When I was asked to review the now available online program, Nailed It! A course in Canine Nail Care, I was happy to accept the assignment. I was eager to see the latest educational project Lori had been working so intently on, especially as this would be the first course made available through her new business venture, LoriNanan.com: Fetching Canine Education & Solutions. Lori is also the founder and president of Your Pit Bull and You; and if you have been following this organization for any length of time, you know that she pours her heart and soul into every single thing she does. As a friend and fellow board member of YPBY, I expected it to be a rock solid resource for dog trainers and dog owners alike, providing an evidence-based curriculum that is easy to follow. That’s just reliably what her projects have always been. And this course is certainly all of that; but it’s so much more than I could have anticipated! With this extraordinary effort, she has shown us how effective and palatable online dog training courses can and should be.
This canine nail care course is designed to be self-paced, which is especially important given that Pavlovian conditioning means you get more bang for your buck with short sessions and huge payoffs. A time limit for completion would limit success without question, and she has removed that barrier out of the gate. You are able to go back through any section of the course as you need to, print out training plans and work sheets, and view all of the instructional videos as many times as you’d like. What I particularly loved – especially knowing that dog nail maintenance is so important to the health of your dog – was the gentle reminders throughout the course that we can (and should) take our time as we go through the plan.
Lori takes us through the detailed process of classical conditioning by breaking down all of the components and explaining both the how and the why. This is associative learning; and while the plans are straightforward with simple instructions, the devil is typically in the detail when it comes to execution. Timing, order of events, eliminating obstacles to our dogs making those super important connections, magnitude – it’s all there in easy-to-follow detail without ever patronizing. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish, but this course does it beautifully.
There are insightful interviews with both behavior and medical experts that provide important information on how nail length impacts our dogs’ movement and, by extension, overall quality of life. We also get a fun lesson in nail and paw anatomy! This was a bonus I hadn’t expected.
What I think I loved most about this course is how supportive it is. Lori makes it crystal clear when she says, “This is to be a safe space for dogs and humans alike,” and walks the walk every step of the way. There is no old-school owner shaming here. In fact, quite the opposite: Lori shares her own past experiences in an open and honest manner, empathizing with dogs and owners alike about the struggle of providing fear-free nail care. It is her unique ability to relate to others that provides such comfortable padding for us while we progress through the course.
A good instructor can break information down into digestible bits, model procedures efficiently, and coach students effectively with patience and respect. This entire course is a fine lesson in how to accomplish all of that. Not to mention the positive reinforcement students get by having the opportunity to mark off all the segments as complete – such a satisfying task! I have no question that students of this program will achieve their training goals, allowing their dogs to participate happily in their own nail care. There will be no shortage of grateful dog owners (and trainers!) for having such an accessible, affordable, high-quality resource available to them in the comfort of their own homes. This course is a real game changer that I enthusiastically recommend, just as it’s been endorsed by Academy for Dog Trainers founder, Jean Donaldson.
Lori is offering a discount for YPBY followers for 60 days. Just enter the discount code YPBY2017 when prompted and join the class for only $25. You can sign up here!