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I took her to a groomer and she went so crazy that they couldn't finish her nails. I took her home and cut her nails once - it took all my force to hold her down (I'm 5'10 200 lb bodybuilder). Today, we tried again and it was even worse. She got so aggressive towards my fiancee that she was scared to death


We're giving her treats after cutting every single nail but she still hates it. I don't know what I can do. I'm so embarassed to take her to the vet


Should I just have her wear a muzzle and take her to the vet? I am afraid I'm damaging my relationship with her by forcing her to cut her nails. My dog is very friendly - I've never seen her show an ounce of aggression towards anybody or anything outside of this nails problem.
 

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If you are on Facebook. I would suggest that you join two different groups. This one is a "read only" group, meaning that nobody can make new posts, but they have a large library of files that can be quite helpful Facebook Groups The second one isn't nail specific, but there is a lot of discussion about nails. Facebook Groups

Instead of holding her down and forcing her, it's better to work on conditioning her to having her feet handled and her nails trimmed. Also, using what is called a scratch board (basically sandpaper on a piece of wood or PVC pipe) can help keep at least the front nails in check. If they are seriously overgrown and causing problems, then having your vet trim them under heavy sedation or anesthesia is also an option.

There is a really good book about cooperative care that you can buy on Amazon Cooperative Care: Seven Steps to Stress-Free Husbandry: Jones Ph.D., Deborah: 9780578423135: Amazon.com: Books The author is the person who runs the cooperative care group on FB.

There is an online class for general cooperative care coming up in August, and one specific to nails in October. You can find more info about them here. Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - Deborah Jones
 
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If you are on Facebook. I would suggest that you join two different groups. This one is a "read only" group, meaning that nobody can make new posts, but they have a large library of files that can be quite helpful Facebook Groups The second one isn't nail specific, but there is a lot of discussion about nails. Facebook Groups

Instead of holding her down and forcing her, it's better to work on conditioning her to having her feet handled and her nails trimmed. Also, using what is called a scratch board (basically sandpaper on a piece of wood or PVC pipe) can help keep at least the front nails in check. If they are seriously overgrown and causing problems, then having your vet trim them under heavy sedation or anesthesia is also an option.

There is a really good book about cooperative care that you can buy on Amazon Cooperative Care: Seven Steps to Stress-Free Husbandry: Jones Ph.D., Deborah: 9780578423135: Amazon.com: Books The author is the person who runs the cooperative care group on FB.

There is an online class for general cooperative care coming up in August, and one specific to nails in October. You can find more info about them here. Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - Deborah Jones

my fiancee is so traumatized now that she just wants the vet to do it but then should I put a muzzle on her?

will this hurt her or make her more aggressive?
 

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I was about to recommend the same book that LeoRose did. I thought I got it as a free ebook download but then realized that was another puppy book, and I bought the cooperative care one. It's a pdf so I read it on my PC. For a girl like yours it would be really worth taking the time to go through all the steps, and since she's already so anti-nail cutting, you might want to consider aiming for a Dremel in this training.
 

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P.S. The vet and sedation may be a solution while you're training a better way yourself, but I don't think having your dog sedated regularly is good for her and I doubt it will make her love the vet.
 

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my fiancee is so traumatized now that she just wants the vet to do it but then should I put a muzzle on her?

will this hurt her or make her more aggressive?
Muzzle training would be a good idea, regardless. With heavy sedation or anesthesia, she wouldn't need a muzzle, but as storyist points out, it's not something that I would do routinely, just if they are causing problems.
 

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For now, yes, take her to a vet- they know how to muzzle the dog and do it in the least stressful way. Perhaps try some muzzle training first, though.
But to work up to doing it at home, start by just getting her comfortable with seeing the clippers. Then work up to just touching or holding her paws while the clippers are on the floor, then to tapping her paw with the clipper. Then putting the clipper on her toes as if you're going to clip, putting a little pressure on it- but don't clip yet. Slowly work up to where you can clip one nail, then two, etc. Never force the dog to stay or restrain them, that will make them more scared (as I'm sure you're aware). And reward them every step of the way (you pick up her paw, she gets a treat. You touch the clipper to her paw, she gets a treat. Etc.)

It took my dog about 3 months to finally get used to getting her nails done- we "practiced" twice a week. It's so worth it to be able to do it at home, I'd encourage you to do it.

Have you tried switching to using a dremel (nail grinder)? It's especially helpful for black-nailed dogs, because you are less likely to cut the quick. And sometimes, if the dog has a bad association with clippers, switching to a dremel helps because you're starting from scratch. It's basically the same process for acclimating, but you have to add an extra step for getting used to the noise.
 

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For now, yes, take her to a vet- they know how to muzzle the dog and do it in the least stressful way.
You obviously deal with vets more experienced in handling than I ever had. The few times I had a rescue that needed muzzling at the vet, I was the one who got to put it on. Everyone else was afraid to get near a growling Rottweiler.
 

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You obviously deal with vets more experienced in handling than I ever had. The few times I had a rescue that needed muzzling at the vet, I was the one who got to put it on. Everyone else was afraid to get near a growling Rottweiler.
Really? That's unfortunate. I guess I've been more lucky with vets than I realized.
 

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You obviously deal with vets more experienced in handling than I ever had. The few times I had a rescue that needed muzzling at the vet, I was the one who got to put it on. Everyone else was afraid to get near a growling Rottweiler.
should I or can I put my own muzzle on my pup?

my pitbull is about 60 lbs of all muscle already (she'll be 80+ when she's fully grown) and so I'm guessing they might be scared to get near her
 

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my pitbull is about 60 lbs of all muscle already (she'll be 80+ when she's fully grown) and so I'm guessing they might be scared to get near her
Are you asking if you should walk into the vet with a muzzled dog? Hasn't she been to the vet before? Was she difficult to handle or did she need muzzling just for exam and things like vaccination? Unless she was, I wouldn't muzzle her in anticipation of trouble. I've seen dogs behave pretty well and when muzzled because some vet was scared, they started sounding like they'd eat you. Making them feel vulnerable eliminated their inhibitions and brought it on. A vet can sedate her with a shot and never provoke her resistance to nail trimming.

Of course in these Covid times you can't walk into most vets, so if a vet is the route you've decided to take, discuss the best way to handle it via phone first.

Better yet, reconsider taking sometime and doing some conditioning work with her yourself. Leave your fiancee out of it and do it yourself.
 

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should I or can I put my own muzzle on my pup?

my pitbull is about 60 lbs of all muscle already (she'll be 80+ when she's fully grown) and so I'm guessing they might be scared to get near her
Talk with the vet before you go. They may want to do it, but if they say you should do it, then yes, muzzle your dog. Although you shouldn't just walk over with a muzzle and put it on her face, you can definitely acclimate her to it over a few training sessions. Look up muzzle acclimation/training.
 

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Are you asking if you should walk into the vet with a muzzled dog? Hasn't she been to the vet before? Was she difficult to handle or did she need muzzling just for exam and things like vaccination? Unless she was, I wouldn't muzzle her in anticipation of trouble. I've seen dogs behave pretty well and when muzzled because some vet was scared, they started sounding like they'd eat you. Making them feel vulnerable eliminated their inhibitions and brought it on. A vet can sedate her with a shot and never provoke her resistance to nail trimming.

Of course in these Covid times you can't walk into most vets, so if a vet is the route you've decided to take, discuss the best way to handle it via phone first.

Better yet, reconsider taking sometime and doing some conditioning work with her yourself. Leave your fiancee out of it and do it yourself.

she never ever shows an ounce of aggression outside of these damn nails cutting


last time, she showed a lot of aggression with the vets while nail cutting also and so I'm super embarassed
 

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she never ever shows an ounce of aggression outside of these damn nails cutting


last time, she showed a lot of aggression with the vets while nail cutting also and so I'm super embarassed
I'm sure the vet gets it. I have met probably only one dog in my life who didn't get aggressive with nail trims. (except for ones that had already spent extensive time on desensitization/ cooperative care training) And that god probably would have let someone swing him by his tail, he was just that okay with everything. Dogs are very protective of their feet- they're not used to being pet there (that's another thing you can do- just practice holding her paw while you give a belly rub) and it's a very important part of their body to them, they can't do much without them. 99% of dogs will learn to accept nail trims eventually, if patiently trained.
 

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I'm sure the vet gets it. I have met probably only one dog in my life who didn't get aggressive with nail trims. (except for ones that had already spent extensive time on desensitization/ cooperative care training) And that god probably would have let someone swing him by his tail, he was just that okay with everything. Dogs are very protective of their feet- they're not used to being pet there (that's another thing you can do- just practice holding her paw while you give a belly rub) and it's a very important part of their body to them, they can't do much without them. 99% of dogs will learn to accept nail trims eventually, if patiently trained.

ok I will try
 

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I don't know about your vet but at my vet once you muzzle a dog for anything the dog is then required to always wear a muzzle. Honestly? I don't blame the vet. They need their hands for delicate surgeries and a bad dog bite could end their career.

I have never had an issue with nail trims. Lots of different dogs. I treat it like a do a horse (which is a lot more dangerous).

The dog may not like it much but they "get it" and we do it. This, much like recall, is not up for discussion and I am no nonsense and CALM in my approach. No words!! Silence can help a LOT.

They are not allowed to snatch a foot away from me either. So.. first I train the sit.. then I train feet handling (all positive with clicker markers and rewards and I say NOTHING) and we do a LOT of that. When that is all solid, we introduce the dremel tool.. make a positive association with all that and, in the end put it together.

For back feet the dog is facing to the side and I put the hind foot on my shin.. forward and to the side sort of under the dog's belly and trim away with the dremel just like a dub off the hind foot of a horse after a trim/shoes (and yes, I have shod my own horse).
 

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Again the OP is gone - again.
 
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