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Old 07-04-2010, 11:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question How to clip black nails?

Guido is a black toy poodle with jet black nails. So black that I can not see where the safe zone is to clip them. I don't want to make them bleed cutting them too short or traumatize him...

I was thinking of taking him to the groomer and let them clip his nails but its $15 and I have always groomed my other poodles. The black male Standard Poodle I had years ago there was some definition is his nail so I knew what was safe to clip. With Guido his nails are very jet black.

Any suggestions on how to know what is safe to clip?
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If your unsure then i would suggest dremaling his nails rather then clipping them. When you dremal, if you get too close it is only like a pinprick bleeding instead of full gush. They rarely notice it with the dremal if you make them bleed. If you do clip them instead of dremal then go slow. Like 1mm at a time if you are unsure. When you get close to the quick you will notice a grey pulpy center to the nail. Stop then. Once you clip one nail you can use it as a guide for how close to go with the others. If you accidently make him bleed dont make a big deal out of it! It will only reinforce in his mind how horrible it is.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Very, very carefully

lol, but I do agree 100% with BPP. (: Really good advice given there.
Dremeling is easy and safer if you can't see the quick. But keep in mind, I've heard that Dremels can get nails real hot from the friction and can be uncomfortable for the dog, so maybe avoid holding it there for too long (again, I've just heard this, I don't own a Dremel)
As with regular clippers, be sure to make your dog REAL comfortable with a Dremel if you decide to use one. I'm sure they can be pretty scary! Lots of positive reinforcement!!
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default No Dremel

I don't own a Dremel either. My dad does but I won't see him until the fall. He has used the Dremel on the other dog Goomba.

The groomer did say the Dremel is less traumatizing than the clippers. But, I wonder with the buzzing noise they make.

I'm going to do what you said, go slow and stay away and watch out for the grey pulpy center to the nail.

Thank you both for your help. I will report back and let you know how it went!
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Vegas prefers getting his nails clipped over dremeled. I clip the tips off every week, so there's not much to cut off.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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we dremel all of the dogs, tiny 4 lb poodle included
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I find that the more often you do it, the better feel you will get for how short you can go. I prefer to dremel, but Hate the dust!! I have never had a problem with friction with Rys nails. He will only move/start to pull away when i am right at the quick. I know then if i leave it there any longer i will make them bleed. Every single time i ignore him i make him bleed. I just listen to my dog now and stop when he tells me.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I dremel Paris' nails, but I clip 99% of my clients as I'd be there forever trying to dremel the massive long claws that come in!! lol! And I can't trust client dogs to stay still the same as I can with Paris. I do have a few who I dremel though...

But yup, in lack of a dremel just go slow, watch the cut end of the nail as you snip, you'll see a white dot in the middle that gets bigger, take another snip or two and you'll see the grey dot in the middle of the white dot; stop there.

Have some corn starch or even flour or baby powder or some sort of fine powder/dust type product on hand and if you get a drop of blood (that's all it'll be if you only take a wee snip at a time) then a pinch of powder pressed firmly on the end will give the vein something to clot against (cos it'll stick to the drop of blood) and you'll be good to go. Don't make an issue out of it, and nor will he!
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I like the Dremel too, esp for the black nails.

Mine is fine with the Dremel. We started slowly, with clicker and plenty of treats, and he now associates the Dremel with yummy hot dogs. It isn't his FAVOURITE thing in the world, but hot dogs are, so he deals.

As a bonus, it helped get him over being touchy with the groomer when she clips his feet. Buzzing feet are buzzing feet in his mind, in the word's of my groomer "if he didn't like buzzing things, he shouldn't have been born a poodle".
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Cricket's nails are black, and I have a hard time clipping her's too. I've made her bleed once or twice, and felt SO bad! Now I just clip the tips off more frequently so they don't get out of hand.
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