Keeping nails longer in winter - thoughts? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-25-2013, 10:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Keeping nails longer in winter - thoughts?

I was going to grind my puppy's nails today but I'm having second thoughts. While we were out playing, I noticed that he's using his nails to claw into the ice and propels himself with them. I don't want to take away traction, so should I keep them a little longer? Our yard is a frozen tundra right now, with the snow packed down, and the ground frozen solid. The area where we play is actually pretty cool - the snow/ice/dirt/ has been scraped so much that it now resembles sand.

His nails aren't *long* long, still a tad shorter than his fur, but they're starting to click on the floor. But I don't want them to split either. Do SAR dogs keep their nails longer? Am I worrying too much, lol?
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you ever walk him on asphalt or concrete? Most of the time Larger active breed dogs do not need their nails clipped. I took Zeus into get his nails clipped at the vets and the guy just looked at me stupid and said he didn't need it and as long as he was as active as he his now he will never need it. He is almost a year and a half and his nails are not long at all. My vet said walking them on concrete files them down? Dunno the truth behind it but kind of makes sense.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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And if ya would fill me in. Whats a SAR dog? Dunno what that means. Im new here lol
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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SAR is 'Search And Rescue' and I wondered if those dogs, having to climb over all sorts of terrain, used their nails more. Of course, like you say, they probably get ground down naturally doing that, lol. We don't have any concrete here, but when I had dogs in the city I never had to clip their nails. Right now it's all snow and even if I was to find a nice hard surface to walk him on, it would be covered in salt, ugh.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I do continue to clip nails throughout the winter, I want the quick kept low. Neither of my dogs has any trouble getting traction with shorter nails.

I do not believe that larger breed active dogs don't need their nails clipped. Maybe if you ONLY exercised them on concrete, but then I would be more worried about joint impact than nails.

My two Shepherds are very active (2-4 hours a day exercise, classes, endurance training, swimming), and I clip their nails about every 3 weeks. Their nails stay short on their own for a longer period of time, because they are active, but I still need to clip them. That said, the only time they are working on concrete is when we are working streetproofing, and running beside the bike for 2-3 minutes on our way to the trails.

If I can hear the clicking on the floor, for me they are too long. If the dog can't scratch themselves successfully (provide relief of the itch) then the nails are too short.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You can see his nails in the pic. They have not one time been cut in a year and a half and they are not long. I walk him around the block every night but thats all the time he spends on concrete. You can believe it or not but here is some proof for ya

And I hear no clicking on my floor
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Is my dog the only one that has fast growing nails! I take Bear every two weeks to have his nails dremmeled (he won't let me do it, believe me I've tried!) We walk more than a mile every day, 2 times a day on concrete/asphalt surface and his nails still grow like crazy! I would rather have my dog's nails a little shorter than longer.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wonder if the weather in some areas may have something to do with it? Like Colder weather nails grow faster? Im not sure what causes some to grow faster than others but hopefully someone might know.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryant88 View Post
You can see his nails in the pic. They have not one time been cut in a year and a half and they are not long. I walk him around the block every night but thats all the time he spends on concrete. You can believe it or not but here is some proof for ya

And I hear no clicking on my floor
This is about double the length I keep my dogs nails, they just peek from under the toe fur, so maybe we just have different opinions about what short is

Either way, as long as the dogs feet are healthy and the nails are good, then whatever works for the dog and handler.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That's about the length my puppy's are. They don't touch the ground when he's standing but they do make a slight clicking sound when he walks. To me they seem like they could be taken back a tiny bit. I'm grinding about every three weeks too.
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