How To Cut An Uncooperative Dog’s Nails

I’m sure that many folks turn blue when it’s time to cut a dog’s nails. This includes me too. When I first groomed my dog’s nails, my lack of experience led to a small cut. He has shown great anxiety and aggression ever since, especially when he sees a clipper.

Like me, I’m sure you never want to see your dog in pain. So, I trained myself and found out various ways on how to cut an uncooperative dog’s nails and make the process fun and easy. Let me share it with you:

1. Make Nail Clippers A Common Sight For Them

Dogs are super sensitive and will develop a sense of fear if something traumatizes them or feels painful. Nail trimming is no exception. So, it would be best to groom them in the presence of nail clippers. Try to have your pup play with the clipper and make him believe that it is his friend. Even better, if you can click the clipper several times to make him accustomed to its sound.

Tip: Give your dog his favorite meal when you show him a nail clipper. It will make him happy.

2. Find Out What Calms Your Dog

If you don’t know what makes your dog calm, then you can try these techniques:

  • Run your fingers. Starting from his shoulder and down to the paws.
  • Keep him in a noise-free environment.
  • Rub the paws and toes.
  • Try exerting pressure on the nail. If your dog pulls back, stop for some time and repeat until he gets accustomed to it.

3. Hold His Paw And Clip The Nails Gently

Get a hold of his paw, rub it and then grab his toe. Start by trimming just the tip of the nail and wait it out. Don’t clip the entire nail on the first try because this will scare your puppy.

Reward him with something that he likes, a pat, a treat, or anything when you cut off the tip. Keep doing this after cutting each nail.

Some dogs can get very aggressive. Therefore, it’s better to have another person hold the paw while you cut the nails.

Tip: Don’t try to clip off all the nails in a single go if this is new for you and your dog. Take breaks after cutting one or two nails.

4. Switch It Up With The Positions

If you’re finding it daunting to carry out the 3rd step, then you need to change your dog’s position. Maybe make him lie on the side, rub his head and stomach.

For me, hanging him in the air worked.

I used a hammock with straps to hang him in the air and played with him to get him in his happy state.

5. Be As Much Gentle And Friendly As You Can

First, you need to shake away your nervousness, if you have any.

Remember that staying gentle is the key to getting your dog’s nails clipped. When you hold his paw and make contact with the clipper, do not rush to clip it right away. Just keep it there until you know your pooch is calm.

Be super gentle with the clipper and take it slow. Cut his nails with frequent breaks, and you won’t have any problems.


So, this is it! I hope that this article has educated you on how to cut an uncooperative dog’s nails. All you need to do is keep your friend calm while clipping him. Furthermore, ensure that the clipper is sharp and clean so that you can clip off the nails in one go.