Nail Clipping My Rottie

by Anne-Marie
(Ontario)

Hi there im writing to you because we are having problems trimming my 10 month old rottie's nails. He HATES it!

Usually we take him to the vet and they trim them there but we decided to start doing it on our own. My bf was holding him as i was trying to trim his nails and he starting growling, he snapped and looked as if he was going to bite my bf. He has never been a aggressive dog not with his toys food other people or dogs or anything so this really took me by surprise. I'm just seeking advice on how we can go about trimming his nails without that behavior being the result.

Also we recently added a female rottie to our home, also she's been with us for a little over a week now and it just so happens that they are from the same litter.They get along great but we have noticed a change in our males behavior since shes been here (not listening,running off when we take him outside etc..)

Besides all of this he is a great dog do you think its a phase he is going through?? Lastly i though i would mention that he isn't neutered yet but we plan on getting him neutered in the next two months.

Thank you!








Hi Anne-Marie
Most dogs hate having their nails trimmed, in fact in general dogs don't like having their paws touched or handled and that's why it's important to get a puppy used to this early on.

As your pup is now 10 months old, it would be unusual if he DID tolerate having his nails trimmed without complaint! As you have previously had this taken care of by your vet I would recommend continuing with that for the next couple of months while you start to accustom him to having you touch/handle his paws.

At first you can just pick up one of his paws for a brief moment, stroke or rub it, and then put it back down. Do this when he's relaxed and lying beside you or something similar. Talk to him gently and praise him while you're doing this and give him a treat. Do this every day, gradually extending the amount of time that you hold and handle his paws, make sure that he gets used to you doing this with both the back and front feet.

Once he is comfortable with this, you can try to clip his nails, even if it's only one at a time. Make sure to give him treats and quiet praise when he co-operates. This could take quite some time and needs patience and lots of it!

As for his behavior changes, I would imagine they are in part due to the new addition to your family, dogs are very sensitive to changes and this will have unsettled him a bit. It is also probably due in part to his age, he's now a teenager and the type of contrary and disobedient behavior you describe it pretty typical of an adolescent dog. Raising puppies is like raising children, and teenage pups are very similar to human teens in the way they want to test limits, assert their independence and 'act out'.

Just continue to give him lots of love and attention, but be sure to use firm, loving discipline when necessary and don't let him 'break the rules'. He needs for you to be consistent in order to feel safe and secure, and continuity is key. This part is a 'phase' that he's going through, and with love, patience, training and consistency he will get through it.

I hope this helps and wish you all the best with both your pups.

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