Emery Board Training

Go from HATING doing your dogs nails to loving it!

Logan’s pedicure

Logan and I both get very uneasy around nail-trimming time. Logan must be wondering why his mom and pop want to hurt him, again 🙁 Nail trimming is the only situation I can think of in which he does not trust me. This breaks my heart.

I realize I can counter-condition Logan’s response to nail trimming but I also know it will be a relatively slow process, requiring a lot of positive experiences to change the way he feels. Instead of rolling up my sleeves and thinking positive, I find myself procrastinating getting anywhere near his nails. Until…

I got my monthly edition of the Whole Dog Journal recently and they gave a few different ideas on this topic. I read the piece about nail filing and thought, Yeah, we can do that! I was drawn to the idea because it is so different than using nail clippers. A clean slate. A fresh start.

Sage sniffed the board and tape before we got started.


All you need is a board about the size of your dog, and some gritty tape that is typically used for covering stairs. You can find these things at your local home improvement store. You can apply the tape to the board in about 5 minutes. Easy breezy.


I recommended you understand clicker training. It is an excellent tool for teaching this skill.

Front paws vs. Back paws

We are having so much fun with the front paws, we will worry about the back paws later.  We’ve only practiced four times, (about 5 minutes each dog, each session). We are cruising right along and now we don’t need to clip the front nails anymore. Maybe someday we’ll advance to do all four paws, but I’d be happy if all we ever master is the front. That’s still HALF the paws!


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