This video shows Sparks, my puppy, learning to be calm for nail clipping. I ensured that I took the time to do this with Sparks and it has paid huge dividends in that as an adult dog he is calm and relaxed when it is time for nail trimming or ear cleaning. I did as you see on the video for about 7 days in a row. After he had his meal and when he was more tired than full of energy.
Dog’s feet tend to be quite sensitive so the earlier you start this the better. Pairing touching the feet or ears with food reinforcement meant that the touching became a positive experience and something Sparks came to look forward to. Having him in-between my legs gave him a “cradle” so he felt more relaxed and not as easy for him to squirm out of the position. Most puppies and dogs do not like to be on their backs so pairing the position with food rewards helps it to become a positive position rather than negative. I want my puppy to be comfortable with restraint and not to fear it. This will be helpful at the vets or dog groomer’s. Take the time and do this bonding exercise with your puppy and you will both benefit from it into your puppies.