We’re back on the topic of toenails. As most of you probably know, I have a new puppy, and she and I have started having fun with the many things that will set her up for life success, and that includes nail trimming. You can learn more about how my puppy This! chose me, and how her name chose her, in my podcast episode Puppy Selection: How I Do It and Why I Didn’t This! Time… you can listen or watch the video.

Puppy This! with thanks to John Hill for the photos.

Last time I wrote about nails, it was about our rescue dog, Tater, and how we helped him overcome his fear of nail trimming. It did not happen overnight, but it did happen. That blog post has a video with before and after footage of Tater and nails, and you can check it out on my blog post “Help! My Dog Hates His Nails Cut … What Do I Do?“.

I’ve got videos for you today too, showing proactive conditioning for trims with This! as I am very intentional to create success. With a lick mat and a spoon, and then a progression to clippers, we’ve started cutting her nails. The super short videos here are ones I put on Instagram this week (or, should it be This! week ?).

Now, for all Recallers members, you have your bonus “Your Dog’s Pedicure Please Program” with all the steps to create a love of nail trimming. (2021 Update: We now have Your Dog’s Pedicure Please Program in our store for everyone due to popular demand).

Here’s the first video for you where I show using a lick mat to help condition puppy This! to having her nails trimmed, starting with tapping nails with a metal spoon. The spoon sessions took as long as it took her to finish two lick mats. Likely less than 2-3 minutes.


It has been a slow pace to being able to trim This!’s nails. With some dogs, it seems like a glacial pace, but if you are patient success can happen. Check out my blog post with video “Cutting Your Dog’s Nails: How Important Is It Really?” for the correct cutting technique.

My proactive conditioning with This! started as shown in the video above with a spoon and the lick mat, working up to actually trimming her nails. We’ll be eventually moving away from the lick mat.

Here’s the second video and it shows the third session with the actual nail clippers.


On Instagram, I had questions about what sort of clippers I was using. The kind of nail trimmers you choose is really important. You want clippers that cut rather than squeeze, which makes the puppy more tolerant. The brand I’m using with This! is the Four Paws 100202054 Super Mini Nail Clipper and you can check them out on *Amazon. Another *Amazon link I have for you is for the Lick Mat so you can see that too.

[*Amazon Links Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Susan only recommends products she uses herself, and all opinions expressed here are her own. The link above is an affiliate link that, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission if you decide to buy from it. Thank you!]

Remember that I have a few posts with videos here on my blog to help you with your dog’s nails, so check them out starting with Tater’s video. Let me know in the comments how you are your dog are going with nail clipping.

Today I am grateful for all the fun of raising This! to set us up for a relationship of mutual trust and success in our life together, and that This!’s brother and sisters have settled in wonderfully with their amazing families, all good friends of mine.

Update: I’ve got a new video blog about the Dremel and what is on the lick mat in answer to the questions here.

Another great John Hill photo of Moira Rose (Dream), Alexis (Swish), David (Mission) and Stevie (This!)