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I got my Harbor Freight grinder 2 weeks ago and have been using it daily on the dogs. I touch a nail or two(barely grind off anything at all) and give them lots of treats. Penny doesn't *like* it but she will tolerate it. Lion, on the other hand, is a nightmare. He screams, thrashes, and bites me. I have my BF hold them while I grind their nails. I can barely get Lion's nails safely because he is constantly trying to bite me, and it has come close to catching his hair/face.

I don't know what to do. I don't let him down when he throws a fit-I continue to hold his paw/touch his nails with the grinder on or off until he stops trying to bite me and then he gets a treat. I have been doing this for two weeks and he has yet to improve.. I think he has actually gotten worse. Someone I know suggested using a dog appeasing pheromone to calm him down but I honestly don't think it is for this type of situation. I want to get his nails shortened soon because they are growing out almost to the ground, but the quick hasn't grown yet so I would be able to grind them back nice and short.

Does anyone have some new ideas I can try?
 

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Oh, I forgot to add that he isn't really afraid of the grinder. I turned it on and off for a few days before touching their nails with it, and he will voluntarily eat treats off of it. I don't think the problem is that he is terrified of it- he will come right up to me for treats while I am doing Penny's nails.
 

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The friction from those grinders causes the nails to become HOT.. this is why some dogs jerk away, it also causes a vibration sensation in addition to the noise that some dogs just cannot stand.

I'm old school proper dog nail clippers all the way for any rough edges I just use a regular nail file gently, works like a charm. I know some people are scared of the quick but honestly the more you do it the more aware you are of how close you can go, it also recedes with time.


Is there a reason you want to use a grinder? They seem like the new trend but my friend who is a groomer says they can be painful for the dogs.

Maybe just use regular clippers on him?
Sorry I'm not much help.
 

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I can't use regular clippers on him.. He jerks his paws around so much that I have cut his nail to the quick a few times because it slips right when I am cutting. He is just as bad/worse with clippers, and grinding is much faster. I only touch the nails for like 1/2 a second and move on to the next, so I don't think it has much of a chance to heat up.

From what I hear, clipping can be more painful because it squeezes their quick. I don't know though, some dogs don't mind it at all.
 

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Yeah I dunno to each their own I guess, I've watched the videos on youtube of those grinders in action and honestly, I can do both sets of front paws in the time they take on two nails with the grinder.

I guess it's just a learned skill. I suppose if he's that reactionary is there more chance of harming him with the grinder if it slips?
If his nails are not very bad possibly you can just file them down if you can get him to sit nicely for you if you offer him some treats?

Some dogs are just bad with nails period!
 

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Oh! and one other thing. Chi's have such wee paws and teeny little nails that you can actually just use human nail clippers! we do :p on the cats & the dogs.

When I got him Bijou was bad! he would howl.. now he just lays there and lets us do it.

Have you tried wrapping him in a blanket or towel? sometimes that can help calm them a bit, but make sure he can still see/breathe & hear you! years ago I used to go to a certain grooming salon with my poodle and I saw them wrapping a dogs head in a towel one day.. that freaked me out, I thought it was barbaric never did go back there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah I dunno to each their own I guess, I've watched the videos on youtube of those grinders in action and honestly, I can do both sets of front paws in the time they take on two nails with the grinder.
Are you talking about the PediPaws grinders and the ones made specifically for dogs? I think those go pretty slow compared to the type of grinder many on here use, which is why it takes so long. I have tried a PediPaws before and while it is quieter, it would probably take a minute or two per nail because it is so slow.
 

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Are you talking about the PediPaws grinders and the ones made specifically for dogs? I think those go pretty slow compared to the type of grinder many on here use, which is why it takes so long. I have tried a PediPaws before and while it is quieter, it would probably take a minute or two per nail because it is so slow.
No I am talking about the dremels.
 

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It depends on how long the nail is on how long it takes to grind the nail. ;) Saying that of course it would be quicker to clip a longer nail than it would be grind. LOL

I always use a grinder. I've accidentally gone too close & made my dogs bleed w/o them even flinching (only a couple times & just a speck of blood so nothing serious). It sounds to me like Lion is just playing it up. Stop the treating, get a soft muzzle or whatever & have your bf help hold him & let him deal with it. He acts similar when you use clippers if I remember correctly so if you prefer the grinder have him adjust to it that way. I'm sure with time he'll relax a bit. But yeah...some dogs just like their nails done period. Hopefully he gets better though!

I've never noticed or suspected the grinder making my dogs nails hot? Heck I've gotten my own nail & it's super thin compared to the Chi's & not felt a thing. :lol: Have even gotten my skin w/o much pain. Yeah I'm clumsy. hahaha
 

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I've used the grinder on myself just to see what it felt like and it tickles more than anything. Maybe try holding the toe and pressing FIRMLY on the nail for just a second as just touching the grinder to the nail might be creating a very unpleasant vibration sensation.
 

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Honestly, I think that having your boyfriend restrain him while you approach him with the grinder is pretty likely to scare him more if he already hates it. That being said, it doesn't help much with getting the nails cut!

My JRT would sprawl out on her back while I grinded her nails, but even though I started positive training with Teddy from a young age he never took to it. He does the same thing as Lion (minus trying to bite me). I take him to a groomer once a month to have them done. I was worried that it might traumatize him more (but by the time I broke down and took him his nails were getting fairly long and I felt bad). I asked to watch the groomers cut his nails to make sure he wasn't too scared.. and lo and behold, he was perfectly fine. Didn't even fight them. :p I wonder now if he was just being a brat to get out of it but didn't feel comfortable doing it to a stranger.
 

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He acts similar when you use clippers if I remember correctly so if you prefer the grinder have him adjust to it that way. I'm sure with time he'll relax a bit. But yeah...some dogs just like their nails done period. Hopefully he gets better though!
Yes, he acts just as bad with the clippers and it is hard to clip his nails in the right place while he is struggling.

I've used the grinder on myself just to see what it felt like and it tickles more than anything. Maybe try holding the toe and pressing FIRMLY on the nail for just a second as just touching the grinder to the nail might be creating a very unpleasant vibration sensation.
Good idea, I will try that. It might grind the nail down a little more quickly too.

Honestly, I think that having your boyfriend restrain him while you approach him with the grinder is pretty likely to scare him more if he already hates it. That being said, it doesn't help much with getting the nails cut!

My JRT would sprawl out on her back while I grinded her nails, but even though I started positive training with Teddy from a young age he never took to it. He does the same thing as Lion (minus trying to bite me). I take him to a groomer once a month to have them done. I was worried that it might traumatize him more (but by the time I broke down and took him his nails were getting fairly long and I felt bad). I asked to watch the groomers cut his nails to make sure he wasn't too scared.. and lo and behold, he was perfectly fine. Didn't even fight them. :p I wonder now if he was just being a brat to get out of it but didn't feel comfortable doing it to a stranger.
I think that he probably would be fine for a stranger. He isn't afraid of it because he comes and begs for treats while I am grinding Penny's nails and he doesn't mind the noise anymore.

I have my BF hold him with one arm (not very tight) and hold his paw with the other so I can do each nail. We tried again last night and I was able to do a whole paw(not as short as it needs to be, but it is getting there). He bit me a few times but I told him "No" and continued until he stopped trying to bite. I also just gave him a treat ONLY when he was sitting nicely/not making noise. I will try it without treats as you suggested Heather-maybe I will only give him a treat AFTER he is totally done, so he doesn't think he gets one for being a brat.
 

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I have a dremel for my chi's. One I can do OK. The other one struggles so hard, I just decided it wasn't worth it, and she goes to the groomer. I usually take her in every 3 weeks for a nail trim, and every other one she gets groomed with a bath etc. The groomer says she is the best chihuahua she has ever done!!! Sue
 

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Missy you got some good advice already, and if all fails I say just save yourself the
trouble and bring them to a professional groomer. Sometimes it's not so much the tool,
but the approach that scares the dogs, not to mention they might feel your stress and
anxiety and start to freak out before you even start to trim. At the salon the dog is
elevated and the head goes in a noose, it makes it much simpler than trying to hold the
dog down. Around here a nail trim for a dog under 30lbs is max 15$, 10$ if you go to the
vet. Some pet stores also clip nails, once a week on a certain day. I wanted to mention also,
if Lion lets you do a couple of nails at a time, then do just that, two nails today, three tomorrow, etc.
Also if you cut a quick by accident, make sure you have styptic powder on hand.

Good luck girl! And don't feel bad, you are trying to find a solution, that's great!
 

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Slightly off topic... But it does keep coming up so I thought I would mention... :)

I use my professional nail dremel on my chis, I am a licensed nail technician. It is honestly no different than the Harbor Freight one, but quite different from the "made for pets" ones.

These dremels most of us use do run the risk of getting hot. However it takes holding the tool on the nail without moving it for a matter of 15+ seconds. If you are moving it/picking it up to start at the bottom again, then there should not be any problem of it causing heat. The trick is to just keep it moving, and not to hold it against the nail for a long period of time.

Just thought that tip might help people feel better about whether it's getting "too hot" or not. There is no need to worry if you're using it correctly, really. :)
 

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Good to know Darcie! Thanks for posting that. :)
 

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We had a beagle that would under no circumstance let you near her nails or feet, when she was a puppy I trimmed them fine on a regular basis but one day she just would not have it. Nothing happened to make her that way I just really think she did not like it, I tried taking her to the groomer they got one nail done and refused to do the rest, I took her to the vet and they muzzled her but she got so agitated she was having a hard time breathing in the end they suggested I walk her regularly on pavement to try to let them wear naturally and to just keep an eye on them. She only got 3 nail trims in 14 years and that was when she was sedated for her teeth cleaning. Luckily they never got to long the sidewalk did the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We had a beagle that would under no circumstance let you near her nails or feet, when she was a puppy I trimmed them fine on a regular basis but one day she just would not have it. Nothing happened to make her that way I just really think she did not like it, I tried taking her to the groomer they got one nail done and refused to do the rest, I took her to the vet and they muzzled her but she got so agitated she was having a hard time breathing in the end they suggested I walk her regularly on pavement to try to let them wear naturally and to just keep an eye on them. She only got 3 nail trims in 14 years and that was when she was sedated for her teeth cleaning. Luckily they never got to long the sidewalk did the trick.
Yikes! Lion isn't quite that bad. It sounds like your dog had really bad anxiety/stress when her nails were clipped. Lion is 100% fine as far as stress goes after I am done doing his nails.

What did you do about your dogs dewclaws? Aren't those too short to be worn down by pavement?
 

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I've used the grinder on myself just to see what it felt like and it tickles more than anything. Maybe try holding the toe and pressing FIRMLY on the nail for just a second as just touching the grinder to the nail might be creating a very unpleasant vibration sensation.
I agree this is what may be happening. That scared Pip a lot at first until I did what Tracy said above. I love using a dremel, I find it far superior to using a clipper. A clipper is good if their nails are long, but once you have them short, you can't beat a dremel in my opinion. Once they are short, you only need to use it weekly for maintenance. I have never had a problem with the nail getting hot either, you don't leave it on long. Don't get discouraged and give up, Missy! Both Pip and Roo hated it at first, but they both tolerate it fine now. :)
 

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Yikes! Lion isn't quite that bad. It sounds like your dog had really bad anxiety/stress when her nails were clipped. Lion is 100% fine as far as stress goes after I am done doing his nails.

What did you do about your dogs dewclaws? Aren't those too short to be worn down by pavement?
You know I don't remember the dewclaws ever being long. I never thought too much about them I just assumed they stopped growing after they got so long. She was the first dog I had as an adult I learned a lot from her...mostly I learned all the things my mom did that I never knew.
 
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