Dog do it yourself nail trims

Vito hates his paws being touched (one of the many new anxieties over the last 2 years) and by extension hates nail trims. I've briefly worked on this by re-requiring his paw to actually make contact with my hand on shake/paw for more than a half second. Then I worked on Vito allowing me to actually let me hold his paw, but just at the wrist. If I were a good trainer I would have done this daily and slowly added in nail trimmers. Instead I avoided nail trims as long as possible and then flooded him when it finally needed to be done. Vito's a good dog so he wouldn't put up too much of a fight other than trembling. A helper was only needed to try and convince him to eat the best possible meat we had.

Meet our new best friend.


Vito's issue is the paw being grabbed so using a dremmel wouldn't make any difference in his hatred of nail trims. But getting him to file his nails by himself is perfect!

I found a board, bought some non slip tape, and voila! Vito doesn't know the dig it trick like Lance does but it only took about half a session before he was scratching the board with his paws. Vito seems to LOVE it and will even switch paws on his own or do both front feet and once sometimes!
Ignore my obnoxious cheering!


I plan to teach him to do his back nails but so far I haven't started.  I'm sure I could have successfully taught Vito that nail trims were fun, but I am way more motivated to do this!  Counter conditioning is boring for me, operant conditioning is fun!

FoxDog27  – ( November 10, 2012 at 12:58 AM )  

What a brilliant idea! I'm going to have to try this.

rocy  – ( November 10, 2012 at 8:59 AM )  

I've been working towards this with Indiana! It's good to see it in action — and that video is going to be super helpful when I take the plunge and make up the actual filing board. Thanks!

andrea  – ( November 10, 2012 at 7:04 PM )  

sometimes and I swear this is one such moment i think we are sisters..."Counter conditioning is boring for me, operant conditioning is fun!" ... so so true!

WTG you creative genius you!

Tegan  – ( November 11, 2012 at 3:58 PM )  

I've been meaning to train this for ages, but all my dogs are okay with nail trims, so haven't had the motivation. Good to see it can be done, though!

Brigid  – ( November 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM )  

I showed the video to Albert. He seemed intrigued so I'm going to try it!

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