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Discussion Starter #21
Wow! Congrats! That is great! I do think she must have been quicked A LOT by groomer or somebody to have that negative reaction. That anxiety has to come from somewhere. I told my sister I don't think she should take her dog to get them clipped where she was as he clearly had a bad experience.
I assumed that, too, but I was talking to a friend today while her collie played with Peggy. He’s still young, but has a beautiful temperament, and she said he’s always been freaked out by the nail clippers. She does all his clipping herself and has never quicked him. Maybe his breeder did?

My husband’s going to help with the next round. I’m not sure if I should give it a couple of days or just “forge” ahead. (Ha!)

I will say that the Millers Forge nail clippers are well worth the very modest price tag. My husband used a different brand on Gracie a few times and they really crunched the nail instead of doing a clean slice.
 

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The second nail actually flew into my eye so consider that a warning: If you’re getting waaay in close because you’re terrified of quicking your poodle, wear eye protection!
Lol, oh yes, trimmed bits can be hazardous! I've gotten them in my eye, in my hair, in my mouth (ew!), down my shirt, and in all those places on the assistant holding the dog for me 😄.

PtP, have you considered trying to introduce lying on her side for nail trims? That's how I do my own dogs. I don't tend to use it on client dogs since it requires a measure of trust and comfort between you and the dog.
I start by just having my dogs lay in the position and lightly restrain or play with their feet. They enjoy the process since it involves belly rubs and treats. I also play with their toes in this position and then start with the nail trims.
I do this on their bed, the porch, the floor.
Here is what I mean:
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Like this, sitting behind the dog, or else like this:
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Sitting behind with a leg over top. Lol he started rolling on his back here because my other dog was trying to get in on the fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Love those pics, @Starvt! Thank you! I’m going to try doing some sessions in different locations and in different positions.

Just now, I pulled the clippers out again and asked her to get up on the ottoman. I saw a flicker of “Should I run away?” and then she jumped up and laid down. I tapped the clippers to each nail, no problem, and gave a few low value treats (which she’s used to getting at this time of night, for her evening training sessions).

One thing that seemed to help was not reaching straight for her paw. Instead I grasped her leg above the elbow and gently slid my hand down to her paw. With this method, she made no attempt to pull away. There were no theatrics. No grumbling. And—thankfully—no mouthing.

We then went into my husband’s office and I repeated the tapping routine while she stood on the floor, on a rug. No problem. I think our paw-drying routine has provided a good foundation for that particular approach.

Tomorrow I’ll try asking her to lay on her side. I expect she’ll flip over onto her back. I’m also going to keep the nail clippers out where she can see them so they’re not so highly charged.
 

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Well done, Robin! Well done, Peggy, too!

I found with Trixie when I was desensitizing her (and another dog I worked with), that it helped to have 2 people. Me clipping nails, and a helper at the dogs nose, so that the moment the clippers clicked a treat was delivered to the mouth. After 2-3 clipping events, I switched to doing it by myself, so I would grab a treat from the bowl, hold it in my hand and clip - snick!, And shove treat. Really charging that sound like I would a clicker. As I said, Trixie (who used to try and bite) now follows me around and gets jealous when I do Annie's nails - she hears the clippers and wants in on the treat party.

I also do our dogs lying down, but that was a natural progression after they were comfortable with nail clipping.
 

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I wonder if she is just picking up on your own emotions. They are super weird about knowing what we think they won't like. I am hopeful that she will gain confidence along with you! You are making great progress!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I wonder if she is just picking up on your own emotions. They are super weird about knowing what we think they won't like. I am hopeful that she will gain confidence along with you! You are making great progress!
I think you’re right. Both groomers we’ve used haven’t reported any issues. They say she’s the best client. And she definitely responded better when I mustered up a no-nonsense tone.

P.S. I was just casually pretending to trim my own nails and look who showed up:

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I used the #10 setting on my new Wahl Bravura Lithium. I love that these clippers don't get hot. Peggy also tolerates them much better than my corded Andis, but she was still extremely unhappy with the situation. She was yawning and ducking her head so much, it broke my heart ignoring all her very clear "Please stop" messages. I had to tell myself to toughen up, project confidence, and hold her muzzle firmly, with occasional rewards for tolerating my fumblings. I got about
I am wanting to purchase a clipper and for now, I’m want something that is specifically good for Bobby’s face. I was looking up the Wahl Bravura Lithium but it seems there is more than one model. Are you still pleased with this clipper and could you share which model you have? I definitely want a cordless. I am following this thread closely as it encourages me and as you learn I hope to be brave and learn as well. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I am wanting to purchase a clipper and for now, I’m want something that is specifically good for Bobby’s face. I was looking up the Wahl Bravura Lithium but it seems there is more than one model. Are you still pleased with this clipper and could you share which model you have? I definitely want a cordless. I am following this thread closely as it encourages me and as you learn I hope to be brave and learn as well. Thank you!
Yes! I highly recommend! So easy to maneuver, low vibration, and I love that they don’t get hot. I can get only a few minutes at a time from my corded clippers before I have to cool down the blade.

It’s the Wahl Bravura Lithium:


They seem to be sold out (or wildly expensive) almost everywhere right now. Maybe because of the new wave of lockdowns?

But, from what I’ve seen, this is a good price and they seem to have some in stock: Wahl Bravura Lithium Clippers
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Today I did more nail clipping (if you can even call it that). I took just the tip off one and spent the rest of the time taming her theatrics. I then brushed her out, gave her a bath with my new Waterpik Pet Wand Pro, and brushed her out again.

I did introduce her briefly to my hairdryer, but quickly realized she needs to be elevated and restrained (at least to start) for me to be able to juggle the dryer and a brush. I’m not sure we’ll ever get there. For now she’s happy drying in her bathrobe:

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(Note the muddy paws. Her reward for being such a good girl in the bath was a run outside. Sigh. Anyone have a black poodle they’d like to trade?)
 

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Yes! I highly recommend! So easy to maneuver, low vibration, and I love that they don’t get hot. I can get only a few minutes at a time from my corded clippers before I have to cool down the blade.

It’s the Wahl Bravura Lithium:


They seem to be sold out (or wildly expensive) almost everywhere right now. Maybe because of the new wave of lockdowns?

But, from what I’ve seen, this is a good price and they seem to have some in stock: Wahl Bravura Lithium Clippers
Thank you!!! 😀 I will definitely look into this clipper. I get so overwhelmed when I look at all that stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
So today I tried out my new Wahl stainless steel detachable guide combs. Our groomer warned me that they wouldn’t cut Peggy’s coat unless she was meticulously combed out and fluff dried, but of course I had to see for myself.

The longest comb (1”) stopped dead in her topknot. Luckily, it didn’t seem to bother Peggy, who happily took treats throughout the whole process.

(Side note: I used a lower value treat than I usually do for grooming—Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters rather than string cheese—hoping that it might cut down on the excitement. It absolutely did. Thumbs up.)

I went down to the 1/2” comb and it cut pretty well. I couldn’t get the blade right down to her skull, but I was able to slide it easily over the kinky roots, which had the added benefit of preventing me from going too short. I then removed the comb and spent some time on her ears and face with the 9 setting.

Amazing how much better she’s tolerating it, but the moustache was still a NO TOUCH zone and I’m not going to push just yet.

Does she look good? No. Lol. But if knew nothing about poodles, and passed her on the street, I wouldn’t do a horrified double-take or anything like that. I just know how much better she can look.

I’m definitely happy with our progress, and I’m also happy with my growing toolkit. You really do need the right tools for the job, especially when you’re just learning. Next on my list? Curved shears. I wish I had them now to clean up her topknot. Aesthetic preferences aside, it’s far too low over her eyes still. Makes training a little tricky when we’re standing above her. But at least we can see them now:

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The aftermath:

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Clean-up crew! Spot the “helper” in the lower left:

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And now we snooze...

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Great progress! I started out trimming Misha's topknot this way. It works fine if you aren't going for a perfect sphere. I'll try to do a face shaving video soon, though I fear I'm more meticulous than anybody in their right mind would be so it may be of limited use.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Great progress! I started out trimming Misha's topknot this way. It works fine if you aren't going for a perfect sphere. I'll try to do a face shaving video soon, though I fear I'm more meticulous than anybody in their right mind would be so it may be of limited use.
I will absolutely find it useful! Your last video grew my confidence so much.

One thing I really want to know is if it’s ever okay to cut away from the eyes, even though that would be with the direction of the hair growth. Every YouTube video shows the opposite, but I just can’t bring myself yet to cut towards her eyeballs.
 

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I will absolutely find it useful! Your last video grew my confidence so much.

One thing I really want to know is if it’s ever okay to cut away from the eyes, even though that would be with the direction of the hair growth. Every YouTube video shows the opposite, but I just can’t bring myself yet to cut towards her eyeballs.
Not quite sure what you mean by away from the eyes. You mean with scissors or with the trimmer? And what part of her are you cutting?
 

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I will absolutely find it useful! Your last video grew my confidence so much.

One thing I really want to know is if it’s ever okay to cut away from the eyes, even though that would be with the direction of the hair growth. Every YouTube video shows the opposite, but I just can’t bring myself yet to cut towards her eyeballs.
Not quite sure what you mean by away from the eyes. You mean with scissors or with the trimmer? And what part of her are you cutting?
It sounds like you want to start making the cut from the center of her face and go out towards her ear, rather than having the scissors starting by her ear then going towards her eyes and then over to the other ear.

You totally can.

Peggy might get more tickly and likely to shake her head once the tips of your scissors get closer to topknot hair on or by her ear and require a more firm muzzle grip by Mom to keep her head in one spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Not quite sure what you mean by away from the eyes. You mean with scissors or with the trimmer? And what part of her are you cutting?
With the trimmer when shaving the face, I can’t seem to get close enough to her eyelids.

When I watch demos, they always seem to be moving the trimmer towards the eyes. It makes me nervous. No matter how many times I watch, I don’t understand how they’re not poking them or shoveling little hairs into their eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
It sounds like you want to start making the cut from the center of her face and go out towards her ear, rather than having the scissors starting by her ear then going towards her eyes and then over to the other ear.

You totally can.

Peggy might get more tickly and likely to shake her head once the tips of your scissors get closer to topknot hair on or by her ear and require a more firm muzzle grip by Mom to keep her head in one spot.
Lol. I was totally unclear and just hopping around between different topics. I was referring to using the trimmer to shave her face. I can’t seem to get close enough to get a clean shave between her eyes and below them. I can’t stand the thought of running the blade into them. Maybe I’m not coordinated enough yet.
 

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Lol. I was totally unclear and just hopping around between different topics. I was referring to using the trimmer to shave her face. I can’t seem to get close enough to get a clean shave between her eyes and below them. I can’t stand the thought of running the blade into them. Maybe I’m not coordinated enough yet.
Gotcha, okay, yeah, that's a tricky spot. I wouldn't worry about it being 100% perfect there. I've gotten it 100% before, but it's one area where 80-90% is good.

I do her eye lids using the bed with her laying on her side. My body is off the bed and kneeling on the ground. Forearm and non shaving hand is holding her head down to the bed and eye skin tight. Then, with the shaving hand you use the last 1-2 teeth on the edge of the trimmer to come down her eye. Sometimes the stars don't align and we go as far as we are comfortable. I did Basil's face 3 days ago and left a little by her eyes because she was wigglier then normal. You can hardly tell. I can hardly tell. I just took a picture now to point it out.

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Still looks good. Do what you feel comfortable with, like you said people on the street won't notice at all.
 

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I always find it easier to get Starla’s left eye perfect than her right. You can see her right eye still has a layer of lashes in the picture below, but after a day you couldn’t really tell unless you were looking for a it and after 2 days you couldn’t hardly tell at all. I don’t go towards her eyes to get those hairs, but I do go from the outside to the inside corner using just the edge of the trimmer, using a very light touch.

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I pull her eye back and she shuts it naturally. I just took this pic but she really shuts it all the way on the table.
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