Frustrated. Nails.

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Jul 13, '13 1:24pm PST 
I'm so unbelievable frustrated right now.

Charlie used to be alright for getting his nails trimmed. He never LIKED it, but it was never too big of a fight either, it was just something he tolerated because he always got rewards after.

But over the years, he's been getting worse and worse, and it's frustrating the hell out of me. He'll sit there and pull away, and pull his paws away and keep moving backwards to sit further away and he makes it a huge fight that takes an hour to get all four paws done because you're constantly trying to follow him around. If you tie him up to something to prevent that, he pulls away repeatedly and will go from sitting to laying down to sitting again..

The one time I tried to get a groomer to do it, for my own sanity, he snapped at her before she even clipped a nail!

He's NEVER had his kwik clipped either. At least not in the time I've had him since he was eight months old.

His nails, unfortunately, are notorious hound nails and grow INSANELY fast and long... So regular trimmings are A MUST.

Lately, I've had to get my fiance holding him and offering him cheese while I get his nails all trimmed, but even then it takes forever to do and he still HATES it.

Today, I noticed they were quite long and REALLY needed a trim, so I grabbed my clippers, sat on the floor with him and called him over. He sat. I gently took a paw, and began clipping. Normally he sits pretty, as if begging me NOT to, and I can usually get one nail done before he starts pulling away. Then he'll scoot back a foot. Then pull his paws away some more. And scoot back another foot. And this process is repeated. And then he'll start shaking and shivering, start giving whale eye, start tensing up and showing all these stress signals... And it becomes this drawn out process.

But today, he was sitting pretty, I had a paw and was about to clip a nail, and he pulled back and tried to scoot back at the same time while I had hold of him, and he let out a yelp. And now I feel absolutely terrible. He doesn't appear to be hurt. And he HAS yelped at me before just to get me to stop... But I still feel terrible and I ended up putting everything away, ended up in tears and just couldn't do it anymore... He got all wiggly and playful and bouncy, and I sat there, crying, and frustrated and trying like heck not to get mad.

I'm frustrated. I don't know what to do anymore. It's really not feasible to take him to a groomers to get them done twice a month with the hours my fiance works, me without a license and a new baby about to come anytime... It's easier to do it on my own.

The problem is he's not making it very easy...

I need help. I need to get him back to at least TOLERATING it, if nothing else. I clip plenty of other dogs nails without these issues... What am I doing wrong? How do I turn it around? How do I make things better? How do I get him at least desensitized to it?
Scruffy (RIP)

In Loving Memory
Barked: Sun Jul 14, '13 1:59pm PST 
Have you tried really slowing things down and only clipping a nail or two a day while feeding him a feeding him a favorite treat?

Edited by author Sun Jul 14, '13 2:05pm PST


Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 12:52pm PST 
I don't know how you guys sleep or anything..
Nare sleeps in my bed and is used to me grabbing his paws and petting him while we're laying down.
He doesn't like his nails clipped either and is a PitA.
But when we're laying down, I have the clippers on the little table by my bed and I clip away while hes asleep and he doesn't stir.

Don't know if that would work for you or not. But it might be worth a shot ? Giving a bully stick or something and clipping while he chews on it might work too.


Herpaderp-apotam- us
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 2:38pm PST 
I always recommend people get the dog up off the ground so they don't have the room to squirm away. Throw a rubber mat on top of the washing machine or dryer, that tends to be a good height to work with.

Rather than pull the dog's paw forward towards you, lift the paw up so it tucks under the dog's belly. Same thing with the dog's back legs, lift them straight back rather than forward. It's tough to describe what I mean, but it's the way farriers do horses hooves:

http://www.horsemanmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/0 9/farrier.jpg

Stand on the dog's left side, facing toward his back end. Take your left arm, reach over his back and wrap the arm under his belly, almost like you're trying to pick him up. Use this hand to hold his paw and the other hand to cut the nails. Do the same thing with the back nails - use one arm around the body to hold the paw and the other hand to cut the nails.

I hope that is somewhat helpful, if you can make any sense of it.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 3:41pm PST 
A nail or two a day while feeding a treat, no. But my fiance has held him before while having him work at a cheese string or hot dog in his fist, so Charlie is more distracted. This usually works, but it still takes time and my fiance isn't home very much due to work.

Sleeping wouldn't work unfortunately, lol.

Noah - I've tried that too, because that's how I normally do any other dogs nails. It's easier! But Charlie still manages to wiggle away and fight it and makes it a very difficult process still. I COULD try it this way though, with my fiance holding him still with a treat in his fist.

Barked: Tue Jul 16, '13 1:16am PST 
Slow things down. Try to do it when he is sleeping. Hold him when you are doing it, too. Try doing just one nail a day and then giving a treat.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Tue Jul 16, '13 8:53am PST 
Smear peanut butter on the wall and clip his nails from behind while he licks the wall. shrug

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Tue Jul 16, '13 3:00pm PST 
I had to start doing Lenny's just 1 or two nails at a time. His grow insanely fast too (maybe it's a hound thing I'm not aware of) and I was tired of taking him to the vet to do it. I mean he stood fairly still while one tech held him and the other did it, but taking him to the vet was a hassle and he hated it and got stressed... seemed silly for a 10 buck nail trim.

I would have him lay on his side or sit, and do one nail and then immediately give him a small treat. Then another nail, and another treat. I went from doing 1-2 nails at a time to a whole paw. Then 2 paws. Now I can do 3 paws at a time, but after that he's kind of fed up. But it's not so bad just doing two feet one day, and then the other two the next. Now I just reward heavily after I'm done instead of for each nail. And having him on the bed or couch helps instead of on the floor too. I've thought of trying a kong with peanut butter with some chicken or something, but haven't tried it.

I consider it our compromise. I think if I keep working on it he'll eventually sit through all the nails, but I think I also don't help cause I'm terrified of hitting the quick so I'm not as efficient/quick as someone who has a lot of practice.

Maybe something like that can be done for Charlie?

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Tue Jul 16, '13 5:16pm PST 
I would use his meals to change how he feels about having his feet handled.

I would position him in front of you with his back against you so that he can't scoot (or have SO hold him like this while you handle the feet). Pick up a paw and touch the nail with the clippers. Release him and feed him his meal immediately. Do this for a few meals, and then progress to clipping one nail, then two, then an entire paw (that may take a while).

Don't mess with- me!
Barked: Tue Jul 16, '13 8:20pm PST 
Angus would do the same thing. I started clipping his nails in the tub or on the kitchen table where he didn't feel as stable and haven't really had any more problems.
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