I am 100% unable to clip my dog's nails and need help badly - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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I am 100% unable to clip my dog's nails and need help badly

I can't seem to get my dog to let me clip her nails and its becoming extremely frustrating. I had to take a step back because I was actually getting mad at the dog for not cooperating with it. She will not allow me to touch her paws without nipping at me. She's not biting hard or anything, but it makes it impossible to trim those crazy nails.

I've done everything I can think of. I slowly introduced the dremel, tried to associate it with treats etc. She doesn't seem to mind the dremel and the noise doesn't bother her, but once I start grabbing her paw and using it then she freaks out on me by nipping at my hands or pulling her arm away. I'm really not sure what to do. The next idea is for me to buy clippers and just forceably cut the nails. I would rather cut her in the quick a few times than her continue cutting my arms up with those long nails of hers.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 12:24 PM
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You have to start over by handling her feet often and giving treats. Give her a treat while holding a paw. Do this often. Then in a few days, try one nail only, with treat. Next day, next nail and so on. My dog doesn't like it so I do one nail every day, just have to keep track of what you did yesterday.... like left to right, top to bottom.
Eventually each nail will be done every 18 days.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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What should I do if I handle her feet and she bites my hand playfully? That's the real issue is that my dog always thinks its time to wrestle around, play and bite things.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 12:33 PM
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Try getting her to hold her favorite ball or toy in her mouth while you are doing nails. Can't bite at you and hold the ball at the same time. Praise her calmly for holding the ball/toy while you handle her feet. Start with very short periods and work your way up.


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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 12:38 PM
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One of my Dachshunds has to be muzzled...but he started out not only needing the muzzle but twisting and fighting so hard (including scratching and muzzle punching with the muzzle on) I was afraid he'd injure his back again - he came to us paralyzed from his waist back!

I started by showing him the clippers and giving him a treat. Always quick with GOOD treats, too, not dry biscuits or something. I got to where I could touch his toe with the clippers finally, lots of treats and most importantly, a helper to hold him still and keep him calm during the process.

He's still got to be muzzled now but he stays still, and when he's done I give him a dehydrated rabbit paw. He loves them and they are good for him but tend to give the dogs diarrhea anyway so I prefer to use it as the "ultimate reward" for staying still and not fighting the clippers.

In his case he was terrified beyond reason by clippers. So we've made progress. I don't know when or if I'll ever be able to do it without a muzzle though.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 12:41 PM
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I really had a hard time with Lakota, she's much better now. I would put her leash on, give her a chewy, sit there touching her nails with my fingers then the clipper. You need to have a lot of patience and you don't have to do all the nails in one sitting. I don't allow my dogs to mouth my skin so I don't know what to say about that. How old is she?

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 01:00 PM
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Did you follow the desensitization instructions on this link before you started? How to Dremel Dog Nails @ DoberDawn.com

It was impossible for us to clip Cassidy's nails too, my husband had to basically lay on her to hold her down, and she'd still yank her paw away the second I touched it so we ended up taking her to the vet to have it done.

We went from that extreme to me being able to dremel her nails BY MYSELF in a week. I'd put her in a down, have her roll on her side, and I could dremel all four paws in one sitting. The first time I went to touch the dremel to a nail, thinking I'd only be able to do one or two at first, she was absolutely fine so I just kept going. Later on, she would decide she was done before I was actually through so I had my husband feed her treats while I was doing her nails, just to keep her from getting up and walking away. But I never needed any assistance restraining her.

I started VERY slowly, just touching a paw and giving a treat, working up to being able to hold her paw in my hand while treating, wiggling the toes, pinching and pulling on a nail, etc, with the dremel laying on the ground nearby. Then I'd do all that again with the dremel turned on so she could get used to the noise. I'd talk happy to her, sing her silly songs, anything to keep her calm and relaxed.

The biggest thing was to get her okay with having her paws handled after the trauma that nail trims were prior to that. Once I passed that hurdle it went much faster. And the funny thing is that when I bought the dremel and showed it to my husband he said "there's no way she's going to let you near her with that thing". Ha!


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 01:16 PM
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You might want to take your dog to a professional groomer to have her nails clipped. Dogs tend to calm down when they realize that the person trimming their nails knows what they are doing; if you are at all insecure or frustrated, they can sense it, and won't let you NEAR their paws! Once she learns to accept having her nails done by a professional, it should be easier for you to do at home.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 01:18 PM
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My Malinois had to be muzzled for months for me to clip her nails.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 01:51 PM
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Thank you Cassidy's Mom for the link. My dogs are great about letting me dremel their nails, but the article gave some great advice on how short to go and how often to do their nails. I think they are so good because I made it a point to handle their paws often from the day they came home.
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