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Q: An Easy Solution To Skitters Grooming Problem?

January 27, 2010 | By Ches21 | 4 answers | Expired: 1665 days ago

Ches21

Skitters is my female rat terrier she is an older dog and because of her short fur there is not much grooming to do with her but giving her a bath and clipping her nails. The bath isn't the problem, it's the clipping her nails that is the problem. We have tried treats, muzzles, the word NO, but she still snaps at us when we try to clip her nails and if she can't snap at us she jerks her legs around so we can't do it. She would be scared of a nail file the electric one for animals we tried that, we also tried using two people and even setting her in her favriote spot so that she would be comfortable. She does'nt mind people touching her nails or paws with their hands if the clippers are no were to be found but if you have them forget it she snaps, growls and jerks her legs and paws away. We don't want to spend a fortune on tranqulizers at the vet and she would probably have a heart attack if we took her to the groomers. Please help what can we do?

Readers' Answers (4)
Rainie
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Feb 05, 2010

It seems that dogs remember when their quick got cut from a previous nail trimming experience, at least my adopted GSD does. She actually comes over and lies down when she knows it is time, but she's shaking a little bit. She flinches when the clipper makes that "shnuck!" sound, even though I hardly ever cut the quick. I trim a little bit, then use the Dremel tool with the sanding drum to smooth and wear it down a bit more. She doesn't seem to mind that part at all and actually dozes off while I'm sanding. My other big dog doesn't seem to mind the trimming or the cutting, and I've cut the quick several times with her. It seems she's just one of those dogs that has a high pain tolerance. Both my dogs have black nails, which is impossible to see the quick through it. I cut off tiny slivers of nail, then when I think it might be getting close, I switch to the Dremel.

I also keep styptic powder right there ready to use if I do cut the quick. some of these brands have a topical pain reliever in them, so if I do cut the quick, I apply it and then pressure right away to minimize the discomfort and pain. I think that helps too.

Also, since my dogs are big, I sit on their orthopedic foam bed with my legs straight out. Then I position the dog on her back, with her head by my feet. My legs support the sides of her body and keep her from rolling over, though I sometimes get kicked (but not often). This strange position works for me, I have good access to the nails and the dog is fairly comfortable. I also trim the excess fur between the toes and under the paw at the same time.

I wouldn't take her to the groomer either, since you don't know what they would do to restrain her and she might get overly traumatized by it. I'd suggest you keep trying and just hold her firmly and tell her "no" when she struggles or tries to bite, and at some point, she'll accept that she cannot have her way, and that you are going to trim the nails regardless. (Kinda like when little kids are behaving badly and the parents hug them from behind until the child gives up struggling). I actually had to hold my smaller dog down when she used to struggle and give serious eye contact and wait for her to look away before I continued. That was me being "alpha" so she had to give in and let me do it. I didn't give up or stop, so she didn't get her way, but I didn't hurt her either. Nowadays it's pretty easy and she does come to me to get those unpleasant chores done (like ear cleaning too). I think she knows that if she tried to run and hide in the yard, I'd still get her and she'd still have it done, so she's smart enough to know the quickest way to getting it over with.

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Amber J.
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Jan 27, 2010

Some dogs it takes longer for the dog to get used to the clippers.You need to slowly introduce the clippers to her.What I do is before I do anything to my dogs I let them smell what I am going to be using it seems to calm them down alot then alot of the times they know what you want to do and they will know they you're not there to hurt her.If you have any other problems you probable could ask you vet on extra tips on how to calm her down so you can trim her nails.Good luck to you and Skitters.Hoped this helped a little.Take care.

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Mary C.
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Jan 27, 2010

I have a dog like that too, my dog doesn't mind baths but she tends to be more submissive when she is in the bath, don't know why but it makes my nail clipping problem easier. I will clip her nails in the bathtub and usually she will let me, maybe because she doesn't feel to secure standing in the tub on three legs? I also hold the leg behind her, it's easier to clip the nail that way, a lot of people pull the leg foward and the dog can see the clippers coming that way. Maybe that can help you, good luck:)

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