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I clip Violet's nails 3 to 6 times a month. My intention is to trim the ends a couple times a week, but sometimes I don't get to it. This seems like a lot of nail clipping to me, but I am often reminded to do my weekly clipping by the sound of her nails on the floor. I've been told that if you can hear their nails that they are too long.

I have also been told that frequent clipping helps the quick to either recede or stay appropriately short, but that hasn't been my experience. Violet's nails are black, so I use the method of a tiny trim, check the color, take off another tiny layer until I get to the "jelly bean layer" where the color changes. However careful I am, I still make her bleed more often than I would like :-( I wish it would never happen.

Violet tolerates nail clippers okay and gets lots of treats and praise. I have a dremel but she freaks out when I place it against her nail. It has been a couple months since I've tried it, so I should try again. Every month that goes by she has improved on her grooming behavior and tolerance.

So how often do you clip your dog's nails? Any tips on dealing with black nails? How do you get a dog past a fear of the dremel? She seems completely fine with the dremel being on and near her, but when it touches her nail it is game over.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Will be following this thread. Peggy has a few black nails, and both my husband and I are afraid to touch them. We’re considering doing monthly trips to the vet for nail trims, but I don’t want her to start dreading her visits. Currently she loves everyone at the clinic.

Does Violet seem to be in pain when you accidentally make her bleed?
 

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All Poppy's are black, and several of Sophy's. Poppy is OK about nail clipping, although I have quicked her several times despite all my care; Sophy hates it, especially having her dew claws trimmed. The result is that all my good intentions of little and often tend to fade after a while, and they get too long so we have to start all over again. I do have a nail grinder but Sophy doesn't like that either, despite a very slow introduction with copious chicken, and it takes longer than a quick snip. I think the problem is that she has pulled nails in the past - one dew claw is still very odd - so is anxious about pain. And it is very difficult to cut dew claws on a long haired dog without twisting them slightly - she screams at the mere thought of that... Plus her nails are very thick and tough for such a small dog. So I too will be watching for good ideas!
 

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Renn has black nails, I dremel them and he is fine with it. I find that if you actually take hold, best you can, of the nail while dremeling it goes much better as there is less vibration. You really don't want the nail vibrating as you dremel that makes them uncomfortable, at least in my limited experience. I do his nails about every 2-3 weeks or if I hear clicking of nails in the house.
 

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While we have the groomer clip Bobby’s nails I am in the process introducing him to the dremmel/grinder so I can keep his nails shorter between groomings. He doesn’t like it yet but we are making progress. I think you can get the nails shorter, smoother and the risk of bleeding is way less. Bobby has both colors of nails. We used to grind our Great Dane’s nails. Yes, as posted above, hold the nail firmly so it doesn’t wiggle as you grind. There is a sweet spot of pressure too. You don’t want to press too hard with the grinder but you need to put enough pressure so it doesn’t bounce off the nail. Like anything, there is a learning curve.
 

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I probably trim nails at my house every 6-8 weeks, but I get them nice and short.
I agree with holding the nail- actually that can help with regular trimmers too.
My preference is for pliers style over guillotine style, easier to see what you are doing and to fine-tune the trim.
The best way to encourage the quick to recede is to do an angled trim- like this:

472414


You can get closer to the quick without hitting it.
The method is to take the 'top' off, and then each side. Repeat until you see, as Newport aptly described it, the 'jellybean layer'.
Raffi is due for a trim so I will try get some pics to demonstrate.
 

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I took pictures one day of Basil's nails after the vet clipped them to use as reference on where to stop since I can do a better job, same more time, save more money, and buy enough chicken thighs to make Basil love doing it at home for $20/visit. 2 visits/month $480/year lol common that's a good chunk of dough (plus the depreciation on the car to drive to the vet, but we won't get nitty gritty.)

I pick Basil up and she stands on our grooming station (on her cage). Her natural reaction is to pull her hand back due to the vibrations of the dremel. My "holding hand" will be under her foot spreading out the webbing of her feet like they might be if your trying to trim the hair there. My thumb on the same hand wraps to grab around her specific toe nail like a clamp. There's a goldilocks amount of pressure where the nail won't jiggle much and Basil isn't using all her might to fight me.

A bowl of chicken right next to me and I take .5-1mm off at time before pausing for a chicken break. Very conservative amounts. Lots of chicken. Lots of love.
 

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I’ve been doing Starla’s nails every 5-10 days, but should be more consistent so they stay nice and short. Yesterday she pitched a huge fit on paws one and three, fussed a bit on paw 2, and was fine on paw 4. I had an overgrown bull terrier with nails I let get too long because he was such a pita and so strong (100 lb tank!), and I don’t ever want a repeat. I think I’m going to put a calendar next to my grooming table so I can be better about sticking to a schedule for grooming items as we both learn. I dremel and have always found holding the nail itself, if it’s big enough, is much more comfortable for the dog, like others have said.
 

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I mostly clip rather than dremmel. Misha would not stand the dremmel for a long time. Recently I started working on him with it. He is getting better.

If you don't have miller's forge clippers, get some. They are the best and make a difference. I don't use the jelly bean method as I always end up too close to the quick. Even if it isn't bleeding Misha says it still hurts. Instead I flip the paw over and look at where the edge of the nail starts to hollow out. That is safe to clip. I'll take a photo today. Even if I have Misha's nails clipped perfectly close to the quick they still tap the floor when he walks. But when he stands they are high off the ground.

To work on the dremmel I use a grooming hammock to restrain. I do hold each nail and just tap the dremmel to it then give a treat for each time I do this. Gradually you can lengthen how long you hold the dremmel to the nail.

People say to get nails to show length you must dremmel every two days. I suspect they must be barely hitting the quick each time. The dremmel cauterizes the quick if it touches it. But just clipping near it doesn't seem to help me get it to recede.
 

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Thank you all for such helpful tips and friendly support!

I also use the Millers Forge clippers Raindrops describes. They are very sharp and allow for small accurate trimming at various angles. They are also inexpensive. I will begin inspecting the bottom of the nail first when determining my cut point- thanks for that tip.

I will try holding/stabilizing the nail while dremeling, along with a bowl of chicken for treats. If that doesn’t move us closer to dremel acceptance I’ll try her in Navy’s grooming sling. I think dremeling will get the best results in the end. A lifetime of hitting a toenail against hard floors has got to eventually lead to sore/arthritic toes, so I will persist in keeping them short.

Fjm, your mention of dew claw trim struggles is similar to my own with Navy. Violet doesn’t have them and I have yet to feel sad about it.

So, some fine tuning of my technique and upping my treat value hopefully will be better for my poodles. The pug, who accepts any procedure that includes food, is easy to dremel.
 

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I forgot to say, regarding pain from quicked nails, sometimes she expresses pain other times not. My impression from her is that she doesn’t like being quicked- and who can blame her? I always assume it hurts. I keep styptic powder on hand that has a pain reliever in it, and that seems to help.

For Navy, who has some mild arthritis in his old age and often does not like his legs or feet touched at all, I give pain meds before grooming. He is quite vocal when quicked and we both cry. I do not clip him as frequently as Violet because of this. His nails are too long. I no longer give him clean feet because holding his feet/legs for grooming is painful, and it’s harder to trim nails on hairy feet. If I don’t touch him except for a hand under his belly, I can use scissors to trim his legs and around his foot. He has to be in the sling to trim the bottom of his feet and for nails. If I thought a groomer could keep him more comfortable I would do it, but he is better at home.
 

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I clip Violet's nails 3 to 6 times a month. My intention is to trim the ends a couple times a week, but sometimes I don't get to it. This seems like a lot of nail clipping to me, but I am often reminded to do my weekly clipping by the sound of her nails on the floor. I've been told that if you can hear their nails that they are too long.
I have also been told that frequent clipping helps the quick to either recede or stay appropriately short, but that hasn't been my experience. Violet's nails are black, so I use the method of a tiny trim, check the color, take off another tiny layer until I get to the "jelly bean layer" where the color changes. However careful I am, I still make her bleed more often than I would like :-( I wish it would never happen.
Violet tolerates nail clippers okay and gets lots of treats and praise. I have a dremel but she freaks out when I place it against her nail. It has been a couple months since I've tried it, so I should try again. Every month that goes by she has improved on her grooming behavior and tolerance.
So how often do you clip your dog's nails? Any tips on dealing with black nails? How do you get a dog past a fear of the dremel? She seems completely fine with the dremel being on and near her, but when it touches her nail it is game over.
I have done both clippers and Dremel. With Toby (he's 4 now) after experimenting with scissors, clippers, and a battery-operated Dremel... I found what really works best is the andis dremel and peanut butter. :) It really makes a difference. My husband puts peanut butter on a large spoon... when I say go.. he lets Toby lick away... while I dremel. You learn where the quick is after doing it a few times... you see a chalk white circle. I will never go back to clippers.
 

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My nail deal is clipping flat to pad base length (it gives me a great measurement to the quick) and then using a good quality metal nail file (people kind) to shorten up the length to shorter than touching floor and angle up slightly at tip. I should draw pictures probably. 🤣 It seems to be ok because my dogs let me do it without issues. Black nails are definitely the hardest but practice is key. Lots of treats for "good dog school", keep lots of styptic powder handy. If all else fails, a wad of Utter Ointment/Bag Balm or even Vick's VapoRub works great as a clotter to slow a bleeding quick. A paper towel wrapped around with some pressure. Good to go with antiseptic properties too. We don't have dew claw issues (or thumbs on front legs) as they are removed before 3 days old.
 

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I clip Violet's nails 3 to 6 times a month. My intention is to trim the ends a couple times a week, but sometimes I don't get to it. This seems like a lot of nail clipping to me, but I am often reminded to do my weekly clipping by the sound of her nails on the floor. I've been told that if you can hear their nails that they are too long.

I have also been told that frequent clipping helps the quick to either recede or stay appropriately short, but that hasn't been my experience. Violet's nails are black, so I use the method of a tiny trim, check the color, take off another tiny layer until I get to the "jelly bean layer" where the color changes. However careful I am, I still make her bleed more often than I would like :-( I wish it would never happen.

Violet tolerates nail clippers okay and gets lots of treats and praise. I have a dremel but she freaks out when I place it against her nail. It has been a couple months since I've tried it, so I should try again. Every month that goes by she has improved on her grooming behavior and tolerance.

So how often do you clip your dog's nails? Any tips on dealing with black nails? How do you get a dog past a fear of the dremel? She seems completely fine with the dremel being on and near her, but when it touches her nail it is game over.
Might want to let vet do it making your pet bleed to much not good thing , let pros handle it , I let my groomer do lexie nails and cut and bath
 

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You must not live in NewEngland or you have a small dog. 🤣🐩 Most start at $65 if you're lucky (puppy cut) for a SPOO. Petsmart or Petco groomers are minimum $125. 💲 😊
Live in us and use a groomer , don’t use petsmart , don’t trust them , lady that grooms her was recommended by friend does it all for 40 bucks
 

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The issue with only using a groomer is that dogs need their nails clipped every two weeks, and most people don't take them in that often. Also many people like me do all their own grooming at home.

There is no guarantee the vet or the groomer isn't quicking the nails. Vet techs are really really bad at it because they often have little training in this. I would not trust a vet to clip Misha. And I would only trust a really experienced groomer. Black nails are hard.
 
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