, make it a positive experience. So, they glance forget that you have just cut their nails. For example, give them their favorite food and treats immediately after. Or take them into the garden for their favorite game. Or you could do the nail clipping when you are out on their favorite type of walk,
When they are a puppy, you should get them used to be touched and handled for specific purposes. They should trust you and allow you to do things without them trying to wriggle away. It might be a bit harder and might take longer for a new rescue dog to get used to you touching them because you do not know what they have been through.
Before you ever attempt nail clipping, you should make sure your dog is used to you taking hold of their paws and examining them. Like with all dog training, consistency is the key. Use the same commands, tones, and actions. Then build up the time you hold and examine the doggie's paws.
Leave the clippers out and near your dog for increasing lengths of time. For example, leave them near your doggo's crate or bed. Make sure you constantly supervise the situation and don't leave the area. The dog might be scared of the clippers at first, then eventually they might be brave enough to investigate them with a sniff and a lick, then you want to get to the point where they are bored of the clippers and pay no attention to them at all.
Dogs have much better hearing than us, and the sound the clippers make might be scary and unusual for them. Significantly if you, unfortunately, hurt them when clipping the nails. They could start associating the sound of the nail clippers negatively.
However, presuming nothing terrible has happened. Then you should gradually get them used to the sound the nail clippers make. Start by making the clippers make their noise away from the dog, maybe at the other end of the room and only for a few seconds. Then gradually, over the coming weeks, get closer to the dog and increase the duration you do it for. Keep it a positive experience by giving them treats or a fuss during and after.
Now you need to combine the touching of the paws and the noise of the clippers. They should be happy for you to touch their feet. They should also be used to the sight and sound of the clippers. However, the combination of the two could trigger the dog and make them anxious.
So, you will need to calmly take hold of the dog's paw while having the clippers in hand and making their action/noise. Again, start only doing this for a short period. Then you can slowly build up the length of time.
Suppose you have done steps 1 to 7 slowly and methodically. Then you are ready to clip their nails. Just remember to stay calm and be confident. Your dog will be able to pick up on any nervousness on your part.
All dog training relies on the same fundamentals, starting small and over a short duration. Then slowly build up to what you want to happen. Consistency and behavior patterns are essential when doing anything new with your furry best friend.