Dog Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Roscoe is now 6 mos old and we've had him since he was 2 mos old and I still can't trim/dremel his nails by myself or in one sitting. Admittedly, I have not been keeping up with the counter conditioning consistently like I should, but Roscoe dislikes having his feet handled so much that sometimes I dread trying to work with him.

Today I took him to a groomer and had them trim/dremel his nails because they're so sharp and I don't want them getting too long. It took two of them and they had to put a muzzle on him because he was so unhappy about having his nails done, but I just don't see any other options right now. I ended our outing on a positive and fun note by taking him out for breakfast and to the park afterwards, but I'm sure he'll still be ticked off next time I take him for a trim.

I'll admit that patience has never been one of my virtues and I've never had a dog that is as contrary and stubborn as Roscoe, so he definitely challenges me when it comes to training. lol

How do you recommend approaching this and working with him so that I can eventually trim his nails with his cooperation? He truly dislikes having his feet handled and I know my frustration comes across when I'm working with him, but I'm just not sure how to gain his trust at this point and make it pleasant (or at least tolerable) rather than a constant battle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,929 Posts
My hound is like that. I have to use a dremel. You are not going too like my remedy but it does work. Short sessions often. If I do them two times a week and just take a little off each nail he will tolerate it. I think doing it often also keeps them used to it. Put it on your computer or phone to remind you and just do it, it only takes about 5 minutes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Dawnben. I'll give that a try. I've stocked up on hot dogs to try to make this a really good experience for him and I think I'll focus on the dremel for now. If I can keep the nails filed down, I won't have to use the clippers too often, except for his dew claws.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,929 Posts
Thanks Dawnben. I'll give that a try. I've stocked up on hot dogs to try to make this a really good experience for him and I think I'll focus on the dremel for now. If I can keep the nails filed down, I won't have to use the clippers too often, except for his dew claws.
I grind the dew claws they are very soft and easy to grind.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,595 Posts
Whenever I get really frustrated with Koda not getting something, I bring out steak.

That seems to work better as a counter conditioning treat than regular high value treats. It's the equivalent to buying someone who's homeless a whole house as a reward for her.

Anyhow, up the treat value and increase the rate at which you reward. It won't make it go super fast, but it should help so you're not static and there are good associations being made. What you're using right now might still be too fast/scary so it's harder to work against.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
You gotta make it a game for yourself as well, otherwise your dog senses your frustration and it just sets the both of you back (easier said than done, I know).

Maybe try setting really tiny, tiny goals for you and the dog, so that you can celebrate when something positive occurs. Rather than a goal of "clipping 1 nail this session", break it down into even smaller goals- "play with Rosco's feet for 5/10/15 seconds)", as much as you treat the dog for it, you can also mentally reward yourself on the progress the both of you made. By re-adjusting your expectations, I think you might find you are more 'successful'- in that you are being more realistic and therefore are more likely to meet the criteria of 'successful' for that session.

My pup wasn't too bad, but I found it helped to go in with low expectations. I would sit with her when she was relaxed and would use her dinner + high value treats to work on hanging out with the nail clipper. I'd follow kikopup's videos- treat for looking at the nail clippers, treat for me touching her feet, treat for me splaying the paws, treat for clippers in one hand and paw in the other, treat for touching clipper to the paw, etc. We'd have sessions where the best I could do was splay her paws. Last night, out of no where, she let me cut almost all her nails; however, the next time I go in, she may only let me touch her nails.

I think now that he's got short nails, you are in a good spot to do lots and lots of training because the pressure is off for you (since her nails aren't long) and therefore the pressure eases for Roscoe. Set a reminder on your phone (every other day, maybe? And just spend 10 minutes making hanging out with the nail clipper out and touching feet, and maybe even lining up the nail clipper, or even applying some pressure it with it....whatever you guys get up to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Maybe try setting really tiny, tiny goals for you and the dog, so that you can celebrate when something positive occurs. Rather than a goal of "clipping 1 nail this session", break it down into even smaller goals- "play with Rosco's feet for 5/10/15 seconds)", as much as you treat the dog for it, you can also mentally reward yourself on the progress the both of you made. By re-adjusting your expectations, I think you might find you are more 'successful'- in that you are being more realistic and therefore are more likely to meet the criteria of 'successful' for that session.

My pup wasn't too bad, but I found it helped to go in with low expectations. I would sit with her when she was relaxed and would use her dinner + high value treats to work on hanging out with the nail clipper. I'd follow kikopup's videos- treat for looking at the nail clippers, treat for me touching her feet, treat for me splaying the paws, treat for clippers in one hand and paw in the other, treat for touching clipper to the paw, etc. We'd have sessions where the best I could do was splay her paws. Last night, out of no where, she let me cut almost all her nails; however, the next time I go in, she may only let me touch her nails.
Thank you all for the helpful suggestions. @Maiabean, that's exactly what I'm doing now. We're back to the square one, working on handling his paws once again and letting him see, hear, and feel the dremel and clippers without trying to trim his nails at all. I've pulled out the big guns (hot dogs). :D

He's an uncooperative little stinker sometimes, but I figure we have years ahead of us, so I'm really slowing it down and focusing on making it something he enjoys (or at least doesn't mind).

@Kwenami, I love the steak idea! He would probably go completely nuts for that!
 
  • Like
Reactions: SnackRat

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
My hound is like that. I have to use a dremel. You are not going too like my remedy but it does work. Short sessions often. If I do them two times a week and just take a little off each nail he will tolerate it. I think doing it often also keeps them used to it. Put it on your computer or phone to remind you and just do it, it only takes about 5 minutes.
This is what's worked for me, too. And awesome treats. Sometimes if she's being really stubborn, a really chewy treat in her mouth and immediately hit the Dremel!
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top