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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran frankykeno's Avatar
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    Nail Trimming Hell

    I'm have a big problem with our 17 month old female yellow Lab, Bella. She will not let me and Mike cut her nails. She's got nice white nails with a very easy to see quick. I've always trimmed all my dog's nails over the years and even had no problems with the black nails the black Labradors I used to own. Sure they didn't particularily like having their nails done but nothing like what Bella is doing.

    She literally freaks out! I'm talking spinning, snapping (she hasn't yet bitten but it might happen in her extreme fear response), screaming, howling, you name it. She's about 70 lbs and even Mike can't restrain her when she's like this. I've never cut her nails too short or hurt her with the nail clippers so I don't know why she has this extreme over-reaction to her nails being done. I can't even grasp her paw if she sees I have the clippers out. She pulls back, yelps and goes into freak out mode before I even get one nail clipped.

    Bella is a bit of a drama queen on the best of days and a big suck about anything that she thinks might hurt her but this is a bit ridiculous. Her nails need done regularily and this morning it took 15 minutes of dog screaming hell to get one single nail trimmed. I hate putting the dog through this and it's just not much fun for Mike and I either.

    Any ideas folks? I'm starting to think she's going to have to be sedated just to get some nail care done.
    ~~Joanna~~


  2. #2
    Big Papa Bear Ironhead's Avatar
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    Re: Nail Trimming Hell

    Jo....

    My Dad has a Chihuahua that is the same way. He has to get her sedated every time, so other than sedation...I cant help. Good luck.
    The only difference between tattooed people and non-tattooed people is....

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  3. #3
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    Re: Nail Trimming Hell

    Try putting her up on a grooming table height table. Someone stands at her head and holds her on both sides of her head. The person clipping picks up her paw like a horse's hoof while the person at ehr head pops pieces of hotdog into ehr mouth. Don't pick up the paw and hold it in front of her. Hold the paw behind her leg if that makes any sense, like you are going to clean the hooves of a horse. This might help her not struggle as much.

    If this doesn't work, try having her stand on the table with a person at her head as described above. Instead of lifting her paw at all, slide the clipper blades over the nail without lifting her paw. Clip while the paw is flat on the table. Many struggling dogs will accept this.

    The key is LESS restraint not more. The restraining makes them panic worse. So if you can find a less combative way to get her in a position and get the nails done great.

    Other ideas:
    Spread some canned cat food that smells horrific on a flat surface and get her licking the cat food while she is on the table and the person clipping starts while she is already involved with the food.

    Try the table method and get one or two or maybe three nails done and then end BEFORE she struggles. reqward her with treats and try to not go to the struggling part. This will reak the cycle of fighting and she might begin to associate this with a quick not too invasive procedure and treats. Don't try to do too many even if she is doing well. Reward for a little. Then try again another time.

    There is a place under the arm of the dog-- front leg, that you can put your thumb into and they can't move that leg. Try it not during nail time. Get your fingers under there and press (not too hard) and see if you can get the leg out in front of her without her being able to move it. Practice this and then use it during table time if necessary.


    If you can't do it on your own, hire a clicker trainer or positive reinforcement trainer and get some help. This is fixable.

    ~~ZinniaZ
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  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran ChicaPiton519's Avatar
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    Re: Nail Trimming Hell

    this has alot to do with what the breeder did when the pup was little, i know both of my german shepherds that are akc, the breeders handled the puppies feet when they were little up till they were able to go home...

    my old GSD was not akc, and she was part of a 'accident' litter and the owner did not do that, it to was pure hell trying to clip her nails...

    it might take one more person holding her down to do it, but you may want to try and get her used to you handleing her feet more without clipping...
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  5. #5
    Registered User Melevarin's Avatar
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    Re: Nail Trimming Hell

    my collie used to have problems and he's about the same weight...maybe a little more, but what we had to do was before he new what we were doing my sister and I would get him to lay down on one side. Then I think it'd be better to show >.<


    my sister used to have to sit next to me with her legs over the other half of him and we just lean over him and get his nails that way. We would also give him a treat after every nail. Anyway, this way lets me decide how much pressure is needed to control him and as long as his legs don't get under him he can't try to stand up ^_^

  6. #6
    BPnet Veteran mischevious21's Avatar
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    Re: Nail Trimming Hell

    I've got a pit/boxer that I have trianed (from a pup, of course), to give me her paw to cut her nails- or paint them. lol. he doesnt like it, or baths, but she knows she's gotta listen.

    BUT, my husky pup, who is now 17 weeks old (and already almost as tall as a full grown husky), just freaked out like that. I've still got a bruise she gave me when I did hers ladt week, and her back nails got my arm. I got her to stop freaking out, and she doest at all anymore (I've been using the file on her to make sure she gets more used to it). What I did was I was holding her with my body leaning over her, and when she freaked out I swept her legs out from under her (but didnt let her fall hard, I let her down gently), put a little bit of pressure on her neck (not enough to choke or hurt her, just enough to say "I'm boss"), then said "Sky NO!" After I did that she just 'complained' as huskys do, bark/howling while I was doing it, but she didnt try to pull away at all and now she just gives me her paws.

    I love the dog whisperer Between watching him and what I had to go through to train my older dog, I feel like I can handle any dog!! lol
    Jessika



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  7. #7
    Broken down old dude dsirkle's Avatar
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    Re: Nail Trimming Hell

    It takes 3 people to trim the toe nails on my Dogue de Bordeaux. One to put him in a head lock, one to subdue the general body and one to operate the toe nail clippers. He just doesn't like it.
    Do not resuscitate

  8. #8
    BPnet Veteran mischevious21's Avatar
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    Re: Nail Trimming Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by dsirkle View Post
    It takes 3 people to trim the toe nails on my Dogue de Bordeaux. One to put him in a head lock, one to subdue the general body and one to operate the toe nail clippers. He just doesn't like it.
    Ooohhhh yea, that is a BIG dog!! I can imagine it would be hard- thats why next time, learn to break them as a pup
    Jessika



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  9. #9
    BPnet Veteran Kristy's Avatar
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    Re: Nail Trimming Hell

    Have you tried a dremel?

    They work wonders for scaredy pups! If you google it or ask a groomer, or vet they should have some good info.

    The dremel sets aren't too spendy. It gently grinds down the nail instead of applying pressure to the nail.
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  10. #10
    BPnet Veteran Rapture's Avatar
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    Re: Nail Trimming Hell

    I'm no expert but I would choose from a couple different methods... Either have someone with you that you know can restrain her, put her on her side, and hold onto her legs that are closest to the ground so that she can't get back up, and continue what you are doing... and don't let her win (easier said than done I know), or try it standing up like mentioned above where you pick up her feet like a ferrier would do with a horse, some dogs are more comfortable with this position, or try to make it a positive experience with a lot of patience and a lot of treats. Maybe even have a few training sessions with her where you don't actually clip the nails, but put the clippers to her nails and touch her with them, a few times a day, and have someone feeding her treats while you do this... then when she gets better with that start with the actual clipping.
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