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As many of you have read in my last post, my dog Gypsy is a 3 month old BC. I've been working with her since I've gotten her, and she's really an amazingly intelligent dog! In the month I've had her, she's learned: sit, down, stay, come, paw (both of them!), stand, wait (for a treat or toy), spin, "get in your kennel", and has quite a good recall--she'll come to me when she's playing with Milford outside in the yard.

 

She's gotten used to baths too, I can give her one by myself now in our laundry tubs.. Most of the time she needs them because she wants to know what Milford's doing when he stands next to a tree and lifts his leg :rolleyes:

 

But one thing that she hasn't gotten yet is to let me clip her nails. With Milford, he'll lie on the floor and I can sit behind him with one leg over him just to hold him there, even though he doesn't struggle or anything. I tried this with Gypsy but she just won't hold still! When I first got her she would fall into such deep sleeps that you could do anything to her and she'd just make puppy grunts and go back to sleep, so I could cut them when she was asleep. But now, she'll wake up if you move her at all. I've always been gentle with her in her training and everything, and she doesn't mind her feet being touched, but when the clippers come out and I hold her paw she'll start biting at my hands, not hard, but enough to give me the message that she doesn't like what I'm doing, and she'll struggle too. I'll correct her for biting by holding her muzzle closed and saying NO in a firm voice, if that doesn't work I'll hold her on her back til she settles. Then once she's calm again I'll reassure her, and just play with her feet a bit, but keep the clippers away. If she's really calm, I'll take them and bring them near her nails and run them over her feet--she has no problem with this. But as soon as I go to clip a nail she starts struggling and biting again!

 

I don't know why, as long as I've had her she's never had a bad nail clipping experience, and I doubt that the rescue I got her from would've given her a bad experience. I've never had a puppy this young before though, so is it normal for her to not want to settle down? I know biting is unacceptable, and she's never done it to me or anyone in my family, only puppy nips--which are to be expected.

 

If anyone can tell me what I'm doing wrong, or if this is normal, or tips about how to clip her nails I'd really appreciate some help. Her nails could use a clipping.

 

Thanks,

Lisa

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No advice on how to calm her down when clipping her nails.

 

However, if you start walking her on asphalt or hard surfaces more often, you won't even need to clip her nails.

 

Ouzo hates to have his front feet touched and even though we bought a nice dog nail clipper, can't remember using it more than once or twice. Last time he had his nails trimmed was in early summer, when we paid $7 at Petsmart for someone to clip them for him, after making fun of how he was skidding and skating on the store's floors. No need since :rolleyes:

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It's kind of hard to find any asphalt in Winnipeg in the middle of winter :rolleyes: The roads and sidewalks are just snow, ice, and more snow! Her back claws are also much shorter; I think it's from pushing off when she goes to run across the hardwood floors in my house. But the front ones are getting pretty long now.

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I don't like to clip nails anyway (don't ask why) but I have noticed that Black Jack's nails arn't growing much, with him running on the dirt and stuff. But I'll probably have his front nails clipped when he goes to the groomers next time :rolleyes:

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We had trouble with both of our dogs. Cooper used to be okay until hubby accidentaly cut one of his nails too short! It took me a while to desensitize him. Jazzy never liked clipping from the start. I used lots of food. Bringing out the clipper - food, lying in grooming spot - food, putting head down - food, touching feet - food, one clip - food and so on. I didn't go all the way initially. Once the dog is comfortable in one stage (say bringing the clipper out), then you add the next step next day. Now when I open the drawer where the clippers are, both dogs jump up and fight for the grooming spot drooling! They don't enjoy the physical clipping but they enjoy the package. I did the same with brushing.

 

So try desensitizing her with the clipper first. Bring it out, play or food. put it away without clipping. Do again, reward, put them away... repeat until she's gets the idea. or you can try different clipper.

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With Dazzle (who was fine as a Pup, but one day said HEY! What are you doing to me?!?) she would freak when she saw the clippers. I fixed that by giving them a command and she had to pick them up and bring them to me.

 

Next, I put the clippers on the floor where she could see them and told her to lay on her side. Once she was comfortable with that (it didn't take long for that step), I would handle each paw, and eventually each toe, still with the clippers on the floor. Then I held the clippers and went back to just her being on her side, then touching each paw with the clippers (closed) and then later each toe. We went really slow, only moving on once she was happy with the previous step - lots of rewarding the whole way.

 

Then I went to fake-clipping. I would do everything that I would when cutting her nails except actually cut anything. Then, at last, I would actually cut them.

 

Until that day came we did a lot of walking on asphalt to keep them short.

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I clip all my dogs nails myself. And maybe some won't agree with my method. But basically, I pin my dog down. I have them lay on their side and I sit next to them. I have one leg across their belly and the other across their neck. The pup will struggle of course, but as soon as it figures out it can't get away, it relaxes. The dog is never hurt. Then I clip. I usually clip very little at first. When I'm all done, the dog gets a dried liver treat. It's the ONLY time this particular yummy treat is given out. And it is given EVERY TIME.

 

I also dremmel my dogs nails to get them a bit shorter and to smooth out the roughness. After like 2 times, the dog no longer resists and calmly lets me clip away. They also get used to the dremmel which I start with just touching each nail and that's it. Each time I dremmel each nail longer in duration.

 

My dogs look for the treat EVERY time I say ok to release them from laying down. I don't even have to put them in the 'pinned' down position anymore, they just lay down.

 

My dogs get their nails down about once a month. We don't do hardly any asphalt walking.

 

Desensitize your dog to having its paws touched by feeding treats while touching. And you can fake clip like Kat suggested. But the real key is not to let the dog be allowed to disengage from the activity. Just like you wouldn't let your dog leap out of the bathtub. Cuz the first time you let them do it, they will try every time.

 

Hope that helps.

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I also like to dremmel the dog's nails after clipping. It will save your skin! :rolleyes: You can get some pretty cheap ones that are small and very quiet that the dogs don't seem to mind as much.

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I think that looks so cool and I'm going to do it with my Crested. Her nails grow so fast it's hard to keep up with and our soil is sandy and softer here, I guess, than our old place. I have to trim the sheep feet more often here, too - but I don't forsee being able to get them to trim their own feet.

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However, if you start walking her on asphalt or hard surfaces more often, you won't even need to clip her nails.
Sadly, we found that this isn't always true. Jacko only runs/walks on asphalt, and he goes 30-60 minutes at least 4 times a week. Still, his nails need to be clipped. True, we can go longer between clippings, but they still need to be clipped now and again.

 

We pay someone because neither of us wants to deal with desensitizing him to it. We may try it though, I don't know.

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I also Pin my two down to trim nails. before I just took them to petssmarts to do it, but they never got down very far and I would have to get it done every week.

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Thanks for all the tips, I'll keep on using positive reinforcement to get her desensitized to the clippers, and try using food too but she's extremely food motivated so it might just get her more excited that she already is!

 

My boyfriend and I just kept her up all day yesterday until about 11:30pm, then when she fell asleep she was dead tired so I sneakily clipped them Ah well, it'll have to do for now til she's fully desensitized!

 

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If she gets really excited by food, what I did with Finn was have my husband hold a really tasty bone or pig ear or hoof and while he was madly involved in chewing it, I'll clip his nails. The bone gives you more time to cut their nails and he usually holds pretty still nawing the bone.

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