So Lincoln has never been a fan of others trimming his nails. Anybody could touch them and play with them, kiss them, massage them ... anything BUT trim them.

Last Sunday Lincoln went to PetSmart for his grooming and I gringed when I saw the lady working ... she is not that personable and has never been patient with Lincoln. The other groomers know him by name and just love on him giving him hugs and kisses. This lady is always quick to say that we don't play enough with his feet, he has issues, etc ... Well to make a long story short, she was the only one there to groom him.

We come back to pick him up and the dog trainer was in the grooming shop ... nobody else. He goes to get Lincoln and comes back out and says we MUST play with his feet more. We explain that we do and he never has issues with anybody playing with them he just dislikes the trim.

Everyday we have been trying to play with his feet but now Lincoln won't even let us near his paws. When we do finally touch them he just wiggles away and growls and sometimes even snaps at us going for our face. He has never done this before. We always used to "dance" with him and kiss his paws but he won't even let us near them whatsoever!

I want to know what that witchy lady did to our Lincoln to make him this traumatized? They all think we don't work enough with him when that isn't the case!

I am pissed off and don't know what to do because that non patient groomer obviously had a negative impact on Lincoln.

Suggestions?

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Comment by CaptainCorgi on June 15, 2008 at 12:43am
Okay first off, I dislikes some groomers so very much. Most are nice, but some are just...ugh. I sometimes wonder why they even wanted that job if they can't be patient or friendly to the animals.

By trim do you mean cutting the nails? Or the fluffy fur between the pads? I don't see why people trim the fur on the pads. It's there to protect their sensitive feet and if that fur is gone, it'll be like us walking with bare feet everywhere. Wouldn't it feel better to have fluffy slippers? :-) And the nails, when people cut a dog's nail, the pressure of the utensil being used squeezes the whole claw and in turn applies much pressure to the quick. It'll be like us having our finger squeezed. I don't blame dogs for not wanting their claws clipped.

It sounds to me like that lady scarred him. When we took our Eowyn to the groomers to get her claws clipped, it traumatized her. First off they said she had to wear a muzzle. That angered me because she would NEVER bite anyone. That freaked Eowyn out. Secondly, the people there are sometimes so impatient and rough with the animals. She kept slipping on the silvery table so the lady kept having to grab her and holding her firmly. We were quite a ways away and I looked over to the grooming window and all I could see was Eowyn looking at us with these sad eyes like "Help me." Never again. We took two of our Corgis to a groomers and both of them had problems after that.

Our foster Corgi would cry and whine when we tried to clip his after that. He wouldn't bite or anything, just struggle SO much that we couldn't even hold him. But in the end, he got use to only us doing them as did Eowyn. We are the only ones that can clip Eowyn's paws without her fussing. I worked a lot with her after that. Now she will stand and let me take on paw and clips all her nails like a good girl.

But that lady made it so chaotic and stressful in that grooming place when Eowyn was on the silver metallic tables because now Eowyn hates those things. I just think it's better if people trimmed their own dog's nails. I know I would never take Eowyn anywhere else.

Just keep working with your Corgi. Make him see that trimming the nails isn't so bad. Also a dog nail sander might help. It's a lot easier on the nails. I hope everything turns out okay, good luck!
Comment by Charlie on June 14, 2008 at 8:30pm
I think the peanut butter idea is a great thing to try if you insist on having a groomer or vet trim your dog's nails. I wouldn't let a relative stranger touch Charlie's nails. I do think that most people should learn to do there own dog's nails at home. Reason being is that there will never be the bond and trust established between your dog and any vet or groomer, that equals the bond and trust you have established with your own dog. If your dog is putting up quite a fight, that vet tech or groomer is likely to get frustrated and treat the dog too roughly, hurting the dog psycologically and if they cut the quick, causing physical pain. They shouldn't, but it obviously happens a lot.

Your dog trusts you not to harm him/her and can be conditioned that nail trimming may not be "fun", but it is something that is going to happen on a regular basis. Trimming at home, you can do one paw a day at first, stop if the dog is panicing, and try again later when you're both calm. You are the most likely person to be calm, and cautious not to cut into the quick. When treated gently and giving the dog a rest when he/she gets too scared, most any dog will realize fairly quickly that nail trimming done properly actually does not hurt. So it goes much faster with time and practice. They probably will never enjoy the process, but it has to be done for their paw health, so I would encourage people to learn how to do it at home.
Comment by Sylvia & Timmy on June 14, 2008 at 3:41pm
I think I better buy some stock in Jiff! What an awesome idea. I'll remember that for next time I have to do it. Thanks Tracy and Emmy
Comment by Tracie & Emmy on June 14, 2008 at 3:27pm
Just a suggestion, but it works miracles for me! Find a groomer (or vet) that will allow you to be present for the nail trim, and bring a jar of peanut butter. Yes, it's quite gross, but obviously you won't use that jar for your family... just save it for Lincoln's next nail trim. Emmy is not a fan of nail trims, but somehow with a jar of peanut butter to stick her face in it's not so bad after all. I had one groomer ask to muzzle her once because she was so naughty... now as long as she has her PB she is good as gold! Good luck!! :-)
Comment by Stephanie & Lola on June 14, 2008 at 3:15pm
I'm very sorry this happened!! I am in tears reading this because the same thing happened with my baby Lola :( They really traumatized her at the vet from cutting her nails. I used to cut them myself, but when I took her in they demanded they needed to cut her nails. I said no and he preceded to cut them anyways. Long story short, we don't go there anymore. I can't even touch my baby's paws without her pulling them away. She hides them under herself, but she has never growled or snapped at me. So I have avoided ever touching them, and just taking her for long walks on the cement to keep them as short as possible. Good luck with your Lincoln!! I hope everything turns out ok!
Comment by Lincoln is Corgilicious on June 14, 2008 at 3:09pm
I noticed that if we distract him first like rubbing his belly or playing with a toy and we touch his paws he is ok but if we stop and he realizes we are touching them he just kicks to get away.

Every other time we took him to PetSmart we get this great gal and she lets either Eric or I hold Lincoln to just talk into his ear and rub his belly while she trims and he is ok with it ... not great but ok. This lady doesn't even take the time to know Lincoln. She always asks who is this and what breed....HELLO he is a Corgi! He has been there several times and you are always here when we bring him in. She is just snotty in general and really rough around the edges.

I am afraid of taking him to any groomer now because of this ... I don't want to him to get traumatized anymore.
Comment by Kitty's Corner on June 14, 2008 at 1:17pm
I have had a tough time trimming Kitty`s nails,so, I took her to Petco and the girl trimming her lets me stand right there by her and pet and talk to her while the trimming is going on.It works great! Kitty is getting calmer about it and it doesnt take long.
Comment by Cindi on June 14, 2008 at 11:33am
Lincolns's Mom: I'm a PetSmart Trainer. It's is often the practice of the grooming staff to call me in if they have a difficult dog. And I can say that if I've seen a dog who is just going to be traumatized by the process, I'll call the session to an end and insist the dog be placed back in the kennel. Because I've worked closely with our grooming staff, they trust my judgment and I trust theirs. It is a wonderful relationship.

I'm sorry your precious Lincoln had the experience he did. It was wrong of them to continue. They should have called you and told you that Lincoln wasn't doing well with the nail trim. And even though it's standard for us to suggest playing with the paws more, I usually ASK instead of TELL customers. Many, like you, have no problem with paws, but your dog does when a nail trim comes around.

First, I would complain loudly to the Store Director. They cannot correct behavior of associates without knowing of problems. I hope he/she is as caring as ours is. Second, I would NEVER let that associate touch my dog again. If that person is the only one available, I'd walk away. Third, find a groomer your dog likes. I hope it's one of our finer PetSmart groomers. Fourth, bring Lincoln into the grooming area, but without doing a groom. While he's there have the groomers play with him and give him treats. That will start to heal the trauma for him. He'll begin to make positive associations with groomers. As for his nails, I would ask the groomer to dremel them instead of clip. It's possible that someone may have hit the quick while clipping and that's why he hates his nails done. The dremel files them easily and quickly. But, if he fights, insist that the nails are done one at a time with rest time inbetween.

I apologize that you had this experience at one of our stores. It's certainly not the way we want our associates to be. If you are proactive and speak with the store manager and are dissatisfied with the response, let me know and I'll get you information for managers further up the food chain. Good luck. And do take the time to desensitize Lincoln to the groomers again. It will be a big help.

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