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New trickery to use against naughty nail dogs

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  • New trickery to use against naughty nail dogs

    I am sure many of you who blow dry completely notice that many dogs don't mind vigorous brushing while being force dried as much as they mind when you are just brushing along. I have always just figured it was because the force dryer desensitizes the skin a bit.

    Last friday I had an old chow. She does NOT let me brush her before the bath or after she is dry. She is so sensitive now that she is a senior citizen. Everything hurts on her. poor baby. If I brush her while I am force drying though I can get her completely brushed out with out her even flinching.

    She has also always been REALLY bad for her nails. Ive groomed her for years and she has always been like this. She won't actually bite, but she will threaten, and fight and twist into awful painful positions to get away. No distractions work. No food works ect.

    Friday I had the bright idea to try her nails while force drying. I had my assistant continue with the force dryer around her neck area. I picked up all four feet and cut her nails without barely a twitch!!! I am going to try this on a couple other Nail neurotic dogs but for those groomers with a force dryer and an assistant... give this a try and let me know if it worked!

  • #2
    Awesome, gonna try it tomorrow.

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    • #3
      I used to do this with a nasty old Peke. He had often been sent home without a nail trim - I realized the second or third time I did him that he was so zoned out under the dryer that I could pick his feet up, and had one of the other groomers come and try it - we weren't always 100% successful but we could usually get at least three feet done with one person clipping and the other holding the HV nozzle along his neck and back and keeping his head controlled. He was a character.

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      • #4
        Good idea!

        I may try that with my Lab! She is terrible for nails. I have tried treating her, etc. Now, I just use a dremel. She still keeps trying to yank her paw away, but I don't quick her anymore.

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        • #5
          Something else to try with dogs like this, is to do their nails in the tub. Have somebody run the (warm) water full force over their chest and shoulders - moving the hose around, I guess it works similar to the force of air coming from the dryer - sort of desensitizes them. While one person is running the water over their chest and shoulders, I pull their feet (gently) behind them and can get at them with absolutely no fuss.

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          • #6
            It's like sensory overload!

            A dog can not focus on multiple things at once, so finding a chore that provides other stimulation while performing a task they don't care for, can allow you the time to quickly get it done.

            The reason the HV or water work is because, extremely sensitive dogs are so busy "thinking" (for lack of a better word) about the force of the air/water, the noise, etc, they aren't focusing on the fact that you are cutting their nails. This won't work on every dog, but I have a few that I will do in the tub while the water is running and one that will allow me to trim them immediately after the bath (if I'm quick) while still in the tub.

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            • #7
              Great idea. Those of us who work alone may have to invest in a 3rd arm to try this one out.

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              • #8
                I have also done something similar by doing them in the tub... just run water over them to distract them while you do the nails. It worked so great to desensitize one of the westies I groom I no longer have to do it that way and they she is fine now after years of fighting!

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                • #9
                  Sometimes my stand dryer works

                  Sometimes my plain old stand dryer (not HV) distracts them, lets them not pay so much attention to what is happening with feet, and I get more done. Also if I am dremelling a dog that is nervous about it, the sound of the blow dryer is a bit like a white noise that covers up the sound of the dremel, and they calm down. Not all of them, but it's worth a try.

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                  • #10
                    I wish I had read this earlier today, I had an enormous lab-rot mix that started shaking like a leaf at the sight of the nail clippers. Thankfully he goes for lots of long walks so his nails didn't need that much, just the dewclaws and a few tips. I am happy to hear that yall have used distraction effectively and will definitely keep this in mind for the future.

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                    • #11
                      Sounds awesome. There are quite a few shop dogs that will benefit from this, and I'll also need to try it on my aunt's Yorkie. Thanks!

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                      • #12
                        Not just nails! Sometimes I can get shih faces around their eyes and such in the bath when I cannot on the table, really is a neat trick.

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                        • #13
                          I tried the nails-in-the-tub routine only once, with a chow mix. In one split second I found myself eyeball-to-eyeball with one really pickled-off dog who didn't give a flip about water running down his face but was exquisitely aware of each toenail and what was happening to it.

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                          • #14
                            Neat!! Glad others have found this works to back me up!!


                            Re: eye to eye in the tub. Unfortunately my tub is to deep to safely do naughty dogs nails in it. I have to bend so far over to reach the front nails it puts my face right beside their face so for me not the best option but I can see how that would work in the right tub too.

                            I AM going to try the face trimming in the tub that someone suggested!! I have one very old shih that suddenly when it hit a certain age, started throwing fits about the scissors near his face.

                            That is why this board is so great. We can bounce ideas off eachother.

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                            • #15
                              Another trick I have found useful sometimes is to smear peanut butter on the wall of the tub for them to be distracted with licking it up while I trim nails or clip pads. It doesn't work with dogs that are too upset to care about food, but with many it not only is a distraction, but it also provides positive reinforcement while the nail trim is in progress. Of course, check ahead of time to be sure "treats" are OK and they don't have an allergy to peanuts.

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