One of the first things we teach our puppies is proper nail maintenance, and today, we hit a big milestone — Cheeky lining up for nails! Hopefully, you give weekly pedicures too — it really helps dogs grow structurally sound. If the nails get too long, the foot goes flat to compensate for the nails hitting the ground and applying pressure. No one wants that!
As teeny, tiny babies we clipped their nails about once a week (sometimes more frequently if they were getting long enough to scratch Halo. Then we quickly switched to grinding with a Dremel. While Marc did the grinding, Jenny slowly squeezed a Philadelphia Cream Cheese packet into the puppies mouths.
The important part is to always keep it positive. You’ll notice in the above photo, that Louie’s face is shaded. Their eyes had opened recently, so we wanted to make sure they were not in too bright of a situation for their first introduction to nails. Thinking about rewards and also the environment you train in is important.
This was Cheeky two weeks ago. You can’t really tell, but Marc is sitting inside a dog bed, so Cheeky is also on the dog bed and upside down. He is able to apply a bit of pressure with his legs to keep her in position, while Jenny supplies the food.
After the task is complete we give the dogs a very high value treat that they ONLY ever get after nails. We even keep them in a separate jar. Once our pack sees Marc bring that jar on the floor next to him, they come running over to try and go first. We are so excited that Cheeky has hit this milestone and look forward to years of proper nail maintenance (we usually grind every Sunday night) to support our healthy pups!