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Old 01-18-2014, 12:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My dogs HATES his nails being clipped

I have a 9 month old German Shepherd who will absolutely not stand his front nails being clipped. My sister does the clipping, and I attempt to hold him down, but he thrashes so much that I just can't. (he's around 90-100 pounds) He froths at the mouth and makes noises like we're torturing him. We've had to buy a mussel because he will bite us. He's not scared of the clippers, because we can do his back nails just fine. We've tried to distract him with peanut butter but he rather ignore it and escape the situation. I've even conditioned him into letting me touch his paws just in a regular situation. It's just when the clippers are involved he goes mad. We don't want to have to take him into the vet every time we have to groom him, so can someone help me think of a solution to this issue? Thank you.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Volivia View Post
I have a 9 month old German Shepherd who will absolutely not stand his front nails being clipped. My sister does the clipping, and I attempt to hold him down, but he thrashes so much that I just can't. (he's around 90-100 pounds) He froths at the mouth and makes noises like we're torturing him. We've had to buy a mussel because he will bite us. He's not scared of the clippers, because we can do his back nails just fine. We've tried to distract him with peanut butter but he rather ignore it and escape the situation. I've even conditioned him into letting me touch his paws just in a regular situation. It's just when the clippers are involved he goes mad. We don't want to have to take him into the vet every time we have to groom him, so can someone help me think of a solution to this issue? Thank you.
Try a new, they're quieter, Dremel rotary tool with the little sanding drums. The have several different grit drums in a pack. It took a while but they finally accepted it. The best thing I found is it beats the heck out of the possibility of accidentally hitting the quick and it is a little more time consuming. Other than that, I give it a up
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thats my Magick too. I'd clip the nail on his hind legs while he chews on his bullystick. But come to the front and he goes crazy..

He still does but after one year now, we just "battle" it out till he gives up & lay there tired & i can clip & file his nails too! Oh, the battling also happen to be after a one hour run...

Maybe try to drain his energy then clip the nails?


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Old 01-18-2014, 07:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I second the dremel training. If you google the dober dawn website (or just search this forum), there are great instructions for introducing the dremel. We've been working on it for weeks and have just started being able to actually grind a little off of the nail. However, my 85lb Shepherd, who would fight and cry for nail trimmings before, now lays down and offers me his paws and lets me put the dremel to his nails. That is so worth the time we've put into the desensitization. The dremel is a good thing and he gets to choose whether he would like to earn treats or not. Of course he decides to go for the treats
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thumbs up on the dremel.

I have always taken my time getting the dog used to paws AND nails handled when we started may only get one or two nails at a time with treats for each nail.

I have a ritual that we throw balls first until he is panting, then I sit on the deck and ask him to down and roll on his side. I have always had better luck training the dog to be calm while I did the nails than hold him down, even with one who was terrible - once he realized I was "in charge" he settled down quite nicely.

FWIW I have a tiny clipper and I trim back the paw hair as well to minimize risk of grabbing it with the dremel.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Has he been quicked before?
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the replies! My sister and I will definitely pick a Dremel rotary tool. We usually do exercise him before we do any sort of grooming, but recently we've been in the single digits with the weather, so none of us wants to be out side for too long. But we tried to clip his front paws with more success today. We tried a different position, we laid him on his back while my sister propped him up on her leg, and I held on to his back legs. This way he for sure couldn't get out of the hold, and once he realized that he stopped struggling as much and we were able to get all the nails done.

We've never cut his quick, but we're not sure if the breeders ever have. We picked him up at 5 months, but it didn't really seem they kept up on grooming with him (his ears had a lot of wax in them).
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Another vote for the Dremel.

My GSD is seriously food-oriented, and hates nail trimming too.

I start by closing his kennel (that clues him in that torture is to follow), and I put on my safety glasses and headlamp for the operation. I lure him with carrot pieces and reassure him that it's okay. I put a big carrot on the counter in front of him to show him he gets a treat when we're done. He's extremely hesitant, but I get him to come to me, and I help him into a sit position. He stands for the rear feet.

At first it was just one foot per evening, but now all four. When I'm done there is lots of praise, petting, and he gets his carrot. Then I comb him, which he loves.

My last GSD clippers were a fight and Dremel was better. This guy I have now would be physically impossible with clippers. Making the ordeal a positive experience is they key for mine.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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definitely the dremel but I think you need to do some counter conditioning. show him the clippers and treat him. Put the clippers up. Don't cut his nails, just treat him for accepting them in his space. Do the same with the dremel before you just start it up.
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