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Training Your Dog for Nail Filing

Posted in Dog Training Tips

By Laura Yurchak

Before you can begin using a PediPaws or Dremel to file your dog’ nails, he must be desensitized to touch and sound. The following steps will help you get your dog ready for nail filing with either a PediPaw or a Dremel tool. Your dog must be rock solid on each step before moving onto the next step. Work the step you are on each night for a few minutes. Your dog will let you know how much he can handle.
  1. Pup must be able to have their paws touched without concern.
  2. Pup must be able to have you touch between digits and between paw pads.
  3. Pup must be able to have each nail handled.
  4. Pup must be able to have each nail held individually with your fingers.
  5. Purchase a 100 grit nail file (Sally’s has nice ones).
  6. Keep pup busy with a toy or chew toy.
  7. Touch each nail with the nail file.
  8. Start with pup’s less sensitive paw; they normally have one very sensitive paw. The back paws usually are a bit easier to start with.
  9.  Hold a nail and touch the nail with the file, pup must be comfortable with this before continuing.
  10. Hold a nail and lightly stroke the file on the tip of the nail. As long as pup is comfortable with this continue to move the file back and forth over the tip of the nail.
The steps above have to be “piece of cake” for the dog before going on.

Preparing your dog for a Dremel or PediPaw
  1. Now that your dog is used to a nail file moving across the tip of his nail, you will begin to move the file quickly over the tip of the nail to mimic the feel of a Dremel or PediPaw.
  2. As your dog gets used to this, continue to put more pressure on the file as it moves quickly over the nail.
  3. Turn your Dremel or PediPaws on somewhere close where your dog can hear it but not so close that your dog is scared of it. File your dog’s nails vigorously with the hand file.
  4. When your dog can ignore the sound of the Dremel or PediPaws, move it closer as you continue to hand file your dog’s nails.
  5. Continue until the Dremel or PediPaws can be right next to your dog while you are hand filing and he is not worried.
  6. You are ready for the next step.

Preparing you to use a Dremel or PediPaw.

  1. Take off any guards and turn the device on.
  2. LIGHTLY touch your own fingernail to get a feel for the device.
  3. File your own nail very lightly until you can do it without hitting your nail hard. Once you can do this, you are ready for your dog.

Now you will begin to file your pup’s nails with the devise of choice.

  1. Turn the device on, hold your dog’s nail firmly and ever so very lightly touch a nail with the device.
  2. Reward your dog and repeat with a different nail.
  3. Take is slow and don’t get upset if he resists. Just keep working with the hand file and the device until your dog is comfortable with it.


Posted: 2/1/2009 | Updated: 4/14/2011

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