Yorkshire Terrier claw help!! V.long sorry!

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by hulahoop09, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. hulahoop09

    hulahoop09 Mum to lg and pg #2

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    Hiya

    Okay so in 2006 we got a almost 3 year old yorkshire terrier from a kennels. We love him to bits but he has issues. Basically it seems he was mistreated and in the first year or so of having him he bit 2 people (hubby and friend) but hasnt for a good few years now. He is very protective over things and can sometimes put his head down when he feels moody or like he is going to growl. Anyway we took him vets for boosters etc but taking him last year was the last straw, they had to put him in a crush cage to give him his jab and he had to be sedated to have his claws done. I had to leave the room, I cried my eyes out!

    Before having his claws done at the vets last year we had a dog groomer come to our house and would take the dog out to the van and groom him there. He was able to do his claws at first but as time went on he wouldnt let the groomer near them and grooming became more difficult until last year I went to take the dog out to the van and he wouldnt let me, he growled and went for me but never actually bit me. The groomer said he wouldnt be able to do it anymore so since then me I have been trimming round his bottom and face etc, to do this hubby holds a treat and gets the dogs attention and when I have cut some each time we reward him. I struggle to get him in the bath so I use a foaming shampoo when I can to keep him clean as I can.

    I cant cut his claws as I am worried about him bleeding as his quicks are quite far forward I have been told so instead I file his due claws. One of them split last year and broke off so at the moment it doesnt need filing but the other one is quite curled (not causing any pain etc) so I try my best every other day to get the file and file a little down. His main claws on paws are quite long so I need to try and have a go at these as I am scared incase they break and hurt him. He is starting to get more agitated now when I file his claws and he gets stressed out.

    The main thing I want to know is if there is any other way of getting his claws (espcially due claws) down? I have spoke to a dog behaviourist but cant afford but she gave me some tips which have helped with trimming his fur. She did say that we needed to change groomers and vets (we changed this but havent taken him there yet). He hates other dogs, cats etc and cries and yelps when he sees them so we werent even able to sit in waiting room at vets with him! I have tried pet calming tablets (serene um) and they do nothing!!! :nope:

    Any advice is VERY welcome!! :)

    Thank you.


    x
     
  2. midori1999

    midori1999 Well-Known Member

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    This video clip by Sophia Yin is excellent. (it's narrated so self explanatory)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWZUcLfHXLE

    You can work on the other issues like dogs, cats etc is a similar way. Go somewhere really busy with 'dog traffic' like a park. Start far away from other dogs to make it easy for your dog. If your dog looks at another dog, distract him with a treat (make sure he is hungry when you do this and use something really smelly like small pieces of salami to again make it easier for him). When he takes the treat say 'good' and if he looks back towards the other dog, do the same. If he is making a noise/fuss and lungeing towards the other dog, you're too close, so move away a bit. Then introduce a word, so say 'leave', distract him with the treat and give the treat when he is focused on you/the treat. Once he is doing that well, start to get closer to other dogs, do it gradually. If at any time he is so focused on the other dog the treat won't distract him, move back a bit. You'll need to repeat each step lots and lots of times. The more he sees other dogs (and I appreciate why you'd avoid them!) the more 'boring' they will seem to him. Eventually, as soon as he sees another dog he will look at you for a treat and ignore the other dog. It will take a while! They reduce the frequency of the treats, so every other dog he sees, every third dog, every tenth dog etc.

    I hope that makes sense? You can do similar for cats etc. Also, take him into the vets out of appointment times to meet the receptionist/nurses and get a treat. Don't do anything else in the vets for a while except visit and get treats so he starts to make a positive association with the vets. Any good vet will be understanding and wan to work to gradually build your dog's confidence, any good groomer will do the same.

    Are your dog's claws black? If not, you can see the quick and if you cut a tiny bit off each week, the quick will gradually shorten. If your dog has black claws, you can use a torch to shine through them so you can see the quick.

    Hope this helps?
     
  3. Mrs-C

    Mrs-C Mummy to 1 DD & 2 dogs

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    We have the same trouble with one of our dogs - you are not alone! He had a bad time at the vets when he was really ill and now doesn't trust vets or groomers. He did let me do them though. Then one day he pulled and I cut the quick by accident. There was blood everywhere, the 'quick stop' stuff wasn't working and I was upset because I'd hurt him which didn't help calm him.

    We ended up rushing to the vet to get their help. They had to stop it with a special chemical. Ever since then he's nervous about me doing them (and so am I!). We are reaching the point where we have no choice but to try again.

    This video is great motivation. We're going to try the technique like this (we've used treats before but gone straight in with the clippers). So thanks for posting it.

    I hope it helps you hulahoop09! :flower:
     
  4. hulahoop09

    hulahoop09 Mum to lg and pg #2

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    Thanks for the replies! That video is fab and thanks for all the advice about walking etc. It is difficult where we live as we dont have somewhere as such where people walk their dogs, it is just round the block and it isnt guaranteed that we will bump into other dogs each time. Lol.

    I dont think the video will work for our dog due to the fact that he is a very nervous dog and if he suspects something is going on not even a treat will distract him enough.

    I have tried to file some of his claws tonight (they are black - it is very likely if I put a torch near him he would growl or get worried at it!) and he wasnt too bad with the due claw but when it come to filing his normal ones he growled at me and also his top lip lifted a little. He couldnt keep his concentration on the treat long enough.

    I really feel like crying, he gets so stressed out and paranoid at everything except for when he is at home. I just hate to put him through the stresses of vet visits etc. I just feel terrible. It also doesnt help that me and hubby work so we havent got a lot of time to spend trying to recondition as much as we want to, I just am at my wits end!! :(


    x
     
  5. TattiesMum

    TattiesMum Well-Known Member

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    It might be worth looking into having his dew claws surgically removed Hon ... I had to do this with one of my previous dogs who was similarly nervous and hated her paws being handled ... the dew claws would just grow curled and back into her paws :cry:

    In the end we had the vet remove them completely ... and my current dogs all had theirs removed by the vet as tiny puppies (which is what I do with any pups that I breed myself).

    His normal claws can be kept in check by walking on pavements/paths every day so that they wear down naturally :thumbup:
     
  6. hulahoop09

    hulahoop09 Mum to lg and pg #2

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    Thanks, can they do this as he is almost 8 years old? I have never taken him to the new vets before so I am guessing I would need to take him first and then go back again if they agree to remove them? Would he be able to walk on them straightaway and would he need to go back to have stitches out? It is so stressful as I get stressed out cause of the horrible noises he makes in the vets room and so I dont really help the situations. I feel like such a bad owner! :(
     
  7. TattiesMum

    TattiesMum Well-Known Member

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    Yes they should be able to - Yorkshire Terriers have quite a long life span so at 8 he is only in early middle age :) .... my ex boss's Yorkie lived until he was 22!

    I'd ring the new vet, explain everything to them and ask about the dew claw removal - it will have to be done under general anaesthetic, but quite a light one as it's a quick operation and yes he'll be able to walk on them straight away :hugs: They should also be able to give him dissolvable stitches which they'll cover with a light dressing :thumbup:

    If you muzzle him with a soft muzzle before you take him and get someone else to actually take him into the examining room then you won't be so stressed about you or anyone else getting bitten - and if you're more relaxed then so will he be :hugs:

    One of mine is epileptic and I hate taking him to the vets for his blood tests because he gets so stressed out that he often has fits afterwards :cry: ... so now I just hand him over to the vetinary nurse outside the vet's front door and let her take him - I'm less stressed, he seems much more relaxed and the last couple of times he's even been wagging his tail when he comes back out :thumbup: :happydance:
     
  8. hulahoop09

    hulahoop09 Mum to lg and pg #2

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    Thanks for the advice. One of the problems is we cant get a muzzle on him. The vets have once but since then never again, I cant get one on and neither could the dog groomer! The year before last I took him for booster and I ended up having to leave him in the room with the nurse and vet then she brought him out tail wagging! :D Last year though was just terrible, he managed to get off his lead in the room and we couldnt get him back onto it so they tried to put him in a crush cage and he got out I ended up having to leave the room cause I wasnt helping any!! They then heavily sedated him and cut his claws & his booster. They said his claws werent actually that bad, I thought they were. Lol.

    I have called and spoke to new vets and explained everything and she said some of the nurses there deal with behaviour problems so she is going to get one of them to call me for a chat and take it from there. I would be a lot happier taking him into the vets and letting them take charge because I am scare of him biting me (he never has) and I hate the noises he makes when hes growling its like a monster has possessed him! I think I make the situation worse cause I feel so embarrased but at the same time worried about how stressful it is for my dog!


    x
     
  9. midori1999

    midori1999 Well-Known Member

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    Growling is great in your situation, it means that your dog is letting you know he isn't happy and enables you to prevent the situation escalating to a bite.

    The method in the video will absolutely work for your dog, but from what you describe I would start 'further back'. So, start by just holding the clippers whilst he is eating his meals. Maybe quite far away at first, then moving nearer. Then do lots of reward based training using something like small pieces of salami or cheese to get him really motivated. Just sit, down, stay etc. Once he is comfortable with that, have the clippers near you, but just ignore them. Again, once he is Ok with that, ask for the action (eg. sit) pick up the clippers and then treat the dog. If he is not OK with that then just touch the clippers before treating and only move on when he is happy. Progress to being able to hold the clippers around your dog when treating him. And so on, in tiny, tiny steps, each time, only moving forward when the dog is happy with what is happening. As long as you take it gradually enough it will work. You will need to do lots of short session every day. The idea is to make your dog think 'wow, great things happen when those clippers are about' instead of 'eek! those clippers are scary!'

    It does require a lot of time and effort on your part, but it will be worth it.

    Can you take the dog in the car to somewhere there are more dogs?
     
  10. hulahoop09

    hulahoop09 Mum to lg and pg #2

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    When I take the claw file out the cupboard he gets excited, then I get the treats out and he starts jumping around excited. Its when we are some of the way through that he starts to get grumpy. I darent use clippers as I am too scared of making him bleed and I am not sure because of his fur and length of claw if I would get them anywhere near his dew claw :shrug: I am also worried incase I go to clip or clip and he bites me or wont let me do anymore. I have to kneel down next to him to file his claws as he wont sit still.

    We dont drive so are unable to take him anywhere further. Also when we used to take him on the bus or in a taxi to the vets he starts to get stressed out and we have to get out. :dohh: When we got him from the kennels we took him on the bus to go home and we ended up having to walk about 1 mile as we had to get off the bus early as he was getting very stressed and making screaming sounds. :wacko:

    Thanks for the reply and advice :thumbup:

    x
     

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