My young Bouvier, Atle, has the triple threat of dog nails: black, stout, and surrounded by lots of hair. Regular nail trimming is not a task I relish, yet the importance of trimming nails can't be underestimated. Left untended, long nails can splinter or break off, affect your dog's gait, and cause orthopedic issues and pain. Although ultra-critical for performance dogs, proper foot care is required for the health and well-being of all dogs couch potato or agility star.
According to trainer M. Shirley Chong, the easiest way to trim a dog’s nails is to have dogs trim their own nails. Chong says, “It’s easy! Find a board about 8-12 inches wide (the wider the dog, the wider the nail file needs to be) and about 24-36 inches long. At a hardware store, get some of the stick-on tape that is used on wooden steps to make them slip-proof. It’s rough, like extremely coarse sandpaper, and the adhesive lasts through anything. Cover the board with the slip-proof tape. You could also use sandpaper. The most important thing is to make sure the edges of the sandpaper are firmly glued down because otherwise the dog will peel it up. The adhesive used on the slip-proof tape won’t budge for anything. You now have a giant nail file for dogs!
Determine the location of touch your dog can tolerate without reacting fearfully or aggressively. Perhaps it’s her shoulder, perhaps her elbow, or maybe her knee. She should be a little worried, but not growl or try to move away. This is called the threshold. With your dog on-leash, touch her briefly and gently at threshold. The instant your dog notices the touch, start feeding bits of chicken, non-stop. After a second or two, remove the touch and stop feeding chicken.
I adopted my greyhounds, Cleo and Ramses, from Personalized Greyhounds in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania on April 11, 2009. In May of 2009 Ramses was running in the backyard and tore one of his toenails off in the grass. The quick was exposed and it was bleeding profusely. The vet sedated him and then trimmed and wrapped his foot and prescribed an antibiotic. After several months the nail cap began to grow back, but as soon as it did it was scaly and immediately sloughed off. The quick was no longer raw so it didn’t bother him.
then brushing once or twice on those areas that he was least sensitive about (the top of his head and back of his neck).
Over the next few weeks I worked up to brushing his back
It’s really a safe and simple procedure; one that most dog owners can easily learn to perform on their dogs. I have done it to my own dogs since I was a little kid. So it never ceases to amaze me when I ask my training classes how many owners clip their own dogs’ toenails and an average of only one out of eight raise their hands. That means the other seven either neglect this important procedure, or spend hundreds of dollars over a dog’s lifetime to pay someone else to do it.