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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this kind of stuff falls under the "Fluffy's housetrained even though she still pees in the basement" types of dumb questions...but here goes...

I cannot get my dog to relax for grooming. I have tried running her down, rewarding her for paw handling, etc. but my mistake was not doing so from early on (she went to a groomer). Now she's 65 pounds of not wanting my clippers on her paws. And I need those damn things trimmed. They mostly stay short because of her activity level but I was out of town a bit lately and they got up to "clicking on the floor" level.

Is there any boot camp stuff you all suggest? Should I put on a soft muzzle, tie her out to something, and just force away? I've tried to avoid all of this but what will happen is that just as I get pressure down on the nail, she'll yank/torque her paw and make the experience painful.

Thanks, I know my situation and my handling of it is lame, I just need it DONE. Those claws are too long to be around my kids right now.

FWIW, she's submissive and not prone to taking this kind of thing personally.
 

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Woody Taylor said:
.....I cannot get my dog to relax for grooming. I have tried running her down, rewarding her for paw handling, etc. but my mistake was not doing so from early on (she went to a groomer). Now she's 65 pounds of not wanting my clippers on her paws. And I need those damn things trimmed. ......
I swear we had a long thread about this where I talked about regular light massage, first skimming over the paws and gradually including them (because MANY dogs don't want their paws handled -- very common challenge).

But I can't find it, here or in the "Lounge." Darn!

Anyway, one thing you can do is focus on doing one claw a day this time until they're done, and do the paw-desensitizing at another time of day (a tired time). And also, all this kind of thing -- start with a tired dog.

BTW, I've done this (massage with gradual paw-inclusion) with at least three dogs who turned into dervishes at the vet-tech office when they first came to me. It's not a vague California new age recommendation. Or wait -- maybe it is, but it works! :lol:
 

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Connie Sutherland said:
I swear we had a long thread about this where I talked about regular light massage, first skimming over the paws and gradually including them (because MANY dogs don't want their paws handled -- very common challenge).

But I can't find it, here or in the "Lounge." Darn!
That's because it's not in a likely place lol. It was under my thread in the Lounge about my dogs finally getting together:

http://www.workingdogforum.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=490

Woody, I have the same issue. I tried unsuccessfully since the 6th to cut my dog's nails. HIs are WAY overgrown -- to the point where hte quick is dangerously long thanks to his biting/bucking/ridiculous actions. So I took him to the groomer at my vet's office, put his prong on, grabbed his flat buckle collar, and we muzzled him and clipped his dang nails. I have to go back in 3 weeks to do it again.

It isn't the best way but I couldn't afford for his nails to crack from their super length.

I would take Connie's suggestions to fix the issue first LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
FWIW, I actually had pretty good luck tonight. Ran her down, hard, and fed her dinner by hand. She had to get into my fist to get the food and I was able to get her front paws done in the process. Probably went too far too fast, but an encouraging start.

Dumb, though, I could have avoided a lot of this if I'd just been more diligent when she was younger. Funny how all that good advice is good for a reason. :D
 

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My pup is hard to clip nails on, but I found the best way to go is catch her in the morning when she's kinda dopey, strap her down with duct tape n sedate her.. LOL.. no, kiddin... when she's dopey I can just stick a toy in her mouth n try to clip her nails, if she goes to bite my hand I grab her toy n tease her with it. Cujo's easy.
 

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Woody Taylor said:
FWIW, I actually had pretty good luck tonight. Ran her down, hard, and fed her dinner by hand. She had to get into my fist to get the food and I was able to get her front paws done in the process. Probably went too far too fast, but an encouraging start.

Dumb, though, I could have avoided a lot of this if I'd just been more diligent when she was younger. Funny how all that good advice is good for a reason. :D
Good work!!! :D
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
My pup is hard to clip nails on, but I found the best way to go is catch her in the morning when she's kinda dopey, strap her down with duct tape n sedate her.. LOL.. no, kiddin... when she's dopey I can just stick a toy in her mouth n try to clip her nails, if she goes to bite my hand I grab her toy n tease her with it. Cujo's easy.
Duct tape is my favorite home-repair tool, too.
 

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With young pups, I handle their paws/ears/bottoms (with small breeds) as much as possible. Therefore, routine maintenance is easier, and you don't have to take them to the vet just for nail trimming/ear cleaning/anal glands.
With a Border Collie I rescued, I had to start basically from scratch, I did the massage as Connie recommended, but I also taught her that clippers=treats. It was pretty easy from there. There was a time she flinched and I cut the quick, and being a B.C., she didn't trust me with her nails for about a month and a half after (had to get a friend she trusted to do it).
 

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I'm a little late, but I'll add my two cents as I have to clip nails on a lot of my fosters. I foster a lot of big dogs who used to get tied up or conveniently forgotten in their backyard :roll: so their nails are often quite long. I know most of you are big clicker training fans, right? :D Hehe, anyways, I pretty much do it like clicker training. I have the dog nice and worn out from a trail hike, hungry to want yummy treats, and then have it lie on its side. I have a small pile of cheese cubes nearby and I do the massage thing similar to what was previously suggested as I talk in a low voice to the dog. As I work my way to their paws, I pick up the clipper and move it within about a foot of their paws, close it loudly, and click with my tongue to imitate the sound of the clipper and then immediately give them a bit of cheese. We continue this a few times. I trim just a milimeter (if possible) at a time over the course of a few days if it's really bad because the nail bed grows longer than it should and dogs of course HATE having their quick cut (not that I blame them). Anyways, every single time they hear the click of the clipper, I give them the bit of cheese.

For my own dogs, I have them do something similar. They lie on their side and I give them a whole cube to eat while I reach for their paw and get situated so they are still chewing on the piece while I do the first clip and then I treat again (smaller pieces of the cube) after each clip. This usually works fairly well. If you really have to, try blind folding the dog with a t-shirt or light towel with just their mouth sticking out so you can still treat them after every clip. I think for most dogs, it's just like getting a bandaid pulled off. The anticipation is much worse than the actual clipping, so if they can't see, they sometimes relax a bit more.
 

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I'm tellin ya, treats and the dremel with the drum sander is really quick and really easy, no chance of hurting the dog and you can get them right where they need to be, takes about 5 min. to do all the nails. I won't do them any other way anymore. Woody, clip, treat, clip, treat or get out your dremel :lol:
 

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I pretty much WWF them on their back, sit on their head and start choppin. If squirmy the clown gets weird, then it gets bloody. I could care less. Every dog I have had eventually lets me do their nails, cause I am gonna do it anyway. I usually do it outside, if it gets messy, I don't have to clean stuff up. "Hurting" them is not gonna happen. When I am done, the dogs always get treats and I play ball. All I ever see them care about is the fact I am making them hold still.

So stop being a sissy and cut the dang nails. You "hurt" them more by leaving them long.



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Jeff, I suspected you just picked em up and bit their nails off when they got to long. :D :D :wink:
 

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Well, if you want to do it the hard way i would definitely take Jeff's advice :p :p , but if you want to do it the easy and quick way , follow the advice on the site OED provided, mine lay on their side just like the dogs on that site, but they all know the down command, lol. And Jeff, how's your revolution going to succede if you have to fight your dogs to groom them :p :p :D :D
 

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You can use a big carbon steel file to start. Hold on to the paw hard until she lets you use the file. File at 90 degrees to the floor and round out everything. She'll get used to that, then clip with human nail clippers and file, and then use dog clippers and file. The file's pretty cool, easy and cheap.
 

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I have used a wood rasp for the file; it seems to work the best. A friend using some kind of horse file.

My husband has promised to build a grooming table for me out back and then I can do the dremel - - I am a bit clunky on the floor doing it, but I know it does work well.
 

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Lÿka's nails are very easy to tell where you're supposed to clip em, tiny lil puppy nails... to keep her still I stick a toy in her mouth that she can chew on n lay down on her side, everytime she goes to bite me I grab her toy n she quickly redirects to her toy.... clipping her nails has actually been really easy considering she's a wiggly pup... but Cujo's nails, I can never tell how far I can clip those, he's the calmest easiest dog ever to deal with for grooming though.
 

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Here's one more vote for the dremel. I'm a huge fan of it. Those of you who have never used it don't know what you're missing!

The best part is that you can see the quick appearing as you grind down the nail. That hasn't stopped me from accidentally "quicking" a few, but the dogs don't seem to notice when it happens. And, it hardly bleeds at all (just a tiny dot of blood) if you do hit the quick.

The only drawback to the dremel is the time it takes to grind down each nail. The clippers take much less time.

AND, the best part is that the dremel is a multi-purpose tool. You can use it for a ton of other things like....um....and....ah.....
At least that's what I said to my husband to convince him to buy one :D
 
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