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Nail Trimming


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#1 MarlysMom

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 09:44 PM

Help, I need suggestions. Marley freaks out every time we try to trim his nails. He sees that Bella doesn't much mind it and we let him check out the trimmer and are calm when attempting to trim but its so very stressful for him that we are lucky if we get 2 or 3 nails trimmed. As a result, my husband has given up trying and I can't do it alone so Marley is in dire need of a trim. Having the vet do them is an expensive option and I'm currently unemployed.
I would greatly appreciate any advice you can offer.
Thanks,
Kim

#2 KellyB

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 05:40 AM

Have you tried filing them down with a good nail file.



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#3 Stacie

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 06:57 AM

How badly does he react? I have found that rubbing their pads prior and clipping a nail in between rubs helps some of the dogs I do. I have a G.S. that comes in and I am the only one who can touch her feet but I also massage her paws and pads while doing it. Most dogs that don't like their nails trimmed freak out even more for a nail file. PM me with your number - I live in Brownstown and can give it a whirl for you. Marley must have had a bad experience with a toenail trim in the past - I know the GS I do had someone take 1/2 her nail off before and that is why she is so bad for it now. Maybe having a stranger do it might help.
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#4 Bgstk0529

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:05 AM

The first time we had our Marley's nails trimmed, after bringing him home from SCD, was at the vet where it took a tech to literally lay on top of him while the vet trimmed while Marley screamed and shook so bad we swore never to put him through that again. We haven't.
We use treats and started small, like you. We would do one paw and then wait a couple days and do the next. In between times we grabbed every opportunity to handle his paws, which he hated but now is OK with. Always with positive reinforcement whether a treat or just praise.
It is all a matter of trust and he now lets us do all four paws with no problem. He still doesn't so much like it but puts up with it and does not fear it like he used to as he knows a milk bone is due upon completion.
Positive reinforcement, small steps (two or three nails per day) and consistancy will slowly build his trust and acceptance of nail clipping time.
Good luck. :devil:

#5 jmnodwell

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:45 AM

Positive reinforcement, small steps (two or three nails per day) and consistancy will slowly build his trust and acceptance of nail clipping time.
Good luck. :devil:


No one ever said that all the nails had to be all trimmed in the same day... Start out with one nail, trim it and then walk away. Savor the small victory and repeat the next day... Then work up to two nails... You'll be doing a whole paw before you know it... Sometimes I can do all four feet sometimes only the front or back... I don't push it but go back the next day...

Also find something they really like and only give that as a "nail trimming" treat. It could just be a scoop of peanut butter but something different that he can really enjoy... He will begin to look forward to getting his nails trimmed...

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#6 Stacie

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 11:53 AM

I agree totally with the taking your time. Magnum hates his nails being done but he puts up with me doing them. If you have a lot of cement in your yard and they play outside quit a bit then the back nails should be good to go w/o a trim. Most of the dogs that come in now don't need their backs done unless they are old or couch potatoes or don't have cement to run on. I have a neighbor with a female boxer who used to freak out every time she went to get her nails done at the vets - I started doing them for her - one or two a day for a week or so until all nails were done and then we would start over again a week later because her quicks were so long that I was trying to shorten them up. After a few months I can now go over once a month a give her her pawdicure. I trim, polish and rub her pads with bagbalm. She's got the nicest looking feet in our neighborhood next to Lilo (who is sporting some hot pink toes this week)! Just build trust - clip a little bit off at a time so you don't quick them and when a fuss begins - stop, reward for the nails you got done and go back another time!
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#7 Diana

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 06:20 PM

I must be mean, I just do the nails, it is a part of being a dog, just like a bath, eating, learning to come, etc. Most dogs don't like it and put up a fuss, then we give up, they win and continue to hate it. I do suggest "playing" with the feet oten or rubbing them, giving them a massage, when you are just relaxing with them, they get use to the feet being touched and it makes doing nails a whole lot better. I do give "special" treats after the nails are done.
I use the dremel, not the clippers. I know when Nixx came to me, her nails were claws, so had to get to work on them. I did clip some off, then have always used the grinder on them. The biggest thing we had to work on was finding a good position she was comfortable in. I had always had the dogs lay on the floor while I did nails. Nixx would have no part of that and would fight like a wild woman, then I tried her standing up, well, that was it, she was much better.
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#8 CathieRenee

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:23 PM

I must be mean, I just do the nails, it is a part of being a dog, just like a bath, eating, learning to come, etc. Most dogs don't like it and put up a fuss, then we give up, they win and continue to hate it.


I agree mostly...but if the dog is truly stressed out over nails, then just do 1 or 2 and act like that's all you wanted to do. The dog doesn't need to know any different. Then the next day do 1 or 2 more. We still win and you don't have to fight with the dog. But there should be definite improvement over a period of time, so that all the nails can be done with a minimum of fuss.

Now Zeus will let me clip his nails anytime I want, with NO fuss and I can do all his nails in about 2 minutes. But I can't get them as short as I want that way. So I dremel. He will lay there and jerk and twitch on the second foot, irregardless of which foot it is. He's not screaming or scrambling to get away so I know he's not being hurt. I know he's just putting up a fuss, so I do insist that he let me do them. It's just a show, after the second foot he "gives up" and I finish the other feet. It really only take me about 10-15 minutes to do them all, then he gets his cookies and we both win.

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#9 doberpagegirl

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 03:15 PM

We recently got a peticure to do the dogs nails. In case you haven't seen the commercials, it's a dremel tool with a guard which has different sized holes. You set it on the hole that fits your dogs nail. We bribe them by putting canned dog food down and telling them to stay. They get the food after the nails are done. Alley doesn't care one bit about it. Buddy is a different story. We muzzle him now. I know he hates it, but the second the muzzle goes on he is the most docile dog you ever saw. He just gives up. I guess we are just mean too. :devil: He is less nervous with the peticure than he was with the clippers though. We took about two weeks introducing it to them with treats before we ever did a nail. Now we can do all 4 feet with no struggle from Bud and he gets his canned food, so everybody wins.

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#10 MarlysMom

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:01 PM

We recently got a peticure to do the dogs nails. In case you haven't seen the commercials, it's a dremel tool with a guard which has different sized holes. You set it on the hole that fits your dogs nail. We bribe them by putting canned dog food down and telling them to stay. They get the food after the nails are done. Alley doesn't care one bit about it. Buddy is a different story. We muzzle him now. I know he hates it, but the second the muzzle goes on he is the most docile dog you ever saw. He just gives up. I guess we are just mean too. :) He is less nervous with the peticure than he was with the clippers though. We took about two weeks introducing it to them with treats before we ever did a nail. Now we can do all 4 feet with no struggle from Bud and he gets his canned food, so everybody wins.



we were thinking about getting one of those; I assume its the largest size we would need. I've been massaging Marleys paws and getting him used to them being held rather than just touched briefly. In a few days we are going to attempt to do one nail a day until he is less stressed. Peanut butter or canned food is a great treat idea.
A big Thanks to all; there has been some great advice offered and I'm going to do my best to find the least stressful route for him. Now if I could just get him to stop whining all the time :devil:

#11 CAB

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:43 PM

We recently got a peticure to do the dogs nails.

Did you have to order this online? If not, where did you buy it?
The embedded collars in his neck when we got him and he goes back and extends the gentle paw to the human race. One heck of a dog.

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#12 doberpagegirl

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 10:09 PM

We ordered it online. It took about 4 weeks to arrive. We got the plug in version the "peticure power" as we heard bad things about the kind with the batteries, like they were not as strong and they didn't hold a charge very long. We like it, it made me less afraid that I might hurt them. It does a better job than clipping did. It cost us about $70 including shipping. Here is a link to the website http://www.peticure.com/

Edited by doberpagegirl, 20 July 2008 - 10:26 PM.

It matters to the one you save.

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#13 MarlysMom

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 09:19 AM

We had Marley at the emergency vet last night to clean a small cut on his front paw (a result of a spat with Bella). They had to tranquilize him to get it cleaned up so we thought to try and trim his front nails too. He was pretty out of it so they were surprised at how he fought when the clippers came out. Needless to say, the vet staff was unable to trim his nails. I feel a bit better that it wasn't just me stressing him out and we are still working with massaging the paws and getting them used to being touched/held.

I've been reading mixed reviews about the peticure (great concept but product launched before bugs worked out etc) but I think I'm gonna have to give it a shot and hope for the best. The vet tech said they are less traumatic.

#14 doberpagegirl

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:48 AM

Have you tried a muzzle? I know, I don't like to muzzle Buddy, but it has to be done for his own sake. The minute the muzzle goes on Buddy knows he is defeated and he just gives up fighting. Buddy acts pathetic like we just broke his heart, but he forgets all about it when it comes off and he gets his canned food.

Edited by doberpagegirl, 31 July 2008 - 11:52 AM.

It matters to the one you save.

SCD's Out on Bail CGC (December 17, 2008- April 27, 2018)
SCD's Stone Soup
SCD's Sixpence in my shoe
SCD's Hurricane Alley CGC (August 12, 2007- September 11, 2014)
SCD's Easter Buddy CGC (August 12, 2007- July 5, 2012)
Page, Princess Extraordinaire - (July 9, 2000- July 31, 2007)


#15 brownsmom

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:02 PM

www.DoberDawn.com

This link has a good article on using the Dremel for nails. I am still unalble to get Lexi to even take a treat from me when the Dremel is on, but the others are making progress.

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#16 MarlysMom

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 02:56 PM

Have you tried a muzzle? I know, I don't like to muzzle Buddy, but it has to be done for his own sake. The minute the muzzle goes on Buddy knows he is defeated and he just gives up fighting. Buddy acts pathetic like we just broke his heart, but he forgets all about it when it comes off and he gets his canned food.


he was muzzled and pretty high on tranq & pain reliever. Now the poor guy is wearing a collar so he won't lick the wound and that also brings out the sad, pathetic look. Certainly played well on the sympathy factor (missed dinner, rough night etc) when we stopped at McDonalds to get him a plain burger on the way home... :devil:

#17 MarlysMom

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 02:58 PM

www.DoberDawn.com

This link has a good article on using the Dremel for nails. I am still unalble to get Lexi to even take a treat from me when the Dremel is on, but the others are making progress.


Thanks for the link, will definitely check it out. Hope Lexi comes around to taking the treat. Maybe when she sees the others are ok she will be less leary. I know Bella often watches for cues from Marley.

#18 Jan

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:40 PM

Is this fear of nail trimming a Doberman thing? Marten hates even the sight of the nail clippers. Even with drugs no one including two experienced vet techs can cut his nails. I'm going to look into the dremel type tool. Also I'm working on trying to get him to let me use a sanding block but he's a little too smart.
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#19 CathieRenee

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 07:42 PM

Is this fear of nail trimming a Doberman thing? Marten hates even the sight of the nail clippers. Even with drugs no one including two experienced vet techs can cut his nails. I'm going to look into the dremel type tool. Also I'm working on trying to get him to let me use a sanding block but he's a little too smart.
Marten & Heidi's Mom



How about leaving the nail clippers out in sight all the time? Carry them with you and squeeze them so he gets used to the sight and sound of them. Make them part of you and your everyday routine.

I did get a flexi shaft attachment for my dremel. It helps keep the motor and the noise farther away from the dog.

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#20 Cheri

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 06:49 AM

I did get a flexi shaft attachment for my dremel. It helps keep the motor and the noise farther away from the dog.


Just curious. Can you describe this a little more or post a picture? I'm thinking it might be helpful for me.

I'm having the same problems as many of you. I guess I was so spoiled by Savanna. She used to lay on her back and let me do them. Of course, we started when she was a puppy and gave her a piece of cheese every time she let us do one toe. Natasha, however, really fights it. I was losing my patience with her so Rick said he would do it. He kind of pins her against the wall and gets it done, but she doesn't like it. He just tried the Dremel on 11-week-old Logan a couple days ago, and he didn't seem to mind it a bit.

Also wondering, does anyone have any experience with a variable-speed Dremel? The one I have just has a high and low speed. The low speed barely does anything at all, but the high speed is quite noisy and can get the toenails a little hot if you're not careful.
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