If you are having trouble getting your pit bull to cooperate with you on nail trimming, one of the first things you should try is a different position. Finding the right position can totally change the dynamics of pit bull nail trimming. You want to strive for what makes your particular dog the most comfortable. Remember, every dog is different! No one position works best for all pit bulls. Some pit bulls have more anxiety if they are asked to lie on their back or on their side. In this case, you can try letting your dog stand on all four paws and lift each paw up one at time to trim his or her nails. Location can also make a big different. Some dogs prefer to be outside while others prefer to be lounging out in the bed. The main point is to keep trying different positions and different locations until you find one that puts your pit bull more at ease.
SEE ALSO: Tips For Giving a Proper Pit Bull Bath
2. Make It Fun
In some ways, it’s all about attitude. If you approach pit bull nail trimming with a fun and positive attitude, your dog will pick up on your vibe and mirror those feelings. If however, you start the process with anxiety and/or like it’s a chore, your dog will pick up on these negative feelings and mirror these too. Of course, having their favorite dog treats handy can also help make nail trimming seem like a fun event! It’s always best to play with your dog right after you trim their nails so they will associate this fun time with the process of getting their nails trimmed. In this way, when you say, “It’s time to trim your nails buddy…” they jump at the opportunity.
3. Praise Versus Scolding
Positive reinforcement tends to work much better than trying to force your pit bull to do something with harsh words. Try praising your dog when they cooperate and using a more positive language to gently encourage them when they aren’t cooperating. If you are consistent with this, it should work with most dogs.
If you get your pit bull when he or she is a puppy, you should start trimming their nails when they are very young, not long after they are weened. It will be much harder to get them to cooperate if you wait until they are full grown. You can ease a puppy into the idea by holding each paw and manipulating each claw/toe. This gets them acclimated to you handling with their feet and toes. If you get a pit bull when he or she is already grown, if possible, ask the previous owner what position they clipped their nails in and for other details. In some cases, maintaining consistency can help keep the pit bull calm about having their nails trimmed. If not possible, you will have to start from scratch. Try acclimating them as you would with a puppy. You may have to take this process slower than you would with a puppy, but if you are patient, they should become comfortable it.
5. The Best Nail Clippers
Pit bull nail trimming can be made much easier by using a nail clipper best suited for their type of nail. Pit bull nails are thick and strong and do not fit well in guillotine style nail clippers. Plier style clippers work much better for this reason. They also provide a very clean cut compared to guillotine clippers. Safari is a brand that many professional dog groomers use and they can usually be bought for under $10. Keep in mind too that cheaper nail clippers may be too dull for a pit bull’s thick nails. This can cause the nails to be crushed rather than cut which can lead to painful cracks that lead to the quick.