My chihuahua hates her paws being touched! How do I trim her nails? Help!

She pulls away if I try to hold her paws to trim her nails and if we try to restrain her, she panics. I've tried clippers and a dremmel to file them, but none of it will work if she won't hold still. I've tried calming treats and even one and a half the recommended dose doesn't seem to have any effect on her. I would really rather not have to take her to the vet and get her sedated, but it seems like there is no other solution! Help!

Asked by Member 745034 on Sep 30th 2008 in Home Grooming
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I always clip my Chi's nails when they are standing on the counter. At first, it was a different place, so they were so focused on the new surrounding that they didn't even notice me trimming their nails. Typically, a dog will not accept treats when they are upset like that, so it's normal that yours didn't. Try putting your dog on the counter. Touch her feet, and if she tries to protest, touch her in the neck and tell her 'no' or 'stop it' - whatever word you use. When she stops getting upset, grab her feet again. Once she lets you touch her feet without getting mad, put her down and walk away. This will teach her that you aren't always going to trim her nails just because you are touching her paws. When you do go to trim her nails, rub the clipper all over her body to let her know that it isn't going to hurt her. Do the same method, touching her in the neck, or in the flank (whatever part is close to you) and tell her 'no'. Be patient with her and do not get upset with her.It is important that you are firm with her, but not emotional, otherwise she will not listen to what you ask. Practice touching her feet every day - this will slowly de-sensitize her from your touch, and will make her realize that it isn't going to hurt her when you touch her paws. At this point, you cannot feel as though you are hurting her, or making her sad by doing it - she has really just developed a habit of getting upset and flailing around because she knows that it gets you away from her. Be patient - she will let you trim her nails.

Sergeant answered on 10/1/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Chewbacca (Bacca)

I had the same problem with my 6 month old Sheltie.

Trimming nails was too stressful for both of us. He hates the feeling of his paw being squeezed to expose the nail for clipping.

I ordered the Peticure. I took time getting my pup used to it. I took it out of the box and laid it on the floor. When the pup came to sniff at it, I gave him a treat. Then I would turn it on and if the pup did not run away, I gave him a click and treat as well.

Then I would touch him with it, not turned on, gradually working towards touching his nails with it.

Then I touched his body with it, turned on.

All the time with clicker training and treats!

Finally, I gathered the courage to give it a go. First attempt was ok - about 75% done.

Last night I was able to do all his nails with him curled up in my lap and dozing through the entire process.

All to say....clicker training, treats and patience to teach step by step is what it seems to take

Chewbacca (Bacca) answered on 10/4/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Captain Jack

What I did with my mini aussie rescue was teach him to "Shake." That way he didn't associate the clippers with his paws. After a month or two I tried the PediPaws and he had no problem with it. (I didn't ask him to shake, I just handled his paws.)

By the way, the nails will stay filed down if you take her for lots of walks on hard surfaces. That will help if you decide to try this method.

Captain Jack answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer