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Do you have a dog training or equipment question?
Leerburg's Q&A database has 3354 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Puppy Training

Q. I watched a video of your puppy getting his nails done, my puppy won’t sit still. How do I start?
The pup in your video on this subject looks older than my 11 week male rott pup.
I just started charging the mark yes 2 to 3 days.

My pup does not sit still as yours does in the video.

I don’t want to force holding the dog down can you recommend next steps for training mine to sit long enough to accomplish what you are doing in the video? Should I start with sit and place and then add the sound of the dremel and work from there?

A. I started charging the mark the day I brought my puppy home at 8 weeks . I think he was around 12-13 weeks in that video. . I didn't expect him to ever sit still actually. You may be weeks or even months from what you see in that video. He's now 9 months old as of today. Keep in mind that I've trained MANY puppies over my lifetime and this type of training is definitely a learned skill for humans. You and the puppy are learning together so it may take a little longer.

I worked on making the whole learning process fun and did't have any expectations of duration or sitting still. When the pup showed me by offering sitting still, I marked it with Good and fed in place.

For early nail conditioning I turned on the dremel while he was near me and just fed him every time. For actual nail work I got an assistant (my adult son who is dog savvy) and had him hold the puppy on his lap and feed him string cheese while i handled his feet while the dremel was running. As my training relationship progressed with him then I got more and more cooperation from the pup. There is no real timeline for this but I'd suggest watching some of our more in depth material on using food and markers to make the process more clear. Separately from the nail work I built value for teaching the puppy to get on the little platform, if he got down-no big deal. If he got on and stayed I gave almost constant reinforcement.

As a former professional groomer, teaching puppies this nail conditioning at THEIR pace is most important. My parents bred Rottweilers so I have an understanding of the breed. I know that I would not want to be wrestling with him for simple daily grooming so spend the time now making it fun for him and don't be in a hurry to get to the end result because dogs sense this and some will become resistant. That's why when my puppy would get off the platform and leave I let him.. he realized that if he stayed up there and worked with me it was a big payoff for him and he didn't feel stressed or pressured. You can't expect puppies to "stay"

The Ellis puppy video is almost 7 hours of super material, I think it will be helpful to you.

  Response:

Great response, thank you!
  
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