Pet Tips

Tip – 28 – Dog training – Dog nail cutting – clipping


Should the dog show signs of being uncomfortable when clipping its nails, first get it accustomed to its paws being handled by massaging each of its paws for 10 or 15 seconds, until it shows no negative reaction to being touched in this way. Next introduce the nail clippers. In the beginning you may just want to tap the nails with the clipper and not do any cutting. Later you may want to cut only 1 or 2 nails at a sitting.

When the dog feels comfortable with this kind of handling you can begin to cut the nails in a single sitting. For the first few times it may help to have someone hold the dog’s head and distract it with kibbles or treats while you clip its nails. The person giving the treats should say the dog’s name, and when it looks in their direction it gets the treat. Effectively this distracts the dog and gets its mind off what you are doing with its nails. Take care that you do not cut too far up the dog’s nail so that you cut into the quick. It is time to cut the dog’s nails when its nails touch the floor while the dog is standing. Should you cut too far into the nail so that it starts to bleed, simply put some flour or starch on the bleeding end of the nail to hasten clotting.

© Copyright Stanley Coren, reproduction by permission only.

Leave a Comment

(Additional questions? Ask them for free in our dog - cat - pet forum)