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Is their a better way?

2828 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  STPAmarante
to cut toenails! AHHHHHHHHHHHH. Molly actually jumps into the bathtub, she *loves* baths, she doesn't even totally mind getting her hair brushed, but the toenail clipping is a fate worse than death. I've never cut her, and I've always been calm. We've tried feeding her a treat when we do it. That didn't work. Even a REALLY good treat (hotdogs! don't tell) and she just barks and barks and runs away. I don't want to tackle her, but I'm getting SO frustrated!

PS: I've also tried to sneak in a clip when she's sleeping. I can usually get two until she bites or runs away.

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I think the main clue is that they have found out they can avoid the clipping by acting like that.
I had the same trouble with Emma, but I hold her firmly in my armpit and clipped away, then she calmed down. It's just like kids, when they see they can get their will by acting like fools, they will continue to do so.
Petsmart does them for $8.00 - W/Rosebud (my first) it was the best money I ever spent.
My vet suggested putting her on the dining table (table covered with something, of course). It seems that being up off the ground makes them feel at a disadvantage and they are easier to cut this way. He also suggested that it is a two person job.
Yep, team effort here. Firm but soothing voices. Afterwards it's dancing and prancing (at 13!) with lots of admonitions that "See...wasn't so bad and now your feet feel better!" Of course, when I miss with my 54 year old eyes and draw blood, there are many apologies offered. Doesn't happen often, but it does. I'd also recommend using good sharp clippers (not the guilotine type) and go for a quick snap, if you hesitate it squeezes more than clips and I think that bothers them more than the clip. When I had two, and before she went blind, my older one thought eating the clippings from the other victim was some treat. Weird animals these dogs.
We're taking Ruby to Petco on Sunday ($8). I'll let you know how it goes.
well what we do is 1. randomly touch our dogs all over their body with the clippers just when they are relaxing but we don't cut at that time, helps them learn that the clippers are not bad things and are nice like a brush. 2. toe nail clipping is a two person job, my husband is a human pez dispenser constantly feeding little bits of treats held in front of her nose while I clip.
This has worked so well that in training class she will now allow other members of the class to come over and clip a nail and pet her. My vet is so happy as bassets are apparently notorious for biting and acting badly when it is nail clipping time.
Good luck.
"I hold her firmly in my armpit and clipped away"

no the techinque well ;o

Have the dog stand, grab the foot you want to work on bend back and up at the joint (stiffle or knee) and work quickly. A toe tail clipper squeeses the toe nail as itr cut which is uncomortable for some dogs, A dremel works better for these dogs but not all dogs. Toughy is terrified of the noise of electric motors so clipper for him were a much better option. Mariah on the other hand is much better with the dremel

How I Dremel Dog Nails
$5 at our vets or our groomer. Money well spent.
lady up the road has a grooming shop and does the nails for 5.oo. great deal without all the fuss(for me they deal with the fuss there)
I recently had a lot of trouble with Pearly and took her to the vet once to get her trimmed. Next time I just wouldn't give up on the alpha thing. I had just watched the dog whispere show on National Geographic and the topic was being the alpha in situations like that. It took me about 10 good minutes of holding her and clipping and then she just suddenly submitted and I didn't have any trouble at all. Tommorrow is nail and ear day at my house. It will be interesting to see how she does. Good Luck yvonne
Post from Sabian's Mom made me laugh out loud! My wife and I are now faithful Dog Whisperer watchers, and I wonder how many dogs are gritting their teeth thinking "Damn Cesar Millan. Life my way was so much easier before my parents started watching that fool!!" I'm waiting for an episode featuring a stubborn Basset; I'd imagine his quick little "hiss" and rebuke for poor behavior would be met with rolling eyes and classic Basset "you HAVE to be kidding!" look!
"I had just watched the dog whispere show on National Geographic and the topic was being the alpha in situations like that. It took me about 10 good minutes of holding her and clipping and then she just suddenly submitted and I didn't have any trouble at all."

Gads it is one reason I'm not a fan of Mr. Millan. His techniques work but not because of the reasoning he gives to it.

1. there is no evidence that dogs domestic or other wise view humans as pack members.

2. dogs are not social climbers or status seekers. Wolf pack structure and dogs if it even exist ( there is much doubt and conterverse on where dogs are pack animals at all) is not a dominence hierarchy but a submissive hierarghy.
see: Social Hierarchies

The Macho Myth

The History and Misconceptions of Dominance Theory

Debunking the Dominance Myth
Are dogs lying awake at night plotting a coup?

Giving kudos where they are due, one of Millan's strong points is treating dogs as dogs not as humans. Hunanization of dogs is one of the biggest causes of behavioral problems and fustrations of many owners.

Dogs do what works, well what works for them. If struggling stops toenail clipping then hey they will keep struggling. If struggling doesn't work over time they will quit strugggling a term know as extinction. Nothing to do with alpha or dominance. PS 10 minutes she calmed down, very low energy level even for a basset ;o) Some dogs can easily go 8 hrs, so if you plan on using the above technique make sure you have plenty of free time on your hand. Cuz once start if you give the dog the impression that struggling works, he/she will will contine to struggle longer and harder the next time.

Another technique that still requires patients just not hours at at time.
Nail Trimming for Senisitve Dogs

[ February 11, 2006, 11:46 AM: Message edited by: Mikey T ]
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This may sound somewhat weird, but worked with Beethoven and today it is quite easy to cut his nails.

When he was very young, he showed that it would become a real trouble to cut his nails when he get older. I known that because I had another Hound (Mac, now ATB) and it was a dramma to have his nails trimmed. As Beethoven used to observe quite interested everything I did, I showed him that I loved to cut my nails using my trimmer. I did it a couple of times, while he was watching and let him to sniff my figers and toes to show him that it was alright. Also, I played with him, touching and sizing gently his nails, after and before to cut mine own. Then, after one weeek or two, I made my move and, just after cutting mine, I started to trim his nails. It was quite a surprise to see how easily he allowed to have his nails trimmed. Today, I just need to shown him his nail trimmer telling him that we are going to cut nails, command him to lay down and start the trimming session. He does not like it too much, but there are no struggle. See that I need to size his pawns carefully, but gently, avoiding to make the session too much unpleasant. And, remember that today Beethoven is a heavy (79 lbs) and strong hound and I need no help to trim his nails.

As I said before, this method of "canine psychology" may sounds weird for some of you, but it workerd fine with Beethoven and I guess that it may works with some other hounds. I think that it worked so fine because he was just a very young puppy and he always has been quite curious and prone to imitate and participate. Also, because he had never been forced to cut his nails before that. Probably it would not work so well with older dogs always, if it work at all. Or, probably it may not work with dogs with different personalities, as I just used some of his personality characteristics to apply the "method".
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