Toenails 101 (MOVED TO BASIC CARE)
Maybe there's a better spot for this, but I just want to share some toenail hints:
1. The number one thing is to do this in a comfortable position -- for you. Bending over a dog on the ground, where he can back up or bolt forward, means bending over (hurts your back, makes your legs ache, etc. And you will take a lot longer to see the nail, and the quick, etc. It is also a much more intimidating position for a dog to be in. Since you are uncomfortable, the dog will be uncomfortable. Since it is hard for you to see the quick, it will take longer, and the dog will have more of an opportunity to get itself worked up.
Put the dog up on a dog house, table, or couch/bed. Train it to stay, or use a leash and tie it there. Make the position comfortable for you, and maybe a little restrained for the dog.
2. Get flour or stipic powder on hand. Sooner or later you will nick your dog. Having the stuff on hand will make you less nervous, and the dog will then be less nervous, and you are then less likely to nick the quick.
3. Use the right tool for the job. If you are doing little toenails on a small dog or puppy, use a clipper for small dogs, if you are doing a large dog, use a larger, stronger clipper. Dremmels are good too, usually to dull them down after you clip.
4. Don't drag it out. There may be a dog or two out there that his so soft they need to have you do one nail and then treat, etc. Most dogs are better off with a quick sharp correction the first time they act up and a no-nonsense clip, clip, clip, clip, clip. At the end, you can praise and treat if you like. But I think it is far more humane for the dog to get a quick correction than to go through weeks of conditioning. If you are confident and no-nonsense, and have the dog up where you can see what you are doing, and are not uncomfortable (which makes it far more likely for you to react irritably), then the dog will accept toenail clipping without needing to be sedated at the vet to get it done.
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC