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DIY Flat Scratch Board (Back Nail Filing)

diy May 13, 2024

I know that many of you have dogs that struggle with nail care. A few years ago I posted about a curved scratchboard I made that I use weekly to keep Waylon's front nails short. You can reference that blog post: DIY Scratchboard (Front Nail Filing). It has worked beautifully but in an attempt to work with Waylon's back nails, I needed a flat scratch board. 

I used the same grip tape that I used for the curved scratchboard. Grip Tape

I just got a basic board from Home Depot, you can really use anything you have on hand.

An important measurement to keep in mind for working with the back nails, is that your dog will need to be able to stand over the board and pick up their back paws. Waylon is a medium sized dog, so I made my board 2 feet long and it is 10 inches wide. If you have a larger dog your scratchboard may need to be a little longer/wider and if you have a smaller dog, you can get away with a shorter sized board. 

I really didn't do anything fancy, expect for apply the grip tape to both sides of the board, leaving just a short section open on the top and bottom so I have somewhere to hold and so that I could set it down without it getting stuck on our rug. 

As you can see in the video it took some time for Waylon to understand what I wanted but the target to start is picking up his back feet, then picking up his back feet and making contact with the board and finally scratching his back nails to the board. I used an ottoman to lean the board on but you can easily use stairs, a chair or whatever you have at your house. I do think that using a clicker helped him to understand the task faster then if I would have just used a verbal marker word. 


Happy Training!




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