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Monday, September 4, 2017

Trimming Your Siberian Husky Nails

Trimming Your Siberian Husky Nails

Huskies can be a little tougher when it comes to trimming their nails when compared to other breeds. I have a Boston Terrier and an American Staffordshire Terrier as well as Luna, my husky at home and after reading lots of commentary in my local husky group, I was terrified that Luna would be a difficult one to clip! My other two dogs are absolute pros, when I bring out the nail trimmers the Boston, Thor, will run over with his back end wagging like its the 4th of July! Bella the staffy is much older and will come over more slowly but she enjoys a trim too!


Bella the staffy was a rescue and she is the one who actually taught me the best way to handle nail trim training, as she was absolutely terrified of trims when I first brought her home. In fact, the first couple years that I had her, I was too scared of warping her to even give it a try so I would take her to the groomers every 2 weeks for a cut. If you have any doubts as to whether you can trim your pups nails or not, do not take a chance, take them to a well-reputed groomer. Preferably one that your dog takes to and can build a trust and rapport with, it makes it much easier to keep them trimmed when they are happy about it. With Bella I gained confidence over time and it took a couple tries to really get a method down but when I did, I was happier and I think she is too! 



So after bringing Luna home I was very determined to add her to my doggy nail trim line-up. After a week or so of just getting comfortable with Luna, making sure that when I would pet her I was petting and rubbing her feet, I decided to give it a try.
Now Huskies have a lot more hair than my other two dogs and just glancing at the bottoms of her paws was a little daunting because for her to not slide all over my wooden floors,  I was going to have to do more than trim her nails, I would need to trim the hair around the pads of her feet too. 
This turned out to be super easy with Luna, which is not the case with many huskies, so she is the exception I think, not the rule. To keep her comfortable and happy, I tag-team the trim and clip with my kids, one will sit at her face while I do the tough part.  
First I take a very small pair of scissors and clip away just the hair around the pads that is sticking up, this hair is what causes a lot of random sliding around and it can also get pretty dirty since her paws are white. I will clip just a little bit, and then, when Luna gets antsy, have my kid feed her a couple treats.  It does take some time to finish up, so be prepared to invest half an hour or so to trimming the hair and nails on all four paws.  


Treating for the good behavior is what keeps the dog coming back voluntarily for more trims in the future so even if you don't have a partner, make sure you take time between each paw to let your husky pup know that they are doing super good with a tasty treat! 
When it comes to the actual toe clipping part, I definitely have a partner with the treats ready to go when she does well. For this step, when looking at their nails, you want to trim just where the toenail extends out a little bit past the reddish area (which is referred to as the quick). You want to hit the part that looks hollow to avoid causing any bleeding. A couple of Luna's nails are black so it is harder to tell with those, I will use the trim guard for those nails and just take off a very little bit at a time to avoid cutting the quick.  
In case of a bleed, make sure you are prepared! Have some flour on hand or some styptic powder to stop the bleeding if needed. In the years that I have trimmed my dogs nails, I have only needed the powder one time.  That could just be because I am lucky though! It is better to be safe than sorry though and both options are low cost to keep on hand for your trimming days.
Another method that can work is using a grinder, but that would be recommended to use right away before your husky gets too familiar with another way because they tend to be a little picky about the noise factor and the vibration of the tool. It is easy to use them though and will leave your pups nails a little smoother than just clipping as it uses emery paper like that on regular nail files. 
Whichever nail trimming method you decide on just be patient and make sure you comfort your husky a lot.  You want it to be a positive experience so that they continue to let you trim them without a fuss. Should you find that it is too much to handle though, you can always take them to the groomer, generally they will even let you watch so you know that they are being well taken care of! 

Special Notes Regarding Nail Trims:

  • Only use trimmers that are sharp, dull blades can split nails which cause lots of pain.
  • Guillotine clippers are not recommended as they don't always fit well around large nails.
  • If you find your husky stresses easily, it is ok to just clip a couple nails at a time until they get used to the experience.

Other helpful Siberian Husky articles:





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