Flash is almost 5 months old now and he absolutely REFUSES to let us trim his nails. We've been trying ever since we got him (in May) and have seemingly tried everything. Our trainer tried, our groomer tried, and our vet tried, yet no one seems to be able to help us. We've tried distracting him with the kong and peanut butter, we've tried catching him during a lazy time, we've tried holding him down as best we can, but he thrashes like none other and I really think he may twist his paws or break a bone or something during these ordeals. His claws are getting extremely long, and we are DESPERATE for help! We're to the point of asking the vet for some kind of sedative or something, because it is getting ridiculous. Please help!

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This is a serious problem with Molly. She HATES it--it's probably the only thing on earth that she hates. She is banned from all nail trimming from groomers because she bites--it's the only time she will bite someone. My advice is to keep trying and hope that he learns to tolerate it--otherwise this will be a life-long problem. Maybe your vet will have some advice.
Maybe try another treat, that he may like better than peanut butter. I would think there is something out there that may grab his attention. Good Luck, I hope you can figure something out.
like maybe a dog biscuit of some kind......broken into small pieces. Try a nail a day so he doesnt get so stressed at one time and builds his confidence up?
Try holding his feet without trimming every time, let him get used to you touching his feet, a little bribe will help, your dog will be able to read your moves as well, so don't do your usual routine, try to catch them off guard. Positive reinforcement works the best.
Owen is the same way (with brushing or any other grooming at this point). I get a towel, put on my lap, take a kong with that nasty kong stuffing stuff that he LOVES and hold it in my knees. This all has to be after a walk and after he has calmed a bit. Then I put him on my lap with him laying on my legs. He gets very focused on food and goes for the kong. I just have to be very quick (we have only done this once so we'll see if he lets me again). I do this right now for brushing and anything else (like examining his ear after my parents cat thwomped him on the head) that he wouldn't normally stay still for. I'm starting now at 11 weeks and hopefully in a year he will be a little more adjusted.
It’s a good thing theres so much concrete in the city. Bailey's nails naturally file themselves down on our daily walks. I haven't trimmed his nails since he was 10 weeks old, and he's now 6 months. That's also a bad thing I suppose - if I ever do have to trim them oneday - he'll wonder what the heck!. Try his favorite treat, lots of break time and praise. He probably wont take to it fast, but over time it should desensitize him.

I have friends who has a big dog and he's terrified of having his nails cut. He actually takes his dog to the vet, have the dog put under anesthesia JUST for a nail trim. It's ridiculously expensive though - ~$300.

Good luck!
I use a Dremel to grind down my dog's nails. I put him on his back on my lap during the process so that I can have more control. I introduced it to him when he was 5 months old (he's 7 months old now). He tolerates it just fine - usually he hates having his feet touched in any manner. He sometimes thrashes, but eventually resigns and lets me file away. Initially he freaked out when I introduced him to the Dremel for the first time and thrashed incessantly, but after a few sessions, he didn't care anymore. I use the cordless Dremel...I understand there is a pet version, but I just have the tool for normal purposes. It works great!
Hi Heather,

We had the same problem with Mikko - I read up on all of the wonderful suggestions on this site, and unfortunately none of them worked! We literally tried everything and were VERY patient with him. We would give him his most favorite treats, but when he even saw the clippers, he'd run and hide under the couch. I don't even know why, because we had not yet clipped his nails - maybe he was traumatized from the breeder? Anyway, over the course of several weeks, he still wouldn't let us near his paws. His nails were getting SO long, we just had to clip them, whatever it took. I wouldn't endorse this method for the average situation, but if you're at the point where you need to put your dog under anesthesia, this can be considered the last resort next to that. So my husband and I just tag-teamed him and pinned him down and clipped the nails as fast as we could. Mikko still hated it and made a big fuss and at first he cried (which broke my heart!), but he did calm down so we could finish and he seemed to bounce back quickly afterwards. We just tried to talk to him with soothing tones and give him treats during the process to try to bring some positive association into the experience. I realize it's not the best method, and doesn't exactly fall in the "nonviolent" category, but obviously it's for the dog's best interests and sometimes you just have to do what works for you and your dog without totally traumatizing him.

Good luck!
when neeka was a puppy i swaddled her back legs while i did her front legs and vise versa. to keep her from scratching me and flipping around, she has givin me a fat lip thrashing around when i was trying to cut her nails. i touch her paws ALOT, a coupel times a day and its gotten easier, now i sit on the floor, lay her in between my legs belly up. and give her a bone and rub her feet, then i cut one really quick, then rub her feet again haha. and i also praise her alot, and tell her she is ok and what a pretty girl she is, i do this when bathing her too since she hates me pouring water over her haha,
I know it's a terrible feeling when the dog starts thrashing around like you're trying to kill him. Unfortunately, their nails have to be trimmed and maintained, no matter how much they try to convince you that you're toturing them.

If nothing else works, then I agree with Danielle about having your helper hold him steady and firmly while you clip a nail or two. If he's flipping out, give him a treat for a little progress, let him go so everyone can calm down, then hold him and trim another nail or two. You and your helper need to stay calm and relaxed. If he senses that the process is stressing you out, he won't calm down. It might help if you put him up on a counter (same as at the vet's office or groomer's table provides stability) and have your helper cradle his head, neck and shoulders and try to not let him see the clippers coming. You might even want to cover his eyes if that doesn't freak him out more. Depending on his personality, covering his eyes might actually calm him a bit. Obviously you want to be as gentle as possible and use as little force as necessary...but you have to get the job done.

I clipped one of Charlie's nails a little too short one weekend, and had to put a muzzle on him the next two weekends to do his nails until he readjusted to having his nails clipped without putting up a huge struggle. We trim a tiny bit each weekend just to keep him used to the grooming.

It's not fun, but there's not really a choice when it comes to nail trimming. I'd certainly hate to be in the position of having a dog anesthetized just to clip his nails. Once the dog gets into a routine of having his nails done regularly, it does get much, much easier. I promise! :)
I have a friend who is a groomer. He said to use the dremel like Nancy said. Where we lived before, we were surrounded by concrete so his nails got filed by walking. Now his nails need to be cut. He went nuts. I was so afraid that I would hurt him with all his thrashing. That was when I called my friend. I haven't tried it yet, but at least I don't have to worry about accidentally snapping his toe off.
I'm unable to trim my terriers toe nails, but my friend's husband does it with very little difficulty. I'm not saying it started that way, but over time with A LOT of patience, treats and pets the snarling, crazy puppy tolerates the proceedure.
Bill started very, very slow with Graygor. He played with his toes a lot over a couple of weeks, then he advanced to clipping one a day. Treated him, got him to the point that he relaxed, treated him again and the let him go. After about 6 months of the slow, CALM approach Bill can clip Grayg's nails without a big production. Me, that's a different story.
My suggestion: Find someone that's laid back, doesn't have a huge interest in pleasing you pup to work slowly.
I did think the only way Graygor's nails would be cute would be under a sedative. If it wasn't for Bill's approach that would probably still be true. Boy, am I lucky!


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