The best way to cut your dog’s nails – dog training grooming

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A lot of people have been asking me recently how I trim my dogs' nails. I also show how to get your dogs nails to become shorter, if the pink parts have grown out. If you want to learn more, you should subscribe as I will be showing how to teach your dog to be as calm and relaxed as mine when getting his nails trimmed!

Caution- Don't trim your dog's nails super short before any competitions or large amounts of exercise. Don't have your dog roll over on his back right after eating a big meal.

THIS VIDEO IS ON HOW I TRIM MY DOGS NAILS. COMING SOON- How to get your dog to feel comfortable with nail trimming! And how to teach play dead for nail trimming.

Thank you for watching.

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  1. Rhonda Lively

    I’m always freaked out to cut dog nails… cat nails I can do no problem!

    • Holly Roscoe

      what do you mean?? clipping cat nails is totally humane

    • Brett Beacon

      yeah, but if you just have a scratching post, cats can maintain their claws by them self, they have retractable claws that need maintenance but not trimming. seems strange to cut a cat’s claws.

    • Holly Roscoe

      It’s not always necessary but it’s not inhumane.

    • Ayla Bilse

      +Aeonation Baelfyr the scratching post in no way maintains cats nails except helps them shed the outer sheath of the nail and maintain them at a nice long super sharp state. It is not necessary to clip outdoor cats nails but indoor cats nails if too long get caught on carpet, blankets and is incredibly painful for he human when they are snuggling with you and they are happy and stabbing you with their little needles on their paws.

    • Ayla Falcone So very true. Also a scratching post is to redirect them from scratching on furniture ☺

  2. Love To Train

    yes I do want to see how to teach on your back or play dead

  3. Vader2Vader

    This is the best nail trim video that I have seen!  Thank you!
    You are such a good Mommy!!

  4. Daharahj Ferr

    hey kikopup, i love your videos, they’ve been incredibly helpful to me and my dog, but i have a question, how do you go about brushing your dog’s teeth? mine does *not* like getting his mouth handled by any means (always pushes back and gives me a stressing amount of calming signals). since you don’t have a video up about this issue i thought i’d ask, thank you!!

    • Dog Training by Kikopup

      I dont have a video on it, but there is one on handling in general – Handling Shyness- Clicker Dog Training.  One thing to do after simple conditioning, is to hold your dogs mouth, lift the lip and then put in his favorite treat- a piece of freshly cooked hamburger or boiled chicken, if you want to be healthy (dont do this though if you think your dog is not ready and might bite you), When he actually is ok with having his mouth handles you can try switching tooth paste to something he likes, and you could also try using a pad that you wrap around your finger to rub the teeth with- some dogs like that much better.

    • suhaylett

      Hi, I find teaching the dog the names of his body parts useful too, so if you get as far as being able to touch the lip or teeth you can say ‘teeth’ just before you touch which can help a lot of dogs. I have taught left and right too.

  5. Dozerbeatz - Mixing/Mastering ITB

    Soooooo freakn cute!

    • Dog Training by Kikopup


    • LiveToRide

      +kikopup my dog is so hyper and she crys and freaks out i havnt cut her nails in like a month please help

    • Taunya Stites

      +LiveToRide take your dog to any grooming salon or vet for regular nail trimming. It cost about $10 and no appointment is needed. You can wait while it’s being done, it only takes about 3 minutes to do

  6. Dog Training by Kikopup

    I am in the process of making three tutorials.  The first will be on the up side down settle.  The other two I promise to make are- on cutting black nails, and beginning touching the feet and clipping the nails.

  7. chihuahuabulldog

    Very nice nails!  Thank you for the great tutorial.  Splash is so pretty, and funny. 

  8. Debbie Staudacher

    Have you made the video on trimming black nails yet?  I’m really interested in that, as both of my dogs are solid black including the nails.

    I loved your video!

  9. HirschintheWoods

    Black claws, please, if we’re voting 😉

  10. Schnauzer Mom

    It took awhile but I clip my dogs nails without fear now. All four of my boys have black nails. I do not cut them back as far as you do but I make sure they are back far enough as to not touch the ground.

    • Clara Lee

      +Schnauzer Mom I need a little help over here. My pug also has black nails, which unfortunately all touch the ground even after clipping as far back as I could. Is there any way to shorten the nails further without hurting him?

    • Angie Carter Barlow

      +Clara Lee Do you own a Dremel and file your pug’s nails as well as clip them? If not, that the best thing you can do as a first step to getting your dog’s nails shorter. You can actually get them shorter by always filing after clipping. The only real way to get those nails shorter is by getting the quick to recede. *The quick is actually a set of blood vessels along with nerves (which is why the nails bleed and the dog may yelp when cut too short)* The only way to get the quick to recede is by filing your dog’s nails VERY frequently. You don’t want to go longer than every 3 weeks (at LEAST) filing them. In the beginning, you can even file them every week. If you don’t do this, and you only clip and file them every couple/few months, they’ll never get shorter than what you can get them at the time of clipping/filing them. Hopefully that makes sense. I’m a professional groomer, and have gotten many of my clients (who have dogs with super long quicks) to bring their dog’s to me a couple time in between their grooming sessions to keep up on their nails, and we’ve now gotten their dog’s nails the shortest they ever been! 🙂 If it’s too much for you and you’d rather someone else do it, might I suggest taking your pug to an experienced groomer rather than a veterinary hospital to have his/her nails done, and explain how you’d like to get on a schedule and why. Guaranteed you’ll also probably spend a heck of a lot less $ having a groomer do them than at the vet clinic! 🙂

    • Schnauzer Mom

      +Clara Lee I have seen videos where if you file them a little every couple days the quick will slowly move back further.  I would research it more or talk to your vet about it.  Thanks for watching. 

  11. Joan Parsley

    Thanks. I have one dog whose nails are so long, I will have to learn to do it myself.

  12. jan Perry

    Your dogs are perfectly trained

  13. Rick Bean

    You’re my new hero. After seeing your technique of laying the dog down on its back, on your legs, I was able to clip a dogs nails for the first. It was my sons Old English Bull dog, and she was an angel. I took very little off, being the first time. Then used a nail fil to clean up the edges. It was awesome. Thank you for this video. It made all the difference.

  14. jmmacb03

    You say at about 2:00 in that you prefer to use the Dremel because you don’t trust yourself, but unfortunately right off the bat you tell a new owner that the nails should not hit the floor! Eek! New dog owners will hack off long nails and the poor animals will dread having their paws in your hands. Please add a tag to you video to warn newbies that to get those nails back takes time and walks preferably on gravel and runs.
    Border collies make it look easy. “Just train them to play dead”?? That is the most submissive posture and if this is not a pup that has been rolled over—but “Fred” from the pound, well, good luck….
    C’mon, yes, my Border Collies got lots of exercise to keep the quick back—but how many dogs are even trained to do a down-stay—let alone a “Come”?
    Most dogs brought to me to be educated were never allowed off lead since they just ran away and so had long nails/
    Also, simply say, “Paw” and pick up a paw and flick the nail with your thumbnail—before you hack away. No cookies, and there is no reason if you are having trouble to do all the paws. Better to end a session on a happy note!

    • Joel Martinez

      jmmacb03 well said. Look at the type of dog shes doing it on. Vs my dogo argentino who will not roll over esp play dead.

    • jmgnish

      Yeah no way my dog will lie on his back. His nails always touch the ground but trimming them every week would traumatize him. He’s a control freak when it comes to anything physical. He bit me last time I tried to wipe the mud from his legs.

    • Tina Ditrius

      jmgnish sounds like your dog needs more training….

    • jmgnish

      Tina Ditrius yes he has had a very colorful life and it’s absolutely no wonder that he has trust issues. On the other hand he is very intelligent and communicates very clearly. He differentiates between needing to go #1 or #2 so that i know how urgent and where exactly were need to go. He will also lower his volume on command and consciously uses an indoor level if he needs to bark inside (it was very cute when he first learned this). Most of his issues have arisen from trauma and overall he has maintained a positive attitude. His experiences would have most people in therapy for life so i’m okay with a certain level of difficult personality traits and after almost 8 years its clear that some of them are here to stay.

  15. Thanks, I have two big dogs that belong to other people that I need to trim their nails. I cut my cats claws all the time but I see dogs are different. Thanks for the clear views and instructions and voice over – better than reading lots of text.

  16. Brittany Naeckel

    your dog is amazing for getting his nails done! amazing job with the training! I wish all dogs that I did nail trims on were as good as yours!!

  17. Strikeslip

    This video is TOP NOTCH quality. Thanks!

  18. Alice Baker

    I am a veterinarian putting together a lecture for other veterinarians about the canine athlete and I would love to be able to use this video for the lecture. Best description and demonstration of a proper nail trim I have ever seen. Great job!

  19. “if you hear your dogs toenails touching the ground when they walk its time to trim them”. That’s not always true. Some dogs who have long nails, also have long quiks, which means you can’t cut them short enough that they’re off the ground.

    • Dutch Pink

      A Hug
      Exactly, I’m slowly taking my dogs nails back, about every 9 or 10 days and it’s definitely working great.
      My dog is white with clear nails so it’s a bit easier than the black nail dogs, but the quick certainly shortens behind each cutting session. Sure it may take a little time but it’s worth it.

  20. David Thomasson

    Great Video – very interested in seeing one for trimming dark nails.

    • Amy Lin

      Yes! That’d be very helpful!

    • Andrea M.

      I have been doing solid black nails on my lab for 11 years. If you google “cutting black dog nails” you will find a diagram that shows you how the bottom of their nail looks when you are close to the quick. you first trim off a small amount, maybe 1/8 inch and then take a good look at the nail where you just clipped. it will have rings like a tree trunk. in the centre it will get dark or black when you are near the quick. if you have trimmed a little and it’s still white in the centre, then you can go a little more. there is no other way to trim black nails than this method. you will get to know how much you can take off your dog’s black nails the more you do them. it requires multiple cuts and patience and you should keep cornstarch or clotting powder nearby every time just in case you nip the quick. my dog is extremely terrified of nail trims and requires tranquilizers, and then we still have to wrestle him but i’ve learned that he does better with us at home than at the vet’s office where it typically takes 3 of them and 2 of us….5 people total, to get his nails done. if your dog is uncooperative, try giving him a bath first and letting him stand in the water to soak his paws so his nails get soft and then it won’t “click” so loudly when you do clip them. good luck!

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