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Discussion Starter #1
ONE TIME I clipped ONE NAIL too short because Ricca jerked her foot. Not even that bad, but bad enough to hurt. Maybe a 1/8 inch too high from where I wanted.

Ever since then, she won't let me anywhere near her nails with a clipper OR file.

Everyone has told me to play with her feet. Alright, now I can play with her feet all day and she doesn't care, but if I have something in my hand, no go.

I can rub her body with the nail clippers, she'll sniff them and accept them. But the second I go towards her foot with it, no go.

And by no go I mean she screams bloody murder and tries to bolt away from me. I've done everything from every angle over the past TWO YEARS and no change when an object gets close to her nails.

She had them cut fairly short in February when she was spayed. I asked the vet to do while she was under.

So, is there anything I can safely give her to where she can be reasonably out of it so I can begin shortening them down? Maybe decreasing the dose so she can become alert and realize I'm not hurting her?

I tried a groomer, it's not just me she throws a fit with, except with the groomer she offered to bite and we muzzled her and we weren't strong enough to keep her held steady so it was a no go. She's never turned at me with aggression, but she did when she realized the groomer was after those nails.

I haven't asked the vet about doing it on a regular basis... I already know it will be atleast $40. $5 when she was under with the spay. Doing just the nails though.. quite costly. It's the last resort.

This is 100 pound friendly and VERY emotional and intelligent girl. What can I do? She's obviously never going to forget about that one nail, that one time.
 

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Just throwing this out there...
Maybe you can just walk towards her without looking at her, clippers in hand and do your business. As in don't make any fuss over it, don't think about it etc. Just stay calm and treat it as if you were putting down a bowl of water.

What about special treats? Maybe some Raw or cooked chicken/steak/fish? It's hard for any dog to resist those.
 

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I have the same issues, except I use a dremil. Never have I hurt her or come close to hurting her with the dremil too. I can rub her paws, pick at her feet, pick at her nails, examine them etc, rub the drimil tool all over her either off or on, BUT come withing striking distance of her nails she withdrawals her paws.

I had to get creative. The first time I smeared peanut butter all over my daughters hand. As Dakota licked, I dremiled. Not a problem. My daughter didn't like the hand in peanut butter trick, so I moved to smearing PB on a bone. This is working ok but Dakota is now a speedster with licking the PB and I can't really do them as well as I would like.

With my old dog, I never thought of a dremil, but would use nail clippers. She was 50 lbs tops and I would straddle her, lift a paw and clip. Over with and done with in a 30 sec. Pure force, no negotiations. She never ever held a grudge.
 

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I am always concerned that I am going to cut the nails to short as well. Instead of psyching myself up to do all of them, I set my goals much lower and aim to cut one maybe two nails, but do it every day or every other day, then reward with good treats. By doing this it keeps my stress level lower, and eventually the dog begins to associate the nail clippers with a positive! In the beginning with my previous dog, I actually had to just pretend I was going to cut the nail as he seemed to have a similar reaction as Ricca (again, it kept me from getting stressed about the situation because I knew I wasn't actually going to cut them). Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've done all that!

Take a deep breath, approach, calm and assertive... No cooing (I never baby talk this dog in this type of situation), grab paw, place nippers... she screams bloody murder when the clipper is still 3 inches away.

Dremel... LOL... tried that too. I can trim the hair between her toes with a hair edger. Dremel the nails? Nope. She let me touch her with it, let me turn it on and off without flinching. Sane the whole time. But the second it touched her nails, there goes the screaming and yanking away.

I can do anything I want to this dog but not the nails. I know her discomfort face and her unhappy face... and I ignore it and go on with all other grooming. But the nails... it's so much more than yanking a paw back. It's full body fight and flight accompanied with that squeeky screaming.

One time I got two nails done. I pinned her in a corner, pulled a paw under my arm, ignored her screaming, and got two done before she planted her back feet and leaped over my shoulder and ramped the wall behind her, quite effectively removing herself. I went to catch her again and she peed her pants.

I tried again by having her lay her butt in the same corner, but having her on her side to prevent another leap from a sitting position. I straddled her, grabbed a paw, and became tug of war and couldn't keep it steady enough to trim. I was only going for a little bitty nip to show her it doesn't hurt.

The clippers I got aren't the $4 cheapies. They're high dollar professional, correct size, super sharp, no pinching, just a clean cut. When I actually get one, it's smooth, no weird edges like a dull blade does. There's no resistance in the blade, just a fast, clean "clip".

Logan is perfect. He takes it like he likes the attention. I make Ricca watch. But if I move towards her, off she goes, knowing my intentions, and it's the same fight.
 

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I was where you are a year ago. Grimm was huge, and fought like a gigantic baby rhinoceros. I used to have to get him into a CORNER, and MUZZLE him, and it was STILL a horrible, exhausting struggle and a fight!!

Then, I change tactics. He now lays like a bowl o' pudding and relaxes for his clippings-- front and back. Try this:

Late at night, find her sleepy laying on her side on the floor. Lay on your side facing her. Do NOT grab her paw. Don't grab anything. Use the back of your hand (really) to roll her wrist under, so that her arm and paw joes like a J. Clip the tip of one nail. Say "Wow!" Then go away.

Do this the next night. And every night for a week.

Boring activity, done when sleepy, is how she will view it. Nobody grabbing her paws to elicit her jerk-away reflex, no fight, nothing.

The key here is to roll her wrist under into a J. Grabbing the paw, even gently, can be what sets them into panic mode once a quick was clipped.

The other key is to do this when she is exhausted at night.

Lastly, because this is done calmly, then you go away after each nail, she figures "Eh... no big deal... whatever."

Eventually, you can do two nails at a time. In time, if you keep this up, you can do the whole paw. Then, do all 4 paws... and do them every few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yay! A new method to try! Sneak up on her and do one real fast and walk away.. leave her groggy with "What just happened? Whatever..ZZZzzz".

Grabbing the paw is what triggers her reaction, adding the clipper just seals the deal to her panicing.

I shall try this J method!

She did let me get 2 swipes with a regular nail file yesterday, and I hadn't grabbed her paw. Interesting!
 
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