December 1st and Monday morning and nail day

Welcome to December; every year at this time I think back on the year and cannot imagine how we got here so fast yet again. Its been another very, crazy, busy year. Lot's of ups and downs and everything in between. But this is the time of year that I wait for; the cooler temps put me into a very good mood most days. I don't like the heat; I don't like when I have to get the dogs out before 9 am or else. Or else it's too darn hot to do anything at all.

I'll be cutting nails today; seems that nails grow faster than anything else, even on dogs. My guys are really good about it; they are taught right from the start that it is not a bad thing. Having their nails done isn't something they enjoy but they know that if they let me do it; they get a treat. This is most important when starting out nail cutting.

Before Jessie; I'd never had a dog that hated getting their nails done as much as she did. The tighter we held her the more she fought. This is the most common mistake when cutting nails. The most important thing to do is to do your best to make it a positive experience. If you just clamp them down and get it done; the next time it's gonna be worse, I guarantee it.

So when you start out, you treat for just having the clippers out. Next you touch the clippers to their nails and treat. All the while you should be getting your dog use to having their feet touched. Some dogs won't have foot issues if you start rubbing their feet when they are very young; many will have foot issues. Your first actual clipping goal should be one nail and lots of treats.

Depending on your dogs reaction to nail cutting will determine how quickly you progress though the steps to the final goal of having all nails clipped. Once your dog understands that they get a treat for letting you cut their nails they will probably be much more accomodating. It's not a joyous event; just something that has to be done.

Great care must be taken not to cut the quick. If you hit the quick on your dogs nails it will be put in their memory bank for next time. There is always the chance that you might hit it so if you do; lots of treats and try to undo this bad memory.

The quick link:

My guys know as soon as I get the clippers out; they sniff around to see what the treat will be for the day and then patiently await their turn. Tilley is always first; she is by far the easiest, very much a statue. Then Jessie who usually fights me a bit but lets me get her done. Then Luke who is very good but has his little nail cutting ritual. Circle around, have to be told twice where I want him, mouths my hand to complain and then gives me his paw.

Everyone gets a treat after they get their nails done and then another treat once everyone is done. In all it takes about 2 minutes, nice.

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