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Dogs/tries to bark and bite


I have a 6 lb Yorkie that is a rescue, we've had her about a year, and the vet thinks she's about 3 years old - when I take her to get her nails trimmed it's EXTREMELY traumatic for her.  they have to put a muzzle on and she jerks around, and tries to bark and bite, which is not like her at all - she NEEDS to have her nails trimmed about once a month, but it's SO traumatic that I hesitate to bring her, how can I make this situation better?

If her nails are very long right now, take her to the vet have him put her out and cut them to the right length while she is sleeping.  After that here is what you need to do.

First:  Have you tried to let Petsmart or a groomer use a dremmel instead of a nail trimmer?  If not you can try that.

But here is what I want you to do.  I want you to wait till she is in a deep sleep and start to touch her nails as often as you can.  All I want you to do is take a nail clipper (small cat one) and just touch the nail.  She will wake up immediately and be startled.  You will then praise her like she just saved your life and give her a treat.  Do this as often as you can every day.  Just one nail at a time.  Just a touch.  When she finally stops reacting wildly, I want you to lay your hand on her foot and pet it letting your hand go forward over her nails.  Do this for about a week.

While you are doing this, I want you to take a cat nail trimmer and learn on a calm dog how to trim nails.  I want you to learn to just take the VERY TIPPY TIP OFF.  When you have learned this,  get a mild tranquilizer from the vet and give a half to your dog.  When she is in a deep sleep, very carefully (without touching the nail) position the clipper over the very tip of the nail.  Go slow you can do it.  When you have it in place.  Snip just the end off.  She will wake up startled again.  You will praise her again like she just saved your life and treat her.  Remember the barest tip of the nail should be removed at this time.

If you do one nail per day this way, eventually you will be able to do all her nails without her being afraid.  Don't let anyone hold her down anymore and do her nails.  That is NOT the way to build her confidence back up because she feels trapped.  Remember groomers etc, are expected to do quantity and don't have hours to spend on one dog.  You have evenings while you watch a TV show or are reading with her sleeping next to you.  Use that time to be training your dog as well as relaxing.


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Nancy Perry


You can ask me anything on dog training, dog breeding, dog grooming. What type of dog you should get. Pertinent facts about different breeds. I am also specifically knowledgeable about terriers and the diets that help maintain coat excellence. I have trained and helped owners train their dogs.


I have worked in dog training for 35 years. I have been a dog groomer for 25 years..

Certified trainer with Petsmart Certified Groomer with Petsmart

Past/Present Clients
approximatedly 2 to three hundred clients since 1993

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