Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Mani Pedi Time

I love a good spa day with a nice manicure and pedicure.  Unfortunately the dogs do not share my opinion with regards to having their nails trimmed.   I never really had a problem with Lucy because she was easily bought with treats.  She wasn't happy but tolerated it.  Riley has big thick black nails and he barely tolerated his nails being clipped.  A few years ago I switched to using the dremel and he is way more comfortable with that.  I combine the dremel with tasty treats and more importantly short tug games in between feet.  That really seems to work with him as it lets him reduce the stress before it causes him to resist. 

The first time I tried to clip Stella's nails she screamed bloody murder.  This was before I even got near the first nail!  She didn't even particularly like to have her feet touched.  Over the next few weeks we worked on touching her feet and rewarding and also tried randomly clip a toe but there was little improvement.  I then decided to switch to using the dremel and set about desensitizing her to the sound and vibrations.  We also began to work on her tolerating mild restraint with lots of rewards.  She was quite comfortable with both until I tried to move on to grinding her nails where she once again pitched a major fit.  Once I determined that she really wasn't scared (she would willingly take treats, would not hide etc.) I set about quietly waiting out the struggle (without letting her win) and rewarding when she became calm and then doing a short touch to the nail with the grinder before releasing.  I continued to do this every few days or so for the past few weeks and finally we are having good success this past week.  YEAH!!!!  The position that works best for us is to have Stella laying on hubby's legs on her back while he rubs her belly and feeds treats while I grind the nails.  Now when we finish she doesn't want to leave the position lol.  She still has a way to go before she will be one of those dogs that will sleep through a nail grinding session but I am super pleased with our progress.  We will continue to do this 2-3 times per week for now until she is indifferent to having it done.


  1. Glad to hear Stella is starting to 'enjoy' her pawdicure. I have been doing both Bodi's & Tunder's nails. When they were little, all the pups were great with nails, then Green (Bentley) turned into a bear & was almost uncontrollable but the others were still fine. Now Bodi screams, struggles & pants even when I am doing nothing other than holding a paw or toe. Tunder struggles at first & then is mainly quiet & fine. Most Vizslas just hate having their feet handled & their nails trimmed.

  2. Ha Ha! I can SO picture this. :-) "The position that works best for us is to have Stella laying on hubby's legs on her back while he rubs her belly and feeds treats while I grind the nails." I guess I need to enlist a helper. :-)