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Groomers BBS » Pet Owners Ask the Groomer! » TRIMMING NAILS » Clipping Aggressive Dogs' Nails « Previous Next »

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Marlene (206.246.187.2)
Posted on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 3:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a very aggressive male dog that needs his nails clipped badly. I have some acepromazine but previous attempts with it seem to make him meaner. I muzzle him and he is constantly using his paws to get the muzzle off therefore keeping me away from his front claws. I can chain him and do his back nails, but I still can't do his front. Do you think if I use a lift and lift his whole body high enough it will make it so he can't bite or fight his way out? He is very strong. I don't want to hurt him but I need to clip his nails. Any suggestions?
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Progroom (65.28.1.218)
Posted on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 3:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What methods have you already used to try to correct his behavior?

Barb
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Sandy (207.218.213.3)
Posted on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 5:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would let a vet do it- possibly with total sedation if the nails are so long it has become a health/safety issue. I groom in a clinic and have done nails on dogs like this- it took three of us, with a dog on the ace,(slightly sedated) to do the nails. Of course the charge is a lot higher than it would normally be. Good luck!
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Rev (64.12.97.9)
Posted on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 5:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with Sandy. But if you can't, how are you trying to do them? If you have him elevated, and the front secured, you should be able (with help) to stand behind him and pull his foreleg back toward you (and his rear) so you can do his forepaws well away from his head. That's usually how I do big dogs anyway, just because it's easier.
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Rebecca (152.163.189.173)
Posted on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 9:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anyone to help you? My fiancee has to lay on on top of our shepX so that only her four paws stick out, and I clip away. We do this on a bed, so it's as comfortable as it can possibly be, considering she's pinned down. She's muzzled as well, and I clip fast. As soon as she's finished, we go crazy with praise and treats. She's gotten slightly better over the years, we actually haven't muzzled her in quite some time. Still has to be pinned tho.
My friend has an extremely aggressive GSD. She takes him to the vet, he's completely sedated, and they cut his nails extremely short and then immediately cauterize them. When he wakes up, he doesn't even know what happened.
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Puppycuts (152.163.189.173)
Posted on Saturday, August 31, 2002 - 12:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sounds like a two person job to me. If you can get someone
to help restrain him or even pin him as Rebecca suggested
you may have a better chance. Sedation's not a bad idea
either. Or try using an Elizabeathen collar while he's
securely chained and muzzled, he shouldn't be able to get
his paws up to his face to remove the muzzle with this on.
I haven't personally tried this, but I've read other posts
about it and it makes sense to me.
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Lori (128.119.233.66)
Posted on Saturday, August 31, 2002 - 2:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A few years ago we took our dog Spot to a tennis court to chase a remote controled car around just for fun, it was during the off season
when the nets were down.
We were only there for about 10 minutes, but man did that whittle her nails down to the nubs!
I didn't know that would happen, but I thought cool way to get dogs to
trim their own nails.
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Catsmom (205.188.209.135)
Posted on Sunday, September 1, 2002 - 10:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A Gentle Leader clipped to a loop or pole higher up to keep his head raised. With the head raised, he can't lean down to bite. As he pulls to get out of the thing, it will actually tighten and act as a muzzle. It's all I use in my shop - I don't own any muzzles. Unless a dog is doing major gymnastics for nails, the Gentle Leader (and the grooming loop) is usually all I need to keep him in place. The smaller nut cases get hung up in the hammock where they can't push off with their feet to dance around - they just swing a little bit! The larger nut cases get the GL, and the geriatric harness to keep them in position.
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Darkangel_737 (66.26.73.193)
Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 11:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I groom a huge Airedale that is pretty good for everything until I get to the nails. 3 of us can't restrain him on the table! One time his owner complained that the nails weren't done well enough, so I made him hold the dog. I got 3 feet done and the owner was bitten and raked bloody by thrashing claws. >:) I finally decided to just tie the dog to the doorknob in the grooming room. I tie his head right up by the knob and pick his feet up like a horse. He can't reach me, the door is even stronger than he is, and he has actually gotten pretty resigned to the nail trim. I tried it one more time on the table and he went ballistic, but once I tied him to the doorknob again he quit fighting.
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Kketchum (24.92.161.253)
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2002 - 3:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use an eyebolt in the wall a couple of feet from the floor. I use a 30" heavy choker to hook them to the wall. I always start with the rear feet and keep them stretch tight but not choked. The front legs I do with my bach to the dogs head and if necessary use my body to pin against the wall. I have never been bit and I have never had any I couldnt do. Not to say some weren't a struggle though.
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Phyllis (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 24.0.128.116
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 6:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

On the large dogs i put a nylon leash around the neck and run it through the crack in the door to another person to hold tight.Then i do my job!
Small dogs get a muzzle and if i still can't handle them i turn them on their sides putting enough weight on them to keep them from jumping up on all four! being careful with how much pressure you use I call it steer dog in lol!and do my job.Now i have a St.poo I can't do ears or nails on and he has to be sedated by our vet.He is always in a muzzle and when it comes to his fc. well i put a tourniquet on over the muzzle and then take it (muzzle) off easy don't let your turniquet come off,not to tight so the muzzle wont slid when you pull it. so i can just shave the fc.rolling the turniquet around till my job is done. No i don't shave the ft.Hope this helps someone.Charge BIG BUCKS!!
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bark_n_paw
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Username: bark_n_paw

Post Number: 207
Registered: 9-2003
Posted From: 68.76.0.68
Posted on Saturday, November 6, 2004 - 1:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

is there anyway to use possitive reinforcement to make the dog be ok with nail clipping? I just adopted a schip and he is nuts, he is much more hyper than my other schip and at first he was weird about his mouth and he wouldnt let me touch his lip area without biting. I took him to the vet so they could tell me about how old her was so they lifted his lip to look at his k-9's and he tried to bit the vet. He is much better about that now than he was, now I am dealing with him nails, he didnt have a problem with up touching his feet and I took him to my truck to groom him and he was ok for the couple nails I trimmed so I got out the dremel since almost all my dogs including mine prefer the dremel to the clippers and he flipped so I only got one nail partly done. My husband and I tried again and he almost bit me so I took him the vet (big mistake) they restrained him so he didn't bite but I guess vets are not good at nail trimming becouse he cut 3 so not I am thinking he will be worse. I tried to just get out the trimmers and touch his nails with them and give treats thinking he will let me do it if I go one step at a time ever day but he is soooo hyper he just jump around and trashes and if you have treats or food anywhere near him its worse becouse he is trying to get the food or treat. He is crazy and I dont know what to do. I dont want him to go the rest of his life (he is only 1-2) hating nail trims. I am going to get my eliz. collar from my mom and have my husband help hold him and give him food the entire time while I touch him nails and clip 1 or 2 and work up to all over a few days but I am wondering if there is any other way.
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kelli
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Username: kelli

Post Number: 296
Registered: 4-2003
Posted From: 216.170.37.160
Posted on Saturday, November 6, 2004 - 3:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One thing, in case you all haven't discovered it, if you have multiple dogs at home, make sure to clip their nails while they are seperated from the rest-- in a bedroom or somewhere with the other dogs not around. I read this in the Dog Whisperer, I think, how the dog submitting to you for grooming will put them on edge toward the other dogs and it is so very true!!
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diamondog
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Username: diamondog

Post Number: 2252
Registered: 6-2001
Posted From: 206.183.120.195
Posted on Saturday, November 6, 2004 - 8:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Once they've gotten to the full fledged fit stage it does make it more difficult to trim nails. There are so many patient people out there that lift a foot, then praise or reward and work their way up to being able to clip. I'm not patient.
If a dog has been abused or injured in the nail trimming process then it's gonna learn that I am not hurting it when I get the job done. If it has just learned that it can avoid having the nails done by struggling or biting, then it's gonna learn that the nails are getting trimmed anyway. I had a big aussie in recently that had just decided since his last groom that I wasn't doing the nails. I tied his head to the cleat in the wall and had a loop around his midsection tied to another cleat. Pulled the foot back and clipped the nails. No hollering, no pussyfooting, no attempt to calm him, I just did the job without hurting him. I did have to put a muzzle over a muzzle because he was that determined to take the one off with his front feet but that worked and he didn't hurt himself or me. If we have to do it this way a couple more times we will but each time I will give him the opportunity to let me do it without all the trussing up. Most of the time I get dogs to accept the job this way, dogs are realists and usually accept the inevitable. I do praise when they accept the work without fighting but it's pretty low key. I do big dogs this way, if they're smaller I sometimes have my hubby do the Sumo wrestler hold but I'll also muzzle them, tuck them under my arm (they're standing on the table) and pull the back feet out one at a time and clip. I think one thing that teaches them not to fight is that I release the tight grip or hold a little whenever they relax. They learn that when they're still they're more comfortable.
I just don't like dogs to get away with thrashing around and snapping to avoid a necessary part of the grooming process. Some of my worst actors have become pretty good about nails but some just have to have the Hannibal Lector treatment.
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stephanie
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Username: stephanie

Post Number: 525
Registered: 1-2002
Posted From: 65.93.202.2
Posted on Saturday, November 6, 2004 - 9:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I own three Schips, and I know they are never delighted with having their nails done. I started them early, and aside from some pity-partying we don't have a problem. I can see where an adult would be much harder to handle. A customer has a Min. Pin. who is EVIL for nails (aren't they all?); it isn't so much that we couldn't physically press our point, but that we are afraid that we might cause an injury by doing so. A bigger dog is easier sometimes than a little skinny one with frail bones. I know we like to put the emphasis on the positive reinforcement, but would a shaker can have any effect? Sometimes with some of my drama queens a good shake of the can combined with praise when they hold still has gotten me through. At the very least, shaking the can gets out my frustrations.
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vroomvroom
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Username: vroomvroom

Post Number: 773
Registered: 1-2003
Posted From: 24.92.157.242
Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 9:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am with dd on this, positive reinforcement is all well and good, but sometimes the best way to make a dog relax is to make it do what you want. I will restrain a dog six ways from sunday and then just cut or dremel, totally ignoring the fit being pitched. Usually by the time I get to the third foot, the fit is over. But if not, I just keep going. Generally by the second or third experience with me, dogs that bite for nails, don't.

Having said that, I have to admit that my pug bites the crap out of me every time I do her nails. She does not, however, bite the crap out of anyone else who does her nails.
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bark_n_paw
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Username: bark_n_paw

Post Number: 209
Registered: 9-2003
Posted From: 68.76.3.90
Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 12:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I defintaly want to do positive reinforcement because I cant see why tying them up and forcing him to let me do them is going to help. I know for a fact when I was a kid I always had strep throat and so anytime my throat hurt I would get rushed to the dr. well of course that means THROAT SWAB aaaaahhhh so everytime I fought it infact there were 2 nurses one of which was very large who layed across me and held me and my arms down and another who with my moms help held my legs and somehow they ended up getting it. I fought it everytime and when I did get a sore throat I always tried to hide it from my mom which landed me in the hospital once. So all said I still hate throat swabs. I think doing the same to my dog will just mean he wont like it and yes maybe he will realize it isnt that bad but so did I and still hated it and did about the same thing he does kicking sceaming and actually I tried to bite the dr. a few times but I didnt like him anyways so its ok. Moral of all this is I think I will that the positive reinforcement will definatly be better for me and my dog, both of my dogs although one was started young have no problem with nails they lay down I clip and dremel or just dremel since they like it better and its all done and they get a treat so hopefully he will be better with this soon.

Stephanie, just wanted to let you know your website is wonderful infact I printed out your what I will remember when I come back as a dog and faxed it to my husband. He is a pharmacist which can be boring and not fun (I know I was a tech for 6 years) so Im sure that will make him laugh. Im glad to know someone out there is as crazy about schips as we are. I would have adopted another right after we got this guy but he needs to be trained and actually so does my other schip but she is so mello that the only problem I have with her is that once she is outside she wont come in so we have to shake the treat can. I actually had her pretty close to trained on that one until my husband couldnt get her in right away one night so he shook it ggggrrr so now she is back to the old way. I doing the clicker training and so hopefully she will finally come in without the bribe. My little guy is fine if I take him on a leash or tie him out, I say go inside and he runs fast as he can in but if he is off his lease which I would rather have him since our yard is so big and he can get rid of some energy than he is chasing anything and everything and will not listen he is so zoned in on what he is doing he tunes us out so thats a problem. Ok well somehow this turned into a long post so sorry
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thedotteddog
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Username: thedotteddog

Post Number: 1272
Registered: 12-2000
Posted From: 69.224.70.194
Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 1:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

LOL bark_n_paw, The throat swab thing brought back so many nasty memories! My sister had her tonsils out and I was the unlucky one who couldn't have hers out. They said it was due to Polio being rampant during those years.(tells my age) I got hundreds of sore throats , tonsilitis, strep, you name it, I had it, over and over again. That was standard procedure in those days to take a swab to see what nasty germ they were dealing with.
On top of that, my mom, at my Dr.'s request, swabbed my throat with merthiolate twice a day! I don't know how I survived that, knowing what we do today about that poisonous stuff!
I hated it with a vengence but was a milder kind of kid I guess. I just cried and gagged. YUCK!
Yes a lot of it's misspelled, oh well.
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loves
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Username: loves

Post Number: 1346
Registered: 3-1999
Posted From: 68.20.186.94
Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 2:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with diamondog and vroomvroom. Muzzle, restrain the dog and get the job done as quick as you can with lots of praise for even the teensiest bit of cooperation, aka lack of struggling. And then praise when finished. Also, I wouldn't be concerned about getting the nails as short as possible because quicking them is something you don't want to do with a dog like this. That is also where a dremel really helps.

With trying positive reinforcement you have to be careful that you aren't "poor baby, it's okay, it's alright" ing the dog at the wrong times where he can get the idea that something is wrong, he should be worried or that he feels that the praise is for his bad behavior. If you are worried and upset, the dog will pick up on it and figure he should be worried and upset. IMHO that is why the no-nonsense matter of fact approach is the best with praise. I'll give praise with every nail snip if the dog holds still, struggle or pull back gets nothing. Just my humble opinion.
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bark_n_paw
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Username: bark_n_paw

Post Number: 210
Registered: 9-2003
Posted From: 68.76.3.90
Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 3:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

dotteddog,
I dont know how you survived that, if it were me I would be hiding somewhere new everyday. My doc didnt like doing either though since I bit him a couple times, no exacly meaning to bite him but as soon as I saw his fingers going in my mouth it was a reflex and I would bite down hard since of course I knew just closing my mouth wouldn't work. I am going to do the positive and if all else fails I will go with the tie him up make him mad approach although hes such a crazy man it will probably take 3 of us to tackle and muzzle him. I could probably have my mom bring her boxer pup over and wear him out then do it but we will see. I am not too worried about not clipping them for a while and just working with him since I can just take him for a walk or tie him up on our patio and have him run around and wear those suckers down. Thanks for the advice
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thedotteddog
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Username: thedotteddog

Post Number: 1277
Registered: 12-2000
Posted From: 69.224.70.194
Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 3:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's amazing what we survived in those days! They didn't know any different.
I do remember my mom trying to get castor oil down me once. She made me hold my nose and open my mouth and she shoved in the spoon with the castor oil in it and made me swallow. I instantly barfed it back all over the front of her. She decided I really didn't need it after all. I did win that one!!
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diamondog
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Username: diamondog

Post Number: 2253
Registered: 6-2001
Posted From: 206.183.120.225
Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 7:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Probably just about everything we do and don't do as adults is partly influenced by stuff that happened to us as kids. I was a sniveling, shivering, basket case over shots. I'd dread them from the moment I was told we were going to the Dr. and back then they even gave some at school and I would nearly pee my pants in fear.
Somewhere along the line my mom decided that trying to sooth my anxiety was just too much work I think so she just told me to sit still, shut up and stop that. She said I was actually hurting myself MORE with all the production I made out of it. She told me that if my muscle was tense the needle couldn't go in without bruising me so I'd better learn to relax and just breath normally.
I was more scared of my mom than the Dr so I tried it and it worked. So now I sort of approach dogs that way and they seem comforted by my confidence.
I do KNOW tho' that we're all different and what works for me don't necessarily work for someone else. I've been really impressed by the people who do clicker training well and I sure hope it works with your schip. In fact, if you get him cured, please post the exact routine you used because,....
Vroom, my shorthair is exactly like your pug, she'd nail me if she could. I really do not have one client dog that I can't do the nails on by myself and pretty quietly and calmly. My own dog, Fixin' Broken Hearts, JH, CGC, CDX, is a PITA about nails. We dremel a notch on the back of the nail now and wait about a week and then clip. Seems to make the quick pull back far enough that I don't quick her. It's still a two person job and entails some cussing. And most of the time she runs around with sabreclaws.
Oh sure, I write a great game.
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diamondog
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Username: diamondog

Post Number: 2254
Registered: 6-2001
Posted From: 206.183.120.225
Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 7:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, and I can take Hearts to the vet or any other groomer and she stands quietly to have the nails done. I have even paid friends to do it.
True confessions of a dog trainer/groomer whose own dog has her number.
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spottydog (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 205.188.117.11
Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2004 - 8:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My dal was evil for nails when she was a pup. I would muzzle her, put a leash on and have someone else hold her while I clipped. We did this in the bathroom with the door closed- she realized she couldn't get away, and somehow I knew that her submitting to us made her want to attack the other dogs. Also I had a ton of treats within eye sight, and I was very generous with them once she was done. It took probably two years, maybe three. Now she is 8, and I just tell her to stand still and I clip away. I have even nicked them a bunch of times trying to get them as short as possible, and she is hardly annoyed. As long as she gets those cookies!
When a dog is throwing a fit, I try to remember to BREATHE, in and out, evenly. They know if you are holding your breath, and you probably do it unconciously as you are tense. Breathe regularly, act confidently and business-like, so they get the idea this is no big deal and you WILL be finishing this job. I use this on every dog, and have a terriffic success rate. Breathe, and relax your shoulders, and if you talk, talk quietly and calmly and slowly. Oftentimes, I find the dog stops struggling and is just looking at me. My belief is, it's a matter of attitude.
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betty154
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Username: betty154

Post Number: 255
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 216.135.100.96
Posted on Monday, November 8, 2004 - 9:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

dotteddog--we've walked the same mile mile in many ways- you just got there a whole year and 10 days before me!!HEHEHE! My uncle did the throat swab thing once--I ruined his shoes. Turned out he was a wife beater so I don't feel to bad!!!!!
Back to original thread:
Aggressive dogs' and toe nails--I sure don't have The answer, I do know that sometimes I can sneak a clip in when they are standing. Don't pick up a foot;lay the clippers flat on the floor and just nip the tip. Often the dogs get better and eventually you can do a better job. It's a matter of conditioning in some cases.

GOOD LUCK and BE CAREFUL! Your face is right there--DO NOT TAKE A CHANCE and DON"T TRY IT ALONE!!!!!!
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Robbyn (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 4.12.195.227
Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 1:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I got a question for you...what do you do about a geriatric dog that won't let you touch his feet period? My dog is getting VERY timid in his old age. It has gotten to the point where I can't get him in a car. He freaks even when I had a vet come to the house to take care of him! His heart isn't well, and his anxiety scares me. He has always been timid but he has gotten worse with age. Now his nails have gotten very long and he won't let anyone touch them! The vet even stopped trying the last time because he was so scared his heart was beating abnormally and my biggest problem is that he is allergic to anesthesia. He almost died when I got him neutered. A muzzle doesn't help because as soon as he feels threatened, he starts bucking like a bronco! I have NEVER hurt him in the past doing his nails,I just started having problems in the last year with him. I don't know what to do anymore. He has such a problem at the vet and he isn't responding to me the way he used to either. He bit me once already when I was working on his nails...He's 14. ANY suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!
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rev
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Username: rev

Post Number: 8858
Registered: 1-1999
Posted From: 69.66.85.60
Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 3:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is really tough. About the only possibility left is desensitization, first to a muzzle, and then to having his feet worked on. It will take a while. Does he like peanut butter? cream cheese? If you can get a muzzle on him, try putting it on, then let him lick the goodies from a spoon ONLY when he has the muzzle on, until he decides that a muzzle is areally cool thing to wear. Take off the muzzle and very obviously put away the treats and spoon. Many very brief sessions are more effective in teaching this than a few long ones, by the way.

Meanwhile, whenever you can, as when he's lying on the couch or bed with you, stroke his legs, running hands gently down near, then to, then past his toes, until he's not threatened by this. He should be relaxed when you start, and you should stop doing it at the point JUST before he starts to tense up. Say quietly "Good!" and give him a scratch or something else he likes, even a treat.

Gradually you should be able to handle his feet when he's relaxed.

Then start combining the muzzle (which he now enjoys) and the food handling. Start again just approaching the feet, then gradually moving on until he's relaxed about you handling them.

Meanwhile, you can start getting him accustomed to the nail trimmers being around, the sound they make, having them near him, on his body, stroking him, touching his feet with them, touching a toe here and there, etc. When doing this he shouldn't be restrained, but try not to trigger his trying to escape. If you do, back off a little next time. You can speed up this part a little by giving him a treat every time the clippers come along and he stays relaxed, taking away treats as well as clippers when he starts getting nervous.

Eventually you can combine all these things, in a relaxed setting, with lots of treats, and a muzzle for just-in-case, to start holding a toe briefly (by the lower leg, never by the foot), then wiggling the toenail, then touching it with the clippers, then snipping off just a tiny end, etc. And lots of treats, released and praised happily as soon as that session's "job" is done (though treats go away then).

Be sure your nail clippers are very sharp; dull clippers compress the nail and can cause pain.

Using a dremel tool to sand nails is another method, but given his behavior, it's going to be just about as difficult to train him for that as for clipping them.

There's one more possible method, for another post. :-)
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rev
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Username: rev

Post Number: 8859
Registered: 1-1999
Posted From: 69.66.85.60
Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 3:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In fact, there are a couple of other possibilities. You might ask the vet about cognitive disorder; there are meds for that if that's the problem, which could give your old boy a less stressful life.

Another is exercise; if you can exercise him on some rough concrete or gravel it could wear down the nails quite a bit.

The last idea I can think of is along the lines of the "exercise on gravel" but is a matter of training the dog to file his own nails. :-) The trainer Shirley Chong came up with this one, and it's a terrific method if it will work for you. Here it is:

Get a board.. how long depends on the size of the dog, but probably from 18" to 3" will cover nearly any dog. The board should be fairly wide--I made one for a maltese that was 9", the one for my collies is a 12" board. Go to Lowe's or wherever and get the stick-on grit tape that's used to prevent slipping on stairs. For the Maltese I used one stair tread, I think 5" wide. For the collies I got a roll of 4" wide tape and put two strips, side by side, from end to end of the board. For convenience, hanging, and hand protection I put a drawer handle on the back of the top end.

Now teach your dog to scratch on the grit, first with his forefeet. There are lots of ways.. tuck a bit of food under the edge and when he scratches at the board to get to it, give him a treat. If he scratches at the door, put it there, and when he scratches give him a treat. Etc. (When he figures out that scratching gets treats he may try it elsewhere--make sure he isn't rewarded in any way for that!) Eventually he should start scratching the board whenever you present it to him. (Be sure to put it away between times, both for training control and to make sure he doesn't quick his nails.) The wear will be uneven at first, and you'll need to encourage him to use both feet, but it should happen. Every session should produce noticeable wear on the nails. How much depends on how hard his nails are.

The hind feet aren't so easy to teach. Some dogs scrape after they potty.. you could praise and treat that, and give it a name "Scrape! Good boy!" At any rate, the front feet would be a start, and maybe then there will be more ideas how to teach the rear. :-)
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progroom
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Username: progroom

Post Number: 2593
Registered: 2-1999
Posted From: 68.92.141.24
Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 4:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Would you be able to do one nail at a time? Maybe one a day or even one a week? It would be quick and hopefully not so stressful.
One nail clipped then a special goody that he only gets afterward?

Barb
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borzoimom
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Username: borzoimom

Post Number: 459
Registered: 3-2003
Posted From: 206.230.184.251
Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 6:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Rev, gave great info. The only thing I would add is that the dremel may not take as long to desensitize to. I have two Boston clients that bite, urinate, release anals, buck, etc. with the nail clippers, but I can dremel their nails with only a little tensing up from them. Worth a try. And yes, it does sound like your baby may have a cognitive disorder too.
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Robbyn (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 4.12.195.227
Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2005 - 7:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you everyone! I will definitely try it! He definitely is starting to get a bit "neurotic" in his old age. Although he has always been timid, he never has given me such a bad time up until about a year ago. When you have a dog so long, then his personality changes, you feel like it is your fault. He is my first baby. I have had him since I was 17 and I am now 30.He is the first dog I trained and took care of by myself(I had a family dog growing up too). It is really hard for me to deal with the fact I don't trust him like I used to anymore. I think a mixture of a few suggestions might help. I think because of his personality change, I probably need to re-train him differently now. I didn't keep in mind that besides the nails, he probably has arthritis and is achy do to his age. The stress probably keeps pushing him over his tolerance level. Thank you everyone for your quick responses. Any other suggestions would be helpful. The more knowledge, the better I can deal with him!
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freestep
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Username: freestep

Post Number: 101
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 63.207.227.80
Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2005 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Robbyn,

I have found with older pets that re-training doesn't always work. I have groomed some dogs that were always good about nails/ears/face/whatever when younger, but as they became elderly, they suddenly freaked out over same. It was a chaotic outburst and it seemed like they couldn't control this reaction. A pet can't learn anything or make new associations when in this state.

When there's a cognitive disorder (such as senile dementia), certain pathways in the brain are altered or damaged, so the pet is physically prevented from laying down new memories or associations. There's been some great advice in this thread, but at his age and mental conditon, re-training may have limited effectiveness. I think medication may be more helpful. Medication for his arthritis pain, and something for his cognitive/neurotic disorder.

Also, if he's a sound sleeper, try sneaking up and clipping his nails while he's asleep, one nail at a time!

Good luck!
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rev
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Username: rev

Post Number: 8881
Registered: 1-1999
Posted From: 69.66.85.71
Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2005 - 2:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with you, Freestep, though some retraining is worth a try if his discomfort can be eased.
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vivilee
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Username: vivilee

Post Number: 18
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 69.158.69.26
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 10:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You could try distracting him with some sticky and gunky treats like peanut butter that you stick to the roof of his mouth and then trimming or filing his nails. Distraction would be very powerful in this case I would think since he is so reactive and single minded. You could also try a using Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower Essences) to calm him down before the clipping. Works wonders. There is also something called DAP--Dog Appeasing Pheremones that you can buy from your vet. Good luck!
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mrosewheels
Registered Member
Username: mrosewheels

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2007
Posted From: 24.245.19.23
Posted on Friday, April 6, 2007 - 11:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have 4 Chihuahuas and it is absolute hell to clip their nails. I don't want to attach their heads to any harness in fear that they would accidentally hang themselves. We've tried to wrap them in blankets really tight, but they just scream bloody murder! If anyone has any other suggestions for a small dog, please do share! : )
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gone2dogs
Registered Member
Username: gone2dogs

Post Number: 467
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 156.34.182.254
Posted on Friday, April 6, 2007 - 12:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have 2 yorkies, and I know the battle, but I won mine.
I started trimming ONE nail a day. Every day. As soon as I was done I let them go. It took 5 months with both of them to realize that after I was done they could go and the fight was over. Now I can do all their nails, every 2 weeks with not even them pulling ans leg back.
Consistency. Calm voice, being VERy firm.
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doggygirl
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Username: doggygirl

Post Number: 4967
Registered: 9-2002
Posted From: 156.34.158.165
Posted on Friday, April 6, 2007 - 2:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you are standing there with them, they can't hang themselves. I lay my terrier on her side and let her wriggle and fight and once she sighs, I go forth. It is best to use positive reinforcement. With one of my other dogs I would get the leash out and he'd be so happy and then I'd tackle the nails and then we'd go for a walk. That REALLY worked!
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dogdayz
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Username: dogdayz

Post Number: 694
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 69.29.167.141
Posted on Friday, April 6, 2007 - 8:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I work alone so I have to either figure out these things or just not do them....I have always found a way thank goodness!
Since they are small enough to hold in your arms and clip their nails while holding them against my body( where they have no leverage of the floor or table)...usually they would not want to wiggle for fear of falling. Thats how I do a couple of small dogs that freak out if I try to clip their nails while on the table....
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doggygirl
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Username: doggygirl

Post Number: 4972
Registered: 9-2002
Posted From: 156.34.158.165
Posted on Friday, April 6, 2007 - 9:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I guess I was thinking they were your dogs and hadn't thought it was a client's. Yes it may come to having the vet sweat those out!
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amazon
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Username: amazon

Post Number: 332
Registered: 8-2002
Posted From: 24.165.128.111
Posted on Friday, April 6, 2007 - 11:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

with small dogs, I have the owner (I work alone) hold the dog straight out in front of them, right under the "armpits" belly facing towards me.

Then have them bring the dog close to their chest. I then drape a heavy towel over the dogs head and tuck it into the owner's arms.

Starting with the back feet, I clip the nails fast. I've used this method with ornery little dogs for 5 years now with 100% success.

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