New To Nail Clipping

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by LyneG, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. LyneG Member

    My Buddha, american pittbull, has never been introduce properly to nail clipping. The first time I did it i had to do rodeo with him. I didn't know better myself. But now I don't want to fight anymore. It's easy with Taffy and i want it to be that way with Buddha. I started today to teach him to give the paw. I think it could be a good way to show him it's ok to have the paws manipulated. It's something that wasn't done proprely or ever been done neither. After a 10min training he had giving me the paws by himself 5 time, the other times I was either taking it gently or putting my hand on the side of his leg. Am I doing the right way or somebody has an other trick? I would appreciate some advice.
    MaryK likes this.

  2. Anneke Honored Member

    I think you're doing it right. It's how I did this too. First have them give paw, then when they are comfortable with you holding their paw, start wiggling the toes a bit, then introduce the clipper. My dogs weren't afraid of the sound, but they know it since puppyhood. A friend of mine clipped little pieces of a twig, so her dog got used to the sound.
    MaryK likes this.
  3. LyneG Member

    Ok thanks. I'll continue doing that way. He's not afraid of the cloppjng though. I show it to himand he don't mind, it's when i hold the paw the problem. I don't think he knows my intentions when i have ut in my hand.
    MaryK likes this.
  4. k9 crazed Experienced Member

    On youtube, check out kikopup's nail clipping video. I am at the point where I just check there first anytime I need help with anything She's usually done it!
    Dogster and MaryK like this.
  5. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Get him used to holding his paw, be sure to use loads of treats - hold hold hold, treat, let go. Holdholdhold, treat, let go. Etc. Then take the clippers and touch the paw, treat. Touch the paw, treat. Over and over. Then take the clippers and act like you're going to clip, treat. Repeat, repeat - over and over. Etc. Really take your time with it, don't rush. Do 5 min sessions here and there, where *to you* nothing much is happening, you're just getting him used to the clippers and having his feet messed with. When you finally get around to clipping, clip a nail, and treat. Be generous with the treats, and nail clipping will become something fun (or at least something easy), as opposed to something dreadful.

    As one who has a girl who HATED having her nails clipped, I had to go really slow with her. Don't know what her experience was before I adopted her, but holy moly, she HATED having her nails done!!! We went really really slowly, even to the point of only doing one or two nails a day for quite a while. No law says all nails must be clipped at once - so we'd just clip one each night (once we got that far). And she always got a good piece of chicken or something good after her one nail. :D I've now got a girl who knows nail clipping is done most every Sunday (we do just a tiny bit, cuz sheppie nails are so hard to do, so thick and black :confused:), she comes right over, still gets a tiny treat after every nail, but we do them all quickly (both dogs) then they get to work their Seek-A-Treat food puzzles as soon as we're finished with nails as a reward. All our patience and hard work really paid off, it's easy now. (y):cool:
  6. Linda A Experienced Member

    Personally, I find a nail grinder to be much easier and I have never make a nail bleed using it.
  7. sara Moderator

    yes, but I find grinders are often scary in and of themselves. I've done many many different dog's nails, and I find that with a dog not used to having his nails done with a grinder can get really freaked out. Though it's definitely something to work towards if you want to use them... though I've made nails (and toes if they squirm the wrong way and I hit the toe or webbing) bleed with a grinder more than clippers, honestly. I've only ever clipped one nail too short in 20 years of clipping nails.

    I do my doxie's every 3 or 4 days (it's unbelievable how fast their nails grow!), and in the winter, I do Ollie's every week, though in the summer he wears his nails to the point of bleeding himself, and I don't have to touch his nails from April to November. He walks directly on his nails. even when their so short they bleed every time we go for a walk, you can still hear them clicking on the hard floors, poor guy.
    Dogster and Linda A like this.
  8. Dogster Honored Member

    Shivon HATES it. When she was five months old, the vet "showed" us how to cut her nails, and made three of them bleed (he cute five):cautious: So now she can't stand getting her nails cut.

    I have been suggested to get her used to the clippers, and to give her a treat jackpot when she sees them.
    Then I can practice holding her paw, and maybe getting the clippers close to it, touching her paw with them, etc. It will take a while before she gets used to the clippers, and before she will let me cut her nails.

    Until then, when her nails get too long, we cut one nail at a time, usually when she just wakes up, so she's groggy and really doesn't care (and doesn't remember anything afterwards)

    Also, I heard that to get dogs used to the sound, you can crack spaghetti noodles (maybe while holding their paw), and treat them for being calm.
    MaryK, Mr-Remington and southerngirl like this.
  9. Evie Experienced Member

    Evie is the funniest when I bring the nail clippers out lol. She absolutely HATES them, even though she's never had a bad experience with them and I started doing it with her when she was a puppy... :rolleyes: One day she was absolutely fine with the nail clippers, the next she was a nail clipper hater. Funny dog. Now I try and clip a nail every time we go for a car ride lol. I use getting out of the car at the destination (eg. beach, dog park, huskies house) as the reward for putting up with it because as soon as she see's the clippers she stop accepting treats...
    MaryK and srdogtrainer like this.
  10. moetrout Guest

    I always start early with any pups I've had. Any time they were laying down I would grab their paw and "inspect" it and wiggle eaqcah and every toe. It gets them use to you handling their feet and manipulating their toes. Copper doesn't really like his nails trimmed, but if done right he doesn't fight it either. I find it's easier to do his in the evening when he is laying down resting. I sometime use my "side" command if he is not already laying on his side. This is my vet visit position and trianed him to do it just for this purpose. I usually give lots of treats and before I start any trimming I let him sniff the clippers first. Copper's nails have to be clipped once a week.
    MaryK, freedomdreams and srdogtrainer like this.
  11. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Sounds like you already got some really awesome advice. I also like to practice handling and massaging my dogs feet when he is really relaxed. If he is cuddling with me and I am petting him I will run my hand down his leg and gently rub his paws. I also like to handle his toes individually and put very gentle pressure on the nails themselves before using the clippers.

    Make sure to take off a very tiny bit of the nail. Even if they don't bleed they can hurt if you get too close to the quick. It is better to take off a very small amount often rather then a large amount all at once.
    MaryK likes this.
  12. southerngirl Honored Member

    Thankfully I don't have to cut Missy's nails because her walking on concrete all the time keeps them short. Chase is a whole different story his nails are way too long. When I beg my mom enough to cut them I have to hold his head to keep him from biting her and one of my brothers holds him down. Every time my mom cuts a nail he screams and it scares her so she doesn't like cutting them. I'm going to start working with him on that.
    MaryK likes this.
  13. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    That's a shame that Shivon had such a bad experience with the vet. It seems a lot of vets/ vet staff and even groomers don't really know how to clip dogs' nails properly. A lot of them are just doing them to get them done and not thinking about making it a positive experience and the effects on the dog in the long run. :(
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  14. Dlilly Honored Member

    My Delilah is the same way! I'm worried she might bite me because she's so scared of the clippers, and when I clip the tinniest bit of her nail she freaks out. Her nails are really long… :(
    MaryK likes this.
  15. freedomdreams Well-Known Member

    Several of our dogs hate the clippers as well, I'd really like to train them for a grinder potentially and see if that helps a bit.

    Attila we can't even do his nails without muzzling him.
    Bentley hates the clippers, he sees them and hides.
    Sizzle is cooperative but he tries to scoot away and whines a bit.
    Beuford is generally good except I give him a tennis ball to chew when I do his nails or he wants to play
    Fozzie is also very good.

    My dogs like an above poster, I teach my dogs to lay beside me, I am constantly playing with their paws when they are relaxing, this generally has helped a ton !
    I may try a few other options to help me with clipping their nails and more a positive experience. I find if I cut the nails too short once they generally hate the clippers completely afterwards.
    But I'd start with an introduction slowly, play with their paws, teach them to give paws, to be calm, lay down or stand by you or inside your legs etc.
    It will all pay off in the end if it's positive and short lived in the beginning with treats treats treats!
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  16. MaryK Honored Member

    Fortunately Ra Kismet's nail stay short but sometimes my older boy Zeus has to have a wee clip. He doesn't mind at all but I did have another dog who hated it and what I did was to just show her the clippers and then reward. I did this a few times, then I held the clippers next to her nail, reward and again did this a few times. Once she was comfortable with having the clippers near/around her nails, I took the tiniest piece of just ONE nail and rewarded. Gradually I built up to a point where I could do all her nails, but at first when I started clipping it was one nail HUGE reward play and no more nail clipping for that day.
    Dogster likes this.
  17. blacknym Experienced Member


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