Select Page
Home 9 Breeder Education Home 9 Nail Trimming Tips & Tricks

Nail Trimming Tips & Tricks

When attempting to get long nails back and to have the quick recede sufficiently to enable this, doing the nails once a week is not enough to even make a difference.

I would suggest using a Dremel tool and make a point on the ends of the nails

Every third or fourth day take that point down thus making the quick recede.

The method I use for doing nails is as follows:

  1. Put the dog on grooming table.
  2. While standing just behind the dogs shoulders lift a foot and work with the pad up in your hand so you can see the bottom of the nail and therefore the quick as well.
  3. Do the rear by taking the leg and extending it back with foot in your hand, pads up and follow the same as above, standing with your back to the dog’s rear and eventually you will work that nail down.
  4. If the dog seems to be getting agitated to the point of wanting to hurt you, use a muzzle. Trimming nails is one of the things that can trigger defensive dominate behaviors. The muzzle is also a great distraction that the dog worries about so that he forgets about what you are doing.

submitted by Gwen Lucoff


Trim off a little more nail to expose the quick while trying not to nick the said quick. Exercise caution at this point due to the sharpness of the clipper blade.

Holding the clipper upside down to what is shown on the package, take a small amount of nail at a time, cutting around the edges on all sides including the bottom until the quick can be seen. It is usually like a small white dot in the center of the nail.

Trim around the nail on all sides until the nail looks like it was filed to a smooth, round edge.

If you do make the quick bleed simply apply a bit of “Quick Stop” to the nail and it will instantly coagulate.

NEVER yell at him. ALWAYS praise him when he has been as good as can be expected.


Any normal Doberman will hate to have it’s nails ground or trimmed. If you haven’t discovered the ease of doing this on a grooming table or don’t want to shell out in excess of $100 for the grooming table just so you can do your dogs nails every week and if you are determined to do it yourself, then here is one of the techniques that I used for years. Maybe it will give you some ideas. (I now use a grooming table and can’t believe how easy this chore has become.)


Hold the toe between the thumb and forefinger. Place the thumb of the grinder hand on the toe for stabilization. Grind the point of the nail to the point of the quick then round off the edges. If you want you can spend a little more time putting a nice taper on the nail. Hopefully you got your dog from a breeder who knows enough to remove dew claws. They are tough to deal with.


First sit on the ground with your legs over the top of your dog. This allows you to adjust the restrictive force necessary if your dog starts to squirm or fight. Place only the dogs leg you are working on through your legs. One of the dog’s natural tendencies will be to turn his head to look at what is going on, snap (if you grind too close), or to push the grinder away with one of the free legs. By isolating the leg you are working on from the head and other legs any of these potentially hazardous behaviors are avoided.


Should you need to stabilize the leg you are working on a little more, this can be accomplished by crossing your legs so that the dogs leg is held tight between your thighs with what ever pressure you need to exert.

NOTE: If you are really having trouble with a difficult dog’s nails I suggest putting a large dollop of peanut butter on the roof of the dog’s mouth. This will usually keep him so busy that he won’t have time to worry about your doing his nails.

submitted by Judy Bohnert