When it comes to cutting your dog’s nails, we know that it can not be the easiest task. With an endless amount of running away, wriggling and pouting, getting the nail clippers out and trimming your dog’s nails can feel impossible!

But nonetheless it’s actually incredibly important to keep your dog’s nails trimmed and at a good length. As if you let their nails run wild it can lead to some serious health issues for your pet down the line. Causing discomfort, splayed foot, reduced traction and injured tendons.

But even though we know it’s so important to look after their nails, our dogs don’t! With many of them finding the sensory overload of having their nails clipped as something they fear. But don’t worry we’ve got your back to help you transform nail clipping time from a terrible tantrum to a relaxed experience that you and your dog can both enjoy.

4 Top Tips To Make Clipping Your Dog’s Nails Easier:

1. Introduce your dog to the nail clippers.

A big reason that some dogs (especially the youngsters) find having their nails clipped so traumatic is because they don’t understand what is happening to them. They find the nail clipper itself scary, making loud noises that can spook your pup.

Hence, introducing your dog slowly to the nail clipper and changing the association they have from negative to positive, is a key part to making clipping your dog’s nails easier. 

Now changing this association actually isn’t as hard as you would think! With it only requiring consistent commitment from you and a bit of time, but trust us it’ll be worth it in the long run!

Here’s a quick step by step guide:

  • Day 1: Bring the dog nail clippers out and show them to your dog. Let them have a good sniff and then reward them with a treat and praise.
  • Day 2: Touch your dog with the clippers on their legs or around their paw. Then reward with treats and praise.
  • Day 3: If your dog allows you (don’t try and force it), touch your dog’s paw with the dog nail clippers. Then reward and praise.
  • Day 4: Time for a big step. Take your dog’s paw and trim off the tip of one nail (stick to doing just one nail, as to not overwhelm them). Then reward and praise.
  • Day 5: Clip another one of your dog’s nails as you did before. Then praise and reward them. Continue this process over the coming days, trimming additional nails each time until your dog feels happy and comfortable with the process.

Above is a rough guide to how you can change your dog’s association with the dog nail clippers. No dog is exactly the same so make sure to take it at their own pace so as not overwhelm them. If your dog is uncomfortable with one step of the training then repeat that step rather than moving forward. Repeat it until your dog is happy and then move on with the training as planned.

Trust us sticking with this training is one of the best things you can do to transform nail clipping time from a nightmare to an absolute dream!

2. The best way to hold their paw.

When it comes to actually trimming your dog’s nails, how you hold their paw is actually incredibly important! As holding their paw in an uncomfortable position for them will only lead to more fighting and wriggling.

When holding your dog’s paw it’s important to consider the natural motion of your dog’s legs. For example, holding their paw out to the side isn’t in your dog’s usual range of motion, so it’s uncomfortable for them.

The best way to hold their paw is out in front of them, in the position their legs would normally move in when they walk or run. This way your dog will be comfortable and it also allows you to get a better view on the nail you are clipping. Allowing you to see the vein and make sure that you don’t accidentally clip the quick.

See an example of a good holding position below.

Dog Groomer holding a white paw whilst cutting nails.
Click this image to go to Groomarts Pro Skills. An e-learning platform with an in-depth guide on clipping nails.

Quick Tip: If you do accidentally cut the quick and the nail begins bleeding you can use cornstarch to help stem the bleeding. Just place a small amount on your finger and hold it on your dog’s nail for 2 minutes.

3. Keep your cool.

Our dog’s behaviours and emotions are heavily influenced by our own. They feed off, respond to and emulate the energy we put out. For example, if we are frantic and stressed, our dogs will respond accordingly by becoming alert and stressed.

That’s why when in the often stressful situation of clipping your dog’s nails, you need to keep your cool. We know how tantrum-inducing it can be when your dog refuses to let you cut their nails, but as soon as you get frustrated or frantic your dog will match your energy. Making the job 10x harder than it was before!

If your dog is fighting you and you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a pause and collect yourself. Give your dog some reassuring pats and try again. Patience is the key to success here. As long as you stick with it your dog will eventually get used to the process of having their nails clipped.

If you’re really having trouble going back to the training routine mentioned above to reinforce a positive association with the dog nail clippers.

4. Have a pair of high-quality dog nail clippers.

Having a great pair of dog nail clippers by your side is essential for making the nail clipping experience as quick and as painless as possible. Having blunt and weak nail clippers makes trimming nails ten times harder and can also lead to injuring your dog. With the blunt nail clippers shattering your dog’s nail instead of cutting it, which can be very painful for your pup.

As well as ensuring that you have a pair of sharp dog nail clippers, having the right size of clipper is also important. As having a nail clipper that is too big can lead to you consistently cutting too much of your dog’s nail, and having one that is too small means you’ll have to work much harder to get a clean cut.

There are three different sizes of dog nail clippers you can get:


Open nail clipper resting on white background.

As the name suggests these are meant for dealing with the biggest dogs around. Think of your German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain dogs, Great Danes etc… These clippers feature two large and strong metal alloy blades that will help you make short work of the toughest nails you could encounter.


Meant for use on mid size breeds. Think Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Samoyeds, etc… These clippers feature a smooth sustainably sourced beech wood handle, that makes holding these clippers an ergonomic dream.


small nail scissors sitting on a white background

Meant for use on the smallest pups around. Think of your Chihuahuas, Jack Russells, Pugs and also all puppies. This size of dog nail clippers also works great for dealing with ‘dew claws’ and making small delicate cuts to your dog’s nails.

All the clippers pictured above have been tried and tested on the 100’s of dogs that come to our pet grooming academy. So we know for a fact that they work a treat! Each clipper is made from sustainably sourced beech wood and features sturdy and sharp metal alloy blades. The clippers pictured above are available for you to buy by clicking here.

In Conclusion:

Keeping your dog’s nails at a good length is really important for their health and well being. We know it can be challenging as it’s not their favourite activity that you do together, but it’s nonetheless still important. As long as you use the tips above, have a good attitude and a great pair of clippers by your side we’re sure you’ll get through it!

As always if you have any questions, feel free to comment below and one of our pro groomers will get back to you!


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