How to Get Your Puppy Used to Nail Trimming

It's important to condition your puppy to tolerate his nails being trimmed

Condition Your Puppy to Enjoy Grooming

Young puppies are just too curious and active to sit still and quiet 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.ย  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 Puppy Accustomed to Nail Trims at a Young Age is KeyGetting 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 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 him a bit further by picking up his paw and moving it around. Whenever he lets you do so without flinching, 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 clip just yet! The first stage in the process is to get the dog used to having this shiny piece of metal up close around its paws. Whenever he sniffs at the nail trimmer and does not appear to be scared, 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, give him a treat when he appears to accept this activity.

6. Now it is time to make the cut. Clip the first nail and instantly offer a treat to your puppy. Be sure to be enthusiastic with lots of affection. The treat should also be one of high value to your puppy. 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. If you feel he is not quite ready to continue, it is ok to simply cut one nail a day until he gets used to this new activity.

Patience is key when conditioning your puppy to enjoy nail trimmingRemember, patience is key and if you follow these steps, your puppy will grow into a well-behaved dog capable of sitting quietly for his nail trim. Try not to rush these steps. Take your time and let your puppy get accustomed in the least stressful way possible. This same outlook should be applied when training your young puppy as well. At Highland Canine Training LLC, we understand the importance of creating a well-behaved puppy while still allowing him to learn and grow on his own time. For any tips or training inquiries please contact Highland Canine Training LLC at 1866.200.2207 or