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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done this way too many times, but it's just that important and with the new members and new format I figured it's about time for another nail thread.

One of the best things we can do for our dog's overall health and comfort long-term is get them comfortable having their paws handled and nails trimmed and keep them trimmed throughout the dog's life.
At this point I have taught more dogs than I can count - who weren't taught as puppies, to be comfortable with paw handling and nail trims. Even if your young dog wears their nails down naturally, at some point that young dog is going to be an old dog who's less active and who's going to need attention to his/her feet.
Old dogs in particular really benefit from good nail care.

Susan Garrett explains it well:

So yes, you should learn to cut/trim/grind your dog's nails and you should keep them short enough that they don't touch the floor when the dog is standing normally.

This is the help, questions and suggestions thread :)

This is Penny
When I first caught her:
Cloud Plant Sky Vertebrate Dog breed


And sitting in my lap. Notice even on my squishy thighs, her nails aren't even touching. (Ignore the bug bites on my leg.)
Joint Skin Shoulder Scar Jaw


How do you do keeping your dogs nails trimmed?
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There's a trick with pantyhose or tights, pull the stocking over the dog's foot and push the nails through, you get all nail and no hair. Have you tried that?
Alternately, depending on how long her paw hair is, you could trim that and then do the nails.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you think Bungo would go for a nail grinder? Is there a groomer you trust who has one to try out with him?
A lot of times dogs who adamantly hate having their nails clipped are much more tolerant of the nail grinder. And with smaller dogs it takes no time at all.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I always go through phases of being lax about nails and then I kick myself for not having stayed on top of them. I remember one winter I let Bates' nails get too long and got them back to where they should be and felt so awful when I saw the renewed spring in his step. Penny spends too much time on my lap for me to let nails slide - I hope!
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Leanne77 Good luck hopefully your breeder will have some tips!
@Arny I do Penny's nails once a week. Sometimes I'm just smoothing them out, not really taking any off, but it helps keep me in a routine. When I'm taking length off, I do it every other day or every 2 days.
Most dogs grow nails much faster than we realize. My own nails I have to cut about once a week. (I prefer mine short too :D)

I've had my puppy for about 2 months now, I trimmed her nails a couple of days after I got her and trimming them was a breeze, she remained calm and still. Tried trimming them a few days later again just so she would get into the routine of nail trimming and it has been a struggle ever since. She kicks her legs all over the place and chews on the trimmer thinking it's some kind of game. Anyway I can get her to settle down? I tried distracting her with something else to chew on but as soon as she sees the trimmer she drops what she has and want to chew on the trimmer.
Check out the link in the first post, at the bottom of the blog there are more links for ways of getting your pup used to the trimmer.
If you're in a puppy class, most of the better puppy classes will have a grooming and handling component to them too.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Those look good to me :)
My rule is that the nails should be well off the ground/floor when standing normally. Some say no 'ticking' when walking on hard floors but other than the great danes, I've never gotten a dog to not tick. Every once in a while Penny doesn't tick but I think that's more to do with how prancy she's moving or not :D
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Definitely get Dobby to the groomers, you'd be surprised at hoe well dogs do sometimes just with someone they have no or minimal history with.
In the meantime you can definitely work on getting her desensitized to a dremel or clippers, whichever you choose. Personally I'd go with the dremel.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
However they do seem to grow fast is this an old boy thing ?
It seems to be yeah... Bates nails got harder the older he got, so did the danes. Add in that older dogs are probably moving around less so wearing down less and they do seem to grow really fast.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I'm the same with Penny, I'd love to take the time to do cooperative care and her lying quietly while I do her nails but, it's just easier and faster to have someone hold her and feed her while I knock them out.
As soon as she sees me get the grinder and turn it on she comes running so it's not like she's traumatized by any of it, she's just a total wiggle worm and isn't the best about being still.
I don't mind restraining her if she's happily taking food and comes running knowing full well what's about to happen.
If she's anything like previous dogs, she should gradually get more and more chill about it.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Do you do the alternate cut line?
Sighthounds have hare feet (as opposed to cat feet) which make it harder to get the nail off the ground but as bad as sighthounds are about breaking toes, it's definitely worth it!
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
No I should try to shape the nails more really, you don't get much time as she gets annoyed quickly do I just tend to work on getting the length sown.
Something to strive for :)
Since you have the length down for the most part, might want to start working on getting her less annoyed with the whole procedure. Maybe some reps of touch the nail and treat, touch nail, treat. Try some other ideas in the blog in the first post.
You won't be doing anything really to her nails, just getting her happier about having them handled.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
she gets annoyed when I spend too long with the grinder on her claws.
Oh if you're using a grinder, this is important!
The grinder gets HOT, as in start a fire with wood hot because of the friction. Especially if you're using a sanding attachment instead of a diamond head attachment.
Big rule is to only hold the grinder on the nail for a few seconds at a time. Touch, lift, touch, lift, touch, lift. Lift as in take the grinder off the nail.
If you're as close to the quick that you can get a pinprick of blood at times, she will definitely feel the heat and she's very likely reacting to that.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Woo hoo for Cad having another human helper! That really does make a difference!
I have OH hold Penny, he gives her belly rubs and I reward after one or two taps with the grinder. She lets me know if my ROR falls too low :rolleyes:
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Just did a quick touch up on Penny's nails. This is how short they are and other than the hag nail on the side, I won't go shorter than this. She has plenty of room to use all of her individual paw pads for proprioception and full range of movement in her toes, but she also still has enough nail to use for traction if she needs it.
Even this short, she still ticks on the floor.

Brown Dog Dog breed Carnivore Liver

Brown Shoe Dog Wood Carnivore
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Ooh, sitting on helper's knee sounds like an idea. This time we had Cad on me on the sofa, and partner on the side doing foods. But now you've said it I reckon it'd be way easier if Cad was on him on the sofa eating food, and I could be kneeling on the floor, maybe? I use clippers for Cad's nails mostly, as opposed to any of my selection of rotary tools.
OH stands up holding Penny to his chest so I have more room to maneuver around her. I can do one foot in about a minute so it doesn't take long at all. I do the front and back leg, then he switches her around and I do the other two feet. the whole thing takes about 7 minutes or so. For Penny keeping sessions short definitely helps her not get sick of the whole routine.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
I got two of Zhia's three paws done the other day. With her growing confidence has come some really, really loud noises... She was so upset I gave in after two plus foot fur trim, and then later she refused to go outside but then went and peed in the storage room while I was working :rolleyes:
I would back off if three paws upset her that much - or was it the noises that upset her?
There's nothing wrong with doing just one nail if you can end on a positive, happy note. I'm still working on Penny being okay with nails and we don't spend more than 3 to 5 minutes on them each session. In the beginning stages 1 to 2 minutes is plenty.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
The noise I was referring to is her. I'm sure I'm not doing it wrong, and they look perfectly normal and not too short where I've trimmed them. She just seems to be making a huge fuss. But yes, we did spend way too long on it - it doesn't help that I'll hold her foot but she manages to keep moving it ever so slightly so I can't cut.
The only problem with doing one, say, per day, is I can't remember which ones I've actually done. She doesn't make it easy to look at them all...
Oh okay.
Are you using a rotary tool? If so, only leave it on the nail for 2 seconds at MOST. The speed of the friction means it gets the nail very hot very fast. If you're anywhere near the quick, she will feel it.
Basically you touch the sander to the nail, then almost immediately lift it off again. Don't just sit there grinding away because you're burning the snot out of her - hence the noises :ROFLMAO:

If you're using clippers, it may be that you're taking too much off at once. Even if you don't quick her, taking bigger chunks of nail squeezes the nail enough that they feel it.

Also dogs who already have too long nails (anything that touches the ground when they're standing normally) - those nails tend to be sore and more sensitive. As they get shorter, they're not as sore and it's much easier to handle and trim them.
 

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Swamprat
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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
@Lucy2020 if you're going the get it over with route (which I agree with) make it quick.
Do one foot, woo woo, big party, jolly her up and be done.
Next day do another foot. Same thing, grin and bear it, then jolly her up and go do something fun.
If it takes longer than one or two minutes stop even if you're not done. And still make a big deal about jollying her up and being done. Set a timer on your phone if you need to.

Sometimes we do just have to get on with it and do stuff to our dogs, but the faster you get it done and the less you mess about with it, the easier it is for the dog to tolerate it and not become sensitized.
 
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