How to get your dog to allow you to cut their nails?

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Stephanie: How do you get your dog to allow you to cut their nails?
ok so my dog who is a mini dachshund wont let me cut her nails no matter what i do...i tried the treat trick for like 6 months and i didnt get anywhere closer to being able to cut her nails as soon as i would get the nail trimmer anywhere near her paw she would cry or bite...i have had to have my little brother hold her while i cut her nails and now she wont let me go anywhere near her nails and when i do she starts really crying so does this hurt her or something?? i dont understand and her nails are getting way way too long and they need cut bad and she wont let me...HELP please!!! and if you are gonna get on here and just tell me how its all my fault and blah blah blah then please dont post because i have tried other methods...THEY DONT WORK!! and i have also read a lot about ppl having problems with this type of dog and grooming so idk...any suggestions?
cut dog nails
Photo Credit: OH Snap! Julie McGraw Photography/Flickr

Answers and Views:

Answer by Chin T
Get someone to hold her for you and don't take any if ands or buts about it from her. Eventually she may not need to be held, and she will put up less of a fight if you do no give into to her. But many dogs never get to the stage of holding out their paws for you to cut their nails without some help.

Answer by Alexa

Mine is a total nightmare about having her nails done so I feel for you, I really do. Because my dogs nails are black and I cant see the quick she has to get them done at the vets and they muzzle her to cut them while I hold her. I hold and stroke her paws when I cuddle her in the evenings so that she wont get paw shy but theres not much else you can do for a dog that hates it that much. When you do her back paws kneel on the ground in front of her, hold her under your arm and pull the paw under her belly to cut it so she cant see what you are doing, it seems to be easier that way. You could also try blindfolding her when you do it so that she cant see it happening. Sometimes that calms mine down.

Answer by Felidire ♂

Just make a scratch board for it, grab a block of wood and nail durable sand paper to it, then teach it to scratch it for a reward…. Or better yet, just buy one that is good quality.
You can take him for long walks on pavement to file down his nails, if you walk enough then his nails will get smaller, the quick will recede.

I don't know if that dog has had bad (painful) nail-clipping experiences in the past, but you need to teach it that "the nail clipper is a good thing" and get it comfortable with you handling its paws.
If all you've been trying to do is hold the paw, clip a nail, give a food treat – then that's WRONG WRONG WRONG – and it's most likely the reason why you haven't made any progress.

You place the clipper on the floor and reward the dog for taking an interest in it or sniffing it, then looking away.
Then you ask for their paw and reward them for putting their paw in your hand.
Then you get them used to the feeling of you moving their paw around (your thumb moving their toes.) and reward them for behaving.
Then you can tap their nails with the end of the clipper and reward them for not panicking.
THEN, you can attempt clipping their nails.
Every dog is different, so you really need to figure out how your dog works, and then come up with a method molded specifically for that dog.

Answer by SSGT TANK in reply to Felidire ♂
what are you smokin??

Read all the answers in the comments. Know better? Leave your own answer!

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  1. julie rieger says

    My pit bull goes crazy also. The vet says he is the WORST she has ever seen. He screams and fights. The first three times, he came back with only two paws clipped, and the other two feet had to wait because they couldn't control him. That is when I started taking him to the vet instead of the groomer. Now the vet sedates him first. it helps a lot! He still cries and tries to get away, but the vet, an assistant, myself, and my 290lb boyfriend hold him as still as possible. I sing to him and distract him with snapping my fingers. It helps A LOT, because the snapping noise from the clippers seems to really set him off. When I snap, he sort of gets used to the sound and then the vet just clips quickly and tries to get the job done as efficiently as possible. Sort of crazy , but whatever works!

  2. devie says

    My dog reacted the same way as yours. Sometimes having someone else do it for you like a friend or Vet while you step out of the room can help. It's kind of like the child misbehaving with the parent but as soon as someone else comes in and takes over; the child is on his/her best behavior.

    I just pay the $ 10 for the Vet to do it for me.

  3. DeeDawg says

    just DO IT. the bottom line is that the dog sees that when she puts up a fuss, you stop.
    you need to ignore her fussing. muzzle her if need be, and have someone else hold her while you do it. keep a really smelly treat handy, and if need be, give her some after EVERY toe. liver works well, especially boiled livers.
    a dog will find after a while that a dinner of boiled livers is worth the trouble of getting her nails trimmed, but it is up to YOU to do this often, and not give in to her fussing and crying.
    trim only a tiny bit off the nail every time, so you don't quick her, and so you will be able to practice with her. also, every few days, have someone hold her and just pretend like you are clipping her nails while you feed her something tasty. practice makes perfect, and after a while, she will become complacent.
    my dogs have come to love having their paws done- granted, i've raised them from pups and have done (or pretended to) them every week, but they really look forward to the treats.

  4. nose says

    get a big towel and wrap the dog very snuggly, like a swaddled baby, so he can not move ... time is over to be nice, and it is time to get the job done ... get someone to hold him in the towel and pull one paw free ... if the dog is crying ignore it ... if the dog is biting, throw another towel over his face ... if the claws have grown a bit, just take the very tip off and do it every single week or two until you can not hear them when he walks on a wood or smooth floor ... you have to be calm and to the point, no matter what noises the dog makes, keep going ... you are not torturing the dog, an ingrown nail will be much more painful than having the nails clipped ... but be sure to only do the tips as the quick may have grown close to the end of the nail ... if you hit that quick even once, the dog may never let you do it and you will need a professional ... even having a professional do it a few times is a good idea too ...

  5. Zombie says

    That a little wrong it their natural defence I swear by the rate we are going dogs are going to evolve in to cowards aka civilized like most people.

  6. ♥Stephanie&he says

    Being the owner of a mini-dachshund myself =] I can relate to this issue. He absolutely HATES getting his nails trimmed! I have used 3 different kinds of nail clippers. I recently got a pedi-paw, but I find that with him , that's not the greatest solution either because that's more time consuming than just regular dog clippers.

    My only advice to you , is just what I do. Although he continues to HATE getting it done , the fact is , is that it needs to be. I have my husband hold him , and all we do is just KEEP talking to him while we are cutting his nails , re-assuring him that he is ok , and that were almost done, and so on and so forth , this method does seem to calm him down some . But he is still not a fan of the clippers!

    Sorry that I couldn't be of much help , but this is yet the only solution that i have found with him that seems to have worked some. My other dogs (chihuahuas) don't react this badly to the clippers but Buddee ( my dachshund ) sure does! Maybe it's a Dachshund thing! LOL

    ~Hope this helps you!~ =]

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