It is very common for dogs to resist things like nail trims, ear cleaning and veterinary exams. Dogs do not understand why we are doing these things and react out of fear and confusion.

The good news is that you as an owner can do many things at home to train your dog to accept these things using positive training. A bit of work on your part can make a huge difference in how your dog behaves for nail trims, ear cleanings and general maintenance procedures making it less stressful for your dog and everyone involved.

Here are some great resources that show how to do this training in a positive way:

A great video on how to train your dog to accept nail trimming can be found at

A video that shows how to train for acceptance of ear cleanings and the application of ear medications can be found here –

For dogs who may be prone to snap out of fear, learning to wear a muzzle calmly can be very helpful. These resources explain how to train your dog to accept a muzzle and the website

For information on other “cooperative care” training, the Cooperative Veterinary Care Facebook group is a great resource for ways to help acclimate your pet to procedures that are routinely performed in a veterinary clinic setting. These things can be very helpful at home as well if you need to give or apply medications. To join the group go to

There is also a lot of good information available at

For individual help with things like separation anxiety and other behavior issues, we recommend working with a veterinary behaviorist. One that we recommend and is local is Manette M. Kohler, DVM. Her website is and has quite a few articles that give good information about common behavior problems and is worth checking out. Information on how to get individual help is on her website.

Many times we have to give drugs prior to appointments or injectable sedatives to be able to get common but needed procedures done at the vet clinic. Some times owners are unable to do needed care like ear cleanings and medications or eye medications at home because their dog has not been acclimated to accepting these things in a positive way. Being proactive and setting your dog up for success ahead of time can really help make things go smoothly and without unnecessary stress.