ARISTOCRAT FRENCH BULLDOGS -BREEDING BETTER DOGS!

ARISTOCRAT FRENCH BULLDOGS
VETERINARIAN BREEDER DEDICATED TO BREEDING BETTER DOGS
LIFE TIME GUARANTEE!

BLACK NAIL CLIPPING DEMO

NAIL CLIPPING & GROOMING DEMOS ON VIDEO**DON'T FORGET TO USE THE "BACK" KEY ON YOUR BROWSWER IF YOU USE THIS LINK & NOT THE LINK IN THE NAVIGATION BAR!

KEEPING YOUR BULLMASTIFF CLEAN, SMELLING GREAT WITH HEALTHY SKIN AND A HEALTHY HAIR COAT!!!

GROOMING & NAIL CLIPPING LINKS TO VIDEO DEMOS:

(DON'T FORGET TO HIT THE "BACK" KEY ON YOUR BROWSWER SO WE DON'T LOSE YOU AFTER WATCHING THE VIDEOS (YOU DON'T NEED TO DO THIS IF YOU USE THE LINK IN THE NAVIGATION BAR JUST THE LINKS BELOW-COME ON BACK!!!) THERE'S MORE TO LEARN 

 

FIRST FOR EQUIPMENT FOR GROOMING I USE A RUBBER CURRY COMB (LIKE THE KIND OF HORSES) GET A NICE SOFT ONE NOT THE HARD RUBBER IT SHOULD BEND EASILY!

***VETZPETS INT. MY BUSINESS WHERE I MAKE ALL KINDS OF COOL CUSTOM PRODUCTS FOR BULLMASTIFFS, AND ALL DOGS FROM THE BIG TO THE SMALL, I ALSO CARRY ALL THE PRODUCTS THAT HAVE BEEN TESTED TRIED AND TRUE THAT I USE MYSELF WITH MY OWN DOGS. I'VE WASTED SO MUCH MONEY OVER THE YEARS ON THINGS THAT DON'T WORK WELL AND AFTER 30 YEARS OF LIVING WITH BULLMASTIFFS I'VE FOUND ALL THE THINGS THAT WORK GREAT, HOLD UP FAR BETTER THAN ANYTHING ELSE, ARE EASY TO CLEAN AND USE AND IF YOU BUY THEM FROM ME (VETZPETS INT.) PART OF THE PROCEEDS HELPS FUND MY BULLMASTIFF RESCUE PROGRAM AND THE REST SUPPORTS MY DOGS IN THE SPOILED "ROYAL" MANNER THEY ARE ACCUSTOMED TO! SO ANYONE WHO ORDERS PRODUCTS FROM ME I THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND NOT ONLY ARE YOU GETTING THE BEST QUALITY PRODUCTS THE MONEY GOETS TO A GREAT CAUSE!

WOOF - TRANSLATED IN DOG MEANS THANK YOU 

SO THE LIST OF GROOMING PRODUCTS SHOULD BE:

1) A SOFT SUBTLE RUBBER CURRY COMB

2) A SOFT BRISTLED BRUSH (I LIKE THE PLASTIC ONES YOU SEE IN THE VIDEO BECAUSE THEY ARE SUPER EASY TO CLEAN AND WORK VERY WELL TO KEEP THE DOGS COATS CLEAN AND SHINY! I JUST RINSE THEM OFF WITH HOT WATER IN THE SINK THEN PUT THEM BRISTLE PART DOWN ON A HAND TOWEL TO DRY, IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE TWO OF THESE BRUSHES.

YOU SHOULD ALSO HAVE ONE TINY BRUST FOR THEIR FACE (WHICH I USE BUT DIDN'T DEMO IN THE VIDEO) I BUY A CAT BRUSH WHICH IS PERFECT ALSO GREAT FOR LITTLE PUPPIES!!!

3) A FURMINATIOR (TO REMOVE DEAD HAIR) OR A HORSE/DOG SHEDDING BLADE

4) GROOMING/CONDITIONING SPRAY-I USE A MIXTURE OF "GLO-COAT" AND MINK OIL MIXED TOGETHER AND SHAKEN WELL BEFORE SPRAYING, YOU CAN SPRAY DIRECTLY ON THEIR BODY AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T GET IN THEIR EYES BUT USUALLY I SPRAY THE BRUSH INSTEAD.

5) A GOOD HEAVY DUTY PAIR OF NAIL CLIPPERS, ALSO (JUST IN CASE) HAVE SOME BLOOD STOP POWDER (CORN STARCH WORKS GREAT TOO) ON HAND JUST IN CASE YOU CLIP TOO CLOSE AND GET A BLEEDING NAIL (GIVE TREATS AND LOTS OF PRAISE DURING BOTH NAIL CLIPPING, EAR CLEANING AND GROOMING PROCESS) THIS WAY YOUR DOG WILL NOT WRESTLE YOU EVERY TIME YOU NEED TO DO NAILS, CLEAN EARS OR DO A GROOMING AND THE GROOMING DEMO'ED SHOULD BE DONE ONCE A WEEK, DAILY SPRAY THE SOFT BRUSH WITH GROOMING SPRAY MIXTURE AND GIVE THEM A GOOD BRUSHING USEING THE SMALLER BRUSH FOR THEIR FACE, THIS KEEPS THEM CLEAN, SMELLING GOOD AND A MUCH HEALTHIER HAIR COAT AND SKIN THAN IF YOU GAVE THEM BATHS-BATHS REMOVE THE NATURAL OILS IN THEIR SKIN AND CAN CAUSE THEM TO DROP THEIR COATS MEANING LOTS OF SHEDDING!!! ONLY GIVE A BATH WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY AND IF YOU MUST THE BEST SHAMPOO IS CALLED MR. CRYSTALS AUSTRALIAN TEARLESS SHAMPOO WITH OIL OF ORCHIDS, IT SMELLS GREAT AND IS MUCH LESS DRYING THAN OTHERS-EVEN SHAMPOOS MADE FOR DRY SKIN! TROUBLE IS IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND, I BOUGHT A GALLON JUG A YEAR OR SO AGO SO I'D HAVE IT IN STOCK SHOULD ANYONE NEED SOME JUST LET ME KNOW.

6) A SOFT CLOTH TO WIPE OVER LAST PART OF THE GROOMING ASLO CAN BE USED TO WIPE THE WRINKLES AND NORMAL DISCHARGE FROM THEIR EYES THAT CAN COLLECT IN THE WRINKLS.

7) A GOOD GENTLE EAR CLEANER, EITHER PAPER TOWELS OR GAUZE PADS AND POSSIBLY Q-TIPS OR APPLICATOR TIPS (JUST Q-TIPS ON A LONG WOODEN STICK), DO NOT GO DOWN INTO THE EAR CANAL JUST USE TO GET INTO THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES OF THEIR EARS, NORMAL DOG EAR WAX IS DARK BROWN IN COLOR OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR EAR MITES, IT IS EXTREMELY RARE THAT DOGS GET EAR MITES UNLESS THEY ARE HANGING AROUND AND VERY CLOSE TO A CAT THAT HAS THEM AND THEY BASICALLY HAVE TO SLEEP TOGETHER, THAT CLOSE-IT'S VERY RARE FOR DOGS TO GET THEM!

8) VASELINE-TO KEEP THEIR NOSE MOISTURIZED AND TO KEEP IT FROM CHAPPING AND CRACKING IN THE WINTER, FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE DOGS THAT DO NOT HAVE BLACK PIGMENTED NOSES (LIGHT COLORED NOSES) USE SUNSCREEN 30 SPF ALL YEAR ROUND THIS WILL PREVENT WHAT IS CALLED "COLLIE NOSE" IT'S SUNBURN AND THE SUN CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO DOGS WITH LIGHT PIGMENTED SKIN JUST AS IT DOES WITH HUMANS! IT WILL NOT HURT THEM IF THEY LICK AT IT BUT IT WON'T HELP EITHER SO RUB IT IN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

9) ALWAYS HAVE TREATS (YUMMY-YUMMY) TREATS ON HAND WHEN PERFORMING ANY OF THESE PROCEEDURES ON YOUR DOG-WE WANT OUR DOGS TO BE HAPPY EVEN THROUGH THE LESS FUN THINGS THAT ARE NECESSARY TO KEEP THEM HEALTHY! THIS PART IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT-TREAT AND PRAISE YOUR DOG OVER AND OVER!!!

....GOT TO GO FOR NOW....THE DOGS CALL, BUT I WILL FINISH TYPING THE DETAILS LATER,

HERE ARE THE LINKS TO THE VIDEOS (DON'T FORGET TO HIT THAT "BACK KEY" ON YOUR BROWSER SO YOU CAN COME ON BACK AND WATCH THE REST OF THE VIDEOS!!!) LINKS BELOW:

VIDEO #1 GROOMING STUFF AND NAIL CLIPPING DEMO VIDEO (1):

http://sharing.theflip.com/session/7397ecb3b08df9868a70662ea8439f9e/video/2996971

USING A DREMEL TOOL TO "CLIP" YOUR DOG'S NAILS INSTEAD OF CLIPPERS

Why I Dremel Instead of Clip?

The abridged summary answer to this question is that it is more comfortable for the dog and you can get the nails shorter and smoother (which is nicer for you). This is actually a much more comfortable method of maintaining nails than clipping them because it does not pinch or hurt the quick. The quick is sensitive living flesh inside your dog's nail. With our large dogs, in order to cut through the hard shell nail, you must squeeze the nail between the clipper's two surfaces. If you use a guillotine style, then the nail is pushed hard against the immovable blunt metal while the blade cuts in from one side. If you use the scissors-style, then two blades squeeze in from either side of the nail. If you must clip, IMHO, this is the better method than the guillotine since it cuts from both sides and therefor squeezes a little less. However, neither is very good because when you squeeze in on the nail, you invariably must pinch down on the quick inside the nail. The harder the nail, the more the pressure you must apply. Thus, it can be very uncomfortable for the dog. Also, when clipping on dark nails, you are effectively cutting blind. In order to get the nails back, you keep doing a series of small clips and try not to hit the quick. As a result, you often stop short of where you could go, if you were using a Dremel. When done properly, there is no squeezing or pressure on the quick with the Dremel. Further, you can see "inside" the nail as you gradually grind back to the quick. So, you can judge when you're getting close to nicking it and stop in time. With the Dremel, you can also grind off all around the quick so that it recedes faster and you can get even shorter nails. The closer you can get to the quick, the more you can force it to recede and the more quickly it will recede. Finally, you can grind off all the corners and rough edges leaving nice soft nails that don't gouge nearly so much when your Dobes paw you for affection.

The Equipment I Use:

I use the Dremel Multipro with the sliding variable adjustable speeds from 5,000 rpm to 30,000 rpm for full grown Dobermans. For small breeds (like a family member's toy poodle) or for puppies, I would use the smaller and more maneuverable cordless, rechargeable Mini-mite. The Multipro is shown below:

Although the Multipro can obviously go much faster, and this is handy for other craft and tool projects, I do not go above the "2" setting on it. It's usually on the "1" or between it and the "2" setting. I would estimate this is somewhere around 5,000 to 7,500 rpms. If you use it much faster, the friction will be too great and it will get too hot for the dog's nails. If this happens, it will hurt the dog. Please note: there are other brands of grinders and similar tools. But, since I've never used them, I write from the perspective of my experience with the Dremel and its accessories only.

As for the accessories, I use the 1/2" by 1/2" sanding bands on the 1/2" sanding drum mandrel:

(If I were doing puppies or a small dog, I might be more inclined to use the 1/4" bands and the smaller mandrel.) I use what are considered Medium to Fine Grit bands. Some companies call their 150 grit bands medium and their 300 grit bands fine. Others, like Dremel, call their 120 grit fine. So, let me be more specific. I presently use the 120 grit 1/2" sanding bands either by Sears Craftsman or Dremel:

I've not really tried other brands. So, I can neither recommend nor discourage their use. I may be looking into alternate sanding band suppliers, however, since my supplier of the more bulk-like quantities of Sears bands has ceased to carry them in the 25 count bags. If you've had good luck with an off-brand or know of a place where quantities can be ordered of Dremel or Craftsman, please let me know. My email is at the bottom of this site.

I do not use the various grinding stones because they get too hot for the dog's nails and can hurt the dog! Please do not use any of these:

If you find it to be a hassle to change bands and for your convenience you decide to try the grinding stones, please let me make a suggestion. Get two drums so you always have one ready to switch to that already has a fresh band on it. They are cheap enough. But, please, for the sake of your dog, don't use the grinding stones. If you have any doubt about how hot they get, try using them on some wood and see how long it takes to burn the wood. Then, imagine that feeling near your own nerve endings if it were being used near your quick.

If you have a dog that is particularly sensitive to the noise, you may prefer either to use the Minimite rechargeable-style Dremel that is a bit more quiet or else use the flexible shaft adapter so that the noisy motor is further away from the dog.


Safety Tips and Additional Supplies:

If you are working on a dog with a longer coat, there is a chance the dog's fur will get caught in the spinning Dremel head and be yanked out painfully. You can keep the dog's fur from getting in the way and getting caught in the Dremel by using an old pair of pantyhose over the paw. Then, you just push the nail through the hose to work on it. The hose will hold the fur back out of the way. Some folks say that the hose run too easily. They prefer using trouser socks or surgical hose. I have tried this technique on my parents' toy poodle, and I was pleased with it. Though, I agree that the more durable sock is probably better than the pantyhose. I will have to try that next.

If you have long hair, you may want to pull it up and out of the way for the same reason. ::grin:: Also, please be warned that little bits of debris and nail can fly off while you are grinding. If they go in your eye, it can hurt. It is a good idea (though admittedly not one I always follow ::sheepish grin::) to wear protective eye covering while grinding. In addition, if you are sensitive to dust, you may want to wear a mask because there will be a good bit of dust when you grind and your face will be close to it.

Finally, I always keep some quick-stop styptic powder handy and some Vaseline when doing nails. The powder can be used to stop bleeding if you do nick the quick. In my experience, usually just applying pressure to the end of the nail is enough without the powder. Unlike clipping nails, if you do get close enough to hit the quick when grinding, it is so slight that it does not bleed very much and the dogs do not seem to hurt as much as when you "clip" the quick. But, I still keep it on hand. The Vaseline is just for vanity. When you grind, there is a lot of dust and the nails get rather dusty and grimy looking. If you put some Vaseline on when done, they look all nice and shiny black again:

How I Introduce the Dremel:

A proper introduction to the Dremel is the most important step to grinding your dog's nails. If the dog's first experience is negative, then you will have a long way to go to having a dog that will permit you to grind the nails. If done right, then your dogs will just relax and enjoy the pedicure. Two of mine actually have fallen asleep while I was doing their nails. Keep in mind, you can introduce a Dremel to a dog at any age! Mine are all rescues and all have adapted to the use of a Dremel. (By the way, if the dog is new to you or to having its nails done, you should also "introduce" the dog to having its paws handled by you and then make a point to handling them daily. You can use the same methods I describe here and just adapt them to paw handling generally.)


Here's how I introduce the Dremel - I do it in a process over a period of days or even a couple of weeks depending on the dog's sensitivity and temperament. First, all I do is just get the Dremel out and let the dog sniff it and explore it. For such curiosity and investigation, I give treats. In fact, I've been known to put the treats on the Dremel just to get the dog to touch it (while turned off). Then, I turn it on and off in the room with the dog and give the dog a treat for examining and exploring it (while off or "disarmed") and for not being afraid of its noise when on. After this is going well, (and, coincidentally, the dog is starting to associate the Dremel being taken out with getting a goodie ) I have the dog lay down and I just touch the Dremel to A, SINGULAR, SOLITARY, SOLO, AS IN "ONE" AND ONLY ONE nail and give the dog a treat with lots of praise. Please note, I just "touch" it. I do not actually grind the nail down. Then, gradually I touch 2 nails and then a whole foot of nails... followed by a treat. I build up with a treat after each nail then wean down to a treat after each paw. Finally, I work up to doing all the nails on all the paws and the dog gets a BIG treat and praise when all done. Again, this is just "touching" the nails, no lengthy grinding.

Once I do start grinding the nails, it "feels" very similar to the dog because I only spend a few seconds on each nail before doing the next anyway (this is explained more below in the Technique section). And, when I first start grinding the nails, I do not try to do them down short completely nor do I do all the paws. I grind the nails on one paw only, and then just "touch" the nails on the others. And, I do not try to get that one paw down to the maximum shortness. I want the experience to be positive and to build up the grinding "time" gradually for the dog. You don't train a sit-stay by having your dog hold it for 3 seconds the first time and 3 minutes the second time. The same goes for grinding. Build up slowly and with all positive experiences. If you are a newbie to grinding and you try to go too short early on, you may nick a quick and that will not be a "positive" experience. So, building up slowly is better for both of you. By using this method of introduction and gradual build-up, my dogs actually bully one another and jockey-jostle to try to be first in line when the Dremel comes out. I assure you, that beats chasing unwilling dogs through the house and dragging them to the chopping block.

The Techniques I Use to Dremel Nails:

In order to grind nails effectively, it is important to understand how the nail grows and what it looks like inside there. The nail grows out from the base (closest to the paw). For my purposes, the nail consists of three main areas: the hard outer shell ("shell"), the meaty area between the shell and the quick ("meat"), and the quick area of the nail that will bleed if you nick it ("quick"). The shell is the old growth. It is essentially dead material like the white tips of your own fingernails and toenails. The dog has no feeling there (to my knowledge). The meat (that's my term for it) is the new growth area that is in transition from quick to shell. It is not as hard as the shell, but it is not sensitive living flesh like the quick. Then, there is the quick. That is the portion of the nail that still is alive and growing with nerve endings in it and a steady blood flow. If you nick it or pinch it, it will hurt the dog and it will bleed. The quick grows out from the base and narrows as it extends out into and ends in the meat and "dead areas" of the nail. It also has a tendency to curve down inside the nail towards the ground. If you've ever seen overgrown nails, they usually curve down in a similar arc. This is rather hard for me to describe, so I drew a picture:

When you grind or clip nails, you bring the outer protective edge and covering of nail (the meat and shell) back closer to the quick. The natural reaction to having less protection out there is that the sensitive quick recedes. Thus, when you grind the nail, the closer you can come to the quick without nicking it, the further back you can force it to recede and the shorter you can eventually get the nail to be. Where the quick is, there is living flesh and you cannot grind it. Where the quick no longer is, there is meat or dead shell and you can grind it. So, the goal, when trying to get nails shorter, is to get the quick to recede back from the tip of the nail: the faster and the further, the better. In order to do this, you want to come as close as you can without hitting it. This is where the angle on the tip you grind is important.

  1. The Key Angle:

Many folks grind nails coming out at a diagonal from under the nail towards the tip. A friend of mine who is both my agility coach and a Vet tech in her "real world" job taught me this trick. If you grind the nail tip perpendicular to the floor (i.e., straight up and down), you can get more of the nail off close to the quick without actually nicking the quick. This has always been hard for me to describe to folks, so I took some pictures to illustrate what I mean. Here are two photos of a nail that has been ground back as close to the quick as possible without nicking it and showing the Dremel at the perpendicular angle I was just describing (the one I use):

And, here is a diagram of the correct angle showing its relationship to the quick:

That is actually a bit too close to the quick, but you get the idea.

Obviously, when I'm grinding, I don't actually hold the Dremel like it is in the photos above. I hold the paw when I grind and I usually have the Dremel facing with the grinding band upright while I work. However, I positioned it like that to illustrate the angle to the ground that you want on the tip of the nail. Also, I later grind off the sides and corners so that they are not so rough and square. But, for purposes of this illustration, they are more effective left blunt to show the angle. Here's a picture of me actually grinding the nails:

Now for a comparison on the correct angle. Below on the left is the same nail that was photographed above, but I am holding the Dremel at an angle. If I had ground the nail at the diagonal angle shown (which folks commonly use), I would have left all that excess nail in the white "V" area that you see between the straight front vertical edge of the nail and the slanting off side of the Dremel sanding band head. On the right is a picture of another of my dogs' nails and I am pointing to the V area:

Keeping in mind the goal is to get in as close to the quick as possible, obviously this method fails. By taking out all that excess area, you get closer to the quick and force it to recede more. This enables you to get the nail shorter. Yet, you are no closer to nicking the quick than you were with the slant.

Now, that's an explanation of the angle I use to get the nails shorter faster. But, that's not exactly where you begin, nor where you end. So, here's the process that I use to Dremel nails from beginning to end. ::smile::

  1. The Ground Rules:

There are some ground rules (pardon the pun!) BEFORE you start:

  1. You never, ever apply pressure to the nail with grinding head. Allow the speed of the spinning drum and the friction of the sand to do the grinding. If you apply pressure, it will press on the quick and it will get too hot. Both mean that your dog will be uncomfortable and unhappy.
  2. Never keep the Dremel in one spot longer than three seconds and never do the same nail for more than three seconds continuously. Once again, this will cause the head and the nail to get too hot. You will burn and hurt your baby. I alternate around nails and then come back to allow cooling time. I usually do two paws at a time. So, I do one nail for 3 seconds, the next, the next and the last. Switch paws and repeat on other paw. Return to first paw and repeat whole sequence.
  3. Always support the toe and nail you are currently working on. There will be some vibration from the grinding and your dog will be more comfortable if you lessen the effect of this by holding the toe in question. Also, this enables you to have better control in case your dog moves the paw so you don't accidentally grind fur or pads instead. Incidentally, if you push slightly on the underside of the pad, it will extend the nail out a bit further for easier grinding:
  4. Nails are easier to maintain short than they are to restore to short. In some nails, the quick will never recede back to as short as it once was, and you will never get the nails back without "quicking" them (i.e., cutting the quick short). I believe it is cruel to quick your dog's nail intentionally and will not do so myself. If you have a rescue that has really long nails, you might want to consider having them taken back while the dog is under anesthesia for spaying or neutering. In any event, the timetable I use to maintain nail length, is to grind between once a week and once every other week. To force receding and to get the nails shorter, I do them every 4 days.
  5. Before you begin grinding each time, examine your dog's nails. This is both a benefit of and an important part of nail care that only takes a few seconds. The condition of your dog's nails can give you an early heads up about an unknown medical problem. If there are chew marks on the nails, this can be a sign of fleas or food allergies or just boredom. If there are areas of uneven wear, it can be a sign that your dog is dragging or sweeping that paw. This can be a sign of lameness, a muscle injury, a foot or pad injury, or the like. This is not a guide for diagnosis, by the way, just some suggested common causes of uneven wear or chewing based upon my experience. It is just common sense. Over time, you will become accustomed to the normal wear patterns of your dogs' paws and they should be consistent. If they are not, ask your vet!  I leave that decision up to you counterbalancing time, length and ability to judge wear.
  1. The Grinding Process:

Okay now, let's get started. Obviously, there are some differences and variations in how folks approach grinding, but here is the method I use. When I grind the nails, I start off by going straight across the underside of the nail. I remove all the rough stuff and uneven edges. If the nails have been let go a long time, then to the best of my ability, I take off the curling down point of the nail tip and bring it up to flush with the bottom of the nail. Here are some pics to illustrate what I mean:

Before:

After:

Then, I take off the top front edge or angle of the nail somewhat at a slant from the tip to the top of the nail:

After that, I begin my straight vertical edge across the tip of the nail, coming back gradually to the quick. As you take back the tip, it will be solid then you will start to see a two-textured arch. You will see the hard outer shell on top and the meat under it in an upside down "U":

As you grind back further, the nail shell will get thinner and the middle section will get "meatier" and larger. The meat section is actually a bit softer feeling than the shell if you put your finger on it. Eventually, the meaty area will have more of a circular (or if very near the bottom then an arched) center area becoming visible in it. I usually see either a darker circle/arch area in the meat or a dark inner area with a white pinpoint. This is the quick that you are approaching. That is the point at which I stop grinding back on the nail. Here are some illustrations since they say a picture is worth a thousand words:

At this point, I proceed to take off all the corners, the sides and all the rough edges around the tip and the quick to make a smooth nail and apply some vaseline:

The finished product is a nail that is rounded and attractive. I do not take my dogs' nails back as far as some conformation folks do and you won't find instructions here on how to do that. I want my dogs to have some traction with their nails, especially my bitch, Brandy, who runs in agility. What I look for in a nail is one that doesn't click on the floor, is not sharp, doesn't scratch and gouge when my dogs invariably paw at me, and that's it! As a nice finishing touch, a little Vaseline adds a nice black gloss to the nails. Here is a finished paw:

Voila!

Suzan's Training & Behavioral Tips

 

****Training Tip: It is always good to have a few chew toys around so when you catch the little bugger chewing on something bad… like your shoes, or more dangerous, like electrical cords, discipline him….again ONLY if you actually catch him in the act…he won’t understand otherwise and will associate the verbal punishment with EXACTLY what he IS doing at the time of the discipline! Anyway, when you do catch him chewing something unacceptable, tell him “NO” (in a low voice..it doesn’t have to be loud, just low)…remove the object and immediately replace it with an OK thing to chew on…like a rubber toy or a sterilized beef bone….when he starts chewing that, praise and praise him…he will VERY quickly make the association! So many people discipline a dog hours after he has chewed something he shouldn’t have (this can all be avoided by crate training!) and the poor thing hasn’t a clue as to what he is being chewed out for (no pun intended!) This will only confuse the daylights out of them, and make them kind of scared of you, and nervous around you…because they will never know when they are going to be yelled at…..you have to remember dogs…just like little kids, have no real concept of time…5 minuet, 3 days….all the same to them….

 

A crate, such as a Vari Kennel 200 (this is the size you want for when you first take your puppy home. (see Crate Training information)  

 

The SIZE of the crate is VERY important for use in house training. The rule of thumb is the crate should be large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around & lay down comfortably with room for a food bowl, if the crate is larger than that it will allow your puppy the extra space to use as a ‘bath room’, puppies will not soil the area where they sleep (unless they have been left in the crate too long). When the puppy first goes home (around 8 weeks old) I do not recommend leaving them crated more than 3 to 4 hours max. as they get older their bladder control will develop so they will be able to hold it longer. The puppy will have already been trained to go all night in the crate (approx. 6-7 hrs), but only that length of time at night.

 

A Water Bottle (I can order this as well if you like), I like the water bottles as opposed to a water bowl because they can’t spill them, or go swimming, and they will keep the puppy much dryer, they also cannot chew on the bottle since it is on the outside of the door. I know some people don’t put water in the crate for the puppy (so they will not have to urinate) & from a medical standpoint this isn’t a good idea, they need to have fresh water available to them at all times, as with all babies they can dehydrate very quickly.

 

Pick up a few toys for the puppy to chew on, he/she will be teething and will need nice safe toys to

chew on to help break those teeth through (it is not uncommon to find a “baby” tooth stuck in a rope

toy or rubber toy along with a little blood, this is perfectly normal at this age!) Cotton Robe toys, rubber toys like Kong- brand name and even some human baby teething toys…just make sure they can not be ripped or swallowed! Ice cubes help to sooth sore gums & cut teeth & they LOVE them! Also raw carrots

are a good treat to give to the pup, they too (if kept cold in the fridge) will help to sooth sore gums, they also help prevent tartar build up on their teeth. But do watch them with carrots because they could

choke.

 

Toys are VERY important in training your puppy, because every time he/she try’s to chew on something

that is not acceptable you give them a verbal command (always using the same tone of voice for bad behavior… lower tones, and higher, happy tones for good behavior, I don’t think it is necessary to

punish a puppy by hitting them…if you don’t actually catch them in the act you cannot discipline them

at all…it will have no meaning because they will be unable to associate you being mad at them with anything other that what they are doing at the moment! Dogs are very intelligent, but they have no real concept of time, you can leave the house, forget something, turn right around & come back through the door no more than just a few minuets after leaving & the dogs will act like you’ve been gone for years!

You always have a wonderful welcoming committee with dogs! J

 

When a dog takes off without a leash and is having too much fun romping around to bother “hearing”

you are calling him to come.. and you are becoming more and more fearful because you are afraid he’ll

get hit by a car, and when you finally get his attention and he finally comes to you….well, the first thing

you want to do is kill him for scaring you so bad..at least discipline him for not coming when called

(this is one big difference between teaching a human child and a puppy!), but if you do discipline him

you will only reinforce his NOT coming to you when called because he knows now that if he comes to

you he gets in trouble!
They associate either praise or punishment with what they are doing at the moment, not what they did a

few minuets ago, so many dogs are totally confused by this, but if you just understand that they live in

the moment & have no concept of future or past time, they you & your dog will understand each other

very well!

Yes it is hard…but you must PRAISE him when he finally comes…he had no conception of the time that

you spent calling him…the more you praise him the more apt he will be to come the FIRST time you call

him next time. Check into obedience classes & get an appointment. Also obedience training will be a

great help with this as well….but STAY CLEAR of ANY trainer that recommends physically punishing

your dog…this may cause irreparable damage to your dogs personality!!!!  Positive & Negative reinforcement through tone of voice and body language such as hand signals combined with your

lowered change of voice should be all you ever need to train your dog! You MUST be able to understand a dog’s behavior before you can train him out of behavior that isn’t acceptable. Treats are also a wonderful training tool, little bits of cheese, broken milk bones, Cheerios, anything little like that. Bullmastiffs respond very well to food, BUT food praise is something you should not do on any regular basis or soon

You will have another Pavloff’s dog! Alternate praise in the form of verbal (high tones) praise, pats, &

food but in no set pattern, believe me they will pick up on any pattern when it comes to food!

 

Somehow I skipped from toys to training to behavior…but it all ties in, really it does! OK, I’ll move on!

But really, if you EVER have any questions regarding training, behavior, medical or something someone

has told you that may not “feel” right, just let me know…I have had many, many years experience with animal medicine, behavior and training…and I DON’T mind answering questions!! I would much rather answer questions than have physical or psychological damage done unintentionally to the puppy/dog.

 

You will need to be buying collars for awhile while your Bullmastiff Puppy grows; I always use flat buckle collars to get them used to wearing collars while they are still with me. I put these little collars on very loose so if they get caught on anything it will slip easily over their heads and not choke them, however when they are on a leash you defiantly want to use a no-slip collar…I recommend a martingale type collar since they can't slip out of them yet they will not constrict to the point of choking or causing damage to the puppies trachea, I do not recommend chain chokes for puppies especially since their neck muscles are not fully developed & can cause injury to their trachea. I can recommend good training collars for bully pups (see training too, for pictures of collars) They are very comfortable for the dog and they only time you tighten the collar with the leash is as a correction for pulling when you are walking..it’s a quick correction and then as soon as he is walking nicely by your side they collar is let loose again with the leash. This collar is perfect for leash training, but it also keeps your puppy safe by preventing the chance he may slip out of his collar.

You never want to leave this collar on when you are unable to watch him though, if he gets caught on something this collar is designed NOT to slip over his head, so take it off unless you are walking or training him. Keep a flat collar for in the house, and keep it loose enough that it can slip over his head if he ever gets caught on something.

Chain collars are tougher on their necks and tracheas, and the metal prong collars I think are just cruel, if you start working with your puppy teaching him to walk calmly on a leash you would never need to use a collar like that. If there is an instance where you don’t want to train & just go for a relaxing walk before your puppy is totally leash trained a Halter works excellent, the same principle as with a horse, you control the head you control the whole animal, VetzPets Bully-Boutique sells halters made just for Bullmastiffs short muzzles, with a safety strap that attaches to their regular collar.