Need help with trimming your dog's nails?

by Steph Mahrle

Do you struggle with trimming your dog's nails? I used to avoid regular nail trimming by sending Karma to the groomer. The few times I tried to accomplish trimming her nails were frantic experiences, leaving her with a bit of one or two nails grazed off. 

Great news! I have a simple process to share in terms of setting your dog up for the actual trim. The set up is a much bigger deal than actually trimming the nail. Google "dog nail trimming" for more information on where to actually cut. This video & post is only for the nail trimming set-up. 

Here are my straightforward tips to a controlled trim:

1. I take a nice long structured walk before the big trim. That way there is less excited energy and a greater likelihood of relaxation during the process. 
2. I leave his prong collar and leash on him, just in case.
3. Notice in the video I don't talk to him and get him all excited? You don't hear me saying "HEY BOLLYWOOD! Do you want me to cut your nails?" Often people feel the need to invite their dogs excitedly into every potential future experience by talking and cracking out lots of dog treats. Cool it. I used to talk to Karma A LOT, doing this jazzed her up and then I would complain about her anxious excitement. So now I calmly use commands only, and his is much more calm in response. 
4. I give him something to put in his mouth. In this case, I provide him with a chew rope. He's a young dog, and was VERY mouthy when I got him at 10 months of age. Offering him something to occupy his mouth while I got to work trimming worked for us especially in the beginning. 
5. I put him on "place", or into a "down/stay", to limit his movement, and increase relaxation. 
6. I give affection at the end of the trim. To Bollywood affection leads quickly to excitement. It's not that I don't love him to pieces, and think he's hilarious, I just don't want his 90 lb furry body in my lap. 

I hope these trim set up tips are helpful to you all!