How to trim your Doberman's nails

Are you hearing clicking on the floor as your dobe walks through the kitchen or along side you on the sidewalk? Then it’s definitely time to trim toenails.

Nails that are allowed to get too long are not only noisy, but can be uncomfortable or even painful for the dog as they are forced to flatten their toes out stretching the ligaments, tendons and muscles. Think for a moment how you would hold your fingers differently if you had really long fingernails. And think how out of sorts you are when your feet hurt.

Not all dogs are good with having their nails done, but you can make it easier on you and your dog by following just a few guidelines. Start when your puppy first comes home. Work with his feet on a continual basis. Just gently pick them up one at a time and gently rub it in your hand or hands. Think foot massage.

Once he’s used to that begin clipping or grinding the nails regularly. Have an ample supply of very small, soft treats handy. Soft cat treats are excellent for this. Do just one nail on a paw, give a treat and go on to do a nail on another paw and treat. After you’ve done a nail on each paw, stop. The next day do another nail on each paw and work your way through the paws, nail by nail.

At the end of day four, you’ll have done all of his nails. Wait a week or so (but continue with daily paw massages). Then start again. The second time around trim two nails on each paw. The third time around trim nails and so on.

Don’t call your dog to come for this. “Come” should never be associated with anything but love, praise, treats, toys; all the good things in life. When you’re ready to work with the paws or nails, go get him, put him on a leash and lead him over to where you’re going to work. And no high pitched baby talk as that has a tendency to increase anxiety in puppies. (To them is sounds like whining and if you, the Leader of the Pack, is whining, well, something must be terribly wrong).

Follow these suggestions and you’ll end up with a puppy who will willing let you do his toenails. And that puppy will very soon be a large strong dog that you’ll have for 10-12 years. When you think about it, that makes the time spent working with him as a puppy well worth it, doesn’t it?

Personally, I like to grind toenails with me sitting on the floor with my back supported against something and my dogs laying on the floor, on their backs and between my legs. This allows me to see the bottom of the toenails that I’m working on so that I can easily see when I’m at the ‘pulp’, the live tissue that surrounds the quick or blood supply. It also means that I’m not bending down into an uncomfortable position OR pulling their legs into a position that is uncomfortable for them so that I can see the nails and pulp. And what do my dogs do while I’m doing this? Well, most of them go to sleep

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