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CHUCK: Can you please give some pointers on How to trim Bucking Bronco Westie nails?

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  • CHUCK: Can you please give some pointers on How to trim Bucking Bronco Westie nails?

    I know you said they won't fight against themselves but the female Westie would have peed if I kept trying and She was stressing so I unhooked her. I am afraid she will hurt her neck fighting. Many do this and it scares me, so I unhook them. Or they wrap their front feet on the grooming arm. I can't pull them to the GH close enough to the arm, but it isn't much space. Some could bite me while hooking them to the GH. The snap lock is very stiff to snap down. I was also able to dry the males' head today without a struggle. I must say, the GH helps me do the job I need to do; just not with the sister, Gracie.
    Last edited by Jenneversage64; 03-21-10, 09:06 PM.

  • #2
    Is this Westie young? I have one that has come since he was a pup and he was the biggest biter I've ever had, he bit me in a place I've never been bit B4! But with patience and firmness he has become much more of a pleasure to groom. Ask their owners if they play games like tug of war with them at home, they should NOT be doing this. I'm lucky my clients were so willing to stop rough play, etc. with him and they worked on brushing him, etc. at home. It has made a huge difference. All owners should be THIS responsible with their pets. Usually a dog will stop pulling after a while, they get worn out and become tolerant to it. WE need to stay calm, I know it's a little more time consuming but worth it in the end. I think it's too bad that everyone expects us to "rush" to get their dogs done, it just so doesn't work that way. If I stress about time then I don't stay calm and it takes me longer in the end.


    • #3
      After reading your post, I must admit I have been a terrier person most of my life. I own several, 2 of which are rescued westies. No matter how much one works with them, some dogs have been so abused they never get over it. The worst bite I ever got was from a wesite but he came back the next day & I finished him.. I wont go into details but as you say, many owners just wont work with their pets an dyes I have seen way to many dogs close to seizure by being pushed or restrained... even in a Vets office but it is just that some dogs need to be referred and that is that. There is no cure for some dogs.


      • #4
        OK, I have to say I don't know where the idea that a dog won't fight against itself came from. I remember reading it in a previous post by Chuck. A dog who is frightened or flipping out is not going to sit there and think "well gee, I'm only fighting against myself, that is silly" and stop. Some dogs the more you restrain them the worse they get. Dogs just don't rationalize like we do. They feel that they are being restrained and some give up and some flip out even more. Some dogs we just cannot groom all the way on our own either. I think many of us have seen the video of the Golden Retriever trying to attack his own leg thinking it was coming after his toy! And especially a terrier, they tend to be so stubborn and will fight for everything at times. Some of them just refuse to ever give in. I have no problems using restraints and I am not anti-restraint by any means, and most dogs seem to submit when they realize that they just can't go anywhere, but there will always be those few that just won't say "die", if you know what I mean. Not every technique is going to work on every dog. This girl may need to be groomed by a vet.
        What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


        • #5
          This is a small female Westie

          I don't know about tug o' war but they do toss the ball and they run after it in the yard. This is a 2yr old female and her brother. I don't think they are litter mates but close in age. Until Saturday I was never able to do his nails either. He fought but the Gh got him to stop and I did his nails. However, the quik is long and needs to recede.


          • #6
            Gracie, the Westie I am asking about

            is fine for all grooming, including trimming the pads of her feet. She just won't let anyone trim her nails with any tool. Her Brother, Winston never did either til Saturday when he didn't like the GH but calmed down quickly and I got his done. They are not biters but might if fear gets to them. Winston might not let me do his nails next time with GH, I dunno yet. I agree too, about fighting against itself. Gracie never heard that, so she kept fighting the GH. Yes, and the funny Retriever video.

            BTW these dogs are loved and cared for. The owner is a young woman with a fiance, and the dogs are their first children. She is very good about keeping them in good shape and tips well. She never minded that I was unable to trim the nails, I just wanted to show her I could get it done easily with my GH.
            Last edited by Jenneversage64; 03-21-10, 09:10 PM.


            • #7
              I think Chuck will agree w/me when I say there are some dogs that you CANNOT safely do and SHOULD NOT force, even w/the help of the GH. If they are fightig so bad that you are afraid they will actually injure themselves (or you) then it's time to stop what you are doing and send them home.

              I have 2 clients that come to mind for me. JC is a Boykin Spaniel. Like your Westie he is really good for all aspect of the grooming......even trimming the feet and pads. Byt just try to snip a toenail and he turns into a totally different animal. Even the vet won't pin him down and do the nails. He's that bad and that STRONG. They are going to wait till he needs to be knocked out for a dental or something and cut those suckers waaaaaaay back.

              The second dog is a Sch mix who has been a difficult dog to do from the beginning. The owners got her from the shelter and have no idea her background. The first time I groomed her years ago I had a looooooong talk w/them and told them she needed to be done VERY regularly for a while so she could get used to the process. I even made the same offer that I give to puppy owners, which is to bring the dog in for a few hours a day, several days a week (if possible), at no charge, so I can work w/the dog in baby steps.

              They didn't do as I suggested and only brought her in about every 3 or 4 months. This past Friday I sent Katie home w/only a bath because she was in danger of hurting herself.........and me!

              It's not a crime to throw in the towel once in a while (though it can hurt the pride a little).
              SheilaB from SC


              • #8
                Please be very carefull and accept what you can not change

                Dear Jenneversage64,

                I know you would like to hear a solution or a way to use the Groomers Helper® to get this dog done but sorry to say I have none. You can try every technique and equipment but the reality is there are some who can not be completely groomed or even groomed at all.

                Yes I agree that there are some dogs that are not candidates for any type of restraint. However that said you may start slow and easy and decrease restraint until they feel less restrained and calm. If they do not calm they are not a candidate. Maybe one or two out of 100 are not candidates. We as groomers [b]have to know when to give up[/b] as these dogs don't know when to give up. They will struggle to the death, we shouldn't.

                I know that we want to be the solution to every difficult dog but the reality is that there are dogs like people who can not be helped no matter what we try. Before we hurt them or ourselves we need to hand them off to another groomer who may be able to or a vet who will be able to make the dog comfortable and get the job done. I know that we hate to do that but it is only one out of all the dogs we do. Your track records are phenomenal considering all of your successes and the amount of difficult dogs you do.

                Just because this dog is a sibling of a dog that cooperates makes no difference as siblings can be exact opposites. I know I have two opposite teenagers. I wish there was a magic bullet but there really is none except your honest appraisal to the owner. It is not your skill in question so you should not take it personally. There are just some dogs that can not be done. That's the reality and we must accept it or an injury is inevitable.

                Let's help the people and dogs that we can. Plerase go to and ask all your friends to also.

                I wish you and the Westie Good Luck and Godspeed,



                • #9
                  I'd try a couple things before giving up. I usually do nails after the bath and while they are wrapped in a towel. You can pick the whole bundle up and use a dremel on the softened nail. Or, while they are on the table in the GH you can face toward their tail and pick up the foot from the back so the foot is upside down and trim them from this position. Often they can't resist as hard. This feel awkward at first but is actually very efficient. But, like the others said.... call it quits before you or the dog gets hurt.
                  A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~


                  • #10
                    The only thing I can suggest is that you try desensitizing this dog's feet. Some dog's have sensitive, or very ticklish feet. So doing some desensitizing might help.

                    First, grasp a front leg at the top, near the elbow. Quickly run your hand down the leg and over the foot. When I say quickly, I mean do it as fast as you can. Do it several times. Then try slowing it down and see if the dog can tolerate it. If so, praise and repeat several times.

                    Next step, run your hand down the dog's leg, lifting the foot from the table, and when you get to the foot, stop. Do not put pressure on the foot, and if he lifts it out of your hand, let him. If he doesn't, rest the foot in your hand, no grasping it, and praise. Repeat several times.

                    If the dog does move his foot out of your hand, go back to step one and start over. Keep repeating until the dog is comfortable resting his foot on your hand.

                    Once the dog is comfortable, grasp the foot gently, and release immediately. Repeat and praise. If you have to go back to step one or two, do so. You're trying to build the dog's levell of tolerance, and you may have to repeat several times until you get the desirec results. Eventually you might get to the point where he can tolerate having the nails trimmed. Or you may not.

                    You can help the dog relax by licking and yawning, nudging the flank area, massaging the brisket and top of the head. So if he's really freaking out, give out some calming signals. Reward ANY show of compliance, no matter how slight.

                    Whatever happens, don't be afraid to call it quits if you can't get the dog to come around. Sometimes there's nothing you can do, and it's best to send them to a vet.


                    • #11
                      Westies are notorius for hating their feet and legs touched. I have one, Dewey, that is IMPOSSIBLE even slightly sedated to get nails done on. GH is a joke to him, muzzles are all offin less than a minute and the more you try to worse he gets and the more worked up he gets.

                      What I noticed is that if the legs are fiddlefronted, which MANY westies are, you will have trouble even picking them up. Watch how the dog is built and hold accordingly.

                      What I did with Dewey finally was have his mom hold him (she CAN HOLD a dog) with his head under her arm, her idea, and we snip. They will have naturally long nails though becuase they were bred to dig and "go to groud" and the nails are an important part of that. try as you m ight, you will most likely NEVER get them short. Not and keep them that way. My friends that show dremel way back once or twice a week and if they skip a week then they are right back where they started. You cannot fight genetics;
                      <a href="" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain


                      • #12
                        Oh, one other helpful tool that I use on some Shihz and Westies... E collars are wonderful tools. One of the Westies I do tolerates this very well.
                        A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~