I am almost at my wits' end trying to think of a way to clip her nails. We've tried regular clippers and the Pedipaw - she won't submit to either. She absolutely hates to get her nails clipped - she's okay with having her paws touched, but if you happen to touch a nail, she turns into a 65lb mass of muscle that will not succumb to anything. We've done the treat thing - meaning we touch a paw, she gets a treat, we touch a nail, she gets a treat ... as soon as she sees the clippers she's out of there. We try to stay calm and try to wait for her to relax, but she just freaks out. My BF (210 lbs) will literally wrap his entire body around her, while I try to get a nail clipped and she still manages to fight and scrap her way out of his hold. The other night we managed to get one nail clipped and it took as 45 minutes, both Aila, my BF and I were exhausted afterwards! I just don't know what to do - any suggestions would be a great help!
I would have the vet do it.
Or a local groomer. You would not believe how angelic mine are for the groomer.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Yes, I was thinking the vet or the local groomer as well and seeing if they have better luck. The lady that runs the daycare that she goes to tried to clip her claws and Aila was not very cooperative -- I'm thinking that she probably is too close to Aila and Aila acts like she acts around me and my BF.
The treat method doesn't work for Apollo. However, he LOVES Bully Sticks, so I give him the bully stick and he focuses all of his attention on that and I can easily clip all of his nails then. All other methods failed miserably besides having my husband hold him tight while I clip. That is still a battle and he's only 35 pounds!
i've cut the quick on my dog's nail in the past. after that, i had to very slowly build the trust back up with my dog when it came to nail trimming. from what you described, even the sight of the nail clippers gets a fearful reaction from your dog. the things you are doing are only setting you back with regards to your dog's trust in you. her instinct is to run away from the nail clippers, because she is afraid.
has she been hurt by the clippers in the past? if not, maybe the physical restraining effort itself is making her afraid of the clippers. physically forcing your dog to get near the nail clippers is only going to increase her fear of them. she has to find out for herself that the nail clippers are not harmful, and you can help her with patience and with repetition. your patience is not a matter of minutes or hours. because her fear is so strong, it will likely be days or weeks before you start to see a change in her behavior towards the nail clippers.
let her experience for herself the nail clippers are harmless, and turn the nail clippers into a thing that causes good things happen. there is no such thing as forcing another individual to like something they hate or fear, but you can help that individual discover for themselves that the thing is not so bad and not so scary. if you can repeat good things happening when the nail clippers are out, she will change her mind about them.
you'll have to work slowly. give her a peek at the nail clippers and toss her a favorite treat. go about your day as if it were no big deal. later, do the same thing. repeat. soon she will associate seeing the nail clippers with something good happening. when you notice she is no longer startled by the mere sight of the nail clippers, you can start putting the nail clippers down in plain sight and tossing a treat. that way, she will have full view of the clippers for a longer time and yet experience a good thing happening. repeat. after you increase the duration of having her just looking at the clippers without a bad reaction, work on distance. from far to near, let her find out they won't hurt her. eventually work your way up to getting her comfortable with the clippers touching her.
in your efforts, if you use physical means of forcing her to submit to what you want her to do, the fear will only get worse. she will continue to associate bad things happening to her when the clippers are out. some people believe that you have to "break" the dog, because the dog is being stubborn. the "breaker" has to be physically strong, and this method does not always work or only works temporarily. more importantly, great physical strength is nothing compared to the power of trust.
please do not let her fear and mistrust continue to increase, and please try to avoid cutting the quick or other bad thing happening to her where the clippers are involved.
work with your dog, not against her. gain her trust, and together, you can do anything, even trim nails.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford