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Lost Her Mind
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just got home from the vet. Everything went pretty well, until we asked them if they could trim Mojo's nails and paw fur. Whenever we try it he gets EXTREMELY angry... growls, tries to bite... demon dog.

Well... the vet tech BARELY had the clipper on his nail when he growled and tried to get her.

I told her we would do it ourselves at home, except he's like this. So then I thought... what about a muzzle?

I asked, and she said they have to muzzle a lot of dogs to trim their nails. Sometimes they even need to SEDATE them.

So... we tried on a couple different muzzles there, settled on one... Gary and I got down on the ground with him, he was lying on his side and she clipped all his nails and trimmed his fur. He was VERY good during it. A little whining but NOTHING like what I thought he would do.

Have any of you had to muzzle your dogs before? For any reason? I just... feel bad. Like... I'm being inhumane to him. But his nails NEED to get trimmed. They get long. And his fur NEEDS to be trimmed, because winter and snow are coming.

I just feel bad. :( We're going to look into buying one tomorrow.
 

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Tucker - Tanner - Cooper
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I am a vet tech and have been in the business for over 14years. It is not uncommon at all to have to muzzle or sedate dogs for nail trims. All kinds of diff. breeds and diff. sizes. One of the main things that we strive for is to cause less stress. Stressing them out during a procedure is only going to make matters worse. If you find that, that's what works for you then do it. Don't feel bad , it's not inhumane at all. You may find after awhile he may not need it at all.
 

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I use a nail grinder from the pet store and we always have to fill a kong with peanut butter to distract him while we're doing his nails. I think the clippers would be quicker, I just don't trust myself not to go to low and hurt him.
 

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Tucker is the only dog I have ever owned who has to be muzzled in order to grind his nails. He was traumatized by an idiot at Petco who tried to trim his nails when he was about 10 or 11 weeks old and had no idea what they were doing and scared him half to death by practically sitting on him to hold him down. (We went to the manager about that and ended up getting gift cards out of it.) Ever since then, he gets very defensive when he sees the Dremel coming out and nips quite a bit and his anxiety level soars through the roof. He is fine when he has the muzzle on because I am much calmer since I know that I'm not going to get bitten. They pick up on your emotions very easily, so if you are anxious, the dog is also going to be anxious. That is the only time we have to muzzle him, but he has gotten a lot better over the past few months and I have a feeling that we won't even need the muzzle much longer. He doesn't mind having his feet trimmed at all.

Our old GSD will sleep through a nail trimming.
 

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Scout a.k.a. "the screamer" screams when his nails are cut. I have never in my life had a dog go nuts when nails are being trimmed. Scout screams as if he is being killed.

They know him at the vet as the "screamer" and place him on his side in a body hold in order to trim. After they are trimmed...he is fine. But during the process he acts like he is being killed. It's horrible. The vet said sometimes they just really don't like it. He told me he is not getting hurt or in pain, he just really hates having the nail cut. We can't do it alone, it takes two people. I can hold his paws, pet, and trim fur. As soon as you got to clip his nails it's another story.

Don't feel bad...it's not you.
 

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Lost Her Mind
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone. I don't feel so bad anymore. We tried to use our neighbor's grinder one, but it scared them BOTH to death, so now we just use the regular clippers. We have quikstop right there too.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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You can work to slowly desensitize him to the process...

Quick tips here:

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/station/as-seen-on/57718382.html

The process is the same if you use clippers or a grinder. The trick is to find the point in the process where the dog is NOT reactive and work up from there. For some dogs, it's just the sight of you holding the tool - not even near them - that sends them running. If that's the case, let your dog see you pick it up from across the room and toss a treat to him. Work up from there.
 

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My Loo hates to have her nails done, no aggression, just plays hardball 'keep-a-way'.

Try these tips to see what he'll respond to...you want to turn around the aggression before he figures out that if it works for paws...it'll work for other things I don't like.

Smear P-nut butter on the fridge door :uhoh:. As he stands to lick it, touch his feet, massage his toes. That's it for night 1,2, & 3...or more if need be, until he's standing and calm for you.

Next step is laying the clippers on the floor by his feet with P-nut Butter on the door. You can try a high quality treat under a strip of duct tape on the door too, lol

You progress in teeny baby steps, and it sure is time consuming, but so very worth it. I'm up to one nail snipped on each paw before she finishes the peanut butter or gets under the tape. I need to get faster:p:
 

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Brady Aedan Finch and Wren
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My Faelan was fine with clippers but terrible with the grinder!! I absolutely dreaded doing his nails until I got a grooming table. If he is on the grooming table, he is a perfect gentleman .. without the noose or other restraint.

Towhee is also absolutely perfect when on the table.

My other dogs never had issues so it took a while for me to figure out raising them to a stable surface might help :)
 

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Gus is fine for the most part. It does take both my husband and I to do it. We sit down in the floor, roll Gus over on his back, and while one of us pets him and gives him belly rubs, the other one clips. Having him on his back makes it much easier to see the quick.

Charlie Brown takes a little more persuasion. When we roll him over on his back, all four of his legs go stiff and stick straight up :) After a few rubs he relaxes. But we still have to distract him the whole time by giving him little pieces of kibble while the other one clips.

And as for Ace...oh Ace. I don't think he's still even while he sleeps, so there's no hope for him. He can't quit wiggling long enough to do anything. Luckily when he was neutered, they did a complimentary nail clip. I think sedation would probably be the only way to get his done (how safe is that, to have them sedated whenever they need their nails done?).

Oh, the point of your post was the muzzle. One time when I took Gus to the vet, they made me put a muzzle on him. I was so embarrassed and worried. I guess he was just feeling crotchety because when the vet came in he growled and barked at her. He'd never done it before, and he's never done it since. I don't really have a biting issue with nail clipping, it's more a squirming thing.
 

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Moverking - you must have a really clean refrigerator!
Hey that was a pretty big leap for an OCD like me, lol.
BTW it's the garage fridge I do this to :scratchch
 

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Chantilly Goldens
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If it makes you feel safer to muzzle him then do it. You can't be afraid. Put the muzzle on and do correct him for that behaviour even if he is muzzled. I would grab him under the chin and give him a good shake "THATS ENOUGH". Work on it and do becarful when you trimming his nails, you don't want to go to short and hurt him. When your done and there is no more growling remove the muzzle and give him a cookie. I would give give him supreme heck for that behaviour. Not acceptable. Keep with it and he will get better in time.
 

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Don't feel bad. Riley turns into snarly, bitey boy when it's time for a nail trim, too. It got so bad with him that we couldn't even handle his feet, let alone clip nails, without a lot of attitude.

I followed some really great advice I got here, about desensitizing, and we're making great progress. I can handle his feet now, hold his feet, play with his nails and he doesn't care. We found with Riley that understanding and patience - a lot of patience - is the key. Correcting him, not so much.

For now, if you feel that you need to use a muzzle, I really don't see anything wrong with it. It's certainly not inhumane. You want to take as much stress (his and yours) out of the situation as possible and in the right situation, a muzzle can do that.

Just work at it a little bit everyday and have patience. It does get better.
 

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Nancy
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Maggie was pretty easy...one nail, one treat, one nail, one treat etc. My labX had to be muzzled just to brush her so nail clipping was a given. Hank doesn't seem too keen on it but I thinks it's more about being too young to sit still for long. We had a neighbor dog that had to be sedated. He'd bite and foam-at-the-mouth if they tried.
 

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chew chew chew
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ANYTIME I'm working with a dog and they either try something, or I think they might try something, I put a muzzle on them. It usually doesn't bother them and I can get whatever done without worry. Having been nailed a few times without warning I don't take a chance now. We have the muzzles there anyway and it almost always calms the dogs down a bit to have one on.

Lana
 

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Sully absolutely loves her nail tech at the local Petsmart. They know her by name because no other dog goes in, tries to help them at the counter, checks on the other dogs, jumps on the table, and holds out her paw. Then there is Scotty. It takes two to hold this 78 lbs baby. He lets them clips his nails, but doesn't enjoy it. My old Basset had to be drugged, muzzeled, and held by three of us. Suzy, my female Basset, was never a problem until she became the momma dog. She cries so much that I have to take two separate trips so she doesn't freak out Scotty. Good luck!
 

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This is a very timely topic for me! I'm very frustrated with my inability to clip more the 2 of Cooper's nails a day. And I swear there are some I haven't gotten in weeks and others that get it every time. Cooper is 4.5 months old and will totally let me play with his paws, but always thinks it's a game and is pretty squirmy. He doesn't mind when the nail clippers come out, but as soon as I focus in on one toe, he's squirming and nipping. (I did try a grinder and I can't get it anywhere near his toenail.) Right now, I take turns between nail trimming and hair trimming. The other 2 Goldens I had LOVED to be groomed, including hair & nail trim! I enjoyed that time so much. But now, I don't know whether to take him into the vet or petstore for a trim, to get a muzzle, or what? Maybe a muzzle and tying his paws together? :)
 

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I have to hold Dodger down while my friend, who is also my vet, clips his nails. This is partly because he is squirmy and partly because I'm terrified of the clippers and I don't like blood. He lays on his side and I hold his legs that are closest to the floor so he can't get up. He also has the pedi-paws dremel and will just sit there while I grind down the nails, but it takes forever.

When my friend/vet does her own dog's nails she puts a muzzle on him. I wouldn't feel bad about it.
 
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