Nails. My arch nemesis.

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Dizzy, May 5, 2013.

  1. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    We have worked on Fred's nails since the day he came home. And he STILL doesn't let us do them (he did at first and I was soooo impressed).

    We've tried dremeling and clippers.

    And treats, and clicker training.

    He will only ever let me do one nail, and only a tiny sliver!! Then he gets silly, flails like a bunny rabbit, and won't give you his foot. If you gently hold his foot, he scoots its away and bounces backwards.

    I don't get it. I don't know how you are supposed to cut a dogs frigging nails!!!!
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Can your spouse hold him while you cut?
     
  3. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Tried this. Worse flailing. Even tried with him being carried.

    I usually end up sat with the clicker in my mouth, treats between my legs, clippers in one hand and paw in the other.

    He will let me do maximum 2 nails... I suppose I can do this every day till they're done.... And this is literally hold his paw and repeatedly clicking and treating so he doesn't pull away, then doing a quick snip when he's not expecting it. Then we are back to square one.

    And this isn't even attempting his back feet.... Which currently look like talons!

    I don't know whether to go back to the dremel... I've just ordered some guillotine clippers, not sure how that would make anything easier, but you never know.

    It's not like we haven't ever done his nails and are just starting now. And I've been working on him being ok to have his feet handled since a wee pup!

    Frustrates the hell out of me. Which I think he probably picks up. Losing battle!
     
  4. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I'd honestly work on him accepting restraint, then. Sounds like it is less of a nail problem and more of a "I don't want to be held still" problem. Once you get him to accept being held still, the nails should be a breeze.

    If it were my dog...I'd probably just sit on him and tell him to deal with it. LOL Which may not be the smartest or best thing, but coming from a world where I trim nails on a daily basis and the dogs are often complete and total idiots...I feel less bad about it.

    My sister's pup is a brat about being restrained. Not so much the nails, but the restraint sends him into a fit. I had to trim his nails, so I just had someone hold him down and NOT let him move. Once he stopped flipping out he got treats, which he is happy about. I was then able to trim his nails without any fuss.
     
  5. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    He seems to get more worked up holding him.... And I worry he's going to injure himself!

    Might have to wait till he's fully recovered then sit on his head lol (joke!).
     
  6. Cali Mae

    Cali Mae Little dog, big voice

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    Cali was like that, although the fact that she's less than five pounds does make it much easier to restrain her. :p

    I ended up having to get my mom to hold her and then we'd give her a little piece of cheese after each nail. After maybe the fourth one, she relaxed and we were able to do all four feet. After a couple sessions of getting a treat for each nail, I'm now able to do a couple without any help and without Cali wiggling around.
     
  7. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    We tried holding him again. There is no way that's happening. He panics and flails.

    I think I'm going to give the dremel another try, and just try and do a tiny bit each day.

    Le sigh. I want a nail clipping fairy.
     
  8. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I completely fail at training a dog to let me clip their nails. Completely.

    Didgie was my best and just recently she decided it wasn't happening and Traveler will let me do anything and everything to him including pulling on his nails but I can't clip them.

    So, I gave up on that route and instead use the idea I stole from Taq and taught them to scratch on an emery board I made out of ply wood and sandpaper.

    [YOUTUBE]DdqZQOwa00M[/YOUTUBE]

    So that might be something you could look into while working on getting him to accept getting his nails trimmed. Or when you give up like me and just use that.
     
  9. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Just like when you taught him to have his feet played with, you can teach him to accept restraint (maybe! LOL). Start off at slow increments, reward heavily, and make being restrained the best thing in the world.

    Chloe used to bite if anyone tried to restrain her and I really had to work with her on it. She now will accept restraining from me, and select other people at the vet's office.
     
  10. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    He's very much like bodhi in that they are both like rag dolls, right till you do something you need!

    Will keep at it. I get so wound up though, I'm probably the wrong person to do it now.

    I scoot bodhi across concrete to keep hers nice lol. Ball dog ftw. Fred isn't even a slippy slider (and can't anyway atm).
     
  11. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    You may also consider a calming cap and going through the motions but clipping the air in front of the toe and rewarding before going for gold.
     
  12. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    What's a calming cap??

    I started off by clicking for paw, clicking for me holding a toe, clicking for clipper near foot, clipper touching nail, then a massive bounty for a snip.

    Maybe I'm too impatient. I know its not impossible. It could all be over in 5 mins if it went well!
     
  13. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    When I clip nails, I hold the dog in my lap on his back, feet in the air. That way I can restrain him and clip nails at the same time. OF course I condition them to be comfortable in that position - and to stay in that position until being released - before ever starting nails, but it usually doesn't take very many sessions.

    One thing we have to keep in mind is that whenever the dog successfully pulls away while we're trying to do nails, he's MAJORLY reinforced himself by avoiding the nail clipping. So in addition to reinforcing him for being still and allowing you to clip his nails, we have to be sure to NOT let him reinforce himself by pulling away.
     
  14. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    All of that!

    I also have had luck with backing the dog into a corner and then holding their feet folded back (like a farrier does) instead of pulling the leg forward - gives me a great view of the nail bed and seems more comfortable for the dog.

    Here's the horsie version:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. RedHotDobe

    RedHotDobe aka RedHotBabe

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    Rumor used to lay on her side and let me dremel, until one day she just decided she didn't want to do that anymore. I have a grooming table but it's a pain to set up every time I want to do nails. Rather than force her to lay down when she doesn't want to, we've modified so that she now just backs into a corner and sits while I do fronts. When we transition to rears she sits on my arm. She's slightly too heavy for me to be able to support her like that, but I try to humor her, lol.
     
  16. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    ^that is how we do it at work. Except most of them are done on the grooming table. Restrained and sometimes with another person holding them.

    If we get dogs that are too bad we refer them to the vet to have it done.
     
  17. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    This. And I may or may not have beaned Rage in the head with the handle of the clippers before & told her to stop being a jackass. Usually they just lay there & accept it - nails are not optional here. Not even for Daisy, queen of the world. It used to take going to the vet & having 4 of us hold Daisy down & 1 to clip. Now I can roll her onto her back between my legs on the floor & dremel them all.
     
  18. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    I pick my nail battles :D Riley doesn't like being restrained and NEVER lets himself be placed on his back. He panics completely - which I learned during a 'tricks' class when he was a puppy. One of the tricks was a simple roll over, using clicks/treats, so nails weren't even involved. He never did learn to roll over...

    Anyway, the best time for me to clip his nails is when he's relaxed and snoozing (in his bed, early morning, or on the couch in the evening). He makes half-hearted attempts to pull his foot away but ultimately lets me get a couple of paws done, because he's not really awake. I don't push getting them all done at one go, and even just getting a couple of nails clipped, then taking a break, and coming back to it, is what works for us.
     
  19. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I don't push Tucker, I'd rather not be bit or have him become defensive about having his feet touched in other situations (like when I had to get a tick out of his toes last summer). As it is he's already terrified of me holding his foot if I have any tool in my other hand. I tried to trim his foot fur and he was convinced I was going to cut his nails. But so far if I have no tools he stays calm, and I don't want to lose that. So I have him scratch sand paper and it works alright. I'm thinking about smearing cream cheese on the wall and seeing if that'll distract him enough for me to clip one. Though I get so nervous about quicking him I don't know if I'll go through with it. I always quick him and wreck everything.
     
  20. Oko

    Oko Silence, peasants.

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    This is the reason I want to be in Susan Garret's Puppy Peaks. I want to know how she teaches her dogs to tolerate dremeling. I must know. :rofl1:

    That aside, I am going to attempt to shape lying on the back between my straight legs until released, and go from there. It will be epic.
     

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