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Old 22.02.2012, 11:53
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Tired of the "skitter skitter" of nails.

Our Boston terrier lived in a house full of carpet and tile in the US; here we have a plethora of parquet. The constant skittering of her nails is a mainstay in our home (along with her cartoon-ish attempts at changing direction on the parquet while chasing a tennis ball or toy, which are fairly entertaining ).

I would like to cut her nails shorter, but so far have been unable to do so as the "quick" of her nails (the pink, live part of the nail that bleeds if one cuts the nail too short) is quite long and extends far down toward the nail tips.

I have heard that if nails are trimmed more regularly, the quick will recede. I wondered if anyone has been successful at following through with this; if so how often did you trim, how much did the quick recede, and how long did the whole process take? Is it even possible (or good for the dog) to have the nails so short as to not "skitter" on the parquet?
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Old 22.02.2012, 12:03
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Re: Tired of the "skitter skitter" of nails.

i would think its nigh impossible to eliminate total skitters, they have nails as we do, i have short nails but still make skitter noise by my computer if i try !maybe put a few throw rugs in the main affected areas to break up the speed.Sorry if that didnt help, i also had this issue once..
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Old 22.02.2012, 12:04
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Re: Tired of the "skitter skitter" of nails.

Buy her some doggie shoes, about Sfr 20 for EACH paw! (Low heels)
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Old 22.02.2012, 12:24
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Re: Tired of the "skitter skitter" of nails.

Regular clipping to keep quicks in check seems to be the received wisdom. Certainly I have always done this with most of mine, and had few problems.

I make sure that we get a fair amount of pavement walking as well as field/trail hikes - pavement walking will file most nails a bit - so that I only needed to clip them once a month or so.

But then there is Haifisch. His quicks grow down to the very edge of his nails, always have. Any trimming at all - even a fraction of a millimeter, ends in a bloodbath. (See my 'Styptic Powder' thread...). The only way to keep his nails trimmed is for the vet to clip and then immediately cauterize the nail. Very unpleasant, as you can imagine.

We adopted Haifisch when he was 12; based on the state he was in when he came into rescue, his nails had not been clipped in a very long time. But in the 5 years he has been with me his nails are trimmed regularly, and the quicks have not receeded at all. Go figure.

So... yes, with most dogs, regular pedicures are the way to go. But with some dogs this remain a problem no matter how vigilant you are, especially as they get older.

As for how much to clip - go slowly. Clip a millimeter or so as usual, but do it more often. This has the added benefit of helping to get your dog accustomed to clipping. Avoid clipping too much at once, as the pain from hitting the quick can turn the dog fearful of the proceedure. (And of course, reward for good behavior while clipping.)

If you do hit the quick, wash in warm water (and Betadine if needed) to avoid infection. The blood should stop fairly soon. (If not, see my 'Styptic powder' thread, ) I aways trim at just before bedtime so that the dogs are not walking around if I manage to hit a quick.

But all this is beside the point - even short nails 'skitter'.

If noise is the problem, consider area rugs. And even if noise isn't an issue:

Swiss parquet is not like my good old solid hardwood floors back home - sneeze and parquet scratches, even the very best quality can't stand up very well to the pitter patter of canine paws. If you are renting I really would advise area rugs if you wish to avoid the expense of sanding and refinishing the floors when you move out. (Been there, done that, cost me a couple of thousands...)

I'm something of a connoisseur of doggie shoes, thanks to my handicapped Melon. If you go that route, look for a pair with non-skid soles as those without will turn your parquet into an ice rink for the dog. Ruffwear, Sabro, and Muttlucks worked well for us. And of course, training is needed to accept shoes and to walk safely in them.
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Old 22.02.2012, 12:35
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Re: Tired of the "skitter skitter" of nails.

I had understood that the quick is just the way it is on each dog and like other animals some can have their nails cut shorter than others.

It is also worth remembering that dogs also curl their paws and "put their claws out" for traction and grip, so on varnished wood this makes matters worse. You should tell her it's counter productive LOL

Looks like boots or non slippy very heavy rugs are the way to go...
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Old 22.02.2012, 13:04
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Re: Tired of the "skitter skitter" of nails.

I hardly ever trim my dog's nails as he wears them down by himself. I don't think that you can get them short enough to stop the skitter.

What you can do, if you don't like the suggested area rug or dog shoe solution is to teach your dog to stay in his bed. I don't mean all the time of course, but so that you can send him into his chest and he'll stay there for half an hour or so, like this you would get a break from the constant skittering.
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Old 22.02.2012, 13:49
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Re: Tired of the "skitter skitter" of nails.

I've never ever trimmed my dog's nails. I'm terribly lucky, she does it herself: very regularly she bites off what needs to be cut. It's quite a sight, looking at her giving herself a manicure/pedicure!

I might be wrong, but I think some dogs naturally have longer claws than others, and there's not much you can do about it.
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Old 23.02.2012, 12:05
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Re: Tired of the "skitter skitter" of nails.

Nail-clicking drives me crazy! I believe you can eliminate it if you start early and clip regularly, but this isn't always the case for adult dogs. I think it depends on the thickness and texture of the nails. My current dog (a large pup about 18 months old) requires clipping at least once every other week in order to avoid clicking with regular walking. Of course, if she starts tearing around the flat, we still get skitters (and often furniture damage, but this is more of a training issue). Funnily enough, she also tries to give herself pedicures, but she does a horrible job of it! She can be quite rough with herself, especially her dew claw, for some reason. If she starts biting her nails, I know it's time to get out the clippers.

I had a GSD-Husky X rescue a few years ago who had never had her nails clipped (for at least the first year of her life) and it took only about four months of weekly clipping to get her quick to recede back to 'normal' (non-clicking state), but her nails were quite soft and light (for some reason, I think the lighter nails are softer and easier to deal with, but perhaps this is just because you can actually see the quick and cut more confidently). I know a lot of people recommend the dremel rotary tool for stubborn nails (especially for big dogs with dark nails), but I've never tried it. I had always planned to try it with my current dog but, so far, haven't needed to. I would think this tool would take a lot of training (for both the human and dog involved), but the advantage is that if you 'knick' the quick, it's only a tiny dot of blood (so the idea is that you can force the quick to recede more quickly). I have to admit, I've seen some dogs whose guardians dremel and their nails are incredibly short...almost like little, square nubs. I like the look but some don't (and I guess you could control this as you become more proficient). Some people really swear by it and they are able to get through the entire nail-grooming session while their dogs are sleeping, if you can believe it. Someone recommended this video to me when I was originally considering purchasing a dremel for this purpose:
http://www.ehow.com/video_2348286_fi...ls-dremel.html and another dremel devotee sent me a link to this article: http://homepages.udayton.edu/~jmeren...el/dremel.html

Best of luck!
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Old 23.02.2012, 12:21
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The click-clacking drives me nuts as well.

Two options I can think of:

1. Get a Dremel to grind/sand down your dog's nails. It might take some getting used to the noise but my reading suggests its less stressful and the quick won't bleed. With lots of treats and soothing words your dog should adapt quickly.

2. Get PAWZ, little rubber balloons for your dog's feet. They are great for outside, but as they are rubber I'm not sure how well they'll "breathe" if your dog is wearing them inside the house. Maybe you'd need to take them off at night or if you're not there.
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