How to clip my dogs nails when he won't settle down??

My dog is almost two years old and he always had a problem with clipping his nails. Recently it has be getting harder to clip them because he runs away, moves his paw, anything really to not get his nails clipped. I don't want to accidently cut his nail in the wrong spot because he is moving so much! I have tried treats, doing one nail a day and giving lots of good boys and treats after, doing it when he is calm but nothing is working. He never had any bad experinces from cutting his nails. I have no idea what to do!! please help because his nails are getting long. thanks.

Asked by mozart on Aug 10th 2010 in Home Grooming
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I suggest you take out your dog for a long, brisk walk or jog before his mealtime and when you return home, feed him. Hopefully he will be tired and full, so he won't move around much. Try desensitizing him by just touching his feet at first while you massage him. Then move on to just touching his feet with the nail clipper, and then actually clip one of his nails. Do not rush this and talk to him in a calm voice, and never get angry at him for fidgeting. Whenever he acts properly you can reward him with a tidbit of food or chew toy. You may need to do only one step a day, or repeat a step everday for a few days before continuing. Be consistent!
Hope this helps. ^^

Lassie answered on 8/10/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


I have one who refuses to allow me to clip her claws. Nothing works. I can play around with her paws, but if she sees the clippers she starts fighting me.

I have finally found an easy way to trim all my dogs claws. That is in the shower. I have a sliding shower door, with a long shower hose. I simply get inside the shower with them, wash them, then just after the rinse, I pick up the paws do a quick trim, then towel off.

For some reason, they all settle down nicely when in the shower. Not so in the tub. Gidget, (the one who doesn't allow me to trim her claws) loves the water, loves showers and is not afraid of them at all. I didn't think it would work for her, but it did.
I've tried putting her up on a table, I've tried luring her attention away from clippers with the help of someone else, treats, and everything else. The shower is the only thing that worked for me.

Maybe it will work for you too!!

Good luck!!

Gidget answered on 8/10/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Most dogs just don't like having their feet handled.

I quit clipping years ago. For the most part we walk on the street enough so they are filed short. I use an emery board and file nails if they need it (Dew claws still get long).

When I was clipping or using a Dremel, I closed us in the bathroom so the dog couldn't go far.

You know....Walking the dog is good for both of you. Then you only have to cut the dew claw once in a while too.

Pepper answered on 8/10/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I usually start this process from puppy times. I sit on the floor, rub feet, treat, touch toes, treat, rub the belly treat. Then I might lay the clippers on the floor if they sniff it , treat. I end up touching the feet harder each session while treating.
I make noise with clippers , treat, even if I don't use them right away, the get use to being fed when they are out.
My old dog's feet were just so ticklish I sat on her. But, she loved that too. I dont recommend sitting on them, she was just this funny dog that loved what ever I did, she just couldn't stop wiggling. She looked like she was laughing the whole time.
For you , you want to do that process and see if it can work. I use good treats, soft meats, no dry kibble no dry stuff. Trying touching and rubbing , with treating for a few days with clippers laying in front of his face. Gradually bring them closer while treating. talk, laugh and get him happy about what you are doing. It might work, not sure.

Dieta answered on 8/11/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


One of my former dogs (RIP) had issues with his nails too. I ended up having to take him to my local PetSmart groomer and while they had to muzzle him for their safety they were able to do it. The people at most groomers are qualified and do a good job with dogs who don't like their nails clipped. Dogs nails if left untrimmed can become painful and thats why I went to the groomer. I know groomers can be expensive, but if you go to a local PetSmart store the nail clipping is only around $10. I only had to get his nails done every 2 or 3 months. If nothing else works you should try the groomer. Good luck

Miley answered on 12/6/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Dozer ~ CGC

If your dog is food motivated, you should take him for a long, fast walk to tire her out. Then, when you get home, rub some peanut butter on the fridge. While he is licking it, calmly touch his leg. Eventually move down to his paw, and then toes and nails. Depending on how sensitive your dog is, this could take anywhere from a week to a month. Practice daily.

Once she is comfortable with you touching his nails with your hands, start back on his leg, this time touching with a clipper. Once his is good with you touching his nail with a clipper, start clipping his nail.

I hope this helps!

Dozer ~ CGC answered on 12/6/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I JUST had a recent success. I have a VERY hyperactive, anxiety ridden puppy who is 7 months old, and well, we've been trying to cut his nails. He'd never had it done before so obviously he wasn't impressed with us trying to cut them. My vet gave me sedatives to bring home and try to knock him out and cut them, no dice. He freaked.
So, my vet suggested bringing him to the vet, putting him under, clipping them really quickly and letting us leave. That was my last resort. And that last resort would quickly add up every few months, at $60 a pop.
We decided a last ditch effort. On a random outing, we took him to a petsmart he'd never been to, popped him in for a walk-in nail clipping, and knowing full well I might be wasting $9 for the lady to try, I left him there. I walked out without fussing over him, hid myself in the cat section and amused myself with other things, not wanting to project my mothering instincts on him.

I went back, he was fine, nails clipped. $9. No pills, no pain.

Owen answered on 12/30/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Augusta, CGC, RN

First thing you need to do is realize you can't just accomplish this all of a sudden--first you must accustom your dog to handling his paws and each nail individually calmly and relaxed. I'd use positive reinforcement for just handing you his paws and waiting while you handle them. Reward him with a super high value treat before he pulls his paw away.

Repeat with holding the nails, then putting the nail clipper up to each nail, but not clipping, then you can make the clipping noise and only after you can do all these steps--CALMLY, can you clip just a little bitty bit of a nail. Be sure to give him a jackpot of several treats for calm behavior when you get to each milestone of success. Call it the nail game and take your time --maybe 5 minutes twice a day over several days, or even a couple of weeks to work up to calmly letting you clip.

Check out this Kiko pup video on teaching nail trimming.
The key is not to rush, there's no deadline!

Augusta, CGC, RN answered on 8/2/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


While my dog herself is really relaxed, I wouldn't trust myself to go and clip her nails. Its much more terrifying for me than for her. Haha. I went out and bought this Pedicure Dog Nail Trimmer thing. It seemed to work well enough and although it takes a little longer, its much less stressful for me! C:
I dont know about large dogs, but my cousin's teeny chiuahua thing (who are known to be very hyper and...rabid-like) seemed to be fine with it.

Member 1079913 answered on 12/26/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have 2 rescues that I use this technique with: I take a small bowl (just enough to fit their nose in) and smear the inside with a thin layer of peanut butter. My husband holds the bowl so that my dog can focus on getting the peanut butter out and I can hold the dog in my lap and snick his toenails off one by one (as long as the peanut butter lasts!) Sometimes we take the dogs to PetSmart to trim their nails ($2.00 off on Sundays!) and I just hold the dog while the lady trims them. For some reason the boys trust Mommy, they just don't want me messing about with their feet! Proper training from the beginning is the best, but sometimes it's just not possible. Good luck!

Harley answered on 1/14/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer