Hi everyone. Ellie is a career changed service dog that is 10 mos. old. When we got her 2 weeks ago, it seemed like she never had any obedience training - but she's been progressing nicely with us.
I tried to trim her nails this weekend and she freaked out. It looks like her previous owners "removed" her dew claws (although the vet says its the worst he's ever seen).
1) Why would anyone remove dew claws.
2) Suggestions on making nail trimming as pleasant an experience as possible
I didn't want to make the situation worse, so I abandoned any attempts to trim. I've used both clippers and the dremmel to maintain nails (on previous dogs). With past dogs, treats were usually the clincher. This one, while very food motivated, wasn't so easily distracted.
Dominic & Ellie<br /><br />
You remove the dewclaws so they don't catch them on something, in the brush for example. But its supposed to be done in the first weeks after they are born.
Get her to lay down on her side and get used to you touching her feet everyday. While you are doing this give her a little bit of her kibble so she makes the association that this is a good thing. After doing this for about a week you can try and clip her nails, but you might only get one or two done a day. Thats ok only go at a pace that she will tolerate. Alot of people on the board use a dremel tool but I know that Oona would never go for that.
I'm confused.* Was the previous owner the breeder?* Dew claws must be removed around age of 3 days.* Anything later and it becomes major surgery. I certainly hope they didn't remove them as a older puppy.* *
Dew claw removal used to serve a purpose for those dogs that were working extensively in the field (to prevent them from getting broken or torn off in rough terrain).* Most dogs never see that type of work today so dew claw removal is more for astethetic purposes than for any other reason.* Some people don't like it when the dog jumps up on them and the dew claw scratches them.* Of course, if you keep the nails trimmed, they don't scratch anymore than the other nails do.* * I see dew claws removed on about 50% of the dogs I see.* Murray's dew claws were removed, Essy's aren't.
I would start by getting her to accept handling of her feet.* Touch a toe, feed her a treat.* Touch 2 toes, feed her a treat.* Hold her paw, feed her a treat, etc until you can touch every toe and every paw on each foot.* She needs to know this is a good thing.* I would also suggest trying to dremel her nails instead of clipping them.* Clipping compresses the nail which can be painful and could bring back bad memories for her.* She will need to get used to the sound of the dremel and the vibration on the nail but overall, it is a lot less traumatic for the dog.* Here is a great link about dremmeling.
When we got Maggie her nails needed trimming, but she was against us touching her feet. Once we started running, playing, exercising her, her nails took care of themselves. Although, we do have 5 acres for her to run on and hundreds of acres around we say she files them herself. Maybe you could run and play her on some playground or dirt and then on grassy area to clean them. That is what I have always done.
IMO it's worth it to take her to Petco or some other place that does grooming, let them be 'the bad guys'. you don't need another issue with a rescue. if you call around, you should find a place that lets you 'walk in' for about $8 per visit.
even a feisty nail-cut hater tends to get very docile around strangers & up on a grooming table, so it is pretty stress -free & quick
I use a dremel because with one of those, I don't have be concerned about cutting too short by mistake. I just gradually got him used to it, but Miles doesn't have any issues with handling anyway so nothing to overcome. Now, he's out running around enough his nails take care of themselves. I haven't dremelled in months!
Dom, that is bizarre that they would remove the dew claws later in life.
Just work with touching her feet. Make it a fun experience. Have her sniff the dremel and the clippers. Don't say "it's okay" because she will think that her behavior is okay. For now, I'd take her to the vet and let them do it and let them be the bad guy.
Kelly, puppies nails should be clipped now. When I was raising litters, I continuously clipped them from 3 weeks up.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
Maggie just went in for her first puppy visit and had her ears and nails done. Unfortunately 3 of her nails were right to the quick and when I got home there was blood dripping everywhere. I quickly placed her foot in some sugar water (something the vet told me that could get the quicks to clot faster) and applied some "Just About Pets" wound salve (natural homeopathic) to her poor toes. One of them opened up again later that afternoon but soon clotted back with some pressure.
If you drop your dog off to get nails done - make sure you ask them if they "got the quick" before you leave so you don't have the shock that I did.