23 July 2012


When our puppies come to visit, most (there are some exceptions) have toe nails that are WAY too long.  It's one of the first things I happen to notice after observing the dogs' weights and after I get all the kisses and licks from them and telling the owners how sweet and good looking the dogs are - which they ARE!  Most of the owners don't even realize the nails are too long or their dog is over- or underweight until I mention it. 

Me - "Oh my - your dog's nails are too long."
Owner - "Really?  We just trimmed them."   Or, "We just had them trimmed at the vet's/groomer's."
Me - "Well, they need to be a lot shorter."
Owner - "But we are afraid of cutting the quick and making the nail bleed.  WE cut it once and now the dog just freaks out when we try to do his/her nails."
Me - "Well, that's always possible but dogs can withstand a LOT of pain and never show it.  And by letting your dog not let you do their nails, you're letting your dog be in control."
Nail clippers that I use
Owner - "But it's a two person job to do the nails.  I can't do them alone."
Me - "Really?  Well, you need to find a way.  I suggest you use the grinder rather than a trimmer and never use a guillotine."

Dremel grinding tool
The last two puppies were entered in dog shows when they came to my place and so it was imperative that their nails be trimmed much shorter.  The first one, Charlie, was just terrible (he's the two-person dog) and he fought and struggled like crazy.  I decided to put a Gentle Leader and a muzzle on him (just in case he tried to mouthe or bite me) and wrapped the leash over my foot so he couldn't run away,  I had lots of tasty treats ready for when he relaxed and co-operated.  I don't let dogs get away with such behaviour and they soon learn that I mean business when it comes to their nails.

First I trimmed a lot of the excess with clippers as shown above and then I used a Dremel on Charlie.  He eventually settled down and lay quietly allowing me to finish grinding his nails.  The second time I did his nails, I just put the Gentle Leader on him and he was a perfectly co-operative subject allowing me to grind his nails - with NO struggling.  What a difference!!  So my advice to Charlie's owners was to use a Dremel and he's be a charm from now on.

My second 'subject' was Elsie.  Again, the owner was surprised that I thought her nails were too long.  But here's the "before" and 'after' shots of her nails.

Before - these nails are way too long

After - much better but I'd still like them shorter
Long nails can adversely affect the structure of a dog's foot, ruining their feet which is why they need to be kept short.  And who wants to hear the clickety-click of their nails on hardwood or tiles floors?  Plus long nails can scratch and damage furniture and wooden floors.

If you have a dog that hates to have its nails trimmed with clippers, change to a Dremel.  I have successfully done that with Tyro who has always hated to have his nails clipped but now he relaxes while I grind them instead.  My experience with these two puppies also should convince their owners that grinding is much better and far less stressful than clipping.

To help you Dremel your dog's nails, visit this Internet page:


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  2. Great post! Although some of my owners are good about nails, many could be a lot better. Thanks for posting.

  3. Thanks for sharing the valuable information here