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Technique Question for difficult dogs

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  • Technique Question for difficult dogs

    I was reviewing some of Melissa Verplank videos and came across this one for "Maintaining Calm Control on a Dog that Bites for Foot Work" I was wondering if this really works, does it keep the dog from being able to bite, he may not be able to bite your hands but he can still get to your arm, back and make contact. This technique looks to work in theory but is it really effective?

    Also, when clipping dogs nails do you clip from the front and keep paw in normal position just raising leg up a little or do you you turn the paws back at the ankle so you can see the underside of the nail (if that makes sense) or do you have another way I'm just curious and trying different things to see what works best for me but I am new to this so I know there are more than one way to do things, its just a matter of what is comfortable for the person...Dog..

    Thanks for help!

  • #2
    I clip nails in the natural position, the little dogs squirm so much I find it easier to hang on to them without them twisting and turning on me. With large dogs I usually do the back legs in the natural position and kinda lean into them with my shoulder for support. Their front feet I usually turn back. You can block bites easier when you turn the paws back. I tried the method on the video you posted and found it too awkward and I couldn`t get comfortable with it. I love my groomers helper, saves a lot of time with nails.


    • #3
      I do pads that way most always. Do have a few dogs that will get upset in that hold for the front feet-they don't like my arm over their body. If they are biters, that is what a muzzle is for, but it's a pretty safe hold for most dogs and much easier and safer for the dog than playing tug of war with their legs. Nails, sometimes I will do from the back-like shoeing a horse-but usually will do from the front , especially with the dremel. You just have to do what is most comfortable for you and the particular dog you're working with.
      Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

      Groom on!!!


      • #4
        I'm curious to try this method. I am short, so I have worries that it will work. But I would love to try anything to make it easier.

        I have a GH but working on the feet is always a little bit awkward.
        "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


        • #5
          I use a GH, but, still turn the feet back this way.
          "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
          People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


          • #6
            Interesting video... this is how I groom all dogs, was taught to by breeders. Dogs bone structure & joint movement is not made to cut nails from the front. Yea many dogs will 'scratch' at a door but their joints do not bend up in front enough to see the quick. I know of many groomers who cut nails from the front... I just never grasped how to see the quick that way.

            In this video, it is just like I was taught about 30+ yrs ago. I was often "TOLD" ... "dont you dare bend a dogs joints the wrong way!!! They have to go in the ring in a few days!!!"... As for pets, I get a great deal of elderly dogs and others with medical issues... I have been working 'with' dogs rather than against them, It also helps me too... better body mechanics and no stretching, difficult back twisting or over reaching.


            • #7
              Huh... I was doing it that way without even thinking about it. It works great for smaller trouble dogs, but the biggies will still be tough. If I cant lift em fairly easily I won't do it that way, in those cases I ask another person in the shop for a hand when they get the chance. I figure, if I couldn't carry them I won't be able to hold em secure enough to be safe for either of us.


              • #8
                I can get the back feet that way almost every time...the front is a completely different story! And the little tiny dogs seem to be able to squirm out of it with me. Just got my GH, and am learning how to make it work for me.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by keyray View Post
                  I'm curious to try this method. I am short, so I have worries that it will work.
                  I am pretty short 5' 1 3/4" (yes I'm a nerd and very proud of that 3/4"). Anywho, As long as your table height can be adjusted, it is no problem. I have used this method since I saw it on her site, can't say how long, maybe a year?, and it makes an amazing difference. Yes, dogs can still get at your arm, elbow, back, but of hundreds of dogs I have only had that happen once. Little westie, barely pinched the skin on my elbow, just muzzled her and continued on. This does give me more trouble on the little tinys and dogs that are too tall to fit w/i my reach. I had a small sized wheaten one day that was just a hair too tall for me, but one w/ longer arms could have done it easier. It gives you a way to control the body, makes it very hard for them to wiggle out. Most calm down a lot once they realize the wiggling isn't going to help. All times but the one I didn't even need the muzzle on dogs I had formerly muzzled. I am left handed though, so it really felt awkward at first while I fined tuned the pose, had to just jump in and give it a go to see what felt the most "right" to me. I was always shown to turn the feet backward on large dogs, I think most are, so why weren't we shown that on little dogs too? It only makes sense to me.
                  I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.


                  • #10
                    Have done it, BUT -

                    Us shorties can only do that on SOME dogs. I'm 5'1" - short height usually goes with short arms. It means there are a lot of things that are more awkward, or even impossible, than for someone several inches (or more) taller.

                    That is a tall Lhasa in the clip. I would have to way lower my table, and then my short torso would be hunched so close over that dog it would look - and feel - like a contortionist.

                    So yes, it's a great method, but for me it has far more limitations than for someone taller. I can do it only on smaller dogs than in the video clip.


                    • #11
                      I use this method 95% of the time and think it works great.


                      • #12
                        I do the same

                        Dear Groomers,

                        This is absolutely the correct way to cut nails and shave pads. Marc LaFleur is a master instructor at Paragon and teaches everyday. He is a horse owner and breeder. This is the natural way a dogs legs bend (horses too). I have seen so many groomer lift the leg forward or up and out to the left or right and they wonder why they have a hard time with nails. It is because the dogs legs do not bend that way and it hurts. It may be easier for the groomer but not for the pet. Do it this way and reduce the struggling.

                        With the Groomers Helper® holding the head in place it makes this positioning very easy. Way to go Marc, Melissa and Paragon. I couldn't have explained it better.

                        P.S. This is the last week to purchase the Groomers Helper® at the discounted price. May 1st we will no longer be discounting. Save $50 on the Pro Set plus Free Shipping and a Free $85 accessory set to boot.



                        • #13
                          Chuck, horse's (and dog's) legs bend both ways. A ferrier will bring the horse's legs forward during part of the trimming or shoeing process. It's not an unnatural position, any more than walking is an unnatural movement. I will often bring the foot forward instead of turning it back. The dogs seem to fight it less.

                          Seriously, it's pretty darned difficult to bend a joint in a direction that it doesn't go. It would take an incredible amount of force to do that. I hope none of us would ever intentionally use that much force on an animal.

                          With difficult dogs, I do the nails with the dog standing, foot resting on the table. Takes some practice, but you'd be surprised how many difficult dogs will allow it without a fuss.

                          You don't have to "see" where the quick is. You should be able to feel it. If you're using a grinder, it's a little more difficult to feel for the quick, but it can be done. Personally, I find it much easier to slick the hair back to avoid catching it in the grinder if the leg is held forward instead of back. And if the leg is forward it all but eliminates the chance of accidentally touching the grinder to the pads, which is very painful for the dog, and can cause burns and/or abraisions.

                          When we do blood draws, we bring the leg forward. Many times, when scissoring front legs, we bring the leg forward. Especially on drop coats. Why should nail trimming be any different?

                          And I guess it bears mentioning; cats have the same bones and joints that dogs do. But we tend to hold the paw forward when trimming their nails. I don't think I've ever seen anyone turn their feet back. It doesn't seem to cause them any problems.

                          I don't think there is a "right" way to do nails. Do it in whatever way is comfortable and gets the job done safely.
                          Last edited by Helly; 04-23-10, 11:13 AM.


                          • #14
                            I would have to disagree with chuck about this being the "correct way" There is no ONE correct way. The correct way is the way that works for you and and dog. Hehe. I am way to short for that to be the correct way for me. I'd have to get a milk carton to stand on. Cool video though for those tall enough to use that technique.


                            • #15
                              So they bend both ways but not equally and how much is enough?

                              Dear Helly,

                              I know for you and accomplished groomers who know when to stop that the legs will bend forward but we are in the minority.

                              With over 100,000 groomers out there how many of them know when to stop? 10% that's 90,000 who will over bend in the wrong direction. I would rather them over bend in the direction that will not cause injury. So that is how I teach.

                              I have seen groomers lift the leg up over the shoulder instead of lifting the table up to them so it is easier they lift the dog’s legs up to them.

                              Seriously when teaching new groomers I prefer to err on the side of safety especially on small dogs because they are fragile and ligaments and tendons are stretched to the limit. I am sure new groomers have had the complaint that the dog came home and it started limping.

                              Oh my God what did you do to my dog?!

                              So I stand corrected but I also prefer to cut nails exactly like Marc.