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  • Can't trim nails

    I have a handful of dogs whose nails I cannot trim (the majority are Yorkies). In fact I have one coming in today. They are are small dogs, but they go so crazy if I try to trim the nails that I'm afraid they are going to hurt themselves. I attempt to humanely restrain them both with the GH and my body but they still go nuts. I've tried both the clippers as well as the Dremmel and it doesn't make a difference. I've tried having the owner hold the dog and no dice. So I've resolved to the fact that I just can't do the nails and they need to go to a vet to have them done where they can either be restrained by the vet and vet techs (I work alone) or sedated.

    How many of you have some dogs whose nails you just can't trim? I also don't discount the prices because of this....most of the time I'm doing 10x the amount of work TRYING to get it done than if the dog would let me.

  • #2
    I, like you, work alone too. And sometimes we gotta get creative with the wild willies. Most of my Yorkies are very fidgity with their nails, these smaller dogs I often hold while I'm clipping. It takes practice, but it's very do-able. Sometimes I've found the ones that are wild hate to be restrained, so these in particular I put in a specific hold - kinda football like (non biters only) - bring the foot up with your opposite hand and clip with the other. Your right arm (if you're right handed) will be under their chin - don't let them see the clipper (does that makes sense?) Sometimes it helps them to put their back feet on the table while I trim the front - still keeping the clipper out of sight as much as possible. I figure I have 2 minutes or less to do nails on the wild ones, so snip, snip, snip - carefully, but quickly. Don't chase them around the table either, just grab (firm, but not forcefully) and go. Now if it's a biter, it's different, but still do-able to a certain extent. Biters in my shop just get basic trims, nothing fancy. So far I've never had to send a dog away who is nutso about having their nails done. Practice with the holds, and see if it helps. Maybe someone else has better tips. Don't feel bad about sending them to the Vet though either, but you may feel less frustrated if you can get some nails conquered on those wild ones.

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    • #3
      You should also try doing the nails as soon as you get the dog. Don't wait till after the bath and shave. Do it right away and they seem to be a little more tollerant. You can also try putting them in a sling on the LIPS. That helps too. mummy wrap them in a big towel and pull out one foot at a time and have the owner hold them.
      If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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      • #4
        I have one that I can't do. And guess what? She's a yorkie. Isn't it frustrating to a groomer that we can't get the toenails done on a tiny little yorkie? Her name is Gretta. She comes in every week for fft. Milhasavilla's advice to you was really right on the money. Most dogs can be done this way. But then there's Gretta. The day she spewed blood from her nose was the day I said I will never try and do this to her again.

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        • #5
          If only we didn't have to trim nails

          Our jobs would be so much easier. Many, many a dog that is a doll for grooming would bite on nails. I've come to believe that there is a bit of a pinch feel for them even if not quicked.

          On little ones I've learned to hold them in my lap, sort of gently using my legs. Then I don't ever have the body pulling against me holding the leg that can slip those little bones out of joint so easily. I learned that long ago at a Poodle kennel, mostly toy's bred, and one sure didn't want to take a chance on a slipped patella.

          But I agree, if you can't do it, don't. Injuries could happen. If they wiggle too much and you can't get the foot still, then quicking is likely, which will hurt and then they will be even worse. I do one very difficult dementiaed Cocker that the first time I went to groom her, the owner said, "Oh Don't Bother with the Nails, We Take Her to the Vets for That". I suppose my sigh of relief was audible.
          Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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          • #6
            yes i do believe they can feel the pressure of the nail clippers on the nail...for me that would be uncomfortable as well! i would just stick with dremmeling...but if you cannot do that...maybe try a football hold and do the dremmel on a low setting? this way your not risking quicking the nail as your not going to clip too much off...the dog just pulls their foot away from the dremmel. i know my 70 lb dog goes NUTS for nail clippers...but with work i was able to train him on accepting the dremmel. now that i dont work at a grooming salon anymore its a bit more difficult as i dont have a table i can set him on...but we manage it...last time he decided to act up...got a firm talking too and a knock it off its getting done too bad so sad...he accepted it. before he would literally SHAKE...now he just accepts it and lets me do it...and when its all over i go YAY!!! that wasnt so bad now was it! and he gets a biscuit and alls done and forgotten. i do think sometimes the dogs arent used to the noise or the feel of the dremmel on the nail...but with work they will learn to accept it.
            JMO
            Hound

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            • #7
              I hold them in a "football" position sometimes, but I'm also careful about not holding too tight, though the little buggers aren't really strong enough to push away, we are strong enough to do damage.

              I often hold them under my arm like a football facing AWAY from me, or I'm facing one way and the dog is facing the other. The dog is under my left arm, and I pull the little foot back farrier style and clip that way. That is how I have to clip Spike's nails, he's the biggest bugger of all my buggers. What a brat! I will also hook them up to the GH AND hold them football style, head away from me, and clip the nails farrier style.

              Hope this helps---I don't have any dog's whose nails (so far, knock on wood), I haven't been able to do. When I was brand new, there were a good number of them, but I learned some techniques from other groomers.

              Tammy in Utah
              Groomers Helper Affiliate

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              • #8
                I hold them , still attached to the grooming pole, so the noose is holding their head away from me, in a semi football hold and they "freeze" then I can do the nails.
                If you have someone to help you can pat the top of their head quickly, it seems to distract them! I swear it works!

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                • #9
                  We have about 3 here who I absolutely cannot do. 2 large dogs where it becomes too dangerous, and one small dog who starts bleeding from his nose he gets so upset. So those 3 I won't even try anymore.

                  For the small guys, wrapping them tightly in a large towel works pretty well. They can't squirm very much or hurt themselves and after a moment of wiggling, they usually realize they can't get away from the evil groomer.

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                  • #10
                    I do the football position sometimes too. I have also just held them in my arms and done it. I think they feel a little bit more secure. It does take some practice, but once I have done it a lot, it becomes easier.
                    Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                    • #11
                      Ahhhhh that is how you all call it .... "FOOTBALL HOLD"....That is a good way to beable to explain it.

                      For me I use My corded dremmel to do large to med. dogs and I have a cordless (baby) dremmel that I use on the smaller dogs. It is much quieter then the corded one and the sanding drums are smaller.
                      I did try once upon a time the digital dremmel... But.... In my hands it didnt last very long. and I didnt like the feel of it in My hands.

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                      • #12
                        Try doing them in the tub after you have bathed them. Drape a towel over their back and rub them a few minutes then do the nails(just the front ones!)
                        I do the rear ones on the table.

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                        • #13
                          When people tell me they can't cut their dogs toenails, I always ask "Is it a Lab or a Yorkie?". 9 times out of 10 it's one or the other. LOL!!

                          If I have a large dog, any breed, I always clip the nails in the tub while I'm towel drying. Yes... I go through a lot of nail clippers because they rust, but I've found it to be much easier to do it that way. They are still distracted from that whole bathing experience, and the nails are a little softer too. Yorkies get their nails trimmed immediately following the bath, while wrapped up in a towel. I use a cat nail clipper on yorkies and it works great.

                          I have a few dogs, both big and small, that go home without their nails trimmed. Some dogs are just near impossible, and I'm the only person in the shop so there is nobody to help "hold". I've found that most owners are pretty much worthless in the holding department. I don't charge any less. I give it my all, but if the dog won't let me do it, he just won't let me do it. I have 2 Newfies that won't let me near their feet, and the owner told me from the very beginning not to bother trying. So I don't. (although I DID try the first time I groomed them... and the owner was right) Their teeth are bigger then my head, and I would like to keep my head because I might someday need it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by baddog View Post
                            I hold them , still attached to the grooming pole, so the noose is holding their head away from me, in a semi football hold and they "freeze" then I can do the nails.
                            If you have someone to help you can pat the top of their head quickly, it seems to distract them! I swear it works!
                            That's something we do at the vets office, but not just because it's a distraction, but I do believe it has something to do with a release of endorphines, but I could be wrong.

                            Tammy in Utah
                            Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                            • #15
                              I don't do nails in the tub because if a dog is going to act up, that is usually when it will show its true colors---I'd rather have it hooked up to the Groomers Helper when I find out fido isn't happy about nail trims, lol.

                              Tammy in Utah
                              Groomers Helper Affiliate

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