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Discussion Starter #1
When I first trimmed Renji's nails, he was quite fine with the chore until I quicked a few of his nails. Yes, a few. I am bad. His quicks are ridiculously long. I would trim a tiny piece off and end up with the quick. So of course he learned to hate nail trimming time! We dealt with his nails by giving him LOTS of pavement exercise and they've been keeping to a reasonable length. I decided enough was enough, though, especially because his dewclaws are like cat claws.

Today I am home with with food poisoning (always awesome) and have been doing better after getting some rice in me, so I tried a quick nail trim session. At first, he was freaking and as I tried to control him he was screaming every single time I tried to get his paw, and it was a mess. Then I got his kong, got him laying down (he was freaking), then I held his paw (freaking), then I tapped his nail with the trimmer to simulate a trim but didn't actually trim anything, and after that I flung the Kong up the stairs for him to fetch. He ran after it, brought it back, I downed him, and we repeated. We did this several times in a row and he quieted down (so did I), I made sure to talk in a very happy, jubilant voice and lavished the praise, and I got to the point where I could trim teeeeeeeny tiiiiiiiiiiiny stupidly small bits from his nails and HE WAS FINE! Threw the kong after every success. At one point, he let me hold his paw and really examine and position the trimmer for the perfect trim! Wow, lots of progress! At the end, he was rewarded with lots of praise and fetching of his Kong up the stairs.

Positive work and desensitization work really do work wonders! I have a problem of a short temper which certainly does not help (I get stressed when I should really be calm) but this is certainly excellent progress. If I can mesh playtime with nail trim time, I think we'll both be stress-free when it comes to this chore. My plan is to do this routine daily indoors, sometimes trimming and sometimes not, then when he's fine indoors, do it anytime we play fetch. If we're at the park and he wants me to throw the ball, I'll have to trim/touch a nail first. I know that this makes obedience extra fun, mixing commands with games, so I'm willing to bet that this will make him get over nail trim time. When he's fine with this avenue, I think we'll go to a Dremel. Maybe I should just go with that now since he's leery of the trimmer itself. In any case, two stubborn buttheads finally stopped bickering and finally found some common ground to start working on!


When I get a pup though, I am going to make sure the breeder massages the pup's nails or even does a little trimming here and there, and then I'm going to start from Day One making nail time positive by mixing it with play time.
 

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congrats!!!!!

teagan and i did something similar last night. oh boy! your ball! and then i got a couple of nails trimmed while she was busy playing with the ball. i relate to the quiks, i have huge issues w/those w/my bunnies and i'm always worried i'll hit them.

great job you and renji!
 

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A few years ago, Darlene at Pets INC decided to trip Keyser's nails. He is the white GSD I rehabbed. We had him on his side and he was fine until she grabbed his paw. He didn' snatch it away but started SCREAMING like we were killing him. I stuck a treat in his mouth..... FINE!!!! No more noise as long as he had a treat.......


Powell
 

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I just used the Dremmel for the 1st time. Griffin's nails are always too long because I am sooo paranoid about quicking him. I only cut off the tiny tip--which is almost a waste of time.

I kept hearing about how good the dremmel is and I have one, so I finally found it, hooked up a little sanding drum and tried it out. Way easy!!! I am hooked, no more clippers for me.

Griff was a little worried about the whirring noise, but soon decided it was harmless.
 

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Cool, Jennifer, isn't the Dremel awesome?


Diana, great job with the desensitization, but I personally wouldn't wait to try a Dremel. I found it MUCH better than clippers because you can take off such a small amount at a time much easier. Cassidy had ridiculously long quicks too, and nail trims were always a battle until I tried a Dremel. I was able to desensitize her to it within a week, and grind off a small amount every couple of days, allowing the quick to recede. I found it really hard to take tiny bits off with a clipper. Plus, if you do accidentally go too far, no gush of blood, and no apparent pain, which means that it's a far less traumatic experience for the dog, and you're less likely to have a battle next time. You can buy a little cordless rechargeable Dremel for around $25 or $30.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a corded Dremel that is probably as old as I am or close to it. I was thinking of using this but then I was wondering if the new ones are quieter? I know Dremels are waaaaay better than trimming. I want to do this eventually. Even if I don't use it right away I should get Renji to start loving it. Maybe I'll take it out every time he eats- take out the Dremel, let him see it, prep his food, get him in the crate, put down the Dremel, then put his bowl inside the crate. Dremel = meal time, meal time = good, therefore Dremel = good?
I don't honestly know what is preventing me from breaking it out. Boy can I ever be odd!


I think I have a new project to begin!
 

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How much time does this take per nail though? I think this might stress out my guys more just because I clip and go quite fast per foot. I am interested, but not sure...so you Dremel people...convince me!

 

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DianaM, there was a long thread not all that long ago with desensitizing for trimming nails. It was a good read as many people had the same problem.
 

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Quote: How much time does this take per nail though? I think this might stress out my guys more just because I clip and go quite fast per foot. I am interested, but not sure...so you Dremel people...convince me!
It's just as fast as a clipper (or faster). You can only leave the Dremel on the nail for, literally, one second or the nail might get uncomfortably hot. I usually go from toe to toe at a rate of one second per toe. ("One Mississippi..") Then go back and hit each toe again for one second. Done.

Diana--I use an ordinary corded Dremel, and it does make a bit of noise--but no more than any household appliance. If your dog isn't freaked out by a hair dryer, blender, vaccuum, etc. The Dremel is no worse.

It's simple desensitizing. Lay the thing down next to the dog, not turned on. Treat when he shows interest. Put the treats on the Dremel. Turn it on and feed treats or have some play time while it's running. When you can get it close to the dog without any fear, then hold the body of the vibrating Dremel against the dog's tummy--feels good. Gradually build up to actual nail trimming. Get a helper and treat during the first nail trim--several treats for each nail seems like proper payment.
 

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Val and Tracy, I don't think I'd have much problems desensitizing him to it. He's shy with loud, sharp, banging noises (I wonder what happened in his last home) but he will play with the vacuum when it's running or just keep out of its way. So long as it's a constant sound, I think he'll be ok. I'll start slow and just have the Dremel around, have it out during mealtime and playtime, maybe turn it on (without a grinder) and lay it outside his crate while he eats at first.

Never thought of putting it on his stomach. I see one of two scenarios- he'll like it or he'll leap out of his skin and attach himself to the ceiling!


Has anyone tried rubbing an "on" Dremel over the dog's body like one of those vibrating massagers for people and had success?
 

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I just clip at this house. It took me months with DeeDee just to clip one nail... I tried to even demo on Cheyenne and DeeDee flung herself at me like I was killing Cheyenne, so I have no idea what the breeder did to her. DeeDee has issues with noises so I am just happy that I can clip her nails. LOL I went through the whole realm of things, thought maybe it was me, tried a groomer, no go, once I aced her, didn't want to do that again. So I came up with my plan, let me hold you foot and tap the nail with the clipper, get a treat. Then yea we graduated to clip and treat.

Cheyenne likes that silly 3 pad messager, DeeDee NOT so much thank you mom. All of my dogs are so different what one likes the others hate. So you could give it a try.
 

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Question: We have a battery Dremel which Greta doesn't mind. I am using the fine sanding disks and it seems to take forever. Should I be using the coarse disks? Or are her nails just exceptionally hard?
 

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Lynnkeiser, my Dremel came with the medium or fine sanding bands (can't remember which), and I switched to the coarse ones. It does go quite a bit faster. Keefer's nails grow twice as fast as Dena's, and it was taking too long to grind them down.

LauraC, for me, using a Dremel takes longer than clipping. I think Tracy does his dogs every weekend, and because he takes off smaller amounts more often it would be faster per session than for me. I do them anywhere from every other weekend to every 3 or 4 weeks, depending on when I get around to it. But I prefer a Dremel because I can take the nails down much shorter without fear of hitting the quick, and there are also no sharp edges. I like their nails on the short side so there's no clacking on the hardwood floors, and I love the nice neat look of short nails. Here's a pic of Dena's feet after a trim:

 

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Originally Posted By: Cassidys Mom You can buy a little cordless rechargeable Dremel for around $25 or $30.
I was advised by Janka's trainer to use a dremel for trimming my pup's nails. She says it is quicker and easier, and allows for better control in avoiding cutting the quicks.

So far we have been using clippers, with relative ease, on Janka every 2 weeks. She was introduced to grooming practices since coming home at 8 weeks, and is quite good at letting us clean her ears & eyes, do her nails and groom her.

But after seeing this thread, I would like to graduate onto a dremel. I was a little fearful about using one on Janka, this thread placated my fears.

I suppose I could find an inexpensive cordless one at say, Sears?

I just hope the noise does not bother her. She does not like my vaccuum cleaner and barks & charges at it when it is in use.
 

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I use the dremmel on all three of my girls!
It does take a bit longer.

In addition to not worrying about hitting the quick with the clippers,
the other benefit is no sharp edges on the nails after - nice and smooth!

Heidi got used to it in about three sessions.
 

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Stig, I don't know if Sears would have them, but amazon.com does, along with extra rechargeable batteries and sanding bands. You can use any Dremel, but the industrial ones go up to around 30,000 RPMs, so you have to use a lower speed. I have the Mini Mite, which has two speeds, 5000 and 10,000 RPMs, and I use the high speed or it takes way too long. It is much quieter than the big Dremels, and also smaller, so it's less intimidating for the dog, and fits better in my small hands.

Here's a link with directions: http://homepages.udayton.edu/~merensjp/doberdawn/dremel/dremel.html
 

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Okay, hate me if you want. I have a tooth that should have pulled years ago, my son hasn't been to the dentist in I don't know how long, we cut our own hair and no one in my family has enjoyed any pampering. We are suffering and so is my GSD. He needs his nails trimmed. We fell on hard financial times in 2004 and I just can't afford a groomer. Suffice it to say that his nails are in desperate shape - almost a full year without trimming. Can the dremel work when the nails are very long? He "clicks" as he walks and I know that's terrible. But just so you don't think I'm horrible, please understand that I have had a constant toothache since November '07. This isn't lack of love or because of neglect - it's simply that I can't afford to take him to the groomer. Will the dremel work? I feel horrible admitting this to all of you but I need help. Please keep in mind that my GSD has gone to the vet and I haven't had a physical in a few years. I love my dog!
 

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No need to apologize.

If you have a Dremel, you can try it. But if your dog has never had his nails ground with a Dremel, you may have to work up to it by desensitizing him to the tool until he's comfortable with it. It might take a few sessions with lots of praise and treats, but it can't hurt to try.

I'd also like to suggest that you look into finding a Public Health dentist in your city. (Google: Public Health Dentistry Dentists in Cincinnati.) The Public Health Service is a branch of the federal government, under the Surgeon General--and they have a great Public Health Dental program. I know about it because a friend of mine works for them. It may be a great way for you and your son to get some dental care for little or nothing, depending on your ability to pay. Nobody should live with a constant toothache, especially when there are services that your tax dollars are funding--take advantage of them. You deserve it.
 

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Thank you Tracy. I appreciate your feedback. So many folks judge people before they understand the circumstances. Thank you again. I will gently try a dremel and see if it works! By the way - I have the biggest baby in the world (my GSD). He's a crier and a screamer. I have new job that has dental insurance also. Life will improve! (for me, my son and our GSD). Thanks again!
 

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StandingH20, I'm sorry about your hard times. I agree with Tracy, no apology necessary, we all do the best we can, and you're obviously a caring owner. I've had German shepherds since 1986, and have NEVER taken them to a groomer. Not once! We do use a self serve facility where we rent a tub for $11.00, shampoo and towels included, and wash them ourselves, but the rest of their care I do at home. I think the Dremel works BETTER than clippers for really long nails because you can grind down very small amounts frequently without fear of cutting into the quick.

Because Cassidy was so bad about nail trims, (and my vet charged $18.00 for a trim!), we didn't do her nails nearly often enough and they were always way too long. Because the quicks were long too, it was very difficult to use clippers safely. But with a Dremel I could do her nails by myself every 3 or 4 days until they were short enough. Please read the link I posted, it will tell you everything you need to know about using a Dremel on your dog's nails.

I hope things turn around for you and your family and that better times are ahead.
 
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