We show you how to train your dog to file their own nails by swiping at a sandpaper board… and while it is often relatively easy to teach the dog to file their front paws, teaching them to swipe with their rear feet can be a little more challenging. So we like to introduce a little environmental help!
- Sit on a chair, couch, footstool, etc. and prop your nail file board up at an angle in front of you. Have your dog in front of you and the board.
- Use a food lure to have your dog get their front feet on the couch, pretty much on your lap. Their rear feet are on the ground.
- Move the food lure slightly away from their nose so they start to stretch and reach for it. As they try to extend their body, watch for any rear foot lifting. Click/treat.
- Increase criteria to be clicking and treating only as the rear feet raise off the floor and make contact with the board. Continue to reward for foot swipes against the board.
This video shows the basic set-up, though for this first session I was using a platform, not the nail file board. Once Cadence understands it is his rear foot movement/swiping that is getting reinforced, I can then put the intended target in. I used a wider target here for the first session to make it easy for him to be successful!