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Knife Swallower
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6,783 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've started dreading doing Ranger's nails. We went a year with no issues at all; he was great getting his nails done and I was happy to do them. Then I got a little hubristic and wanted his nails shorter so he wouldn't click on the floor and I got too close to a quick twice in a row.

Well, since then we've had minor issues. He now tries to pull his paws away when I'm clipping which resulted in me actually quicking him last time. He bled and I was upset with myself. Since then, I've really disliked doing his nails as I seem to have lost my confidence.

I've spent the last few weeks trying to take little bits off at a time, but I swear his nails are growing faster than what I clip. So today, I decided we'd do a little nail trimming session. I smeared some peanut butter on a lid and we went outside where he laid down in the grass with his eyes closed.

I took little tiny bits off his nails, more than I usually do, until I couldn't take little tiny bits off anymore. After each cut, I let him lick the peanut butter and gently put his head back on the grass. I didn't pick up any paws, but cut them while they rested on the grass. It really, really worked and then finally I couldn't do anymore little pieces and didn't want to ruin it by taking off a huge chunk and maybe getting too close to a quick. His nails are pretty well trimmed, still longer than I'd like (ironically, longer than they were when I started my "his nails need to be shorter" process that blew up in my face) but at least we BOTH had a calming, quiet, relaxing nail session.

Oh and if anyone is wondering why I don't just take him to a groomer or to a vet's to get his nails done, it's because he's not "bad" about it and I don't want someone taking a chunk off and then making him touchy about getting his paws touched by people. His nails are super thick, all black, and he seems to have longer quicks than normal. I'm going to attempt to dremel them this week, but thought I'd take off what I could with the clippers first.

Just wanted to share my success story!
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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7,057 Posts
More success......good for you guys. I just bought a dremel on Saturday. I did Reno's nails with it on the weekend (that went well) but haven't attempted Austin's or Lincoln's yet....that could be entertaining!!!
 

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Knife Swallower
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6,783 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I was contemplating running to Canadian Tire and buying a cordless dremel but my dad said he had one...I guess I'll see how loud it is. Ranger isn't a fan of loud noises but he seems to be getting better. This peanut butter on a lid trick is amazing. Ranger will put up with anything for it!

How did you find the dremel? How do you know when to stop?
 

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Captain JONAthan Toews
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947 Posts
I wish I had confidence to do Jonas nails. He will give me his paws if I ask for them or I can just do them when he is lying on my lap pooped out but I'm too scared that I will cut more than what I should. People tell me that it's where his nail starts to get pink but his nails are almost all black and I have had a hard time finding the quick
 

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Knife Swallower
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6,783 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yes, that's the same problem with Ranger! His nails are all black and THICK. I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb for black nails is not cutting past where the nail "arches" in profile. I followed that rule then tried to go a little shorter and that's what caused all my issues. Here are his nails back when they were "short" - You can kind of see the arch...I wish his nails were that short again.

Geez, I can't believe I ever had his nails that short. His nails are definitely longer now, even with trimming sessions twice a month. I guess all the walking on sidewalks we did really wore them down, too.
 

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Love your success story!! The more often you do it, the shorter the nails will get. You'll get to where you want to be soon!

I absolutely HATE black nails. I quick more nails that are black than I care to count. Usually the dogs are still under anesthesia so we don't have many issues and they don't remember! ;) I pray that my pup's nails are more white than black!

Don't waste your time with a PediPaws. Get the real deal from the hardware store. Beware- the dremel gets hot and some dogs don't like the heat so kind of treat the nail like an egg shell. Don't keep the dremel on any area for very long- so you won't crack the shell so to speak. Bad analogy, I know! But don't leave the dremel in one spot too long and just like nail clippers- don't do too much. There is such a thing!
 

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Knife Swallower
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6,783 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
CarolinaCasey - I was trying to do it little bits at a time at least once a week and that's when I hit the quick. He seemed much fussier with me doing that often than if I do it once every 2 weeks or so. I can't seem to find the line between doing it often enough that the quick recedes and doing it so much I a) hit the quick or b) get a fussy dog.

I just checked his nails and I think I could take off more and get them looking like the nails in his pic, but I know he'd fuss and cry out. Argh. I'm hoping the dremel will help me get his nails shorter.

I did find this link to be really handy about cutting nails, especially black nails. This is the first time I've done black nails! I also use the scissors since Ranger's nails are too thick for the guillotine type:

http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/dog_claws.aspx
 

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We've had a lot of success with the dremel. Jack isn't a huge fan of it but I can usually do 2 feet on one day and 2 the next. On the grooming table is much easier, but I don't always feel like getting it out just for that. We have a corded dremel and although I'm sure a cordless is easier, we weren't going to buy a new one. Someone posted a link to a site that gave step by step instructions on how to use the dremel. Ah, found it! Here it is: http://homepages.udayton.edu/~merensjp/doberdawn/dremel/dremel.html
 

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Knife Swallower
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Discussion Starter #10
Ooh wow, that's a great link, goldenjackpuppy! Tons of info! She lost me a bit when she was describing how to trim after she did the bottom and vertical sanding, but I think I get the gist of it. The pantyhose is a great idea, too! Thanks!
 

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Kim & Flora
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6,104 Posts
I got a cordless dremel about 2 weeks ago and it's a dream. I think it's relatively quiet. Flora kind of eyeballed it for a few minutes before settling down and letting me do my thing. I would definitely recommend a dremel. This comes from someone who cut her dog's quick so badly that she spent half her day wiping up blood stains around the house. :(
 
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