Trimming Nails

I had a male Kerry and I overcame the problem of trimming nails by desensitizing him to the nail cutting process.

Chose a day to cut nails only when you are in a positive frame of mind, not rushed or angry about anything.

You cannot be uptight about the process or the dog will become uptight and fearful. Most Kerry are very sensitive and perceptive to your emotions.

You must get it in your mind that nail cutting is no big deal and relax.

This might sound funny, but you have to be completely in balance with yourself on the day you attempt this process and the actual nail cutting.

When I clip nails I always lay the dog down on the table, it gives the dog a break from the standing while grooming.

If the dog like treats this helps. Or perhaps a favorite sweaky toy will relax him and get his mind off the process.

Find out what food he likes the best and start giving small amounts on the grooming table while he is lying down. Perhaps use a combination of
food and toys.

Do this several times over a few weeks, every day, without even thinking of touching his feet or showing him the nail clippers.

My dog loved pasta or meat loaf.

Make it a fun thing. Always talk to him in a high cheerful voice.

The after a few weeks, every other day, start touching his feet while giving him the treats / toys, telling him all the time what fun this is.

After a few more weeks show him the nail clippers and let him smell them, giving him treats, praise, telling him what fun this is.

You really have to be convincing with a Kerry or somehow they pick up on you being false.

These sessions are only 1 or 2 minutes. Over more time gradually touch a nail with the clipper and give him a treat and praise, tell him how much
fun this is, praise and quit.

Repeat this until you can actually clip a nail. Clip only ONE, praise, treats and quit.

If he lets you, clip only one nail and quit. Do this for several weeks.

You must convince the dog with your voice that this nail clipping is a fun game.

This process will take some time weeks perhaps months. Do not get uptight or angry.

The way I clip nails is I clip ever 2 weeks, I ONLY take about and eighth of an inch or LESS of nail off at a time. Watch out for the back nails
if they are short, clip less of them and perhaps you can skip cutting the backs for several weeks, depending on what surface the dog has been
walking on.

Doing it this way I KNOW I will not make them bleed. And I can relax even more.

I recently did this same desensitizing process with my new pup who is now a year and a half old who hated ear hair pulling.

Now she does not mind the process as much.

I can not guarantee this will work but you will learn a little more about yourself and your dog along the way.

This is what I enjoy about Kerrys they give us the opportunity to learn about ourselves while trying to overcome all these hurdles.

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