Originally Posted by dobermanfanatic View Post
I used to trim my dog's nails really often but:
1) She really hates it
For me the fact that some of my dogs have really hated having their nails is a big fat so what! They get used to it. I had dogs that didn't really like to retrieve but if we wanted to do Obedience beyond Novice they found out they had to learn that part of the exercises too. And I notice that my friends babies also hated having their nails done but that was a big so what since it was better that them ending up scratching themselves with long, untrmmed nails.
2) I've gone too far sometimes and made her bleed, but usually not.
Hmm--well, that's sort of "your bad"--and you need to practice more so that you don't do that.
I've tried both a standard dog nail cutter + dremel.
Either will work but I prefer the dremel. You actually have more control which means less chance of trimming too short and hurting the dog which will make her hate the process even more.
1) I assume I should be keeping up with her nails?
Yes, you should keep up with them--if you let them grow out too long it takes much more time and labor to get them back to where they should be AND if you keep them up you'll find that a short session once a week will keep them nice and short.
2) I've left them grow too much so I will need to take it slow, hopefully not hit the quick?
Yes, there isn't any easy way to do that except to start now and vow to never keep putting off nail trims until you realize that the nails are now far too long. The easiest way to not hit quick is to take a little off of each nail (I do one foot at a time making successive passes on the nails taking off just a little with each pass and moving on to the next toe)--you can actually see when you are getting close to quick because there will be a change in the center of the nail of both color and texture.
3) How often should I cut
I do nails once a week but bear in mind that my dogs all have short nails to start with. When I dog sat for a couple of adult dogs who came with nails far longer than my own dogs ever have I did nails twice a week on one of the dogs and three times a week on the other dog--both of them were with me for over 6 weeks and by the time they went home their nails were show ring short.
4) What dremel tool adapter or cutter should I get? I am okay with medium to higher end investment.
Huh? Adapter? The dremel I have now is a Dremel 3000--a kit which comes with a variable speed setting (10 rpm choices). I use only sanding belts which slide on to a sanding drum (sanding drums come in either 3/8" or 1/2". I prefer and use 1/2" on all of my dogs)--I buy belts in 60 grit and 120 grit--60x takes off quite a lot of nail material and 120 is slower but gives a finer finish and I use it exclusively on puppies. Mostly I use only 60x on adults.
I DO NOT use grinding stones, or any sort of cutter--cutters take off too much material and it's too easy to hit quick and hurt your dog and grinding stones heat up--hurt if you put too much pressure on a nail or grind on one nail too long.
5) Should I just go get them cut at a professional place?
Well, that's a decision only you can make--I wouldn't because I can teach a dog to tolerate having nails done better than most of the professionals. And the only way to get good at it and teach your dog to put up with it is to do it yourself (or at least that's my opinion).
Sidenote: dog comes from decent line (cambria)
For Apollothedog: I'm with Meadowcat on the business of dogs wearing down their own nails. It worked on my Aussie but not on any Doberman I've ever had. First of all the proper shape of a Dobe foot (very thick with heavy pads and basically round) and the way they move if they have proper movement isn't going to wear a nail down. On an adult dog unless the nails are very long or the dog has a thin/flat foot the tip of the nail doesn't much contact the ground.
Puppies are a different story--and I've had puppies who did wear their own hails down if we were doing a lot of walks on concrete or playing in tennis courts (asphalt). And no--I'm definitely not just polishing nails--if you look at the nails on any of my adult dogs they are ground flat across and usually only a little longer than the hair on the toes--you can see the nail but the nail tip never touches the ground when the dog is moving. If I can hear a tick, tick, tick of a nail on the floor that dog needs a trim--right now.
Aussies--for the record have a foot shape which is longer than it is wide and the set of the nail is a little different (it's actually somewhat between the cat foot of a Dobe and the hare foot of a few breeds.)
And Afghan Hounds have feet and pads which are larger than Dobes in preportion to body size but they are also thick and have heavy pads--a definite requirement for a coursing sight hound. My Afghan didn't keep his nails short on cement either--for much the same reason that Dobes don't--partly foot shape, nail set and partly movement.
Good luck OP--the thing with nails is that you can't cheat--for most Dobes it does take weekly trims to keep that nice short nail--miss a week and it will take three weeks or more to get the nail back to the length most of us want them.