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raingirl November 12th, 2005 03:50 PM

nail cutting/grinding.
I guess this is sorta a training issue.

I got a dremel tool about a month ago. Since then I have been working really hard to "desensitize" Odin to it so we can grind his nails.

We tried cutting his nails at several places, and on our own, but even the vet couldn't do it on the last try unless he was sedated. He just hates it.

We got them grinded once, and it took us 4 people just to hold him! But it was so much faster, less painfull, and less chance of hitting the quick.

I've been just leaving the dremel out in plain view, touching his nails with it, leaving it on near him, holding it and touching his nails when it's off, everything. I will do it for long or short periods of time, and I use lots of praise and treats when he doesn't get all nippy. As soon as he gets nippy we put it and the treats away.

He last got them done in September and his front dew claws and back deformed toe are starting to get real long, as they don't get short from walking on pavement. The rest aren't as bad yet. I know they are starting to bug him as he is starting to chew them which he does when they are too long.

Any other suggestions? Or are we just going to have to do it by force each time and muzzle him or sedate him?

PetFriendly November 12th, 2005 05:37 PM

[QUOTE=raingirl]I've been just leaving the dremel out in plain view, touching his nails with it, leaving it on near him, holding it and touching his nails when it's off, everything. I will do it for long or short periods of time, and I use lots of praise and treats when he doesn't get all nippy. As soon as he gets nippy we put it and the treats away.


Part of your problem might be that you're putting it away as soon as he says enough (by nipping).

Its going to take a long time for him to get used to it, especially if his previous home hurt him somehow (and by the sound of it they did on more than one occasion). A trainer once told me that dogs really only remember what they've done in the last 10 seconds so you might want to keep doing what you're doing, but instead of putting it away when he nips, train him not to nip and treat when he 'left it alone' or 'layed still' or what ever you want your command to be.

raingirl November 12th, 2005 06:14 PM

Well...we still pursue a little after he gets nippy, but he starts off gentle by kinda mouthing us, but if he starts getting really pissy, then we stop. I do praise him tons when he is relaxing with it around. Today he layed down beside me and I was holding it on in one hand and massaging his feet with the other, and he was fine, but as soon as I get close to his feet he would get all distressed, get up and mouthy. It's not like he runs away and hides. He still stays close to me and just sits there and is fine. He's even fine when we touch it to his nails when it's off.

I guess he must have had some bad nail experiences before we got him.

Prin November 12th, 2005 06:35 PM

What if you do one nail at a time? I tell Boo exactly what is going on (he used to bite when we'd cut his nails). I tell let him know that we're almost finished and when he gets really squirmy, I say "Just one more" and then I do one more nail and then let him go. Sometimes it helps if they know exactly what your intentions are.

So if you say to Odin, "We're just going to do one, ok?" and then you do one and then shower with cookies, then the next day, say it again, maybe the one nail will eventually be worth all the cookies and he'll let you do two.

PetFriendly November 13th, 2005 09:33 AM

[QUOTE=raingirl]Well...we still pursue a little after he gets nippy, but he starts off gentle by kinda mouthing us, but if he starts getting really pissy, then we stop. [/QUOTE]

Maybe stop even before he gets nippy? Try it for 10 minutes here and there, then build up?

I like Prin's idea too, one at a time might make it more manageable for him.

tenderfoot November 13th, 2005 11:28 AM

Good ideas Petfriendly & Prin.
It's important to teach him that being calm will get him released and being pissy doesn't work.
Every dog is different and this may not be related to any past experiences - most animals aren't thrilled about getting their nails done at first.
Also, dogs do remember lots of things for a long time, I think the trainer meant that in order to make an association for good or bad - the person has a very short window of time.
Some dogs are better sitting and just offering you a paw for trimming. Other dogs do better lying on their backs for trimming. We teach the 'love & trust role' for nail trimming too. It places the dog on their back - submissive position - and lets you practice working their feet and nails. When you start to actually trim the nails just take off the tiniest tip and praise. If you do his nails every day then he should start to get over it. If he complains or gets mouthy then a correction is in order but go right back to being calm. If he is on his back and gets mouthy you can actually take his own front paws and when he heads for you - you hold his own paws infront of his mouth so he can get nippy on his own paws not you. He'll get board with that game fast.

rjames November 14th, 2005 03:50 PM

Dremel tool? That's a first for me!

If you need to wear safety glasses to groom your pet, you may need to re-evaluate your methods!

I may be old fashion but a good ol' nail clipper is probably much faster, safer and less traumatic for the dog. Do you have eye protection for your dog? Personally, I wear eye protection around anything that spins at 30,000 rpm. Yes there is a risk of hitting the quick with a clipper but there is no risk - none whatsoever - in slipping and hitting the dog with a stone that's spinning at 30,000 rpm while using a clipper.

In my view, it's unnecessary. That's the equivalent of a hair-dresser using a hedge trimmer, or a gardener using a jack-hammer.

Seriously though, you must be joking!

tenderfoot November 14th, 2005 04:45 PM

Actually a dremel tool is commonly used by professionals. I use one on my large parrots and they prefer it to the clipper - they just let me trim their nails one by one without a fuss. If your dog is well trained to the dremel there is little risk of hurting them because they don't argue against it. I like it because you can avoid hitting the quick and it rounds the points so you don't have you be concerned about sharp edges.

pags November 14th, 2005 04:49 PM

I actually had a dremel tool for my own nails... It's my understanding that it's an essential part of any good manicure set. :D (Nevermind the fact that this manicure set was obviously a well-intentioned gift that I never actually used because my nails are about as long and luxurious as those of a medieval blacksmith....)

MIA November 14th, 2005 05:20 PM

I live for my dremel!!!!! It's so much easier and I can get the nails shorter without risking getting the quick!!!! My dogs prefer it as well and are much better behaved for it.

I learned it from a breeder and am thankful for the tip!

mafiaprincess November 14th, 2005 06:44 PM

Well rjames did have a point.

Not on not doing it, but breathing in the nail dust really isn't good for you, and there is the posibility of getting a projectile nail piece in your eye.

People often post on forums how great a dremel is, and step by step how to do nails.. and rarely mention that saftey should be included too.

Prin November 14th, 2005 09:28 PM

I think you might actually be more likely to get a piece of nail in your eye from the guillotine type of clipper... They make sharp clippings that fly all over the place...

Moral of the story: use eye protection no matter what method you use to cut the doggies' nails.;)

MIA November 14th, 2005 09:44 PM

I've never gotten anything in my eye when grinding but yes the dust is yucky, then again I don't have my face right there and I often blow it away, I do mine outside as well.... If any of you are going to try it, please look up instructions or ask, you can't hold it there and watch the nail get shorter, it gets too hot!

I am actually off to do nails right now!!!!

rjames November 15th, 2005 10:00 AM

Despite the use by breeders and groomers, I'm still surprised at the use of a dremel tool. They are profesionals at dealing with anamals not power tools.

I've only used a dremel tool on steel and wood products and boy...the chuncks fly off in all directions and hit hard in fact, that it's left scratches on my eye protection. I'd hate to know what could happen to someone/some dog's eye.

The guillitine-type clippers fling clippings around but not at a speed compatible to 30,000 rpm!!!!! It's definitely not enough to blind you or your dog. Plus you can direct the the piece to the floor. With the dremel tool you have no control over which direction anything is going to go. Think about that speed - its like 20-60 times faster than your cordless drill.

Personally, I think the risk far out-weighs any convenience.

MIA November 15th, 2005 10:17 AM

Groomers use many different tools....

I don't have an industrial dremel, I have a little cordless mini one, much less powerful than the industrial one my husband has. Although I have used the bigger one on my larger dog.

I can tell you there are no chunks flying off when done correctly. You don't have to use a dremel if you don't want to but for me and my dogs it works wonderfully and I have been doing it for many years now and haven't had a problem. Nor have I nicked a quick, which when using the guillotine type I have.

I worked in a grooming shop for a while and often we just tipped the nails with guillotine clippers but with dogs that had really long nails it was easier to use the dremel and we could get the nails much shorter which made the client happy!

I don't see the harm if you are using it properly and learn how to use it properly, many people are doing it and it works for them. Nobody said you have to use it! I have friends that won't even cut thier own dogs nails and do go to a groomer or to me!

meb999 November 15th, 2005 10:18 PM

I loooooove my dremel tool for nails -- you have to remember that we aren't using the hard-core metal attachements with the dremel!! I use a soft sandpaper attachement and Buster doesn't mind it at all.

We had trouble at first, but just keep up with the treats and the praise, and like Prin said, do one nail at a time, and Odin will come around :-)

Also, when using a dremel, try not to keep it in one spot for long, because it does heat up the nail. I just touch the nail, then stop, touch it again then stop, that way the nail doesn't heat up. Also, if your dremel has different speeds (mine does....but I'm not a tool expert so I don't know if they all do..) Use a low speed, this'll also help not to heat up the nail. Good luck!

StaceyB December 13th, 2005 09:38 PM

I missed this one so I thought I would post to it.
The dremel or rotary tool was originally used for doing birds(parrots) nails because their quick is very long and close to the tip. It ends up being safer to use the dremel on their nails. It grinds like a sander so no big chunks come off. No worries of getting hit in the eye from a piece flying.
The dremel makes for a nicer job, rounded nail, shorter.
Also, groomers use many power tools.

Lucky Rescue December 13th, 2005 10:38 PM

The best info I've seen on dremeling is on the Dober Dawn site::)


StaceyB December 14th, 2005 08:54 AM

That is a good site.

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