Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Trimming claws on an hysterical dog

  1. #1

    Default Trimming claws on an hysterical dog

    Hi guys, I need some advice:
    Our gorgeous lil rescue pup Toby (about 12-18 months old kelpie/corgi cross) has been with us for about 6 weeks now. He was very badly abused and we've been having an interesting time discovering his triggers (while also having a lovely time showing him that stuff like leads, walks, food bowls, treats, parks, grass, walking through doorways and nice people who want to pat him are fun & nice, and not to be feared).
    Unfortunately, his claws reeeeally need clipping - they're starting to affect the way his paws sit (like baths, brushing etc, I don't think he's ever experienced it before).
    I've tried with LOTS of encouragement, fun, toys, treats - but so far we've only got 2 claws clipped before he gets so hysterical I have no option but to stop. I'm lucky that he doesn't bite, but he screams loudly and writhes so strongly I'm worried he'll hurt himself. (Aside from scaring the neighbours, the screaming I can prob deal with - on his first day with us he stood on a flower petal on the pavers and he screamed, poor darling!)
    'm pretty experienced at dog care, so I know my technique is fine, and I've tried desensitizing training with him, but he just gets absolutely hysterical and we really need to get onto this now.
    I've looked into grinder-type files like Pedi Paws or dremel-type tools, but I have a feeling they might be a waste of money if Toby is so terrified of his claws being trimmed - bringing in a power tool might be the end of him!
    What are my options? Do I have any? Is it a matter of just getting people to hold him down for his intial trim then work on getting him used to it until his next trim is due? Is a mild sedation available?...
    (Sorry about this being a bit long-winded!)

  2. #2

    Default

    I'm not sure whether this is helpfull, but i've never trimmed a dogs claws. I make sure my dog does enough walking on the road/concrete such that his claws wear away naturally. Obviously for a pup if you want to be able to trim their claws you need to constantly handle their paws, for a rescue dog, i'm sure someone with more experience than me will answer soon.

    Are you sure you're not trying to cut them back too hard and cutting into the pink bit(i think it's called the wick)? That would cause the screaming, but of course it may just be your dog not liking the attention to it's paws
    Last edited by mymatejack; 01-10-2013 at 02:15 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SE QLD
    Posts
    2,903

    Default

    It is impossible for me to cut my two's nails as well. Bella goes crazy bucking around if you try and hold her down and Harley will just snatch his paws away.

    I rarely have to do it though, walking on the road wares them down enough, I just have to be sneaky with the dew claws.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Posts
    809

    Default

    Clipping claws is not an easy thing to do, especially if the dog hates having it done or if the claws are black as you can't see where the nerve and blood vessel is. Both my GSDs and Rottie hated having their claws clipped so I used to get the vet to do them, until the vet got greedy and was charging $20 per dog (this was about 6 yrs ago) God knows what the vet charges now as I don't go there now.
    Maybe get the vet to clip Toby's claws then you can do it yourself using a metal file (I found less stressful ) every week or so till he gets use to it, you still may need someone to hold him. Then after he's used to the file, you can then use dog nail clippers.


    My Rottie is an ex cruelty case (I've had her 8 yrs now) and I used a metal file which she didn't seem to mind after awhile, but my GSDs were a very different story. Both would run for their lives, Rex was and still is a big sook so I get him up on the lounge and hold him down tell him how good he is and clip his nails but it does take some time as he tries to get off. My GSD Tara who I lost to cancer was even worse, I would push her into a corner so she couldn't escape then clip her nails, but my new rescue GSD girl Chloe who is 9 mths old just lays there and lets me do hers thank God for that. You do know that you only need to clip the hook part of the nail so it doesn't touch the ground, if you go higher up you risk cutting the nerve and blood vessel which results in pain and bleeding anyway all the best with Toby.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Posts
    809

    Default

    I have found that of the dogs I have owned over the years some hate having their claws clipped and others don't mind at all, why this happens who knows but if like me you have a grassed backyard then clipping nails is always an issue IMO.
    Last edited by Dogman; 01-10-2013 at 10:22 AM.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
    Posts
    607

    Default

    Hi HannahW,

    It's so great to hear you have rescued a pup in need Have you posted any pictures yet?

    There are a couple of choices on how to go about this and it seems you have them figured out in your original thread. You can take him to the vet where they will either attempt clipping (I've seen this done, it's very traumatizing for all involved) or will sedate him to do it. Or you can take him to the groomers where they'll probably attempt the same thing, but once again it may be very stressful for the dog and/or groomers, depending on his level of anxiety.

    Please don't be offended by my next question, it's simply just a question and whatever your answer is is fine. You said you're experienced at dog care? If this is the case, GREAT Some people can perform certain tasks on other people's dogs but not as confidently on their own dogs as they have the emotional connection and when the dog is stressed/anxious it can affect the level of calm exhibited by the owner. Is this a possibility for you with your new pup? That's my question, I hope you're not offended

    Have you been trying to desensitize him for the last 6 weeks or only recently? This kind of fear/anxiety can take a while to overcome, but patience, calm and working VERY VERY SLOWLY is the key. The best way to start is to see what he is comfortable with and work from their.

    The level/stages of nail clipping desentizing are something like:
    - can you touch the paws?
    - can you squeeze the whole paw lightly?
    - can you squeeze the whole paw tightly?
    - can you touch the individual toes lightly?
    - can you touch the webbing between each toe?
    - can you squeeze the webbing between each toe? (this can help to check for grass seed too)
    - can you squeeze each toe near the base of the nail lightly?
    - can you squeeze the toe at the base of the nail enough to get a good grip?
    - can you squeeze the actual nail? (to make it feel like clipper pressure)
    - is your dog comfortable with the nail clipper, visually?
    - can you put the clipper near the foot?
    - can you slide the clipper onto the nail without clipping?
    - can you apply pressure to the nail with the clipper?

    If you get a reaction at any stage from your pup, or you get anxious at any stage, that's where you need to stop and begin your desensitization process.

    The best time to do the desensitization is in the evenings when your pup is relaxed, lying on the floor somewhere. Get down on the floor with the pup and slowly run your hands over your dog, like a mini massage. While he is calm, move down to his paws and start working on desensitizing him to the touch. Don't worry about trying to get the nails clipped in the first few sessions, as you need to build the trust first. Get him really comfortable so that when you come to give him a massage and 'play' with his feet, it means relaxation. Positive association with nail clipping needs to happen before you try to clip the nails. If you move too quickly through the process, he may react and move backwards in the desensitization process.

    Depending on how bad the nails are will determine whether you have time to desensitize him before nail cutting or whether it is in his best interest to sedate and clip. I don't advise sedation as the first step if you can avoid it.

    Given he is such a scaredy pup, perhaps looking into other relaxation tools will help. Things like a thunder shirt, rescue remedy and other essences as well as calming signals to help may be something to consider. There is also something called the Tellington Touch Techniques. I think Hyacinth or Newfsie knows about this. Hopefully one of them will come across this thread and provide some light on that.

    Also, you probably realise but, you don't have to cut all the nail off if the best you can do is get the clippers down part the way. A little bit is better than nothing, right? Do you have a pic of the paws to show how long they are?

    MyMateJack, and anyone else interested, it's called the quick. It looks like this

    nail-labels.jpg

    Good Luck with the training

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,637

    Default

    I had ayoung dog who also was terified of having her nails clipped. I just had to persevere and went through the list that Belinda put up. I always had treats and did some paw training several times a day. In the end there was no problem, but depending on the dog it could take awhile. Also when I finally got to the clipping part I only did one nail and then made a big fuss. Did the next nail the next time and so on. My dog now has no problem. As Belinda says, never proceed to the point where the dog is showing distress, always end the session before the dog reaches his tolerance threshold and just keep upping the anti very slowly.

    I also have an abused rescue and I found that if I pointed at him or even lifted a finger to tell him to stay for example he cowered and wet himself. Sometimes one has to be extra patient with rescues as sometimes they have had traumatic events occur at critical times of their development and one has to be patient and make allowances for this. My rescue would scream sometimes if I touched him, because he thought I was going to hurt him. Now he is a different dog, happy and loving, and loves being touched, but sometimes you can still see evidence of the emotional scars at certain times. Glad I have him though. Good luck with yours

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
    Posts
    607

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalacreek View Post
    I had ayoung dog who also was terified of having her nails clipped. I just had to persevere and went through the list that Belinda put up. I always had treats and did some paw training several times a day. In the end there was no problem, but depending on the dog it could take awhile. Also when I finally got to the clipping part I only did one nail and then made a big fuss. Did the next nail the next time and so on. My dog now has no problem. As Belinda says, never proceed to the point where the dog is showing distress, always end the session before the dog reaches his tolerance threshold and just keep upping the anti very slowly.

    I also have an abused rescue and I found that if I pointed at him or even lifted a finger to tell him to stay for example he cowered and wet himself. Sometimes one has to be extra patient with rescues as sometimes they have had traumatic events occur at critical times of their development and one has to be patient and make allowances for this. My rescue would scream sometimes if I touched him, because he thought I was going to hurt him. Now he is a different dog, happy and loving, and loves being touched, but sometimes you can still see evidence of the emotional scars at certain times. Glad I have him though. Good luck with yours
    Kalacreek, your dog is very lucky to have you. Not every owner would put in the time and effort with such a scared dog to bring it out the other side

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,637

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pawfectionist View Post
    Kalacreek, your dog is very lucky to have you. Not every owner would put in the time and effort with such a scared dog to bring it out the other side
    Underneath is such a sweet loving stable dog, just took a bit of time to unearth it. He certainly appreciates me more than the others I have had since pups. They just assume they are safe as they have never known different. My rescue has seen the other side and he works very hard to please. There is a certain amount of enjoyment in gaining their trust and training them. He is probably my best behaved dog now LOL.

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi 'HannahW' and to the forum !

    Have a look at the following to help you with your pup:

    kikopup cutiing nails - YouTube

    kikopup - YouTube

    I find her very good and if you can have a really good look around her website - she covers everything !

    Also - whatever you are using to cut your pup's nails with - needs to be in very good working order. If you are using nail clippers - scissor-like - they must be as sharp as possible - otherwise you will hurt your pup. If they are blunt - all they do is squeeze the nail.

    Good Luck !

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •