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I hear this whenever I mention to someone that he needs his nails trimmed (I have this habit of critiquing my own grooming whenever I get a compliment about how nice he's groomed and taken care of).

I almost invariably get told that I should let him run and play on hard surfaces like the sidewalk or the black top on the playground. I usually don't because I've also heard doing that is bad on a dog's joints (not so great on human's either, but we can wear shoes to absorb a lot of the shock, paw pads are more for traction than shock absorbing)

So I wonder, is it really true? If so, is it true only for bigger dogs?
 

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Ive always known it to be true that dogs nails will be worn down some by walking on hard surfaces, the same as horse's and goat's hooves will be worn down some walking on rough surfaces, and rabbits teeth will be worn down some by chewing on things .. but it doesn't replace nail clipping :)
 

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I have no grass in my yard. It's just a large deck and concrete. I also live in suburbia, so the dog's get walked on pavement/concrete ( :( ). One is 85lbs and the other is ~28lbs. Both need to get their nails dremeled regularly or they will start 'clicking' when walking on tiled floors. So no, in my experience walking on rough surfaces doesn't keep the nails short (at least not short enough imo).
 

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Truth. Only nails I make an effort to trim are dewclaws. Unless I see one of the nails is getting really obnoxious I let the blacktop wear her nails down.
 

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Fact.

I rarely have to trim Kaki's nail. What I don't understand is her dew claws. I can't remember the last time I trimmed them and they are at a perfect length.

The daycare I used to work in had a gigantic concrete area as our "yard". It used to be a parking lot. The dogs would wear down their nails playing on it. Dogs that really got running frequently quicked themselves. A quicked nail from the yard happened at least once a week.
 

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So some yes and some say no. With that, do you think I should take my Wheaten Terrier out for a run, say about 1/2-1 hour on a paved surface?
 

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Truth although I can't say it's just hard surfaces. I live on a farm & my dogs are working on natural ground 90% of the time. My Great Pyranees boys never had their nails trimmed in their lives. In fact they'd clip them themselves by nibbling just a fraction from the quick. My handlers who are city dwellers who jog/run or do very long walks on a regular basis for exercise take their dogs & none of them trim nails either unless a dog has dew claws they don't maintain on their own. My collie in her advanced years has stopped trimming her dewclaws so I have to nip them now & again.

The only nails we trim on a regular basis is on our mini-mice dogs whose exercise jungle involves tough surfaces like green grass & the COUCH or bed.

I like my dogs to wear their nails down as I know they're getting enough milage to be active & healthy.
 

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I guess I'm in the minority here. I'm probably a little crazy about nail length though, I prefer not being able to hear the nails clicking against the kitchen floor. Also, the dogs don't run much on the concrete. The walks range from 30-90min at a time, but it's a brisk walk for me/trot for the dogs. If I'm going to have them running I take them to a nearby baseball field. I don't like Pig running on hard surfaces (she's 6 months). So her flat out running is restricted to grassy areas or carpeting.
 

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You could train Wally to "dig" at an emery board. It's basically a wooden plank with sandpaper-type material taped to it. I know I saw a better description of it somewhere, but I can't find it. It's something you would have to make, not buy.
 

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Depends on the dog and the surface. "Hard" isn't the key IMO, it's how abrasive the surface is. For example, Pip is rarely walked on a leash, we go to the dog park where the well-worn trails are hard-packed dirt. It does jack-all for his nails and he needs them trimmed regularly. Maisy and Squash are walked regularly on sidewalks and paved trails, and their rear nails in particular are kept worn to a good length. I sometimes have to trim their front nails, but I can't remember the last time I trimmed their rear nails.

Now, in the winter it will change as the sidewalks get covered with snow - even with shoveling, the sidewalks are very rarely 100% clear of a thin layer of packed snow which is hard but does absolutely nothing for their nails. I like to let them get a little longer in the winter, anyway, like doggie yak trax.

But I also don't think going out and running around on the sidewalk for a couple of hours is going to be as useful as, say, walking on the same surface every day. It's the repetitive motion that wears the nails down.
 

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I dont really encourage a lot of running or jogging on hard surfaces, because of their joints. It's more like they 'slide out' on the concrete driveway. I throw the ball just a little ways down the drive, they scramble and slide to get it and usually cut across the lawn to bring it back to me.
 

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Does it make a difference in the replies if the dog has light or dark nails? I think that would contribute a little...? Dark nails tend to be much tougher.

I think it would take a LOT of activity on concrete to wear Bella's nails down - I have to change the dremel sander quite often - and I'm not sure that much time/workout on concrete (stone, asphalt etc) would be good for her joints or pads.
 

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I say true. I run my sled dogs on a dirt/partial gravel trail in the fall and I never trim their nails. I actually let them grow out a bit near the end of summer so they will have some extra nail to wear down when we start fall training.
The sled dogs get trimmed in the summer and sometimes in the winter though and the pets get trimmed regularly.
 

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I never had to trim Willow's nails until she got old, ill, and inactive. She was such a blur, a retrieving fool in her younger days, I wonder that she had any nails at all! Most of her retrieving was on hard, packed dirt trails and fields, but she got a lot of sidewalk walks too. Good girl, after all those years of not being conditioned to clipping, she's very cooperative.
 

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I never had to trim Willow's nails until she got old, ill, and inactive. She was such a blur, a retrieving fool in her younger days, I wonder that she had any nails at all! Most of her retrieving was on hard, packed dirt trails and fields, but she got a lot of sidewalk walks too. Good girl, after all those years of not being conditioned to clipping, she's very cooperative.
Same with Rocky. His nails only got long in his later years. Unfortunately, he was afraid of nail trimming by that time, so I just let it go. good for Willow for letting you do it!
 

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True. My 27-pound Border Collie (?) mutt hasn't needed her nails trimmed in over a year because of our daily 3-mile walks (walks! not runs.) However, you should consider your dog's overall health before undertaking a sudden fetch-on-pavement or running program.
 

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Overall health, yes. She's a almost 10 mo. old Wheaten and seems to be fine, probably next month when the weather cools I'll start taking her out with me. It's mostly asphalt, a little concrete. Maybe for 10-15 min to start and we'll go from there.
 
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