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Teach Your Dog to File Their Nails

Scared to Clip Your Dogs Nails? Teach Your Dog to File Their Nails

I always hate it when its time to clip our dogs nails.  I am so afraid of hitting the quick and hurting them.

This is a great idea and I am going to make one for our dogs.  Now some of them are too stubborn to use this I am sure.  But Treats always win when we want them to do something.

This is just basically a large nail file.  You can start off with a sheet of sandpaper, glue it to a board and give it a try.

It is a great basic project that is quick and easy to make and serves the purpose of getting your dogs nails down at the same time.  Make sure that you use a strong piece of board as the dog will be putting pressure on it.

I would suggest 3/4 inch plywood, but any wood will work.  You should be able to get free wood from stuff that people leave on the side of the road.  I got my piece from an old dresser that was being thrown out.

I took it all apart and got a good size piece of lumber from the top.  The rest will either go to other projects or the fireplace.

The board size should suit the dog so don’t make a 2×2 board for a chihuahua :-).

Enjoy the Video.


Start out by teaching them to place their paws on the sand paper give a treat. Do this a few times rewarding the behavior. Next you will want to up the ante by only giving them a treat if they scrape their nail against the sand paper. You will notice that once they start scraping their nails they will only allow the nails to touch the paper so you don’t have to worry about their paw pads. Continue to up the ante making them use both paws and then multiple scrapes before  they are given a treat your dog has now started trimming their own nails (at least the front ones).   Getting your dog to trim their back nails is a little bit more difficult though I have read that if your dog likes to throw dirt or leaves over their potty that they will be able to easily master this as well. A dog that doesn’t already display this behavior will need a few sessions before they really begin to trim their back nails.

Tape the sandpaper to the plywood you now have the scratching post. Make sure that the area is wide enough and long enough for your dog to use easily. Place it on the floor or resting at an angle you can figure out which feels more comfortable for your dog to use.

Some dogs get overly stressed from seeing the clipper, sometimes a dog requires a helper to keep them still while you trim but there in no helper around, and sometimes you are just nervous to trim their nails in case you were to cut the quick because you don’t want to hurt them.  You can teach your dog to trim their own nails! Not only that but this method is like a game so your dog will be stimulated and you will no longer have the stress of having to cut their nails.