Monday, April 11, 2016

DIY Scratch Board in 5 Easy Steps

Hey, everyone!

Today I have a DIY for a scratch board to share with y'all!

What's a scratch board, you may ask? Well, it's a bit like a scratching post for dogs. The dog digs or scratches at an abrasive surface as a way to file their own nails. This is a great options for dogs that don't tolerate clipping or dremeling, or as a way to help get or keep the nails short in between clipping/grinding sessions. It's a simple stress and force free way to help keep the nails down.
Nola's nails grow insanely fast, and they are thick, and they are black. She needs her nails dremeled every 2-3 days, and if I slack at all on that, they grow like weeds. While she's finally okay with me doing her nails, the scratch board is a great way to help keep them at a good length.

This is a simple and cheap way to make your own scratch board! My awesome dad actually made it (and is modeling ;)), but it's so simple even I could do it, haha.

I'll be sharing how I taught Nola to use it on Friday, but it's very easy to shape this behavior if you have a clicker-savvy dog.

You Will Need:

1. Sandpaper*
2. Caulk or other adhesive
3. Cutting board**

*If your dog has white/clear nails or their nails are fairly soft, you should look for a 120 or 100 grit. For black nails, which tend to be much thicker, 100 or 80 grit is fine. I'm using an 80 grit for Nola. 

**You can use pretty much anything as the board: an actual board, a cutting board, a block of wood, a clipboard, ect

Step 1 - Size The Sandpaper

These sandpaper sheets are larger than the cutting board, so they had to be sized down to fit on the board. My dad is a bit of a perfectionist with these types of things, and he went all fancy with exact measurements. If you're lazy like me so inclined, you can just eyeball it. Mark where you need to clip!

Step 2 - Trim to Fit

Carefully trim away excess paper along your marked line. This is where I was especially glad to have his help, since I cut about as straight as a drunk preschooler. 

Step 3 - Give it Your Caulk

*snorts with perverted humor* Sorry, couldn't resist!

In all seriousness, this is your most important step. Put a dab of caulk at each corner, along each edge, and some in the middle. Don't go too crazy with it, or it'll never dry, but don't be stingy, either - if you don't use enough, it'll come right off.

Step 4 - Carefully Place

Carefully line the paper up, and press it firmly to the cutting board, taking care to smooth out any air pockets once it's in place. 

Step 5 - Flip and Press

Place the cutting board sandpapered-sided down, and put a brick, book or other heavy object on top of it until it is totally dry. Depending on the adhesive type used, this can be anywhere from 1 to 8 hours. Keeping pressure on it makes for a firmer attachment and a smoother surface. 

Once it's dry, you're done!

Here's Nola's first session with it, and the results.


- Dachshund Mommy


  1. What a great idea!! Maggie is the only one who hates having her nails done so I wonder how she would do with this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. May have to make one of those for Miss Hailey.

  3. Thanks for the DIY tutorial! I've been wondering about this sort of training. Does it bother her paw pads at all? I was worried the sand paper would hurt their pads.

  4. What a nifty idea! I was wondering the same thing - if it would hurt their pads at all?? But wow if it works that is great!

  5. Never thought of that. Nice nails Nola!!


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