Clipping Dog Nails - Small Dog Place

Thank you for this article. I carefully and slowly trained my three German Shepherd Dogs to the Dremel starting when they were puppies but it can be done at any age. My dogs' nails are so thick and tough it would be cruel to use a clipper. Nail trimming day (every Thursday) is the only time they get to be on the couch so it is special. In the beginning it was, "Head stays down, Mindy gets a treat." Repeat, repeat, repeat. At first be happy when the dog lets you touch her feet. Praise, praise, praise. Gradually touch the (turned off) Dremel to a toe and rub the sandpaper on the nail. Give another treat. Touch another nail. Let her sniff the Dremel. Take a break (go run and play) then start again. Eventually hold the Dremel at arms length away from the dog and turn it on to let him get used to the noise. Praise and treat. Make it fun and happy. Touch a nail with the turned on Dremel, move it away, praise, praise, praise. It may be days or weeks until you can do all nails in one session. Listen to your dog. If he snatches his foot away, let him. Do not make it a tug of war. It is his foot, respect him. Go slowly, praise and pet. One of my dogs is most sensitive on her back toes so I do those first. One dog wants to lie on his chest and watch - ok as long as he keeps his nose back! Another lies flat on her side and pretends it isn't happening. I can do the nails of all three dogs in less than half an hour. As you grind look at the trimmed end of the nail frequently. Get to know your dog's nail conformation and you will learn when you are getting close to the quick. Then smooth the edges. All done? Party time!

Here’s a great video showing how you can get your dog used to the process of nail clipping:

Puppies are notoriously squirmy and often protest any attempts at grooming. As with all other aspects of life, puppies need to be trained to be groomed. Any grooming task on a young puppy should be done with a firm, but gentle approach. Distracting the puppy with a treat, talking to the puppy gently, or simply holding the puppy on your lap and gently caressing him will distract him and help make your job easier.

From the moment you get your new puppy, spend some time each day to play with each foot so as to get him accustomed to someone touching his paws, pads of his feet and nails. When it comes time to clip his nails, he will be much more receptive to your grooming attempts.

It can be easier to clip the tiny nails of a toy puppy by using a human finger nail clipper. A human toe nail clipper works well with slightly larger puppies, but a regular nail clipper will need to be used for large breed dogs. Get the tip between the blades and just take of the tip, where the nail begins to curve.

Some puppies will not mind this at all and others will protest. Learn to do this quickly by holding the puppy in your lap and talk to him gently to distract him while quickly taking off the tips.

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When clipping dog nails, to remove blood stains from dog hair, dab with Hydrogen Peroxide. There are two basic styles of nail clippers for dogs: a scissors type and a guillotine type. They work equally well, so choose the design you’re most comfortable with. Be sure to buy the correct size for your dog, too-for example, you don’t want to use huge clippers on a tiny toy dog.

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A guillotine trimmer is a type of nail clipper made for dogs. It has a circle on the end to hold the dog's nail and a blade the slices up through the circle when you close the handles. It's usually is easier on a puppy's small nails than the scissors style, and it normally has a guide that helps you trim only a small amount off the end of the nail to help prevent cutting to the quick. Some scissor-style trimmers have a guide as well. Scissor-style trimmers resemble short-bladed scissors and work the same way, by compressing the nail as they cut through it. Nail grinders are the power tool of nail cutting, and normally they are unnecessary for puppies. The noise and the vibration of the grinder can scare puppies who are unused to having their nails cut.

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