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Desensitizing Dog To Nail Clipping – 5 Powerful Methods To Help All Dogs

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Grooming a dog takes a lot of hard work. Some hate water, and others are scared of nail clippers. Desensitizing Dog To Nail Clipping can take a long time, especially if your dog is very sensitive.

If your dog is in the latter class, there is a high chance that you belong to the dog owners who regularly cry “my dog wont let me cut nails”. We are not judging; we only sympathetic.

Today, we will help you with tips for desensitizing dog to nail clipping, so you have an easier time next time you want to groom your furry friend.

Related: Dog Nail Clippers

Why you need to desensitize 

While clipping your dog’s nails is important, you need to be super careful. One simple mishap and you can cut the quick, which is the area where the nail ends and meets the skin. It is quite painful for your dog, and it will bleed if cut too deep. Also, you will need to keep your dog away from any activities until it heals. 

Desensitizing is the process of exposing your dog to scary things, like nail clipping. With time, your dog will get used to nail clipping and will no longer be fearful. The desensitizing process needs to be systematic and gradual. 

Desensitizing Dog To Nail Clipping: 5 Proven Ways

  1. Gather your dog’s favorite treats, and do not get it often. You will use these as a reward anytime your dog stays calm throughout the process. 
  2. Start by touching the nails, but do it without the clipper. Watch your dog’s reaction when you first do it. Run your fingers through its leg and down to the feet, for about a minute. Keep checking whether he remains calm. If he is calm, reward him with a treat. Pause for a few seconds or minutes and do the same on the next leg and keep saying “YES” before rewarding him. Repeat this process on all the legs, keeping watch of your dog’s reactions. Depending on your dog’s phobia, you might have to do this for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Third, repeat step 3, but this time, put some light pressure on the dog’s toe just above the nail. If your dog does not cower and accepts your invitation, say “YES” and reward him with a treat. Repeat the step and do this on all feet. 
  4. Next, take out the nail clippers and place them on the floor. Then, repeat step 3, with the clipper next to the nail, but do not cut the nails. Say “YES,” and if your dog is still calm, reward him. Do this on all the 4 feet. 
  5. If your dog is calm throughout this process, you can repeat step 4, but this time, go ahead and trim one of the nails. If he is keeping calm, keep saying “YES,” and rewarding his behavior. Try to get all the way to the tip; you can graduate slowly to the next toe until you clip all the nails. Remember to keep saying “YES” and rewarding the behavior. 

You do not have to sedate dog to cut nails or start learning how to restrain a dog to clip its nails. There are sweeter and more intimate ways to go about it, and desensitizing dog to nail clipping is one of them. When it is successful, your dog will be more comfortable when you try to clip his nails next.

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