Saturday, September 22, 2012

16 Pieces of Cheese

All right, we're waiting...where's the cheese?





(More than) 16 pieces of cheese
Yeah, clippers, who cares.
I see the cheese on the counter...

Okay, I nose honked them. Gimme the cheese.
 Maggie and Duke used to be very nervous about nail trims. They would shake so much it wasn't really safe to try and trim their nails. We first got them used to us holding their paws by giving them treats for "shaking hands". Every day we would practice Sit, Down, Paw, Wait, Look and Touch (or as Duke likes to perform it, Nose Honk). They would get a treat after each step. (Look is making eye contact with us or looking at whatever we're showing them and then making eye contact.)

I would show them the clippers and give them a  little piece of cheese for looking at the clippers and for sniffing or touching the clippers with their nose. I trimmed all of the nails on one paw and then gave each dog a piece of cheese. The 16 pieces of cheese are two per paw for 8 paws, since both dogs get cheese every time I finish a paw. This way they both wait quietly since they know they'll get a treat.




Now the dogs will run into the bathroom and sit down whenever we get the cheese ready. Duke will poke me with his paw as if to say "Me first," while Maggie tries not to be noticed. A vet cut a nail too short once, which completely freaked Maggie out, so I tend to leave their nails a little long. Maggie still gets a little nervous, but she is so obsessed with cheese and making sure that Duke doesn't get all of it that she waits patiently.

I don't bother to put their collars on, as I'm not coordinated enough to hold their collar or a leash and a paw and clippers. They've gotten so used to the routine that I don't bother to shut the door, they're not leaving as long as there's cheese!

Maggie used to be the stinkiest dog ever after having regular cheese, as in biological weapon stinky. We switched to Cabot cheese, as it's lactose free and the problem is solved!



20 comments:

  1. Good and definitely smart pups! Cheese for nails, I think that that's a fair trade! ;-)

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    1. They always keep an eye on the treats :)

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  2. Brilliant idea, clippers for cheese. Have a wonderful Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. Sometimes it's chicken, whatever we have that they really want. Hope you have a great day too!

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  3. This is excellent advice!
    Braylon is a saint for nail trims, Jay once hacked a nail and she bled forever but didn't once make a peep and still doesn't mind if you try to trim her nails after the trauma.
    Hades, on the other hand has never been clipped like that and he screams and cries the second he sees the clippers and understands what's about to happen. I put him ina head lock and hold his body while Jay does the clipping. His nails get so long sometimes and we totally avoid it which is horrible of us.
    So, I think I have a new idea for how to ease his suffering! You're a genius.

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    1. Glad to help! Another thing that keeps their nails shorter is frequent walking on the road or sidewalk, I don't have to trim them as much in the winter since we do more walks on pavement.

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    2. Oh yeah, Jay and I will stand at opposite sides of our block and made Hades run back and forth in between us. He loves that!

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  4. WE had to do the same thing for Hailey. Took weeks of daily practice to cut a nail. She still doesn't love it, but we can do it now, so it was worth it!

    Have a great one!

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    1. Love when the practice pays off! :) I'm thinking of getting a cordless rotary tool, like a Dremel, as a friend uses one to trim her flyball dogs' nails and has never hit the quick. Wonder how long it will take them to get used to it...?
      Hope you have a great day too!

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  5. Do you make house calls? Damn dogs hide my nail clippers and face shavers. Needless to say I have a house full of ugly face dagger nailed dogs.

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    1. I would if you were in New England! :) We can't leave anything out, the dogs will chew up whatever they can get and one of the cats eats paper. Weirdos.

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    2. Yes paper eating chewing is a new sport here, Who can get the most.

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  6. Great advice! I can think of two dogs who need their nails trimmed...

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    1. We have to do the cats again too!

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    2. I was just going to ask if you would extend your services to cats! Zoe and Freddie are fine with having their nails trimmed, but Stella is so difficult that it takes three vet techs to get the job done. :(

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    3. Is there any food Stella REALLY likes? Maybe you could gradually get her used to having her feet handled for treats? It also took 3 people to do Ozzy's nails and shots at Buddy Dog before we got him, but one of us can hold him for the vet now. (though he might be a little more cuddly in general than Stella from what I remember :)

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  7. We have the dogs lie down. I put one hand on their head petting and in the other, I hold treat in a closed fist in front of their nose. They spend most of their time trying to get the treat out of my hand (like a puzzle ball) without noticing their nails being trimmed by C. They get a treat each time a paw is finished.
    We do have to close the door and do it one at a time, though, because Larry loves to pounce June when she's down, and her trying to get his treat is too distracting to him.

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  8. That's brilliant (and so are Maggie and Duke)! They will obviously work for food! :)

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  9. What a great idea! And, smart pups for learning for cheese. Then again I would learn for cheese too... hmmm... wonder if I could get my dogs to do this?

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