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How in the WORLD can I cut this dogs nails?

April 21st, 2008, 03:32 PM
I have a puppy who is about 5 months old. He is very sweet, very playful little guy who loves to snuggle. He lets me brush his teeth, he lets me pick him up and carry him, he sleeps right next to me, he lets me pull things out of his mouth, etc. Basically, he has no "issues"....except for his feet!!

I tried cutting his nails yesterday, and he acted like I was trying to amputate his legs. I've never seen a dog react so badly!! I used the same technique I've always used with the safety scissors, making sure to not cut his quick, etc, but he won't even let me get his feet steady enough to attempt to trim!

We tried holding him still, but he freaked out
We tried waiting for him to fall asleep, but he woke up
We tried covering his face with a blanket so he couldn't watch, and he freaked out
We tried litterally pinning him down but he freaked out

He got to the point hwere he was just completetly panicking and panting, so we stopped. I got 1 foot done. It was torture for both of us

So any helpful advice? Weve tried being patient and making it pleasant, but he just doesnt like it

April 21st, 2008, 05:58 PM
Chase acted this way until he was about 6 months....he SCREAMED! :eek: He also hated his application of Revolution...anytime he felt like we were "doing something to him" he'd panic.

Our friend is a groomer and she kept doing his nails....her theory was to pin him down and too bad for him if he wanted to yell. But we couldn't stand that, and he wasn't improving, so we took a different approach....the first time we did it our way he stopped the screaming!

What we did was put him into a down-stay, and I would talk to him and pet him with one hand with the other full of little healthy treats. I would slowly feed him treats and keep petting, and my boyfriend would do his front paws. Then we rolled him slightly onto his side to get each back paw, with tummy rubs thrown into the mix. He kicked a couple times but for the most part he didn't even notice what we were doing. He's still good with the nail clipping :)

We also found it helpful to handle his feet anytime he was in a relaxed state, without the nail clippers anywhere in sight. Try rubbing the pads of his paws, squeeze them gently, and touch his toes and nails. And if you can only clip one paw at a time for now, that's better than nothing! He's pretty young and he'l soon get used to it!


April 21st, 2008, 06:01 PM
Oh, sorry, one other thing! Whenever we finish his nails, if he's squirming or kicking we don't "free" him until he calms down....just so he doesn't think making a fuss will get him out of it! :D

April 21st, 2008, 09:29 PM
Great method Chase! It's very important to always make nail clipping a postive thing and never, never hold your dog down forcefully. This will only traumatize him and make it worse.

And if the postivie method is really not working for you at home, find a nice groomer :rolleyes:who will do it for you! Most dogs behave completely different with their groomer rather than with their parents.....just like kids!

April 21st, 2008, 09:52 PM
My GSD will let me do about anything with him too BUT cut his nails. I have to muzzle him and have my nephew help me hold him down. The problem is he still squirms so much it's hard to hold his paw still. He has always hated his paws being touched. ALWAYS. I am fortunate that his nails sit pretty high.

April 21st, 2008, 11:07 PM
Thanks Boubou! And I agree - a groomer could be a lifesaver in this case :) I should clarify: my friend is a great groomer and has been doing it for many years! The problem I think was that she came to our apartment to do it, and thought after a few times she would win the battle and he would stop fighting her....but we're pretty sure because we were present there was no way he was going to give up! I bet he would have acted much differently if he was in the shop.

Meh...either way it all worked out! Hope you find a solution that works geoff!

April 21st, 2008, 11:18 PM
:pawprint:two options.. one: wrap the dog ina towel and trmove one paw at a time for clipping while letting him a lip a can of wet food during the whole process to detour his focus.

two: take him to a vet and ask him/her to drummel the dogs nails. it is the best way and last a lot longer than clipping to avoid this problem reoccuring.

April 22nd, 2008, 12:31 AM
We also found it helpful to handle his feet anytime he was in a relaxed state, without the nail clippers anywhere in sight. Try rubbing the pads of his paws, squeeze them gently, and touch his toes and nails. And if you can only clip one paw at a time for now, that's better than nothing! He's pretty young and he'l soon get used to it!

Great advice :thumbs up for anyone with a new puppy or kitten, you must always get them used to being handled especially feet, mouths, ears, tails, tummys

April 22nd, 2008, 05:17 AM
Chases-mom is absolutely correct with the method they use. I was a groomer and they are totally different when mom and dad aren't around. But you have to make it a pleasant experience for them. If you hold them down, wrap them up so they can't move, lose patience and raise your voice, it makes it stressful for them. Handling their little feeties as much as possible is perfect. give them little foot massages when watching tv. etc. As for using a dremel, ummm would you do that to an infant. If your pup is used to you playing with his feet and enjoys it, you'd be surprised they will let you file their nails. If puppy still wont tolerate you doing it, by all means go to a reliable groomer. they usually charge between $5 and $25 dollars, and you get an hour or so to yourself to shop:D

April 22nd, 2008, 09:29 AM
Our dogs' groomer bends their leg at the knee and cuts their nails, that way they cannot really see what you are doing. She has them short leashed on her table so they can't move too much. It might work. Neither of our two Bassetts are a piece of cake, with one we sit on the floor with him and tickle his belly while Ethel cuts his nails, the other we hope for the best, he screams blue murder. :yell:

April 22nd, 2008, 11:35 AM
lol Im glad to see other people have similar problems, so I know its not just my crazy puppy!

The advice so far is really great, thanks everyone!

April 22nd, 2008, 05:08 PM
My Eskie's groomer will trim nails. He gets them done about once a month during his Thurs. daycare - or any dog can go in for a nail trim for $5. Worth every penny. Eskies have VERY strong nails - and my guy is a wimp I am sorry to say - screams first "just in case".

April 23rd, 2008, 10:38 AM
lol Im glad to see other people have similar problems, so I know its not just my crazy puppy!

The advice so far is really great, thanks everyone!

No, your not alone!
My Sheltie Katie was real bad!:wall:I almost had to hog tie her and I could only do a couple nails at a time!:wall:
She would squeal like crazy like I was trying to kill her.
I had to always touch her feet and hold them so she got used to being touched. Now at 10 months old she is getting better. No more squealing and howling!

Ford Girl
April 23rd, 2008, 12:05 PM
We clip our goldens nails, she doesn't like it, but lets us...takes two of us, one feeds her treats while speaking to her in a nutreal tone - not poor baby tone, just hello - how was your day tone - to distract her...the other cuts. If you start early and do it often (as soon as you hear them onthe floor - time to trim) they do get use to it. The important thing is to relax yourself - if you are uptight, your dog will be too, if you are scared, your dog will be too. Do it in the I am the Boss - too bad for you way, and they comply - of course they may pull a hissy fit, but thats all it is.

It also helps to have a special treat to give only during nail clipping, so buy a bag of goodies that he really likes - nutritional or not - they are used often, like a denta stix or busy bone, and have it in released, lots of praise and special treat.

We use XL Milk Bones - the huge ones, whole, probably the biggest treat she gets all at once...she drools over it while waiting for us to release her...a tennis ball works for us too. :angel:

April 23rd, 2008, 04:46 PM
Hubby holds Den-Den (or Corky) up against his chest so that they can't push with their feet. Then I reach in and take one foot and clip away. Sometimes they are distracted by him talking to them and making kissee noises that they don't seem to notice.

April 23rd, 2008, 08:13 PM
Praise be, the pup I have now doesn't mind nail clipping but I sure know what you are going through. You have lots of good suggestions up above. The only thing I would add is that perhaps even as much as one foot at a time is too much. I had to settle for one toe at a time at first.

I have never tried it but some pet owners I know use a dremel sander on the nails and don't clip at all. That's another option to investigate.

April 23rd, 2008, 08:53 PM
am i the only person who doesnt trim her dogs nails?! i just run him around a bunch in the dirt... does it for me. :D


April 23rd, 2008, 10:23 PM
Have always trained my dogs to lie down when they see the nail clippers, put up with my trimming, and get a treat afterwards. I only ever had one dog able to wear her nails down enough to not need trimming very often. Most of mine need it done every two weeks to keep them off the floor. When dogs spend much of their time indoors on completely flat surfaces, their nails need to be trimmed to keep feet from spreading, since they cannot wear down on their own.
Training starts from the first day I have the dog. Twice a day I trim nails--could be only one nail, could be a whole foot, but they are rewarded with treats they love and get no other time until they almost ask to have them done--which of course can take weeks and even months on some older dogs. Puppies learn quickly if started right away. I had one dachshund that would lie down and put her feet in the air when she saw the clippers! :D

April 24th, 2008, 12:22 PM
I don't know how big your pup is, but I found it useful to put them belly-up on my lap for nail trimming. You could just start by getting them comfortable in this position without actually trimming, just rubbing toes etc., then a treat for good behaviour. My Minpin would scream when I trimmed her, now she is good as a lamb...if she objects to anything, its actually the filing I do after. I trim about once a week, sometimes every two weeks so I don't have to remove too much. In my experience the little dogs are the hardest, they squirm and complain more. With the belly-up position, it's easier to see what you are cutting, and it puts the dog in a subordinate position.

Of course this does NOT work with my Bullmastiff or Dane... thank goodness they aren't bothered too much by nail trimming. :pawprint:

April 24th, 2008, 04:42 PM
am i the only person who doesnt trim her dogs nails?!

Nope. When I was a kid the family pet never, ever, once in his +16 years of life had his nails clipped. He was an outside dog and his run had enough stones in it to wear his nails down. When we canoe tripped once with our lab we did a route with many rocky portages and her nails were nice and short and smooth afterwards. And my sister has no choice but to walk her dog on concrete sidewalks and that wears his nails down pretty well too.

April 24th, 2008, 08:40 PM
Talking about nail, my 10 pounder guy is a challenge! If, If we are able to clip one foot with hubby holding him and him squirming like a crazy worm sprinkled with salt, we would never be able to finish all 4 feet before either me or my husband get scratched on the face or neck. Lucky us through a friend's recommendation we found a groomer and she has 26 years of experience and she is able to do it with him sitting in her lap so I will bring him to her for his nails. Talking about miracles! I seriously will be so lost if she ever retires.

I just don't understand what my little guy is thinking. We had him since 12 weeks old, have always make him comfortable before cutting nails and it just got worse and worse as he got older and now we cannot even do it.

April 25th, 2008, 12:41 AM
As an alternative to the dremmel and in addition to the clippers there are metal nail files for dogs. This will be a good tool to get your pup used to the sensation of something happening to their feet, you use it exactly the same as a human nail file.

I used clippers and a nail file on my :rip: Cally's nails, he didn't like having them done his previous owners didn't clip his nails they were only done @ the vets. I found a spot he was comfortable in (back deck) had him lie down, talked to him while I clipped then filed the sharp edges down. When he would protest or try to pull his foot away I would say either "I'm not done yet" or "This is my foot, you can have back when I'm done" - dogs understand possesion - this is mine, that is yours. He didn't get treats until I said we were all finished. :D