How the testing went - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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How the testing went

We just got home from the therapy dog testing. Chloe did great! I, on the other hand, have a few things I need to work on. I have to relax the leash more (I'm used to holding it tight and close to me). I also have to be faster with commands and praises, and keep closer to her so she knows she's being good and that she's safe. We have to come back and I have to do better before we can move on to the second stage, but she didn't fail. I'm so glad we didn't fail, because we wouldn't be able to try again. So excited to get better at this!

I do feel a little bad though. Her only issue is me. But I'm going to do my best to be the best handler I can be!

Also, the tester told me that her nails are still too long. That is frustrating, because I had the vet's office do it a few days ago. But the tester did give me a few good grooming tips, including having me trim the fur between her toes to prevent matting.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 12:59 PM
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That's awesome! Don't feel badly about your handling, there is always room for improvement and You have already nurtured Chloe's good temperament to a point where she can do this kind of work.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! She has an amazing temperament. I'm so lucky to have her. She has always been so well-behaved. And I can trust her around anyone. She was a little shy when we first got her as a puppy, but she improved very quickly. And I'm so glad she's well-behaved. A lot of people think she's going to be too rough or misbehave because she's a big dog, and some people still misjudge German Shepherds. It's too bad, too, because I have a hard time finding homes to rent with her. And she's so well-behaved. I'd rather have dogs like her in my properties, if I were a landlord, than most other dogs.

Sorry, I did a rant there...
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 12:22 AM
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Can you learn to do her nails yourself? I also highly recommend using a dremel on the nails instead of cutting them. You can get them shorter this way, and also its nice the way you can smooth down all the edges and nothing is sharp. When working on getting the nails shorter you need the quick inside to recede, and with the dremel you can sand down AROUND the quick instead of just cutting the tips off which helps it recede faster. And its easier to get all the way down to the quick without going too far and making the dog bleed, or not going far enough and making the whole process take longer.

Though, I typically work on desensitizing a dog to nail clipping with the regular clippers before I introduce the dremel. I get the routine going before I bring in the noisy thing that causes the weird vibration sensation. Let me know if you'd like tips on doing this, on top of my own dogs I foster and used to petsit and while its not modest I am quite talented at nail clipping it seems lol, many of my petsitting clients were shocked to come home and find their dogs nails done and claimed they didn't allow anyone, even the "professionals" to do their nails, meanwhile they'd been perfect angels for me. Your confidence and calmness is important here as well, and otherwise its just taking the time and making sure you do things that make it easier for you next time, and not making choices that make things harder next time!


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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I stopped clipping her nails because one time, she started bleeding a tiny bit, and then it kept getting worse, until I had to take her to the emergency vet and get it cauterized. I don't remember how short I cut it (it was years ago), but they said she might have clotting problems. I tried the pedi-paws (a dremel), but that took a long time to do on her thick nails. After that, I just had my mom clip them. She never seemed to have an issue, and with the vet leaving them as long as they did, I assumed they were okay. I asked my mom if she's comfortable cutting them shorter. She's not. So I'm going to get the dremel out again. If I have trouble, I'll just have to take her to the groomer. I might have to take her a lot at first, to get her quick back, but they can't tell me that, until they see her.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 12:27 PM
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The pedi paws is not actually the same as a dremel, its not nearly as powerful so yea you're going to run into the issue where it takes longer. With a dremel you can choose exactly which sand paper you want, and lots of more power. You can always start off lower on power until you're really comfortable, and then start getting faster. Thats the way I did it, I also originally thought it took too long but I also originally made the mistake of buying an Oster brand nail grinder, and quickly returned it. Went to a dremel about a year later and never turned back.

The easiest way is to start out by firmly holding the nail and pressing down with the sander side straight against the tip until you get to be the length you want. You get to know what the quick looks like when you're getting there. And if you go too far, typically you get a teeny tiny pin prick drop of blood and you know to stop. Once all the nails are the right length, you can take off more around the sides, top, smoothing everything out. I like to take off the top at the end because of the way the nail is curved, as that makes the nail appear even shorter than it is. When starting out, you can press light and take your time until you get the hang of it, and the dog is used to the vibration. But then you can press hard on that initial take down and its super fast. If its been over a week or especially over 2 weeks since I last did nails, I alternate which nail I'm doing with taking down the length, taking a bit off and going to the next nail, then doing another sweep across. This keeps the nail from heating up from friction. This way can also help you with getting used to it and not taking too much off. But I don't think you'd even get to the point of really bleeding, since you're slowly grinding it off instead of taking a huge chunk, the dog is going to let you know when you hit the quick. If Emma pulls her paw out of my hands, I know I've gone too far even if it doesn't look like it. I move on to the next nail, then come back to finish off smoothing around the edges. Early on the dog may pull their paw back due to the sensation, but again early on if you go too far the dog is going to react more strongly so you'll know the difference. Emma being an old pro, if she reacts at all I know I've made a mistake.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 12:46 PM
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The dremel is actually a great way to get the nails down, as Lin mentioned. You can take off very small amounts every few days, allowing the quick to recede between trims.

If I'm staying on top of the nails I usually just dremel, but if they've gotten fairly long I'll clip a bit off first (I'm paranoid about quicking them, so I know I never get as much off as I could), and then finish with the dremel. Keefer's nails grow quickly and are hard as rocks. I make two or three passes across each foot before moving to the next foot. If you leave the tool on one nail for too long, it gets hot, which can be uncomfortable. I use a coarse sandpaper head rather than medium, which goes quicker.

-Debbie-
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Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. Where would I get a good dremel? What should I look for in a dremel? Is there anything I should avoid when buying one?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 05:01 PM
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Some people prefer the cordless models, I use a corded one and have never had any problem. Some people also prefer the ones that are L shaped, I have a regular straight one and I think thats easier to hold and control. It really depends on personal opinion. I don't think there's really anything to avoid. You don't need a super expensive one, mine was 60 I believe and the Oster nail grinder I returned had been 50, so 10 bucks more for the world of difference in use was nothing to me. Plus its come in handy for so many things around the house other than the dogs nails!


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks
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