Eliminating as much nail cutting stress as possible

I read www.turtlegardens.org blog every day. Yesterday there was a letter submitted and a comment about BBoy not liking his nails cut.
Faces of Turtle Gardens and dogs do have a sense of humour!
Boy, I could write a book on this topic. I don’t have to use my imagination to see BBoy curling his paw into hiding. P. Mollydawg will do the very same thing if I approach her that way. King & Duchess are cool about having their nails trimmed so I always do them first in her presence. She used to try to turn invisible and slink out of the room every time she saw the clippers. There’s no use in that because when I’ve decided I finally have time, there is nowhere for hiding from anyone. Having a second person in the room to provide cookies or special treats is a bonus because once you’re in the mode you don’t want to let go of your secure hold.
I’ve learned over time that the easiest on her is to stand directly over her straddling her. I can use my knees at her sides to hold her in place. Then I gently ask for a paw, (which she never gives me during these times) I pick one up while I use my elbow to hold her head facing the other direction. Yes, you may need contortionist skills at this point. I am actually dulling the sound of the clippers in the way her head gets buried into my arm. I know she flinches at each clip of her nails so this might help to alleviate some of that stress. With each time she’s stood still and let me do a toenail, I’m saying things like, “Good girl Molly. Daddy has cookies.” At which time daddy quickly offers a tiny piece of cheese or sliver of wiener to her. When a paw is done the treat is a bigger size which takes her a second or two longer to eat giving me an opportunity to change paws and stretch my back, reposition my legs to secure my by now slipping grip on her sides and begin the process for the next paw.

The clipping process for the back paws is exactly the same but facing the opposite direction. The difference is this time you have full mobility of both arms because you don’t need an elbow to hold her head and the second person is standing directly in front so she can NOT try to walk away. Thank goodness dogs only have four paws. Okay so there’s my version of nail clipping for a squeamish dog. I’ll try to get a video put up that shows the full process. I’ve only just finished doing all 12 paws so it’ll have to wait a bit. I’ll let you know when its up and running.
Happy Clipping 🙂

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