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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,

I have a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix. For years I have been trimming the hair between her paw pads and around her nails with a small scissors with rounded ends. I trim her nails with a dremmel tool. It's a breeze on her front paws, but she is very ticklish on the back paws! This whole procedure takes nearly 1 1/2 hours and I do it twice per month. There has to be an easier way! LOL I have an Oster Golden A5 clipper with a 10 1/2 mm and a 7F blades. Would either of these blades work well for getting this hair off her feet or is there a better blade specifically designed for the hair on the bottom of her paws? I just thought if I could use a clippers it would go much faster. I didn't have her as a pup, otherwise I would have tried to desensitize her to this ticklish problem. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Lisa
 

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The clipper is just fine for the bottoms of the feet..but the 10 blade is not ideal. Easy to cut the skin, and doesn't cut very close. I prefer a 40 blade, but a 30 is ok too. When you start to trim the top of the foot and around the nails, (the blunt end shears are not ideal, as you need that point, but also a nice short shear) brush with a slicker brush, all the hair on the top of the foot up and towards the leg. Then use your fingers to pull up any hair that is between the toes as well. Then just scissor off, brush again and get the rest of the scragglies, and then you can scissor around the nails if you prefer (I prefer...lol) This should only take a few minutes...I can do all 4 feet and nails in 10 minutes..but I am a pro..half hour tops for a non pro I would think. Don't fight her if she is wiggly...Many times its not ticklish...its just misbehaving..Many dogs are worse for either front or back paws. Its not necessarily tickles...she just doesn't like it. Have you tried teaching her to lay down, and doing the feet while she is laying on her side? Many times, it is uncomfortable for some dogs to lift the rear feet (esp if you are lifting them or moving them in a way that is not in the normal range of movement for the dog). And there is no reason she cannot be desensitized to any of it now, pup or not. Teach her acceptable behavior/movement, and non acceptable. :) You can teach an old dog new tricks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Graco22,

Thank you so much for the reply. I just bought a #40 blade off ebay after reading your post.

I do have my Bella lay on her side while grooming her feet. It seems she is ticklish and the reason it takes so long to groom her is she is constantly doing what seems like this hard, involuntary kick back of her rear leg and paw when I try and groom only the back paws. It's maddening and I am constantly grabbing her foot and starting again. (That's why it takes me so long.) I've tried rubbing her feet and putting my fingers between the pads, etc. to try and desensitize. I also break up her dog treats and give her small pieces along the way to try and make it a fun experience, to no avail. I have no problems with the front paws, just this constant kicking of the back legs. That's why I use the rounded end scissors because I'm so afraid she'll puncture her paw if she kicked into the scissors. I'm really hoping the #40 blade with the clippers makes this a faster process. (I did try the #10 and like you said, it didn't do the job at all.)

Thank you again! I sure appreciate your help.

Lisa
 

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Sometimes when you wiggle the hair in the pads (especially the back feet) it does send a "tickle" of sorts and make the dog kick back. To minimize that, use the clipper, and hold the foot FIRMLY. Cup the top of the foot in the palm of your hand when clipping, and use a good amount of pressure while clipping it out. The "gentler" you are, the more ticklish it is. That may take practice for a newbie with clippers, but it will help. Cockers are famous for this...and I have had many of them kick the clipper right out of my hand..lol
 

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All of my Shepherds really do seem extremely ticklish in the back feet. They're generally very good, but when I'm trimming the center of their pads, they ALL kick their feet. The outer edges by the toenails) are fine for them, but they'll kick when I start doing the middle
 

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I have a really tiny clipper that you can use corded or cordless. You can find them on the web. They are great for clipping between pads. The blade is only about an inch wide.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm a little behind on getting back to this thread, but just wanted to say thank you for all the replies and tips, especially to you, Graco as your tips really helped me out. I received the blade and groomed my Bella's feet with it for the first time last week. It knocked 30 minutes off my usual time! As I get more used to using it, I hope to cut the time down even more. Thanks again for all the help!

Blessings,
Lisa
 
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