Yes, I know, I know, she’ll want to do it all the time, but for this article, I felt it was the right thing to do, as it is a realistic (from a human perspective) way to clip our nails. I’ll reserve my comments for later, but for now, here is her advice (you can laugh at her if you want).
Clipping Toe Nails
The Realistic Method
I’m sure you’ve done a Google search already and have found a myriad of instructional pages (some with pictures) on the finer points of trimming dog nails. You’ve looked through the information, learned about the “quick”, the different tools associated with trimming nails, and looked at the pictures of people trimming dog toenails... and I’m sure you’ve laughed hysterically and perhaps with a bit of frustration.
Oh sure, its a piece of cake when the dog just lays or sits there, hands you a paw and allows you to snip away at each claw, but what are you suppose to do when you own a husky who flees at the mere sight of nail clippers, stuffs themselves into the smallest crevice and lays on its feet to keep the evil clippers from touching them, and then shrieks and screams as if being tortured the moment the clipper comes remotely close to their paw. Yeah, where are those instructions???
Nail Clipping “Myths”
Ok, not truly “Myths” but these helpful tips are handed out to dog owners as gospel and if they don’t work, then there’s certainly something dysfunctional with the owner. Well, I’m here to tell you that I call them “Myths” because not everything is foolproof when it comes to huskies, not everything is going to work in your case, and it also doesn’t mean that you have a dysfunctional dog or are a dysfunctional owner. Most of these tips come from people who don’t have problems clipping their dogs nails. They tell you these things and then look at you as though you’ve sprouted another eye in your forehead when you tell them it doesn’t work. Go ahead and try these, but if they don’t work, don’t consider you or your husky a failure.
Play With Their Feet
Oh yeah, this is handy advice when a person gets a puppy, but what about those who adopt an older dog, or who don’t have the luxury to play with their feet because their nails are dangerously long? For those of you giving out the “Play with their feet” advice to someone that says “I need to clip my dog’s nails”, please smack yourself in the head.
Playing with their feet, in the long run, will get the dog use to having its feet touched and played with, and that’s a good thing, but when you introduce the nail clipper to the equation, expect full tilt panic and screaming... of the husky, but sometimes I’ve heard stories of owners having nervous breakdowns around nail clipping time.
Put Them On Something
Most groomers insist that putting a dog up on a table, a slippery table is better, will keep the dog off balance to a point where you can do most anything you want with them. If you are an experienced husky owner, please take a moment to laugh hysterically at this statement.
While it is true that most dogs will feel a bit more vulnerable and can be better managed on a table, a husky owner needs to be aware that clawing and leaping from the table is a good possibility. Shrieking, clawing and leaping is a better possibility, and shrieking, clawing, leaping, taking out table and plowing down owner is the best possibility. If you’ve never put your husky on a table, you should always have a spotter or two available to keep everyone from hurting each other. You may want to have a spotter located away from the table with a pre-dialed cell phone to 9-1-1.
Some will advise that you provide them with a distraction. While they are busy chewing, licking, or doing whatever to the distraction device, you clip their toe nails. Ok, while this may work for one nail (if you are lucky) most likely what will happen is that they will fall for the first clip, then realize you are up to something they don’t want to have happen and will ignore the “distraction” until you have given up in frustration.
Have Someone Hold Them While You Clip
This technique is only good for people who have friends that haven’t heard the horror stories of fur, shrieking, clawing and other husky-like behavior and actually can’t come up with a semi-valid sounding excuse when you corner them for help. Holding a husky still when a husky doesn’t want to be held still is just asking for a visit to the emergency room (if anything for the ruptured ear drums from the shrieking) and loss of close friends.
The Methods That Work
So you’ve read through the informational Web sites and know what the quick is, you’ve seen the two types of nail clippers that are commercially available, you are stocked up on styptic pens, dog treats, some valium (for you), and you are ready to clip your husky’s nails. Here are some methods that actually do work.
Ok, its the coward’s way out, but hey, it is the easiest way out. Drag them to a groomer and have their nails clipped. The groomer not only has all of the instruments of nail clipping, but is also probably experienced with dogs that don’t like their nails clipped and have devious ways of dealing with it. If you can afford the expense, drag their fluffy little butts over to the groomer and you don’t have to deal with it.
We all know that the husky is the “what’s in it for me” dog. Want them to come in... make it worth their while, want them to sit still while you clip their nails... bribe them. Typically the bribery method is a two person effort. One person to do the clipping while the other entices the husky to ignore the nail clipper wielding one with a tasty treat. There will still be pulling and wrestling and a general disagreement over when a nail can be clipped but the bribery aspect makes it a much more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
If you don’t have a conspirator to hold the bribe treat, then you can try slathering peanut butter on a kitchen cabinet. Husky licks off peanut butter while you clip nails. Work fast and efficiently, as a husky can lick peanut butter off a cabinet in record time. This method also ensures nice clean cabinets.
There’s nothing shameful about sneaking up on a sleeping husky and snipping off a nail when they aren’t expecting it. There’s nothing in the rules of nail clipping that all 16 (more if there are dew claws involved) have to be clipped at the same time. The only problem with this method is that they’ll never trust you ever again and you will most likely suffer their wrath while you try to sleep, as they can be very spiteful.