Gimme and I are doing a lot of free-shaping lately. I am working on tightening up her spin. I'm also trying to get her to go in the other direction. She prefers counter-clockwise (left turning) turns/spins/pivots, so I want to get her going the other way to keep her body balanced. Not to mention that we'll need spins in both directions.
I'm also teaching her to file her own nails. I have to confess, I really hate doing nails, but have done them all my dog-owning life because its a necessity. Now though, its gotten to where doing them really makes my back hurt. There is something about the posture that just does me in. So I read on line about making a nail board and free-shaping the dog to scratch (front feet) and kick (back feet) to do their own nails.
So I made a board and thought I'd put it in a spot where she walks through several times a day... wouldn't you know she neatly steps around it every time. For now I'm placing it right inside the dog door, where she goes through about ten times a day. Since she doesn't really see/notice it, she doesn't try to avoid it.
Plus we've had two free-shaping sessions where I prop the board up and shape her to scratch at it. I tried it laying flat, but she kept thinking it was a platform that she should stand on. Last night I was able to easily get her to scratch with the left front foot. At the time I thought it was the location of the board relative to where I was sitting and planned to reverse that tonight to do her right foot. However, it turns out that isn't the issue at all. Gimme is decidedly left-pawed. It took longer, but I did get her scratching with the right foot.
I was pleasantly surprised how well the nail board works and could really see where it had filed her nails. Come summer I will video tape her coming and going on the front and back stairs to identify where she steps. I'm guessing it will be toward the leading edge. Then I'll put that stuff on on the stairs and she can do her own nails for life, eh... I don't actually know if that will be enough, but usually her back nails stay reasonable length, so it should keep them down enough. And if it doesn't keep the front nails down, it won't take anything to just spend ten minutes a week clicking and treating her for doing them herself.
BTW the "stuff" I'm talking about is that adhesive backed "outdoor tread" made by 3M. I bought a roll of it from Home Depot in the paint department; its 4" wide by 180" long for $20. Most people put it on stairs for added traction and safety. It'll stick to wood or cement, can be used outdoors and lasts a long time.