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Old 12-02-2012, 08:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A few grooming questions... (nails, ears etc)

Berlin is 5 months old, and I have been handling his paws since I got him...I have attempted every week to cut his nails, and he still is not accustomed to it. I usually cannot get more than like..7 or so nails done. He just pulls his paws away or gets up and walks away. I have tried positive reinforcement with treats, no luck. Any helpful ideas on how to get a puppy used to having his nails cut?? He's the same way with his ears...he really HATES me cleaning them. And brushing. Ha! He always tries to run away from me, but we have kind of turned brushing into a 'fun game', and he lets me do it. I brush him almost everyday anyways so...he has no choice. No way is he getting away with not being groomed at all, especially since he is a long coat.

But, any helpful tips? I have no idea what to do, and I dont want him to end up like my older dog, who I can barely even touch her nails at all. I want him to let me do it easily.

Also, when do you guys recommend neutering?? I have heard so many different things, the breeder says wait until over a year, vet says 6 months...in the meantime I have decided about 7-8 months (or until his male habits start to show up).

Thanks
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hiya

The nails are a tricky one, do you have someone that can help you with him?
I usually try to do the nails after they had a busy day and are quite worn out an happy to have some laying down cuddle time.
I generally get my DH to distract the "front end" with cuddles and a few treats while I clip the nails. One thing I have found is important is to be confident and quick with the nail clipping and to have nice sharp good quality clippers.
Even if you only do one foot every evening thats fine

As for the ears, same deal wait till he's a bit sleepy (hard with a 5 month old I know)
What do you do to clean his ears? I usually just wipe them with a tissue or a gauze swab. I don't use any liquid on my dogs.

Both mine are long coats and they are blowing coat big time atm. My 9 month old boy was not to keen on me getting a bunch of undercoat out of his thighs so I gave him a kong stuffed full of meat and that kept him laying down and distracted enough that the brushing wasn't so much of an issue. I also do tie him up to brush so he doesn't just walk off.

As for the neutering you'll ask 100 different people on here an you'll get 99 different opinions

Mine got done at 7 month old (he had to have an anaesthetic for a different reason so we decided to do it at the same time to save him having to have another one a few month later) and I'm glad I didn't wait any longer than that. My other dog is a spayed female but he was constantly trying to hump her etc.
Some people like to wait till 1 or 2 years old but I think go with whatever suits you best
If for example you have some time off in the new year it may be worth doing it then so you can spend the first few days with him
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i use a Dremel on my dogs paws. when my dog was a pup
i use to touch his nails everyday, several times a day. sometimes
when he was eating i would turn the dremel on and rub his body
with the body of the Dremel. sometimes i would take the Dremel
and barely touch a nail. once he got use to the Dremel it was easy
to trim his nails. most of the time i would only trim one nail maybe two nails at a time. later on i would trim another one or two. make sure
you handle his feet/nails everyday. i always gave him a treat just
before trimming and during the trimming.

i use to brush him everyday. i would give him a few strokes of the
brush throughout the day. again i treated.

i've never neutered my dogs. if i were going to neuter my dogs
would be 2 years old or older.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have 3 dogs and maybe 1 is good about getting their nails done, well by me anyway. The two females are gone when they see me take it out. The older female is a little bit more tolerant of it. The GSD, as much as I practiced with her just didn't like it. I can touch her paws anyway I want, except to trim them nails. She has gotten better as she gets older..I took her to Petsmart once and it took 5 of them to hold her and she was very vocal, people were laughing at her(drama queen). The last couple times, I wasn't around and they said she did great, so its me not her As far as neutering I get all of mine done between 6-8 months and I've never had a problem.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When it comes to nails and ears, you simply have to JUST DO IT (just like the Nike commercial!)

If you have someone to help you even better. If you have no one to help you (like me LOL) ... here's what I did:

take puppy out for hours so they are very very tired
put on collar and leash and attach leash to something (I usually do it outside on the deck so I don't end up walking on the nails and having them embedded in my feet)
for the front paws - I tell her to give me a paw, and I hold it FIRMLY (but not too tight) and clip - go fast, with confidence. I don't coo / oooh / aaaah over it - I make it very matter of fact. THIS is what we are doing ... so there you go!
Change paws and clip clip clip.

For the back paws, I have her lay down on the deck, and same thing ... hold the paw firmly and clip clip clip.

Untie and then lots of praise, play time etc. (Ky's not a food fan)

The key is in YOUR demeanour ... if you are nervous, slow, etc. the dog will feed off that.

I act as if it's not a big deal (which it isn't) and just go about my business.

Also - if you're nervous about clipping too short and getting the quick, just clip the tips. You can alway "reclip" in a week or so.

A dremel is an awesome thing to use. I've used this on Ky also ... same idea ... don't make a big deal about it ... and then REWARD / PRAISE like it's a party when you're COMPLETELY done.

I discovered with Ky that if I praised right after the first paw, she thought we were ALL done ... I learned very quickly to wait until the whole process was complete!

Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Maintaining Healthy Physical Contact with Your Dog - Whole Dog Journal Article

Peaceable Paws

Force-Free Nail Trimming Techniques for Your Dog - Whole Dog Journal Article

I like the brushing game - it sounds like you found something that works well!

I will only wipe my dogs' ears out with a warm, slightly damp cloth - no additives or things in the ears.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You need to make sure he can't walk away from you while you're grooming him. If you have a table you can put him on top of, he will naturally be wary of stepping off the edge, so you may have better control. Or you can get control of his head by leashing him up to something sturdy. Be firm and consistent and keep in your mind that you WILL trim his nails and that is that. Dogs pick up on intent. If you are wishy-washy, they know it and will take advantage of it.

If you're really having a hard time, take him to a groomer. Sometimes it takes a professional to teach a dog how to behave during grooming, since they have the tools and equipment to facilitate it. Once he figures out what a toenail trim is and how to stand reasonably still for it, it should be easier for you to do it at home.

Neutering around 8 months would be a good compromise, I think.

Last edited by Freestep; 12-03-2012 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I tried the dremel on my older dog today - it worked fantastic, can't believe it's taken me this long too try
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dremel is the way to go.( Thanks Carlos Rojas)My dogs did not enjoy brushing untill they were older and calmer.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch View Post
The nails are a tricky one, do you have someone that can help you with him?
I usually try to do the nails after they had a busy day and are quite worn out an happy to have some laying down cuddle time.
I generally get my DH to distract the "front end" with cuddles and a few treats while I clip the nails. One thing I have found is important is to be confident and quick with the nail clipping and to have nice sharp good quality clippers.
Even if you only do one foot every evening thats fine

As for the ears, same deal wait till he's a bit sleepy (hard with a 5 month old I know)
What do you do to clean his ears? I usually just wipe them with a tissue or a gauze swab. I don't use any liquid on my dogs.
I attempt to do the same, after he is passed out, outcold, but as soon as I start messing with the paws, he wakes right up lol! To clean his ears, I was using these moist pads I bought. Haven't used them in a while though, because he had a nasty yeast infection in one ear, and was on Zymox. He has been off of that for about a week, and his ears look alot cleaner than before. So today, I just wiped his ears with a swab. I don't use the pure liquid cleaner, looks messy IMO, esp. with the way he shakes after having the ear medicine put in! Anyways, are those moist ear pads okay?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch View Post
Mine got done at 7 month old (he had to have an anaesthetic for a different reason so we decided to do it at the same time to save him having to have another one a few month later) and I'm glad I didn't wait any longer than that. My other dog is a spayed female but he was constantly trying to hump her etc.
Some people like to wait till 1 or 2 years old but I think go with whatever suits you best
If for example you have some time off in the new year it may be worth doing it then so you can spend the first few days with him
7-9 months was when I was thinking....not neutering him isn't a choice, because I don't have a yard, and if he ever got outside without a leash....he could roam anywhere. I live in a townhouse neighborhood, and there are alot of dogs also..I have no plans on breeding any who. I just am going to see how he is as he goes through puberty. I do know I want to wait until at least 7 months, and if I can, longer, but eventually, he will be neutered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
i use a Dremel on my dogs paws. when my dog was a pup
i use to touch his nails everyday, several times a day. sometimes
when he was eating i would turn the dremel on and rub his body
with the body of the Dremel. sometimes i would take the Dremel
and barely touch a nail. once he got use to the Dremel it was easy
to trim his nails. most of the time i would only trim one nail maybe two nails at a time. later on i would trim another one or two. make sure
you handle his feet/nails everyday. i always gave him a treat just
before trimming and during the trimming.

i use to brush him everyday. i would give him a few strokes of the
brush throughout the day. again i treated.

i've never neutered my dogs. if i were going to neuter my dogs
would be 2 years old or older.
I play with his paws every day and touch his nails. I feel stupid asking, but what is a Dremel??? Also, I brush him just about everyday, and praise him afterward. So hopefully he will get more accustomed to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
I have 3 dogs and maybe 1 is good about getting their nails done, well by me anyway. The two females are gone when they see me take it out. The older female is a little bit more tolerant of it. The GSD, as much as I practiced with her just didn't like it. I can touch her paws anyway I want, except to trim them nails. She has gotten better as she gets older..I took her to Petsmart once and it took 5 of them to hold her and she was very vocal, people were laughing at her(drama queen). The last couple times, I wasn't around and they said she did great, so its me not her As far as neutering I get all of mine done between 6-8 months and I've never had a problem.
The Petsmart story made me laugh! I have a coupon for a free nail trim there, so I am contemplating taking him in and see how he handles them doing it..and thanks for the advice on neutering, as i said that is when i plan on doing it, but just wanted to see the pros/cons of doing it then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleigh View Post
take puppy out for hours so they are very very tired
put on collar and leash and attach leash to something (I usually do it outside on the deck so I don't end up walking on the nails and having them embedded in my feet)
for the front paws - I tell her to give me a paw, and I hold it FIRMLY (but not too tight) and clip - go fast, with confidence. I don't coo / oooh / aaaah over it - I make it very matter of fact. THIS is what we are doing ... so there you go!
Change paws and clip clip clip.

For the back paws, I have her lay down on the deck, and same thing ... hold the paw firmly and clip clip clip.

Untie and then lots of praise, play time etc. (Ky's not a food fan)

The key is in YOUR demeanour ... if you are nervous, slow, etc. the dog will feed off that.

I act as if it's not a big deal (which it isn't) and just go about my business.

Also - if you're nervous about clipping too short and getting the quick, just clip the tips. You can alway "reclip" in a week or so.

A dremel is an awesome thing to use. I've used this on Ky also ... same idea ... don't make a big deal about it ... and then REWARD / PRAISE like it's a party when you're COMPLETELY done.

I discovered with Ky that if I praised right after the first paw, she thought we were ALL done ... I learned very quickly to wait until the whole process was complete!

Good luck!
I love this idea, and will have to try it. Thanks for the advice! I am not sure what a dremel is though. Haha, I have praised Berlin after one or two nails, and same thing, he thought we were done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanKBBMMMAAN View Post
Maintaining Healthy Physical Contact with Your Dog - Whole Dog Journal Article

Peaceable Paws

Force-Free Nail Trimming Techniques for Your Dog - Whole Dog Journal Article

I like the brushing game - it sounds like you found something that works well!

I will only wipe my dogs' ears out with a warm, slightly damp cloth - no additives or things in the ears.
Yes - the brushing game is fun for him and me, and I get him brushed, a two in one.

Do the additives do anything to the ears?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freestep View Post
You need to make sure he can't walk away from you while you're grooming him. If you have a table you can put him on top of, he will naturally be wary of stepping off the edge, so you may have better control. Or you can get control of his head by leashing him up to something sturdy. Be firm and consistent and keep in your mind that you WILL trim his nails and that is that. Dogs pick up on intent. If you are wishy-washy, they know it and will take advantage of it.

If you're really having a hard time, take him to a groomer. Sometimes it takes a professional to teach a dog how to behave during grooming, since they have the tools and equipment to facilitate it. Once he figures out what a toenail trim is and how to stand reasonably still for it, it should be easier for you to do it at home.
Thanks for this advice!! I was thinking about taking him in, and was hoping that it would help me out! And that might be my problem, being wishy-washy - with the nails. I have cut the quick (?) one too many times, and before I had any Styptic powder, it was a bloody nightmare!! So, I am just scared to do that again. But I tried leashing him up today, and grooming him and cleaning his ears and cutting his nails WAS easier...so hopefully he will learn to be more tolerant of it.
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