Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Misc. Training and Nails

No class yesterday due to the torrential rains. Some roads near dog school were under water - or very nearly!

So, I worked on a few different things with the boys at home.

Spins of course! I am having a tough time free-shaping Ike to spin in the opposite direction that he has already learned. "Spin" is still not solidly on cue. I think I am going to go back and try to get it solidly on cue before moving forward with the opposite direction.

Bug has a free-shaped spin, but it is not on cue yet either. His spin is so different than Ike’s. Ike’s spin is like a whirling dervish while Bug’s spin is slow and ponderous. It’s funny because Bug is usually the whirling dervish, not Ike.

I did a bit of plank work with Bug and holy cow. I think feeling better and not being in class have changed the way he views the plank. Previously with plank work he was really not that comfortable and would try to cheat and not run the whole plank. Last night he could barely restrain himself until I released him and he ran the entire plank every time. Go Bug!!

I also worked on some “Sits” and “Downs.” “Sits” because it is not solidly on cue and “Downs” because I still want a happier down than I have.

I played a game Tracy Sklenar had mentioned in one of her seminars with Ike. I tossed treats ahead of us, restrained him, and then raced him to the treats (on my knees) – he won every time. Yay, Ike!! This is to work on having your dog drive ahead of you.

Then John and I tried to clip Bug’s nails again. We did a single nail on Sunday and Bug freaked out so badly we stopped. Bug was terrible when he first came to live with me, then after many months we had a brief honeymoon period where he was tolerating having his nails done really well. Now he has gotten even worse than he originally was. I bought a new Dremel (I dropped and broke my old one a while ago) and plan on trying to CC/desensitize him to it. Until then though we need to do the nails somehow. Last night we did one more nail and he freaked again. He freaks so badly I am afraid he is going to hurt himself.

Katrin and I are going to get together and try to do them together. I’ll help her with Monty and she’ll help me with Bug. Next step would be to talk to my vet and ask her about Xanax? I guess? I don’t know if that would actually help, but as I said, he panics so badly I am really afraid he is going to hurt himself. You would think it would help that I do nails every 2 – 3 weeks, but nope, it doesn’t seem to matter. To top it off, I have personally NEVER-EVER quicked him. Not once (watch I will tonight). So, I think he just has super sensitive feet or a nail phobia or both. VERY frustrating. Ike isn’t crazy about having his nails down, but he at least tolerates it.


Jenn said...

Oh I feel your pain on the nail trimming! Steeler is like Bug! Even with trying to desensitize him for a couple of years it hasn't gotten any better. You should see the gash I have on my finger from our nail experience Monday night. Someone suggested that I try doing his nails up on the grooming table - which worked well the first time - but this time ... oh boy! He started to wiggle off the table when we started to dremel and a nail that I had just cut of course got my finger and left a lovely inch + long gash. We will keep plugging away of course .... but I really wish he would just let me dremel his nails!

Sam said...

Yep, I have to use a Dremel on Marge's nails because I did a really botched job with the clippers one time and she hates them now. Usually, I have my sister hold a stuffed Kong for her to lick as a distraction and it works appreciably. Though she's still a pain in the butt about it.

Kathy said...

We are working on the left spin, we got right on verbal but left seems much harder because of course cricket just wants to jump to the right spin, LOL. Love the game for driving ahead.

I too feel the nail trimming pain. I deceided to take the dogs to the groomer ( I know a really nice lady who is willing to help and just let me stop by and did their nails) anyway, she was able to give me some pointers that really helped and to get those nasty nails done with a whole lot less stress and fuss since she is not as worried about it as I get....LOL...anyway, figured that would buy us some time to work on our desensitization without retraumatizing either one of us ;-).

Diana said...

My dog Guiness freaks out with nail trims. I have a cat nail trimmer, its tiny, for the chihuahuas. Then Miley's nail are little to , so I use it for her. I decided to try it on Guiness. It worked even on his bigger nails. He still doesnt love it, but he is so much better. You could try that. Diana

disneydreamz said...

Julie, no Xanax, at least not yet. Since your boys are loving the free shaping so much I have something to show you - hopefully they will love to do their nails as much as my girls do, although I haven't trimmed nails in ages. Do all of his nails need trimming - the back too - or just the front???

Jules said...

Oddly enough Bug wears his front down quicker. I think he is the only dog I know who does this! I can't wait to see what you've got. I am open to suggestions.

@Diana: Bug's nails are too think for a cat trimmer. I have one for my g-pigs and the birds. It is however a super idea for my in-laws yorkie!

Elbeepem said...

Re: Nails/Desensitization

When I first adopted Bart (age 5) he was as bad as any dog could be about nails and had never been desensitized to accept trimming or dremeling.

About that time a woman posted a Nail Desensitization Procedure on Corgi-L. It has proven to be the right guidance for all of my own dogs, as well as many rescues. If anyone would like a copy of that article, please e-mail me:

Elbeepem said...

P,S, Using the procedure mentioned above, Bart turned from a nail monster into my "demo dog" in about six weeks. From then on, he'd lay quietly on his side and allow me to do nails easily whenever he saw the dremel come out. For him, the process needed to be slower than for any other dog, but the patience in working through it was well-worth it.