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Help with nails please!

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:35 pm
by Priulike
Otto is nearly 6 months. I have clipped his nails once when he was much younger. He was sleeping on my lap and didn't really notice. That was about 3 months ago and I have been trying to cut them again. I find it really difficult to hold his paw long enough for me to know that I am going to do it properly. He wriggles. Husband even tried to help me, that was even worse. Tried to get him used to a cordless grinder and did manage to tap a nail or two but he really does hate that. I tried it on my own nails and the sensation is really mild. I need some help. I have the fall back of taking him to the vet or asking his breeder to have a go but I don't like to give up. I did my last schnauzer for 14 years, I can't remember whether I had any difficulty with him. Maybe I am not being patient enough but I am starting to panic about the length of his nails. The last session on the table did not go well at all.

Re: Help with nails please!

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:30 am
by marilynanderson
Show me your nails, please. You are welcome to attach the picture. Thanks in advance!

Re: Help with nails please!

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:37 pm
by MorganOfTheFey
I would suggest taking a step back and starting with getting him used to you touching and holding his paws. You can ease him into this while snuggling, especially if you can get him to roll over on his back for tummy rubs. Start just by gently holding each paw for a second. If he's squirmy and doesn't like that right away, reward each paw-hold with a treat. Once he gets more used to it, or if he already lets you hold his paw, start holding it for several seconds at a time. Reward with a small treat after each paw if he holds still and doesn't pull his paw back. Then work your way up to wiggling each toe individually. If he's not giving you too many problems, you might also try having your husband run the cordless grinder in the background a few feet away, so your puppy gets used to the sound + you touching toes + staying (relatively) still.

This might take a couple of five minute sessions over a few days or a week. You want to build up a positive association (treats, praise, and belly rubs) with you handling his paws and the nail grinder. He may not ever like the grinder himself, but if you can at least teach him that holding still while you pick up his paws is a good thing to do, that will probably help a lot.

If he's really scared of the grinder by now from previous failed attempts, try running it in the background while he's distracted playing, snuggling, eating, etc so he gets used to the noise. Then start running it while he can see the grinder nearby, then while you're doing the paw-touch game. That should help him slowly build up a tolerance to it so he'll freak out less when it's nail-trimming time.

You can also try doing the nails one or two at a time, break, then one or two more. Or even space them out over a couple of days. Obviously that's really time-consuming, but that might be the best way to get a couple of nails done before he loses patience and starts hating the experience again. And maybe after a couple of months, or however long it takes for him to accept the process a bit more gracefully, you can do more nails at a time until he's totally used to it.

Re: Help with nails please!

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:04 am
by Lindahl
That's actually a great idea, spacing the procedure over a few days. I'm going to try this out for sure.