Monday, August 4, 2008

"Ask Ginny"

Ginny invites you to write to her with your questions......
[Submit them as a comment on one of the "Ask Ginny" posts and Ginny will repost them in a new post segment.]

Q & A about health,
veterinary matters,
training, and life

Q: Dear Ginny,

I, too, am a beautiful female GSD. I HATE having my nails trimmed. I snarl and carry on but mom still insists on trimming them. She has never hit even come close to making my nails bleed but I still Hate it. Mom has seen a product advertised called PediPaws. This product looks good but mom doesn't want to spend the money if it's not worth it. Do you have any opinion or experience with this product? If, not, any suggestions?

--Thanks, Natti in Ohio

A: I have never had it used on me, and my partner does not know of anyone personally who has used it. However, for curiosity's sake, she looked up some comments on Google, and it does not sound like it is much different from a dremmel tool with a cover on it. Here is a groomers' forum with some comments about the PediPaws tool: . We do know a lot of breeders who like using a dremmel tool, but it does make noise, and I (being a rather noise-sensitive dog) do not like strange noises. I went to my current home when I was 10 months old. The first time my partner trimmed my nails, I started to throw a fit, but she calmly and firmly (but gently) lay on me until I calmed down. She did not even try to start again until I was calm. I let her do all my nails after that and have not minded it since then. I think the key is for your person to be very patient and just wait until you calm down before proceeding. Even so, I know that there are dogs who have a true phobia about nail trims. Sometimes the only answer is sedation.


Natti Anne said...

Thanks for the good comments. I think you made a very good observation when you said that the turning point for you was when you were 10 months old and your partner lay on you. I was much older when my human mom got involved and she did not make it clear that she was an Alpha like dad, so I have always been able to get away with more around her than around my human dad. You are so right about the importance of the human being calm. If mom starts to get impatient that's when I really loose it. When she talks sweetly to me, I am so much better. She has learned so much about GSD's and she says that if we ever get a new GSD pup, she will take her knowledge about GSD's and use it knowing that I have taught her so much. It has taken her a while to get used to everything that a GSD brings to a relationship but she has fallen in love with the breed. What's not to love? She even jokes about my little idiosyncracies to all of her human "dog-loving" friends. Again thanks for your advice and for having a great blog!
Natti Anne

SoulandSubstance said...

I'm glad you thought the comments were helpful. You know, we GSD's are not like "normal" dogs. One other thing I thought you might want to keep in mind. Be careful that your person is not giving you positive reinforcement for incorrect behavior--If she talks soothingly while you are struggling, then you are getting rewarded for struggling. It is much more effective for her to be calm and firm and just say nothing.

Natti in Ohio said...

You are so smart! Of course, I would expect nothing less from a fellow GSD. It is so cool that you have a veterinarian "in the house". She must be very smart too. What a team you must be! I'll be sure to tell my human to read this comment so she will be careful not to reward me for struggling. My human always tells everyone that sometimes I am "too smart" but she says that with a lot of pride in her voice.
By the way, I read on your Dogster profile that your person is looking for a "job" for you. Have you considered Agility? I have had some training in this area and I love it because it involves using my brains and my brawn.
Thanks again for your advice.

SoulandSubstance said...

Actually, I think my person is planning to sign me up for an Agility class this Fall. Her previous dogs LOVED agility.

Lapa37 said...

I told max about Ginny thinking he is handsome and he was thrilled to hear it. He saw Ginny's picture and thinks she is beautiful.He is hoping they become friends.

S.S. said...

I am so glad. Please keep in touch.

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