Pawdicure..

This is about the most hated activity of Moxxi’s. Claws needs trimming. She really hates it and I can’t really blame her. It feels so nasty and I can imagine how awful it must feel for her. What she does like however is the nail file. We go through this every 4-5 weeks and it’s important to me that she doesn’t feel too awful, so I try to do it as gentle as possible. She knows what to do and what’s going to happen. She learned when she was only a lil’ pup when there was nothing to trim but to ease her into it and that helped a lot. She’s got her own trimming table for grooming with a tool box and everything and I taught her back then what to do with it. She changed the rules however. Claws are done on the couch, it’s easier for both of us and far less stressful for her so that’s the way to go for us.

We usually start with trimming the fur between the paw pads. This is expecially important when it’s hot, she needs to be able to sweat through the paw pads and she can’t do that efficiently when they’re partly covered in fur. I can imagine that it’s not pleasant to walk on either. Next is getting the nail clippers; hers and mine and we’ve turned the next part into a near-human nail salon thing that doesn’t make any sense to others. The thing is; she observes me trimming one of my own nails and I’m fine with it. I’m talking to her in a low and calm voice the whole time, showing her the nail and ask her if she thinks it ok, maybe trim a little more while she’s watching. Like when to girls are getting their nails done and talk about it at the same time. It’s kind of weird, but it works. She lifts one paw and I’m allowed to clip a claw or two before she wants it back.

I could of course force her, I could command her, I could hold her down, I could intimidate her. I could do a lot of things. But.. I hate those. Confident and taking charge – absolutely – it has to be done. But there’s no reason for me to be bossy and intimidating. Instead I prefer to persuade, manipulate and reward her. I mean; she needs this done so many times in her life. Why have a nasty situation if there is an alternative? It’s just going to get worse every time and I don’t want it to become a problem for either of us.
So.. we turned it into math. She has eighteen claws to trim but I only got ten finger nails.. what to do? Uh I know! I trim one nail and then two claws. The dew claws counts as one since they can be a bit difficult to get to and then it ads up nicely. Tadah.. The best thing – for me at least – is that her claws aren’t dark. A lamp behind the claw and I can see right through it, I see everything inside it, it’s so much easier to avoid damage. Yay!

Of course she’s given a small treat for every trim. We need to keep up the spirit. But she’s not stupid and she knows the best reward has yet to come. So she’ll be good and allow me to do this. It takes a longer time but so what? I don’t care as long as it’s as stress-free for her as possible. Last nail.. last claw.. done! We’re finished, doggo! You’ve been sooo good! She’s very happy with herself, she did good and she knows. I get the paw again and I know what she wants – her favourite snack. Yum! She knows that the reward feast is not over. The best has yet to come. I’ll ask her if she would like to go for a walk and since that’s one of her favorite things, she’s so ready. Back and forth impatiently while she’s waiting for me to get ready – hoomans are so slow! But finally we can take a brisk walk and not go home until we’ve covered at least a mile or two.

People I know think I’m being silly and soft, letting the dog decide too much. But I’ll continue listening to Moxxi and she tells me that she’s not stressed or uncomfortable and she can handle it with ease. This way is easier for her so that’s the way we’re doing it. She’s happy. That’s all that matters ❤

Moxxi sitting on the couch lifting her left front paw to get a nail trim and then a treat. She's calm and knows it'll only take a short while

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