Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Clipping The Claws Of Chihuahuas

Years ago, my Corgi, Dancer, would hide if she heard the word 'clip' or 'clippy' or 'claws.' She was very smart. She also seemed to be psychic about even having the clippers in my pocket. It was rare that I could even get close to her when I had them on me.

Now Spot has that same talent that Dancer had. The missus and I just used to have me pick up all the Chihuahuas while she powered through the process like we did with the Corgis doesn't work very good now that I'm single and it's just me.

So I've been figuring out some tricks that let me clip their claws without requiring two people or paying a vet to do it.

1. Small Scissors

I got a much smaller, less intimidating pair of clipping scissors which I keep on the desk in front of me where I can casually pick up if a dog is in my lap. They seem to be much less scary than the bigger clippers we always used.

2. Always At Hand

Keeping them always on the desk in front of me not only makes it easier to casually pick them up and casually clip a claw on the nearest dog I see, it also makes them less scary for some reason. There's no production about taking them out of the drawer which used to make Dancer apprehensive and does the same for spot.

2. Extra Treats

We had some success with giving them treats for being good during the clipping process, but not much success. I've done much better on my own by not only passing out treats, but making it clear that more co-operation means more treats for each dog. They're not stupid. Ratcheting up the treats even more made them focus much better.

3. Here and There

We used to do all the dogs at once. I tried doing all 4 dogs in the same sitting by myself and it was mayhem. Then I would do one dog a day and that was a little better. Now I am much more opportunistic about it.

What I do now is most of the time I play with all the doggies' feet just to keep them used to the stimulus. This is an old trick but it's important to keep up with.

Then once in a while I will casually pick up the scissors and clip a claw or 4 on the dog currently in my lap. If I'm slow enough and casual enough, I've done a whole paw on spot before she starts getting apprehensive.

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