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Fortunately, you can help your dog become more comfortable with nail trims. With a scientifically proven process called desensitization and counter conditioning, you can change your dog's emotional response from fear and aggression to confidence and trust. Though it is a skilled process, it is absolutely effective when implemented correctly.
Your dog's distrust of nail trims does not negate the dangers of long nails, so what do you do in the meantime while you're working on changing your dog's emotional response to nail trims?
Enter the scratchboard. You can make your own by duct taping sandpaper to a piece of wood. Alternatively, the Digger Dog Nail File is a commercially made scratchboard with a trap door for treats that makes training your dog to file their own nails incredibly easy.
Lori Nanan, CTC, CPDT-KA is a graduate of The Academy for Dog Trainers and has put together an incredibly well designed in-depth online course called Nailed It: A Course in Canine Nail Care. The course includes a training plan and will help you become comfortable with maintaining your dog’s nails at home.
If you live near Portland, Oregon, contact Animal Behavior Clinic or Synergy Behavior Solutions for professional hands-on help getting your dog comfortable with nail maintenance.
Join the Facebook group, Nail Maintenance for Dogs. There is a wealth of information in the files section of this wonderful Facebook group. It also acts as a support group for those who are going through the same thing.