Familiarize yourself with CLAWGS before attempting to put them on your dog.
Fasten and unfasten the buckle. Note that each buckle side has a hook.
Heel straps have three configurations in the buckle:
1) Heel Straps Zig Zag Through Both Buckle Loops And Notch.
When the heel straps zig zag through both buckle loops, it is not possible to tighten or loosen the straps. The heel straps should be in this configuration while your dog is wearing Clawgs.
2) Heel Straps in First Buckle Loop and Notch.
When a heel strap is in the first buckle loop and the notch but not the second buckle loop, there is resistance but you can tighten and loosen the heel straps by pulling hard on the straps. The heel straps should be in this configuration while you're making small strap length adjustments.
3) Heel Straps Only in First Buckle Loop.
When a heel strap is only in the first buckle loop but not the notch or second buckle loop, it can be tightened and loosened without resistance. The heel straps should be in this configuration while you're tightening the heel straps for the first time.
To tighten the four toe straps, hold the buckle while pulling the straps that exit the buckle's front.
To loosen the toe straps, pull the straps before they enter the buckle.
Putting CLAWGS On And Adjusting The Straps:
- Tighten the heel straps as much as possible while the toe straps are loose.
- Next, tighten the front toe straps significantly.
- Do not overtighten the side toe straps.
The "Buckle Over Knuckle CLAWGS" (sizes 1 - 6) have buckles that extend to or near the front knuckles, so they are able to securely hold Clawgs front end in place.
The "Knuckle Holding CLAWGS" (sizes 7 - 12) have an additional strap holder over the knuckles, which prevents the middle claw opening from sliding back between toes.
Start with the four toe straps loosened completely, but leave yourself a small amount of excess straps sticking throught the buckle's front so you can grip them later while tightening the straps.
Unfasten the buckle and wrap the heel straps around your dog’s lower leg above the heel pad. If your dog has dew claws, make sure to wrap the Clawg below your dog’s dew claws. You can do this without even lifting paws off the ground! Or lift their paw to get the sole closer to the correct position.
Unfasten the buckle and slide the front two claws through CLAWGS' front claws' opening. Pull the sole back behind the heel and fasten the buckle.
Remove the heel straps from the second buckle loop and the notch. Then, tighten the heel straps as much as possible and wedge the excess heel straps through the notch. Then, unfasten the buckle and feed the excess heel straps through the second buckle loop. The heel strap should zig zag through the two buckle loops.
IMPORTANT: Make sure to pull all the excess strap through the second buckle loops. You do not want strap slack between the loops to slide back through the first buckle loop.
It is important to tighten the heel straps significantly so that they do not slide down to a position that causes discomfort and limits your dog’s toes’ range of motion.
To demonstrate this, wrap your left hand's fingers tightly around your right wrist and spread your right hand's fingers. You’ll notice that your fingers can spread easily and your right hand is comfortable.
Next, loosen your left hand's fingers slightly and slide them down below your wrist and try to spread your right hand's fingers. You’ll notice that it’s difficult to spread your fingers and more uncomfortable for your right hand than when your left hand's fingers were tighter. This is a situation where tighter heel straps means more comfortable dogs.
Make sure to tighten the heel straps as much as possible while all other straps are loose.
When the heel strap is properly tightened, the buckle should be positioned as far back on paws as possible.
The heel straps should be on or just below wrists / ankles, which you should be able to feel on the sides of dogs' legs. Note that dogs' ankles are typically further back than their wrists. This means that the buckle should be further back on most back paws than they are on front paws.
Hold CLAWGS middle claw opening and pull CLAWGS' front edge down to the proper location.
The knuckle strap holder should be positioned on or near dogs’ front knuckles.
If your dogs’ front toes slide through Clawgs’ front claws’ opening, lower the knuckle strap holder.
If the straps below the knuckle strap holder are pressing against claws or if your dogs’ front toes are squeezed together too tightly, raise the knuckle strap holder.
Note that it's easiest to adjust the knuckle strap holder's height when Clawgs are off paws.
Next, tighten the front toe straps significantly to hold the front toes in place. CLAWGS' sole should curve up slightly to cup the front toes.
After fastening the buckle, pull the front straps tight, which will hold paws’ front end in place.
The side toe straps should be a bit loose. The side toes spread the most, so give them some extra space. Overtightening side straps may wedge toes forward. If you decide to tighten the side toe straps significantly, make sure the sole is in front of the side toes while tightening.
If CLAWGS' sole is not centered under the paw, rotate CLAWGS to the proper orientation. Once it is properly centered, you’ll notice that it’s difficult to rotate it off center.
You can also attempt to pull the CLAWGS off to see how difficult it will be for CLAWGS to fall off. It they slide off easily, you'll need to tighten the heel straps slightly. Unfasten the buckle, then remove a heel strap from the second buckle loop, then focus on the heel strap's edge stitches entering the first buckle loop and pull one more stitch length through the buckle. Then, slide the excess heel strap through the second bcukle loop and try Clawgs on your dog again.
CLAWGS heel straps should be on or near your dog's wrists/ankle. You should be able to feel their wrist/ankle bones on the sides of your dog's legs, just like you can on your arms and legs.
Note that dogs' ankles are typically further back than their wrists. This means that the buckles should rest further back on back paws than they do on front paws.
Suggested strategy for adjusting straps and putting CLAWGS on your dog for the first time:
While your dog is laying comfortably on its side, sit beside your dog and adjust the six straps per paw.
When the straps are properly adjusted, leash your dog and take them for a walk.
Keep your dog walking. If dogs have nothing to do while wearing Clawgs, it's normal for them to try to remove them at first. Keep them active so they aren't obsessing over what's on their paws.
* There are lots of strategies, but this is what works best for us. If you have a dog trainer, please ask for their advice. *
If you are ever concerned about Clawgs fit on your dog’s unique paws, please consult with your vet and ask for their opinion. Ask them about the benefits and risks. If you have other pawwear, ask your vet to compare them to Clawgs.
If a Clawg slides down to where the heel pad is showing, use the heel’s finger tab to pull the Clawg back up. Then, when you remove Clawgs, tighten the heel straps slightly so that they don't slide down the next time you put them on.
If Clawgs slide off paws, the heel straps are too loose. Tighten the heel straps slightly before you put them on again.
If Clawgs' middle claw opening slides back between the front toes and the side toes, tighten the front toe straps and/or lower the knuckle strap holder.
Only put Clawgs on while your dog is active. The first few times you put Clawgs on your dog, attach a leash to them and keep them walking. If your dog has nothing to do, there’s a good chance they’ll spend their time trying to break and remove Clawgs. Keep their minds active on something besides Clawgs so they’ll adjust to them quickly.
Remove Clawgs when your dog is laying down or resting. Just like we don't like resting or sleeping in footwear, dogs prefer to rest and sleep without anything on their paws. The drawstring bag is a good place to store Clawgs until your dog is active again.
Clawgs heel is engraved with the size. If your dog wears two different sizes, you can distinguish between the two sizes by viewing the engraved heel size.
If your dog wears the same size on the front and back paws, you can distinguish between the two by selecting two different Clawgs color combinations (a black pair of Clawgs and a white pair of Clawgs).
If your dog wears the same size on the front paws and back paws and you selected the same color, you'll need to find a way to distinguish between the front Clawgs and back Clawgs. It's unlikely that all four paws' straps will be adjusted to the same length. You can mark a pair's black fabric with a white paint pen or tie a ribbon to a pair so you can identify the front and back Clawgs.
There are a few alterations that you can make to improve the performance and appearance of your Clawgs.
Once you're confident that the straps are adjusted properly, you can hand stitch each side toe strap to the adjacent front toe strap at the closest point to the buckle. Then, you can cut the excess straps off so that Clawgs feel better to your dog (without excess straps flopping around) and look prettier to you!
DO NOT trim the heel straps. You do not want to cut the heel strap's stitches.