Nail Trimming 101

Everyone is aware of how difficult it can be to trim the nails of an aggressive dog, but, nevertheless, it must be done.

The first thing to do is to apply a muzzle to the dog to prevent injury. Make sure the muzzle is on securely, for the dog will surely struggle during the procedure.

Next, make the animal lie down on its side, facing away from you. This may require some effort, but it is necessary to enable you to subdue the dog. Lean over the animal, using your arm to block his head.

The next step is to acclimatize your pet to the felling of his paw being touched and manipulated. Trimming a dog’s nail is not a painful procedure, so you must remember that you are doing nothing to hurt the animal, and all the fear is a product of doggy imagination.

Gently manipulate his toes to get him used to the feeling. When he becomes accepting of this action, you may progress to the actual clipping.

Most nail trimmings can be accomplished using a Dremel tool, but, if your dog is particularly aggressive during the process, it stands to reason that you have put off the procedure for a long time, allowing his nails to grow to a length which will require the use of nail clippers.

Clip the first nail. If the dog remains relatively calm, go on to the next. If he becomes agitated, go back to the toe manipulation to re-acclimatize him to the procedure.

Throughout the procedure, remind yourself that nothing you are doing is actually hurting your pet, although it may not seem that way. You dog may fight you at every step of the way, twisting and turning as he tries to escape your grasp.

Maintain control at all times. His last resort will be to release a series of growls. This may be the part where most owners give up. But if you do this, your dog will learn from your behavior, and may be even more difficult to deal with at your next attempt.

Lots of touching to desensitize the animal, and constant reinforcement of his good behavior will make the procedure go much more smoothly.

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