Mango at 15 weeks old

This post is more than a week late. I got lazy this week and really did not feel like writing.

Last Thursday (9/11), Mango was exactly 15 weeks old. When i weighed him three days later on Sunday, he was 13.2 pounds (5.99 kilos).

So far, our breeder Leslie has been kind enough to trim Mango’s nails when Smelly and i take him there for his weekly daycare. However, at some point, we really have to do this on our own. When i took Mango to his first week of daycare, Leslie showed me how she trimmed Mango’s nails with a Dremel. Mango was put on a grooming table and was secured by a short leash from the top. You would not believe the amount of screaming and whining Mango made as Leslie proceeded to dremel his nails. Even when Leslie got done and i was holding Mango, whenever Leslie turned on the Dremel to trim another Shiba’s nails, Mango would be trembling all over. I asked Leslie if there was a way to associate nail trimming with something that’s positive. Leslie responded that it’s probably very difficult with the Shibas. The best way she recommended was to get it over with as quickly as we can.

About a month ago, we attempted to trim Mango’s nails with the nail trimmer. Naturally, Mango threw up a fit. Really, he sounded like a pig that just found out that he was going to be slaughtered. While i was grabbing onto Mango to prevent him from jumping off the table, Smelly was doing the nail trimming. On one of the nails on his front paw, Smelly trimmed a little too much and it cut into the “quick”. Mango started bleeding immediately and was appeared to be quite traumatized. After applying some Qwik Stop Styptic powder, the bleeding stopped, but also that ended our second attempt in trimming his nails.

Two weeks ago, i decided to do some research on trimming nails using Dremel. I found this really good site that demonstrates how to do just that. The instructions are very clear and the idea is to associate the nail trimming session with something enjoyable for Mango.

The first step was to get Mango comfortable with his paws being touched and handled by us. Every time i touched his paw, i would reward him with his favorite treat – chicken jerky from Costco. I did that for about two days.

Mango investigating the Dremel when it was off.

The next step was to take the Dremel out and leave it on the floor for Mango to sniff and explore it. I would reward him with treats and praises when he was brave enough to get close to the Dremel to investigate it.

Mango sniffing the Dremel when it was on.

When Mango became comfortable with the Dremel, i would turn it on and leave it on the floor. Again, when Mango came over to investigate it, i would reward him treats and praises. This step was to get Mango used to the noise generated with the Dremel on.

Touching Mango’s nail with the Dremel.

When that went well, i moved on to the next step. With the Dremel off, i would touch one nail with the Dremel. This was follow by a treat. I proceeded to touch two nails and then gave him treat and praises. Eventually, i would touch all his nails and then give him his treat.

Mango came back from his daycare with trimmed nails.

I was planning on grinding his nails for a very short duration last week but when i picked Mango up from his daycare, i realized that Leslie had already did that for me. I also noticed that Mango was bleeding. After waiting for another day or two, i started getting Mango used to being touched by the Dremel again.

This morning, i have a slight break through. While Mango was eating his treat, i touched one of his nails with the Dremel while it was on. The grind bit was probably on his nail for only half a second but Mango seemed ok with it. Tomorrow, i am going to try it on a few more nails and see how it goes.

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