Archives for the day Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Nail trim the doggie’s way

 In the previous entry titled “Bonding with your dogs while grooming;brushing teeth,clipping nails,brushing“,I wrote that we
are responsible to teach our dogs what they need to do when paws,muzzles
etc were handled by not just us but also by vet or groomers. You need to
teach them how to respond when they are being handed by the
vets,groomers or us from early time.

 There, I have written how our dog “Palette” got to learn about nail trimming.

 Nail trimming is important, and nail needs to be trimmed on regular basis. If you do not trim the nail on regular base, the quick,which is the blood vessel that runs in the nail, gets grow longer as the nails gets grow longer.

 It is a time to clip your dog’s nail when you start hearing “click,click click” when they walk on the surface.

 Before start clipping or grinding your dog’s nail, it is better to recognize how much you can grind your dog’s nail by checking the quick in the nail.

 Also,
it is important to keep the styptic powder near you in case you have
accidentally cut the quick. If you did cut the quick, apply the styptic powder on the tip of the nail,and it will stop the bleeding.

 In a pinch, you can use cornstarch or flour.

 To recap, following is how I did for Palette getting used to being handled paws and nail trimming.

Paw handling practice..

 Whenever you are
petting them, keep treats near you, and even if you had no reasons to
exam / touch those sensitive areas, touch them short period of time
(start with very very short second,not holding the paw,just touch.), praise them big, give them treats.
Start with one touch one small lentil sized treats.
 

 Then,if she were
okay,meaning if she did not pull her paw away from my approaching hand
touch, I then started holding one paw one second, and kept doing that
over and over with lots of praise and lots of yummy treats.

 Then, one
second hold were comfortable enough for Palette, I held her paw for a
little longer and praised her and repeated over and over again.

 And when she was
okay with longer paw hold, I started touching her nail with clipper.
Just touch the nail, click the clicker (Palette is clicker trained),
give treats. When she started to not making any flinch when I touch her
nail with clipper,I started clipping her nails on my own.

 Clipping nail does
not have to be all nail done in one time. First couple of times,I just
clipped one nail, praised her very big  following yummy treats and nice
lovable massage,and called it done for the day.

 The nail clipper I loved using is scissor style clipper,and it is called “Miller’s forge” and it is with orange handle. The clipper cuts the nail nicely without cracking the nail.

 With clipper, it is best for you to clip in one fast motion,rather than going slowly to squeeze the handle to clip your dog’s nail. If you go slow motion clip, nail gets pressed,and can split/crack your dog’s nail too. And, for dogs, it is probably painful with slow cut motion.

Miller’s Forge Nail clipper..

 However,later,I find that Palette does better with dremel rather than the clipper. I wonder she likes it better because she does not feel the pressure on the nail itself with Dremel.

 The Dremel I use for Palette is called “Dremel Mini Mite 4.8V cordless model 750 with two speed”, and tip of the tool is rotary tool with the sandpaper on. It is rechargeable, and you do not have to buy AA buttery with this one. Because bottom part can come off, and just place it to charger and stick it to the outlet and it will be re-charged.

 I think the Dremel grinds your dog’s nail to smooth touch, and no sharp cut edge is left. I have been using this tool for more than 2 years, and I like it.

 ** Do not keep touching the running Dremel too long on the nail. It gets hot and uncomfortable for your dogs.

Dremel Mini Mite 4.8V cordless model 750 with two speed..

 Some people worry whether your dogs’ paw fur gets caught while using the Dremel, but don’t worry. You can just cut off old pantyhose and,let your dog wear it on their paw and,push the nail through. That way,fur will be kept away from the nail and,it is easy to grind nail without fur on the nail get caught.

 On the talk of fur above nails, trimming the fur between the paws are important too. If the fur between the paws got so long, it gets them loose traction with surface they will be running/walking on,and especially on slippery surface like wooden floor, it is dangerous.

 You can ask groomers to trim the fur between the paw,and I have found out that you can ask them to trim the fur above the nails as well.

 For socialization purpose, we take Palette to Petsmart, where she can enjoy sniffing stuff on shelves (she loves to take me to kitty adoption place first,and sniff them out and usually take me to cat food area and walk around the place.), meeting new people and furriends, once a month or so, and when we go there, we also drop by groomer’s so her furs between the paws get trimmed nicely.

 I do Dremel her nail at home but,I cannot grind nail as short as I wish to be able to on my own, so I take her there and ask for grind the nail, trim the fur between the paw, and trim the fur on the nails.

 With recent trip to Petsmart, we were told that we could add 15 minutes Furminator treatment, and we usually say “No” to add-ons, but since we wanted to make the experience there would finish with something she loves (Furminator), we  asked for the Furminator treatment to be added.

 I know she loves to be Furminated and, it gets her sleepy and yawn, so it must have been very “feel good” experience at the end. She was sitting on the grooming table, tongue hanging out with big grin and, she was enjoying the experience to her heart content. With nail grind,fur trim between the paws, fur trim on the nail, and Furminator 15 minutes long was $17.00. I think it is not that bad price.

Getting used to Dremel for nail trim..

 With
Palette, to let her used to Dremel,I have started with touch with dremel (off),
hold paws and touch nail with dremel (off), turn the dremel on and touch
one nail and do just one nail…

  Step by step, baby
step by baby step, I worked with her on this and, woo hoo, we can now
do all paws with dremel (When I was working on getting her used to
Dremel and just dremel one nail, other nails were clipped with clipper) .
I am glad for her and it seems she does better with dremel rather than
clipper. It took time for us to come to this point, though.

 I came across youtube video that teach you how to clip/grind your dog’s nail. I do not let Palette belly up for nail trim, but I think it is good tutorial video on nail trimming.

How to train your dogs to be relaxed for nail trimming..


If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch the video.

 Recently, I came across another interesting method to trim your dog’s nail. It is basically teaching your dogs to scratch the wooden board that has sandpaper on, and let your dogs trim their own nail.

 According to shirleychong website, hree is how you can make the nail trimmer board.

1.Find a board size of 10″x 24″,and cover it with the slip proof tape or sandpaper on board

2.Teach your dogs to file their nail on your own (Teach them to scratch the board)

 Reading the article,I thought that this is interesting idea and, it may works for some dogs. When you think about it, Dremel’s tip is basically a tool that has sandpaper attached around and rotate. So, as an idea, it is the same thing.

 What I am not so sure about is that,when dogs scratch the board, the paw pad right under the nail would not be scraped against the sandpaper along with nail,and get cut. I will have to make one for Palette and see how it does for her nail.

 To visit shirely chong’s website for Dog nail file, please click here.

 Meanwhile, I noticed that there are a few videos that show you how to teach your dogs to trim their own nail with the sandpaper board.

 Bellow is the youtube video that shows you how to teach your dogs to scratch the sandpaper board with clicker training. You can see how the lady is teaching her Bernie the Corgi for this nail trimmer.

 She is clicker training her Corgi “Bernie”, with the method “shaping”.

What is shaping?

 Shaping is the training method where you will be the observer and click and reward your dog when they did something close to whatever you were trying to teach them. Then, gradually, the dogs would learn new behavior on their own.

 In  this case, the lady clicked clicker when Bernie has touched the board with paw. This is her first step to figure out what her mom wants her to do.

 Then, she has experimented to move her paw,and that is where her mom clicked the clicker next.

Shaping dogs to file their own nail..

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch the video.

 Eventually, dogs would learn to trim their own nail like Koji the Shiba Inu bellow in his youtube video bellow.

Dog Nail Filing board with Koji the Shiba Inu..

If you are a blog subscriber or reading from facebook,please click here to watch the video.

 We will try this Nail trimming board and see how it does with Palette. I see many people asking about how they can teach their dogs to file their own back legs. But I think that walking daily seems to help keep the back paw nails short.

 We go for walk daily and,back paw nails rarely need to be trimmed.It is always be the front paw nails that need to be trimmed more.

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Aug 02, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized