My dog won't let me cut her nails!


Having trouble cutting your dog's nails? Diana North explains...

(Q) My Border Terrier, Hattie, is 10 years old and she is a sweet, loving dog - until she sees the nail clippers. Try as I might, it is getting more and more difficult to cut her nails even with my husband trying to hold her. We have tried using treats but unfortunately Hattie never stays still long enough. I really hate to see her struggle and get apprehensive. Our local vet is not keen on cutting her nails either. Do you have any suggestions?

(A) Diana North GCGI, founder member of the Pet Industry Federation's Guild of Advanced Groomers says: You have a Border Terrier who's coat requires hand-stripping. If you are not doing this yourself but are having it professionally stripped, then as part of this maintenance routine the nails could be attended to.

I wonder how Hattie reacts to nail trimming in the salon? This may be worth checking.

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Manually restraining a dog is not a good idea. A dog will naturally struggle to get free and this can become a set pattern over time.

Are you certain that you understand the correct procedure for nail trimming? You have a Border Terrier so I assume the nail is dark and you are not able to see where the quick ends. A dog's nail has a vein and nerve which runs down the nail. If you cut through this then you will cause pain and bleeding, something your dog will remember and resist each time the nails are trimmed.

The type of nail clippers can cause a problem. Some types squeeze the nail before cutting, causing pressure. The guillotine type tends to cut through the nail without the squeezing but with both types of clippers you do need to have a good cutting edge.