Dog training advice

tizabel_

Chirping
Apr 28, 2020
179
180
70
I know this is supposed to be about chickens/ranching but I’ve seen some dog experienced people on here and I don’t know where else to ask.
One of my dogs has fear based aggression towards people that started at the vet when he was a puppy, he had tons of bad experiences with being held down and prodded and not enough good experiences with people.
He also absolutely will not tolerate having his nails clipped. We’ve tried waiting until he’s good with people again (we are slowly trying to re-socialize him) so he can get put to sleep at the vet while they clip his nails but he’s not to that point yet and his nails are too long to wait any longer. I heard the longer his nails get the more painful it gets to walk so I have to do it soon.
So does anyone have advice on clipping his nails that doesn’t involve strangers and isn’t too stressful for both me and the dog? I’ve spent $30 on a hammock and that didn’t work, I’ve tried holding him down in different positions but he either escapes, bites me, or yanks his paws away so I can’t get a good grip on them. I’m seriously at a loss here but I don’t want to sacrifice his training by taking him to the vet or groomer. Please help.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Feb 14, 2016
1,897
4,227
301
Wisconsin
If you give treats, stop giving treats for this idea to work. What I would do and this may take days or weeks with this plan but he has anxiety so you need to go slow. Step 1: I would massage his paws then give 1 treat as a reward (do this throughout the day or many days)... Step 2: start massaging paws with clippers in other hand then give 1 treat as a reward (do this through the day or many days, no clipping yet)... Step 3: start massaging paw with clippers in other hand and slowly touch clipper to paw but no clipping, reward with 1 treat. Step 4: When you feel he is ready I would massage paw bring clipper to paw and clip 1 nail a day and after each nail give him a treat. Don't rush him, it is tough to change his anxiety when he has good reasons for it.
 

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
982
1,624
143
Mississippi
I know this is supposed to be about chickens/ranching but I’ve seen some dog experienced people on here and I don’t know where else to ask.
One of my dogs has fear based aggression towards people that started at the vet when he was a puppy, he had tons of bad experiences with being held down and prodded and not enough good experiences with people.
He also absolutely will not tolerate having his nails clipped. We’ve tried waiting until he’s good with people again (we are slowly trying to re-socialize him) so he can get put to sleep at the vet while they clip his nails but he’s not to that point yet and his nails are too long to wait any longer. I heard the longer his nails get the more painful it gets to walk so I have to do it soon.
So does anyone have advice on clipping his nails that doesn’t involve strangers and isn’t too stressful for both me and the dog? I’ve spent $30 on a hammock and that didn’t work, I’ve tried holding him down in different positions but he either escapes, bites me, or yanks his paws away so I can’t get a good grip on them. I’m seriously at a loss here but I don’t want to sacrifice his training by taking him to the vet or groomer. Please help.
Does he get relaxed at all with Benadryl for you? Or does it make him agitated? If you haven’t ever tried him on any based on his weight try giving him a single tablet per thirty pounds of weight and if it relaxes him introduce the nail clippers to him via you or someone he really loves to play with and absolutely will not bite under any circumstances. Then try clipping the nails. If he won’t tolerate the clippers maybe he will be relaxed enough to tolerate the nail file though or the grinder from your husbands tool kit. Would that be something doable for you guys?
 

MarkJr

Yard Bird Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
2,260
9,214
371
Elkton, OR
Start playing with his feet and praising when he lets you.
Scold ONLY if he uses his mouth to discourage you.
Say nothing/don’t react when he pulls away. Also don’t force it.

There will come a time when you can lift his paw, check between all toes and pads on one foot. When you get to that point, make a huge deal about it and reward him with his absolute most favorite treat/activity/toy.

I would strongly suggest having his nails trimmed. All it’s going to take is once of you nicking the quick and he will be done with you messing with paws all together.

Complete foot inspections and no food aggression are trained on every dog around here right along with ‘here’ and sit. We are in foxtail country and a few days can mean a lame dog for a couple weeks.

Make it fun. Show him he’s not going to hurt.
 

Gaugedgun

Hatching
Sep 24, 2020
9
5
8
I agree with clucker family. Take your time and once you get to the part of touching his paw with the clippers reward your dog with a jackpot(multiple treats at once). Teach your dog to associate the clippers with a reward and that nothing bad will happen to it.
 

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
982
1,624
143
Mississippi
Start playing with his feet and praising when he lets you.
Scold ONLY if he uses his mouth to discourage you.
Say nothing/don’t react when he pulls away. Also don’t force it.

There will come a time when you can lift his paw, check between all toes and pads on one foot. When you get to that point, make a huge deal about it and reward him with his absolute most favorite treat/activity/toy.

I would strongly suggest having his nails trimmed. All it’s going to take is once of you nicking the quick and he will be done with you messing with paws all together.

Complete foot inspections and no food aggression are trained on every dog around here right along with ‘here’ and sit. We are in foxtail country and a few days can mean a lame dog for a couple weeks.

Make it fun. Show him he’s not going to hurt.
I agree with all of this as well. Used to most of these actions didn’t have to be so formally trained behaviors we didn’t think but we just didn’t know. In reality we just didn’t think of them that way. It would have done the dogs and us a lot of good service if we had. This is because there are so many fears and bad behavior.
 

MarkJr

Yard Bird Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
2,260
9,214
371
Elkton, OR
I agree with all of this as well. Used to most of these actions didn’t have to be so formally trained behaviors we didn’t think but we just didn’t know. In reality we just didn’t think of them that way. It would have done the dogs and us a lot of good service if we had. This is because there are so many fears and bad behavior.
It does come without thinking. I can pick my dog up, roll them on their backs and carry them like a baby. All of them have been this way.

OP please think on the trimming nails part until you have definitely had a serious rapport with the dog. Any pain will be almost impossible to forgive early on.
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
931
2,552
191
SC, Low Country
If you give treats, stop giving treats for this idea to work. What I would do and this may take days or weeks with this plan but he has anxiety so you need to go slow. Step 1: I would massage his paws then give 1 treat as a reward (do this throughout the day or many days)... Step 2: start massaging paws with clippers in other hand then give 1 treat as a reward (do this through the day or many days, no clipping yet)... Step 3: start massaging paw with clippers in other hand and slowly touch clipper to paw but no clipping, reward with 1 treat. Step 4: When you feel he is ready I would massage paw bring clipper to paw and clip 1 nail a day and after each nail give him a treat. Don't rush him, it is tough to change his anxiety when he has good reasons for it.
I agree this is a great training technique. I mess with my dogs feet all the time just so they will be desensitized to touch. :thumbsup
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
931
2,552
191
SC, Low Country
I know this is supposed to be about chickens/ranching but I’ve seen some dog experienced people on here and I don’t know where else to ask.
One of my dogs has fear based aggression towards people that started at the vet when he was a puppy, he had tons of bad experiences with being held down and prodded and not enough good experiences with people.
He also absolutely will not tolerate having his nails clipped. We’ve tried waiting until he’s good with people again (we are slowly trying to re-socialize him) so he can get put to sleep at the vet while they clip his nails but he’s not to that point yet and his nails are too long to wait any longer. I heard the longer his nails get the more painful it gets to walk so I have to do it soon.
So does anyone have advice on clipping his nails that doesn’t involve strangers and isn’t too stressful for both me and the dog? I’ve spent $30 on a hammock and that didn’t work, I’ve tried holding him down in different positions but he either escapes, bites me, or yanks his paws away so I can’t get a good grip on them. I’m seriously at a loss here but I don’t want to sacrifice his training by taking him to the vet or groomer. Please help.
I'm surprised your vet did not recommend a muzzle and prescribe a oral sedative you could give the dog before the appointment. Your dog would be on cloud nine during the vet visit.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,223
22,616
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
All of my current dogs are shy to a point. My male dog was extremely nervous about being handled in any way, when we first got him (he spent 2 weeks living by the garage door, only coming out for food and potty), and to trim nails it took 3 vet techs including one sitting on him to manage to do it, while he screamed bloody murder. Needless to say we rarely got his nails trimmed back then.

It took years for him to let me clip nails without issue. I handled his feet multiple times a day (we wipe their feet clean before they can come in) and began massaging them once he learned to tolerate more handling, then I taught him to give me his paws for a treat. I now can clip his nails weekly without needing assistance, but it really took time and familiarity to work up to that.
 

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