Sensitive legs and paws
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Puptart's Avatar
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    Sensitive legs and paws

    Okay, so today I tried to trim Taz's nails and well... let's just say it ended with Taz crying and whining and pushing away every chance he got This isn't the first time this is happened but I remember the first time I trimmed his nails he did just fine. So I put the clippers away, calmed him down and tried to figure out what was wrong (I hadn't even gotten to trim his nails). I played with his paws and legs a bit, you know just rotating and pushing and he absolutely hates it.

    Now Taz is a Boxer/Chihuahua mix. His mother was a Chihuahua and his father a Boxer or a Boxer mix. The only reason I know what his and Gizmo's mother was is because she gave birth in my grandfather's garage around Thanksgiving weekend of last year. They had seen a stray Chihuahua go in and out of the garage and was quite fat. And then a couple of days after she's not so fat and still going in and out of the garage and several weeks later my grandpa finds two little pups on his doorstep. Taz and Gizmo.

    Anyway this is Taz:



    As you can see he has very long front legs. And when he walks he has a bit of an awkward gait. His legs don't seem to bother him at any other time except for when you handle them. I was wondering if its just him not wanting to be touched there or if theres a possibilty it could be something else?

    Here's a couple other pic to show kinda what I mean about his front legs being long:





    At the present we can't really afford a trip to the vets, but I was wondering is there something I could do to get Taz to let me handle his legs and paws? Or any kind of massages I could do?
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  3. #2
    Senior Member lil_fuzzy's Avatar
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    Re: Sensitive legs and paws

    This is one of the not quite 4 month old puppies right? (very cute btw) That is lucky, because it's so much easier to get puppies used to handling than adult dogs.

    You should be handling your puppies every day. Put them on your lap, cradle them, touch them all over. Give treats when they are calm. Don't ever put them down while they are squirming or whinging or being silly. They need to learn that if they are calm, they get put down.

    For handling their feet, start by touching their legs in a place where they don't mind it so much. Give the legs a gentle rub. If they struggle, back off a little bit, but don't let go of the leg. You don't want to teach them that squirming and silliness gets them anywhere. Just hold still until the puppy stops being silly. Then praise, give a treat and continue. Or alternatively, let them down when they are calm and continue later.

    You should get to the point where they lie limp in your lap while you run your hand over the legs and toes, inbetween the toes, touching the nails etc. You should also touch their lips, gently open their mouths, look inside their ears, run your hand the length of their tail.

    And remember, never put the puppy down while it's squirming and struggling, only when it goes limp.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Puptart's Avatar
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    Re: Sensitive legs and paws

    Quote Originally Posted by lil_fuzzy View Post
    This is one of the not quite 4 month old puppies right? (very cute btw) That is lucky, because it's so much easier to get puppies used to handling than adult dogs.

    You should be handling your puppies every day. Put them on your lap, cradle them, touch them all over. Give treats when they are calm. Don't ever put them down while they are squirming or whinging or being silly. They need to learn that if they are calm, they get put down.

    For handling their feet, start by touching their legs in a place where they don't mind it so much. Give the legs a gentle rub. If they struggle, back off a little bit, but don't let go of the leg. You don't want to teach them that squirming and silliness gets them anywhere. Just hold still until the puppy stops being silly. Then praise, give a treat and continue. Or alternatively, let them down when they are calm and continue later.

    You should get to the point where they lie limp in your lap while you run your hand over the legs and toes, inbetween the toes, touching the nails etc. You should also touch their lips, gently open their mouths, look inside their ears, run your hand the length of their tail.

    And remember, never put the puppy down while it's squirming and struggling, only when it goes limp.
    Thank you so much for the tips. I tried doing what you said this morning and amazingly he let me touch his legs ans paws with minimum wiggling.
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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: Sensitive legs and paws

    With one of my dogs that hated her paws being touched, and refused to let me touch her nails with a nail clipper, I did as recommended above. When I could handle all of her paws easily, then I help a nail clipper, and would rub her paws with the hand holding it, and say "touch". then treat. Then when that was ok, I'd hold a paw, and say "touch" and touch it to the nail, then treat. Then do it to each nail, treating when calm. Then each nail on a different foot. (I wouldn't do all of the feet in one sitting. I might just do it to one paw, and take a break, and do it again later on.) Then I would say "touch" and put the nail in the clipping part, making sure if she moved, it wasn't snug enough to tug on her nail or hurt her. Then treat. Repeat, until you can do that to each nail. Then on another day, do it and after she is ok, then clip the very tip of the nail, and treat/praise. Later on, do another nail.

    It's really important that you don't drag out the sessions so she gets antsy. You want to keep them short and frequent, and always end on a good note. It even more important that you make absolutely sure you don't "quick" her (clip too much nail, so it gets the nerve and hurts). You want to prove it is painless, and hurting her will set you back. Always clip too little. You can always do more later. I go by texture a lot when clipping. Start pretty far away from where you think you should be. Then, if the nail texture is hard, you can do a little more. When the inside is not brittle, and is a little more soft/chaulky, quit. On light colored nails you can sometimes see the quick through them. But don't get too close with clippers, because they do kind of pinch the nail and if you are really close, it will hurt.

    It took me about a week to desensitize my dog to it, doing about 3 sessions a day. Now she is perfectly fine with it. I did find that using a cue type word, helped her to know what to expect.
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    Senior Member Puptart's Avatar
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    Re: Sensitive legs and paws

    Quote Originally Posted by Puptart View Post
    Thank you so much for the tips. I tried doing what you said this morning and amazingly he let me touch his legs ans paws with minimum wiggling.
    Sill havent gotten to the nail clipping yet, but hey, im sure we will get there. I'm handling his legs and paws more.
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