Last updated Sep. 21 2019 | 2 min read
Puppy Grooming Socialization: Nail Trimming Conditioning Steps For Young Puppies
Young puppies are just too curious and active to sit still still and quite while you groom them. But the ones that learn how to sit nicely while being groomed will eventually learn to tolerate and even enjoy being brushed, bathed, trimmed, and clipped. A puppy that experiences all forms of being handled at an early age will be easily trainable and better socialized when around veterinarians, children, groomers, and pet sitters.
The key activity is to simply handle your puppy as often as you can during the day while concentrating on one particular part of the dog’s body for each session. Spend a few minutes handling his feet, then the ears, etc.
Getting Your Pup Used To Nail Trimming
Of all of the grooming activities that we must engage our pets in, nail trimming is probably the hardest for your puppy to get used to. And if you neglect to practice trimming your puppy’s nails at an early age, it may be virtually impossible to do so as he grows older.
Here is how to get your puppy accustomed to having his nails trimmed:
1. Touch your puppy’s paw and then click your clicker while giving him a treat. If he pulls back nervously then go a little slower next time. Your goal is just to be able to touch his paw without him pulling it back from you.
2. Once your dog is comfortable with having his paw touched, push the envelope a bit further by picking up his paw and moving it around. Whenever he lets you do so without flinching, click and offer a treat.
3. The next step is to start fondling the toes by separating them and wiggling them around some more. Press on his paw pads. Go slow and take your time.
4. Now it is time to introduce the nail clipper to your puppy, but do not click just yet! The first stage in the process is to get the dog used to having this shiny piece of metal up and close around its paws. Whenever he sniffs at the nail trimmer and does not appear to be scared, click and offer a treat.
5. Still yet, do not clip! The next baby step in this process is to fit the nail clipper over each of your puppy’s nails, but without clipping. Just add a little pressure. And again, click and treat when he appears to accept this activity.
6. Now it is time to make the cut. Clip the first nail, click your clicker, and offer a treat to your puppy. Be sure to be enthusiastic with lots of affection. When you feel he is ready for the next nail, move forward and clip the rest in a timed fashion. Remember to go slow and make the process fun.