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Old September 27th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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lilbear lilbear is offline
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Dog chewing his toenails!

HI everyone I'm new to this site and am hoping to get some help...We have a healthy 1 year old German Shepherd puppy. He is a great dog although protective but he chews his toenails, some he has chewed to the quick but thankfully none have started bleeding. Anyone have any ideas on why and how to stop I would greatly appreciate it. I thought I only had to stop my kids from chewing their nails LOL.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 03:53 PM
Tigs Tigs is offline
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chewing toenails

A couple of things
1. What do you do when he starts to chew them?
sometimes these behaviours are attention seeking behaviours-he did it a couple of times and got a great reaction from you or others at home and has learned that he gets attention in an otherwise busy household?

2. When does he do it? i.e. after meals, before meals, when there are kids around, when you are otherwise busy, or the phone rings.....

3. Can the chewing be interrupted? If it can you can try substituting kongs, clicker training, walks, etc. Make sure he is well exercised and that his diet contains the right balance of carbo to protein.

4. If its more difficult to interrupt, then it could have become a type of addiction..literally...he gets a high from doing it (as in the case of obsessive licking of skin) and you "might" need some pharmaceutical support from your vet to treat it.

5. It could be a displacement behaviour, i.e. where is he when he does it...is he "free" in the house, or in a crate, or has he been in a crate for any period of time?
Sorry loads of questions but not a simple behaviour to diagnose without them! Depending on your answers it could be boredom, habit, obsession, or just learned behaviour.

Tigs
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Old September 27th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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Dogastrophe Dogastrophe is offline
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Lucy will chew her nails when they get a bit too long (kind of a reminder for us to clip them).

Jack chews his (along with licking his paws) in the spring and fall due to seasonal allergies.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 09:16 PM
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pitgrrl pitgrrl is offline
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My dogs will do this if they have a yeast problem around the nail. Usually you can see a bit of reddish/brown discolouration at the base of the nail.

Apple cider vinegar and water used to wipe the are down two or three times a day has always taken care of the issue for me.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 11:51 PM
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rainbow rainbow is offline
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How long have you had him and what are you feeding him?
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Old September 28th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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lilbear lilbear is offline
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chewing nails thanks

Okay I'm trying to remember all the questions lol...no he is not in crate except when he chooses to be, he has free run of house as he is our sucky, we have had him since he was 2 months and he was a year in july. We have noticed him doing this just this past month or so, doesnt seem to be any relations to meal times. When he catch him we pull him away and say no sternly and distract him with a toy or walk, this seems to work. I keep his nails and fur between toes trimmed regularly although the ones he chews don't need clipping lol. My stepfather is a breeder of retrievers and has never run across this problem with any of his professional field retrievers!
He gets 9 walks a day and lots of play exercise as well, we have two kids early teens who adore him and go out of their way to make time with him as do we.We actually just changed his food last week to a higher protein and fat because we were worried that he might be underweight although since then we were told he is ideal for his age and size 70lbs was ideal for a year old german shepherd. And thankfully with our schedules he doesnt have to be home alone throughout the day.
Thanks for the tip I'll try out the cider vinegar, I havent found any discharge or discolouration but keep checking daily.
We are feeding him currently Authority puppy food for the protein and fat content. Unfortunatly I dump food into a closed pail and threw out the packaging or I could read again what exactly the contents were. We are looking for something for active dogs without going to extremes cost wise. If anyone has suggestions for a good food for active dogs please let me know.

This is a great site to talk to others about pets,I'm glad I found it Thanks everyone for your help.
Here is a pic of my sucky boy Wessen LOL
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Old September 29th, 2007, 01:40 AM
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rainbow rainbow is offline
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Wessen is a very handsome boy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbear
We are feeding him currently Authority puppy food for the protein and fat content. Unfortunatly I dump food into a closed pail and threw out the packaging or I could read again what exactly the contents were. We are looking for something for active dogs without going to extremes cost wise. If anyone has suggestions for a good food for active dogs please let me know.
I would definitely switch his food to a premium/holistic brand. I can't find an ingredient list for Authority but I know it contains corn and possibly wheat which are two ingredients that cause a lot of food allergies. Check out our Food Forum here for some good suggestions. I would recommend:

Orijen and Acana (www.championpetfoods.com)
Innova and Innova EVO (www.naturapet.com)
Canidae (www.canidae.com)
Go Natural/Go Natural Grain-Free (www.petcurean.com)
California Natural (www.naturapet.com)

Orijen is my personal favourite. California Natural is good for dogs with allergies as it has the fewest ingredients.

Another good website is www.dogfoodproject.com and click on "Ingredients to Avoid" on the left hand side of the page. The rest of the links have lots of excellent information as well. Also www.dogaware.com is a good site with lots of good links.

If you have any questions about any of the brands start a new thread in the food forum here. Also, you should not pour dog food into a plastic container. I'll see if I can find the thread where it was discussed.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 01:46 AM
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Here's the thread....

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread....stic+container
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