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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any tips on trimming your dog's nails?

Jesse absolutely flips out when I try to do it... I basically need to start from scratch with him because I completely messed up and trimmed one too short the last time and it hurt him :cry: - now he is rightfully afraid. I just spent a couple minutes feeding him treats while I just touched the clippers to his nails. I didn't even attempt to cut them... I just touched them to his toes, and he went bananas! He lets ME touch his toes, but he HATES when the metal touches them.

Do I HAVE to do this to him? Can frequent walks keep his nails down enough? If I DO have to keep this up, does anyone have any experience/advice starting from scratch to teach a large dog that having his nails trimmed isn't bad? He is simply too big for me to wrestle with... I need him to be cooperative.

Is it too late? I feel terribly because this is all my fault.

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I'm no expert in nail clipping because I have only cut my dogs nails once...

We walk Sasha like crazy!! The asphalt does the hard part for us!!!! Only thing is, here in Montreal, we get 3 to 4 months of snow! Last February was the only time we cut her nails, and thats when Sasha was 10 weeks old :? I'll keep you posted during the winter :wink: Seeing as she will be walked more, we might not even have to cut them...Of course all that depends on how much snow we get :shock:

Good luck, and let us know how it's going!!

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800 Posts
Try a Dremel Tool w/muzzel..A buddy of ours got away with that on his Rott..or my suggestion would be let a vet do the clippin..

Boss Hog just chews his own :? he is weird like that..


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My dogs hate toe nail trimmers almost as much as I hate to use those things on them. I use a Dremel on all of my dogs nails. It works wonderfully. No sharp edges. No splitting nails. And it's gradual, so you can take just a little at a time.

My parent's wolfdog was terrified of the Dremel the first time I got near her with it. By terrified I mean four adults couldn't hold her down and her teeth were bared.
What worked really well was:

1) I took her for a long walk (with sprint intervals) for about 1 1/2hours, I was literally dragging her back home.

2) When we got home my mom held a plate with a glob of peanut butter spread on it. As Mariahh was busy licking the plate, I ran the Dremel while I handled her paws. She was almost to exhausted to stand plus she was getting a favorite treat. In her mind she associated this positive experience with the sound of the Dremel and her feet being handled.

3) We repeated this a couple times a week for the first two weeks (without ever touching the Dremel to her).

4) At the end of the second week, I began briefly touch the nails with the Dremel. We repeated this every other day for the week.

5) The next week we cut out the peanut butter (but still wore her out beforehand), and began making her lay on her side while I Dremel her nails. We praised her quietly as long as she was calm and firmly corrected her when she got anxious.

6) Now I do her nails by myself and she knows if she behaves she gets a bone afterwards.

Hope this helps. :thumbleft:

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635 Posts
No dog likes it's nails clipped

I worked at a vet's office during my Jr & Sr High years, and clipping a dog's nails was the one job I dreaded. And it came with any bath which was one of my main Saturday duties. Most dogs tolerated it, some had to be muzzled. My first dog (wolf hybrid) wor his out digging and chewed them too, I never had to clip them. My Airedale was very mellow, and my wife comforted him while I clipped. Sassy doesn't like it so it's a 2 person job, for now. It's really something that should be done (or simulated) regularly from a very early age. Most owners probably let the vet do it at the puppy shots visits. By the time clipping is needed again, the pup is bigger and stronger. Just my opinion.

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I've been having the same problem with clipping my APBT's nails since about 6.5 months old(he's 11 mos. now) I have wrestle him done for the nail clippers to get them back when I try and clip. I'm 105lb women wrestling and I do mean all out wrestling a 83lb. Apbt! lol. I even tried having 5 people hold him down and give him cookies and the munchkin still gave us hell! Here's a few suggestions you could try that I've got from another forum when I asked the same question:

1. Putting peanut butter(if he's not allergic) on the roof of his mouth.-He'll be too busy trying to get it off to worry about you clipping nails.

2. If he's a heavy sleeper do it while he's asleep.

3.sit on the ground, have his back to you, and wrap your legs around his waist while you hold each front leg and roll onto your back. Then have someone clip them. (seems a tad crazy but I've done this with my GSD when she was younger she no longer struggles)

4.1. You should never struggle with the dog- Doing so increases his beliefs that something bad is going to happen.

2. All things must be done in steps with time for him to adjust and feel comfortable.

3. Introduce each step slowly and give him and opportunity to investigate when appropriate.

The above are general suggestions when introducing with anything new to the dog.

Now for nail clipping:

Do you and the dog usually watch TV together? Meaning, he lays around you while you watch TV?

If so start by sitting on the floor with him.

Let him lay between your legs (with his head on your thigh). Caress and scratch (belly, ear, etc) so as to make him comfortable.

Once he lays on you without hesitation (may take a few days), go to the next step.

While dog is laying comfortably, grab hold of a front paw. Do not clip at this time. He may pull his paw and start getting up. You must stop and make him comfortable again (reassure him nothing bad is going to happen).

the purpose of the above is to acclimate him through steps.

Once he is comfortable with you holding his paw(s) in his laying position, introduce the clipper sound to the equation.

DO NOT CLIP HIS NAILS YET. We are trying to make a pleasant and lasting impression on the dog.

If he wants to smell the clippers, let him. Do not let him take them. Dog must know it is not a toy.

Again, make the clipping sound using the appropriate tool. He may quickly get up expecting (from experience) a struggle.

If this happens, use your sweet voice and ask him to lie back down again. It may take him a moment or two but experiencing no struggle will appease him and gladly go back laying on your lap (while you are sitting on the floor).

(Oh, forgot: The dog should be laying on his side when between your legs.)

Continue to make the clipping sound with the tool until dog has gotten use to it and ignores it.

****Its not too late. My step mom once cut my dads 90lb APBT's nail really short(Talk about bleeding) for awhile he wouldnt let anyone get near him with clippers. But its been awhile and now doesnt mind. SO THERES HOPE! It may take some time though***

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At the clinic we take a pen a tap them on the nose while someone else is clipping. They are more concerned with some arse tapping them in the nose than someone clipping nails. It will take 2 people to do it.

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I cut CC's with regular nail clippers(people) she freaks when you get the dog nail clippers, but she'll let me do like 2 feet in one sitting when I use people nail clippers. I think It has someting to do with petco cutting one of her nails too short. I've used people clippers on her since she was just a little white piece of fluff!
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