My 4 month old Chihuahua won't let me cut her nails. She growls and bites viciously every time I try... What can I do?

She actually broke skin yesterday. My vet told me that I've got to establish dominance, that there will be a fight and that someone will have to win. But with teeth like a shark, how can I possibly win?! Is there a way to get her to not be so aggressive when I try to cut her nails?

Asked by Zombi on Jun 12th 2008 Tagged chihuahua, nails, clipping, biting in Home Grooming
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Best Answer


My Weimaraner used to do this but not to the extent of breaking skin. Fortunately for me she is very food motivated so I used that to my advantage. First I would just grab her paws and work with her nails, and if she tried to pull away or bite me I just wouldn't let go. Once she stopped fighting me she got heavily rewarded. It didn't take long for her accept handling. Now I clip a nail, then she gets a treat. She knows what's coming so she lays on her side waiting for her reward while I clip away.

Lola answered on Jun 12th.

Other Answers



This is the perfect time to nip this behavior in the bud! Try using a pb filled kong or something similar to keep her distracted while you clip her nails.
I like the term "establishing Leadership" over dominance. But they ultimately are the same thing--check out "Ceasars pack" in the group forums or his book "Be the pack leader" for more info on this subject. Also, look for trainers in your area if you have'nt already! Group classes are fun and a great way to bond with your dog!
Best of luck!

Member 548802 answered on 6/12/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Miss Buddie

We started this out as a two man job. One of us would hold the dog securely while the other one clipped the nails. After the nails are clipped, we gave them special treats... i.e. cheese cubes. Eventually, ours calmed down and started equating the clippers with cheese cubes. Now Hubby can hold and clip all the dogs without too much of a fuss.

Your vet's right. You can't let her behavior dictate yours. Her nails need to be clipped and she can't be the boss. You can be the pack leader without being a bully.

Miss Buddie answered on 6/12/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer