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Karen B. London
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Cutting Nails
Reducing the stress for you and your dog
Trimming these nails is a challenge.

There are few parts of dog guardianship that are less agreeable than cutting nails. In fact, the only task that I dislike more is picking up poop, and depending on the dog, clean-up duty may even be preferable to nail trimming.

 
I worked for almost a year as a dog groomer, so I know a few tricks about getting nails trimmed no matter what. Whether it’s keeping a dog occupied with treats or a favorite chew toy, the promise of a walk immediately afterwards, calming holds to use with struggling dogs, or trimming one nail a day for three weeks and then starting over, it is possible to cut any dog’s nails. I even occasionally advise using a muzzle. It’s better to get it done quickly in order to minimize the stress for the dog or the chance of a bite to the human, and if a muzzle makes that happen, it may be the best option.
 
Of course, many people have dogs who patiently present each paw and sit like a statue while each nail is cut. For the rest of us, it’s worth trying out a variety of techniques to learn what works best for your dog.
 

 

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Frances | October 12 2010 |

I play the taptap game with mine from pups. Touch the clippers to the nail, treat. Repeat, and repeat, tapping different nails. Build up to snipping just beyond the nail, still treating. Then take of the tiniest tip of the nail ... Mine don't particularly like nail clipping, but they accept it. I have always been very, very careful not to hurt, and not to cut the quick!

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