My dog won't let me cut her nails?

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My dog won't let me cut her nails?

This is a discussion on My dog won't let me cut her nails? within the Dog Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I love my dog, she has some aggression, mostly fear aggression, and she lets me brush and bathe her just fine. She is however sensitive ...

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Old 04-13-2013, 09:52 PM
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My dog won't let me cut her nails?

I love my dog, she has some aggression, mostly fear aggression, and she lets me brush and bathe her just fine. She is however sensitive on her paws. She used to not let me touch them at all. I've been tripping to work with her paws and gradually touching them and now I can play with them and go between her toes sometimes. But she would never let me cut them. She would even bite! (She has aggression so I knew it was coming, but she never bites me unless its about cutting nails) she also has black nails so I don't know exactly where the quick is... But the only way I can slightly cut her nails is if her muzzle is on and she is distracted with treats. I don't get very far this way though.


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Old 04-13-2013, 10:55 PM
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Your best bet is to counter condition her to letting you cut her nails. It's what I'm doing with my boy.

You need to start slow and think in terms of baby steps so if her nails are really overgrown you may want to take her to the vet and have them do it so that you have time to work with her before her nails need to be dong again.

First determine how much you can fool with her feet before she objects and start there. So if she'll let you lift her paw without objecting start there. Spend a couple days picking up her paws and giving her a treat as you do so.

Once she's happy to have you pick up her paw move on to picking up her paw and rub/move around her toes. Remember that this is a new step so if she's anxious about it you may need to only do one or two toes the first couple of days. So you'd pick up the paw rub/move around a toe and give her a treat, if she's O.K. with that then try another toe. Spend however many days it takes doing that till you can do all her toes and have her alright with it.

Next play you need to get her used to feeling something on her nails, (this is where I am with my boy. I pick up his feet and tap the tip of the nail and move it around a little, giving him treats as I go. That's basically what you'll be doing same as the other step but with his nails.

Next, and you can do this as you are doing the other steps, you need to get her used to seeing and smelling the clippers. Put the clipper on the floor and put some treats on it and around it, so that she starts to associate the clipper with treats. Leave them out where she can see them and get the idea that the clipper isn't going to hurt her. Once she's O.K. with the sight of them move on to holding them and giving her treats, so that she gets used to the sight of you with them.

This step can't be done till she's used to you messing with her feet. You'll need to start getting her used to you holding the clipper and holding her feet. Then tapping her nails with the clipper, then actually cutting her nails. Giving her treats and getting her comfortable with you doing each step. You may only be able to clip one or two nails a day until she's completely used to it. Once you have her used to getting her nails clipped you should be able to start only treating her after each foot, then after the nails are done. She also may let you do one foot, or the back feet or front feet then object to your doing her other feet. Yesterday my boy let me do his back feet but he's still jerking away the front ones, so we are still working on that.

Since her nails are black I'd take the tip of the nails off, then in 2 weeks take a little more off, that should give the quick time enough to recede between trims so that you don't quick her but are still getting the nails shorter.
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Last edited by Rain; 04-13-2013 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:44 PM
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Thanks glad to know I'm already doing that a little. Ill do it a lot more now


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Old 04-13-2013, 11:54 PM
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Awesome video all about counter conditioning a dog to nail trims!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgEwiH8CeUE

And another really great video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuXwKqXTBsE

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Old 04-14-2013, 08:52 AM
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Those are very good videos! Ill try that right now, except that I don't have a clicker and she isn't clicker trained at all....


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Old 04-14-2013, 10:13 AM
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You can use a marker word in place of the clicker, it works exactly the same way.

Instead of clicking you'd just say the word, and the word can be anything you want. I do recommend that it's a unique word that you are not saying all the time during everyday conversation. Once you pick the word you want to use load it the same as you would a clicker, then use it.

Incase anyone reading doesn't know what loading a word / clicker is. You say the word, click the clicker, and at the same time give the dog a treat. Do that over and over until the dog realizes that word / click = treat.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:44 AM
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You can substitute a verbal marker like a click of the tongue, a kiss sound, or a consistent "yes" for a clicker. Check the Helpful Articles and Videos sticky for the 101 on clicker training/loading the clicker--you'll load the marker just like the clicker.

Here's another video on clipping: Dog Nail Trim | Videos | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:42 AM
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All that said, a clicker is a more effective marker. You can get them cheaply at a petstore or on the internet.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tess View Post
All that said, a clicker is a more effective marker. You can get them cheaply at a petstore or on the internet.
Ditto.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tess View Post
All that said, a clicker is a more effective marker. You can get them cheaply at a petstore or on the internet.

I agree.

Shadow responds best to a clicker, but I'm just not coordinated enough to manage a clicker, clippers and treats while trying to hold Shadow's paw LOL. I've substituted, "Good boy Shadow, that's such a good boy, that's a good boy yes that is, look at that good boy!!", for a clicker. I pour on the praise, give him a message between each paw, and he gets a treat at the end of the session. Mainly because if I try treating in between each paw he gets to excited to hold still after the first treat.
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