How can I get my dog to let me cut her nails?


I think it’s time to bring our dog to the groomers again. Midnight is a Lab, short haired and seems to be fairly clean, but man does she need her nails done.

She won’t let me trim her nails at all. It’s a huge fight from a dog that normally lets us do just about anything to her. She used to let me cut her nails when she was a puppy and in her first year, but all of a sudden last summer she didn’t want any part of it. Maybe something happened at the groomers that scared her off?

Anyway .. her nails are so long that I’m afraid just about every time I ask her to shake hands or when she gets excited and tries jumping up at me. Why? Well it’s because her claws dig into me and scrape my skin. Most days I get at least one fresh scrape on my arms, hands or legs.

I don’t heal well either. The scratches she leaves on me take a week or more to heal even though it’s really just a light scrape of the skin. By summer when I get a bit of color I’ll have scars all over me from our dogs claws scratching me. Hmmm I wonder if I could use some fade stretch marks cream to fade fine scars? Might work.

Anyone have any ideas as to how I can get my dog to let me cut her nails again? I have special nail clippers and one of those nail grinder thingies and she doesn’t want anything to do with either of them.

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  1. Travel Purse says

    Why dont you try massaging her hands and feet first before cutting her nails. And talk to her while doing the cutting just to distract her attention. If it doesn’t work then you better bring her to the groomers before you get more scratches.

  2. April says

    What we usually do is to bring Jody out for a walk first… And when she’s tired out, we will then sit her down for a nail trimming. She usually will be so tired she’d just sit there watching us trim her nails.

    • says

      April I think I’d have to try taking our Lab to the beach – that’s the only thing that really tires her out! She gets two or three long walks a day and yes that tires her a bit, but no where near as much as swimming in the water at the beach and stealing all the other dogs toys does. LOL Maybe I’ll try trimming her nails the next time we come back from an outing at the beach – she’s usually just a lump after that.

      We actually took he to the beach two weekends ago and when we came home she fell asleep on the couch where I usually sit. She was such a lump that I had to get my husband to help me flip her over to the other side of the couch .. she ended up on her back sort of propped up on the arm rest and she stayed that way for about half an hour … that would have been a perfect time to have tried cutting her nails.

  3. pat says

    It takes two of us, one holds the doggy on his bag and distracts him with a tummy tickle, the other moves quickly to get the nails cut at the magic 45 degree angle.

    Hard hard work! much easier giving him a bath

  4. Heath at Dogs Health says

    Boy, that sure sounds like a struggle! Have you tried something to help calm her down? I know that some people find that Bach flowers have a calming effect on their dogs.

  5. Joe says

    I have a Black Labrador he is a big lad ( 40+ Kg ) and hates anything near his eyes or ears. I recently had to give him a course of eye drops and ear drops / ear swab. The solution was quite simple.

    Show him a nice peice of chicken or ham, break a litle off and give it to him. Then let him see me put the juicy remainder on the table just out of reach. Get on with the medication while he is slobbering all over the floor, Job Done

    If you do the same thing and just handle her feet the first few times she will get used to this unusual attention.

    If somebody tried to shake your nose instead of your hand you would also be alarmed and pull away.