Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ticklish feet

I tried to teach Miro foot-handling the same way I taught The So-Perfect Darwin. From the time I brought him home at eight weeks, I'd run my hand all over him down to the feet. Randomly I'd pick up a foot and let go before he jerked his leg away. That was the routine: pick up foot, play with toes, release, treat.

He never got used to it.

When the first nail-trimming time came, I tried to introduce him to the Dremel. Most dogs prefer it to a clipper. Whoa! he went, squirming all over the way you would hearing fingernails screeching on a blackboard (what can we say now that we use whiteboards and markers?). So I switched to a clipper. Alanis insists on a Dremel and sometimes leans her whole weight, which is only 45 lbs, on me like a horse when I'm holding her foot.

the instruments of torture
When I trimmed around Miro's feet with a scissors and clipped the fur between his toes with a #40 blade on the electric clipper, his foot would jerk at a touch even when the rest of him was standing still and relaxed on the table. Slowly I realized there's more here than a dog not wanting his feet held. His feet are ticklish.

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
The well-trimmed foot that grew out in about five minutes. Note the remodeled corner of the bed.


  1. We leave that to the professionals....Wyatt won't even hold still to be brushed and Stanzie will hold still, but has this look of doom and dispare for any kind of grooming...
    You are doing great!!

  2. Neither one of us likes to have our feet touched and mom says that having our nails done is a REAL struggle! Mom wishes we could be more like you!

    Love ya lots
    Maggie and Mitch

  3. Stopping by on the blog hop to say hello!

    I have boys with ticklish feet too!
    I always try to trim and clip when they are sleeping:) I have come to learn that they need to be actually snoring to get all 4 paws done.

  4. I did the feet handling thing constantly when Calli was a puppy, but despite what you are 'promised', it certainly doesn't guarantee a dog that is comfortable with it. Thankfully she doesn't really need any hair trimming on her feet, and she she only allows me to trim her nails, because I don't give her any other option:)

  5. I hate clipping Shiva's nails. She's normally okay when I handle her feet but as soon as the clipper comes out I see the look of panic in her eyes. I think I need to change my approach. Thanks for writing about your experience, it gave me some good ideas for next time.

  6. Yeah I guess they must be the same as us humans, some are more ticklish on their feet than others.

    Holly isn't keen on having her nails cut but she does tolerate it. Zac is the other way around, he never has to have his done as they wear down on their own, in fact they wear down too much. We don't let him play on hard surfaces and are careful with him because he has caught his before. They are so naturally worn down... on the plus side for him, he never has to go through nail clips. ;)

  7. Only thing I know to do is desensitize them by constantly touching them.

    LOL...try clipping 1000+ lbs of horse that's not wanting her ears done.