Does your dog hate having their nails cut? Trainer shares how you can teach them to file their own nails and it’s very clever

Dog laying in bed
(Image credit: Getty)

Being a dog owner comes with a lot of responsibilities, and one of them is maintaining their hygiene. Nail trimming is just one important task among many others, such as checking your dog has healthy dog gums vs unhealthy, but it's one you'll want to keep on top of.

However, it is not always an easy task, as most dogs are reluctant to let anyone touch their paws. This makes nail trimming a daunting task for pet parents, and it can lead to stress and anxiety in dogs and the owner. Fortunately, an online dog trainer has come up with an easy DIY hack to make this process much more straightforward and stress-free.

The hack involves using a scratchboard to file the dog's nails instead of the traditional nail clippers. Amelia Steele, known best online as Amelia The Dog Trainer, shared in a previous video on Instagram how to make your own scratchboard. So once you make your own budget-friendly nail filing tool you'll just need some tasty dog treats and you're ready to give it a go with your pooch.

Steele's method is a safer and more comfortable way to trim your dog's nails as it does not cause any discomfort to the pet. Watch how she uses it with her own pet in the video below...

This solution may be a game-changer for pet parents struggling with traditional nail-clipping methods.

Steele explains how to initiate the filing, "Starting off by holding the pad in the air, I'm then going to put it down and then I'm going to start marking and rewarding for any interaction that Indy has with the board."

She notes that if your dog typically sits or lies down in these situations you can start to throw the treat away from you in between each repetition. "Then after a few repetitions of just rewarding him for any interaction," Steele continues, "I'm going to specifically focus on rewarding him for using his paws. Again, throwing the treat away in between each repetition can really help them with this."

"If your dog knows how to give paw, you can also cue paw. At this stage, we want to keep it really easy so that they stay engaged. So any time they make an effort to interact with the board with their feet, mark and reward."

You might be thinking of similar questions that were shared in the comments section of Steele's post like, how long will this task take to file down the dog's nails sufficiently and how can you do the back paw nails? 

Firstly, this might not be the most efficient way to trim down your dog's nails but it should help keep them well-managed before passing the task on to a professional groomer. Steele also said in her video that she will be posting a second part soon demonstrating how to do the back paws.

While on the topic of canine grooming tips, why not read up on reasons for bad breath in dogs or find out the reasons behind excessive licking in dogs?

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.