The vagina is not an all powerful god-demon that controls your life through its merest whim. Apr 4, Posted: Thu Sep 16, 4: What you're dealing with here can be broken down into two parts: For the first part, you'll desensitize her to the presence of the clippers, then to having her foot restrained, to the pressure on the nail, and to the sound of the blades -- each of these individually.
You want to work in multiple but short training sessions, ideally no more than 2 or three minutes in length. Just long enouch to deliver ten or so individual very-high value rewards, and by keeping it short you can ensure you end on a high note.
The method is simple. Find something your dog adores over all other things rare steak tips, cut into pieces about the size of your pinky nail, or baked chewy liver treats, or if your dog isn't food motivated, maybe she's crazy about tennis balls or playing tug with a rope toy.
Produce the nail clippers. If she interacts positively with the clippers -- sniffs them, looks at them, etc -- give her the reward.
Put the clippers behind your back, tell her what a beautiful dog she is, then present the clippers again. Reward her for each interaction with the clippers.
Repeat this session times a day for several days. Over a period of a few days, she should become noticably more excited when you get out the clippers. The clippers will have become a Predictor of Good Things. Once you reach that spot, then you up the ante for her. It's no longer enough that she sniff the clippers. Now in order to get a treat, the clippers have to be visible AND she has to let you hold her paw with your other hand, without her taking the paw away.
If she allows you to grasp her paw for seconds, give her the treat. If not, just say "Oops, too bad! Wait for a few seconds, then try again. Repeat times a day for several days, until she's starting to offer you her paw to be held.
Then you increase the criteria again. Most dogs are more sensitive about having their back feet held. Keep up with the training until she's comfortable with you holding any of her feet.
Remember -- very short sessions, no more than 3 minutes in length, or 10 treats long. Okay, so now she loves for you to play this game where you bring out the clippers and grab her feet. Now you change things again, and the criteria is that she must let you hold her feet AND separate out one nail and apply some gentle pressure with the clippers to the nail.
Don't actually clip, just apply pressure. Same routine as before. The final criteria increases will be allowing you to clip a single nail for a treat, then two nails for a treat, then three nails for a treat, and then a paw for a treat.
You can't rush her through this -- she'll tell you when she's ready to move on to the next step. The keys are keeping it short, and using really really really good rewards. If really really good means chasing her tennis ball, great. If she goes nuts over pizza crusts, use tiny pieces of that. If you apply this consistently, and diligently work on this every day, things will go faster than you think, and it will be a relatively trouble free process for you.