All the bad weather since November and up until about 6 weeks ago meant the ground has been so soft it’s not helped keep my boys’ nails in trim. I started work with a nail board in January so I thought I’d share my how to for making a nail board and teaching your dog to use it. I have to say a big thank you to Linda Ryan of Inspiring Pet Teaching and Laura Monaco Torelli of Animal Behavior Training Concepts for the nail board tips.
You will need:
Flexible plastic chopping board (Available from eBay)
4m roll of anti-slip grip tape (Available from eBay)
You then just cut lengths of the tape and attach the strips to the chopping board via the adhesive already on the back of the grip tape. The picture below shows the finished product.
How to teach your dog to use the nail board.
I’m pretty lucky that I have very “paw happy” dogs and both of the boys LOVE to scrape instead of actually putting a flat paw on anything – great for this, problematic for teaching a “step up”!
For rear feet I have an order in with my partner to build an awesome rear paw stand-and-scrape platform but as he’s an essential worker he’s unfortunately not had time just yet to build it for me.
The video is the best way to see the set up I have for this currently, it’s not perfect in that the board and platform it is leaning on can move and nothing is properly stable. I basically used a low table with a platform leaning against it and the board leaning against that. We have a few malfunctions but Sweep still comes back for more so that’s testament to his resilience and the trust he has in me.
Session 2 (above) shows that he’s starting to understand the behaviour that I’m looking for:
Just a note from the video, you don’t have to mark with click and verbal marker, I just got very very giddy at our progress!
The rear paw stuff is obviously not perfect but hopefully with a more stable set up I can start trying to shape for multiple scratches and a bit more force. I’ll keep you updated! There are a lot of really great videos out there on YouTube so give them a search if you want to see a more polished, finished behaviour.
As ever, if you have any questions or comments please comment on this post on FB, Instagram or below.
I’m still collating video for my promised blog (teaching your dog to love their mat more than being under your feet in the kitchen!) so apologies for that, I’ll post as soon as I have it all 😊
Thanks for reading and have fun with your husbandry training always making sure your dog is having fun too!
I currently live in Weymouth, Dorset (originally from Beverley in East Yorkshire). I am a certified dog trainer, graduating from the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional course in October 2016. I have owned dogs since 2001 when I got my first rescue dog Jack, a mutt extraordinaire. When I lost him I spent two years fostering dogs for a local charity and as a result I gained Odie and Sweep. Odie is the reason I became interested in training and behaviour. He demonstrates "aggressive" behaviours towards other dogs. I chose clicker training because I saw how much confidence it gives both my boys and I train mostly as a hobby with my own dogs and cats and spend my spare time with them and continuing my training and behaviour education with webinars and seminars. My passion as a trainer is in force free husbandry. If we can teach dangerous exotic animals to accept blood draws voluntarily then we have no excuse in not teaching it to our animals. I work full time as a marine biologist (to fund my dog habit!), a job I have done for 20 years. It has taught me to avoid the use of jargon while not dumbing down content, a skill I hope will help me produce a helpful blog!