Jump to content


Nail Clipping

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 SawyersDad


    Senior Black Lab

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 73 posts

        Posted 15 November 2007 - 04:19 PM

Sawyer's nails are getting long and me and Sawyer's Mom face a nail cutting battle with a wiggly puppy. This is bad because I don't want to hurt him with the clippers, or chop off one of his, (or my own) toes or anything horrible like that.

The Dog Whisperer would probably advocate getting the dog into a "calm, submissive state" which for Caesar seems to be an easy task. I think we need to buy some tranquilizers. Is it possible to train my dog to allow us to clip his nails? Any tricks? Id rather do it myself because the vet charges for such a service.

#2 Heather


    Big Black Lab

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 894 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Massachusetts
  • Interests:Black Lab's, Saabs, Kids, rescue dogs, Abyssinian cats, goldfish, reading, geek's geek, living in the wilderness,volvo's, fishes, camping, photography, art, music & writing eat up my time.

        Posted 15 November 2007 - 06:00 PM

The vet also uses two people for this operation. (used to work at a clinic) The key is to have them elevated onto a table, or counter. Have one of you put your hands around the belly and the neck.. in kind of a hugging hold. Picture it like this: put your hands in front of you curling/pointing your fingers to the sky. In a sweeping motion.. put them under the dog and hold tight. Kind of like your locking the dog to your body. Then the other person holds the paw being trimmed. IMHO, the first time you should see it being done. If you already have, then you have the idea. See if there is an online description of how much to cut. Probably on the box, or container of the clippers. They also make bags, that you can zip a cat into for this.. I don't know if they make them big enough for puppies.. and then bigger dogs.. You could stick the animal inside a coat, towel, or other.. and wrap them somewhat tightly.. to keep them immobile. I know some Petco and other dog store people.. put the dogs onto leashes, and stand to the side, and bend the back (they way it's meant to bend.) and then trim each nail. Talk in gentle soothing voices.. to the dog during the entire time. Whomever, in your home spends the most time with the dog.. probably should be the one holding and soothing. Once you have the hang of it, you can switch it up, so both of you can do it to the dog. Good luck.. Heather smile.gif
-- Greetings from, Heather, Duke & Minnie !!
"Learning for all animals is a lifetime commitment. Just as education for humans does not end with a high school diploma or a college degree, so the graduation certificate after eight weeks of training class does not end Flash's brush with scholarship. Dogs learn constantly, but they may not be learning the things you planned to teach."
Norma Bennett Woolf --from a Dog Trainer's Guide

#3 suzanne & harley


    Big Black Lab

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 687 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Dallas TX
  • Interests:Camping. Video games. Dog SCOUTS!

        Posted 15 November 2007 - 06:10 PM

Here is what I do.

First thing is what to look for and how to clip without hurting your pup.
With black dogs that have black nails it can be more difficult to see the part that is nail and the part that is flesh.
Light or clear nails are easy because you can see through the nail somewhat.

However, if you look at the nail from the BOTTOM you can see the fleshy part really easily.
I drew a picture of what it looks like from the bottom.


By always cutting while looking at the underside of the nail I have NEVER caused my dog pain.
Well THIS dog anyway. I learned about this with Harley and it has really been a godsend.
Never hurt them and they won't be afraid.

I began with Harley using clicker training methods and tiny steps.
If you need info on how to clicker train there are MANY good sites and books to help you.
Google is your friend.

By tiny steps I mean don't expect the dog to just sit there and let you clip at first. I didn't even clip a nail at all at first.
I would take the clippers and touch a nail. CLICK + TREAT I did this for about 10 minutes a couple of times a day for several days. When she was comfortable with that I actually opened the clippers and put a nail in the cutting area of the clippers .. CLICK + TREAT.. Slowly I worked up to actually clipping a nail.

When we first started actually clipping I would click and treat her after every nail.
When we got to the point where she would relax for the clipping I started doing two nails before clicking then three... working up to being able to do a whole foot before clicking and treating.

It is slow going sometimes but it wasn't that long till she would hold still for all four feet and then I reward her for being so good.

Some people teach their dog to lay down for clipping. I imagine it is easier to get the dog to relax and not try to walk away. I personally prefer Harley standing. I pick up a foot and bend it so I can see the bottom. (kind of like shoeing a horse I guess)
Suzanne & Harley DSA (Dog Scouts of America)

I can't do enough to make a difference for every dog in the world
But I can do all I know how to make a world of difference for for this dog

#4 smudge


    Big Black Lab

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Lincs

        Posted 22 November 2007 - 09:09 PM

I was not brave enough to try and clip Caspar's nails as I was so terrified of cutting him so I took him to the vet nurse and she did him for me. And even better my vet doesn't charge for nurses appointments!

You could always try that as a last resort!

Good luck!
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
(Josh Billings)

#5 Nicole & Riley


    Senior Black Lab

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32 posts
  • Location:Ontario

        Posted 12 January 2008 - 10:36 AM

As a new dog owner, this thread has been very helpful! Admittedly I am a bit nervous about trying this for the first time with Riley. What clippers do you guys recommend? (sorry to hijack).


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users