February 8th, 2008

meanddev

The Power of Peanut Butter

When I adopted Jaime he was 18 months old and had been in rescue since he was just 4 months old. There were a lot of things he'd obviously never been exposed to in his life. He didn't know how to play with toys or how to navigate stairs and the first time I tried to clip his toenails he thought I was trying to hurt him and just about bit me. Even with lots of treats and going very slowly he's never lost his fear of having his nails cut. In fact, he's so afraid of it I have to have the groomer do them because I can't do them alone and my husband is a total weeny when it comes to stuff like that.
But today we had a breakthrough! I figured out that if I could just provide him with a steady stream of peanut butter he'd probably let me do anything.  Then I had the idea of filling a kong and attaching it to the arm on the grooming table so he could distract himself with the peanut butter while I did his nails. It worked so well that I think I might even be able to get him to let me use the dremmel tool.
Of course Devon was watching this the whole time and was pretty insistent that i use the same the technique with him even though he's been getting his nails dremmeled since he was 8 weeks old.