Top Methods on How to Clip Dog Nails when Dog is Scared of Tools

how to clip dog nails when dog is scared of tools

Many dogs are scared of clipping their nails. It becomes a great problem for dog parents. So how to clip dog nails when dog is scared of tools?

This is answered through following certain methods that will make your dog less likely to be afraid.

Best method on how to clip dog nails when dog is scared of tools

1.) Let your dog become accustomed to seeing nail clippers

Your dog may link nail tools with a past trauma or become scared because it’s new to them.

It is important to resolve this situation. To do so, get your dog and pick the nail tools. You got to act happy when you are grabbing the tools and give your dog a treat.

Repeat this step several times a day for a few weeks until your dog associates the sight of clippers with treats and feels happy to see them.

2.) Train your dog for paw handling

how to clip dog nails when dog is scared of tools: paw handling

When your dog is relaxed, lightly touch their shoulder until you reach their paw. Make it a calm experience by using a soothing voice while you rub their paw.

Then, focus on the toes and give each one a gentle squeeze. Next, you got to apply a gentle pressure on the toenail.

If your dog becomes afraid, stop for some time and continue when they are calm again. Never scold your dog for becoming afraid.

As your dog allows you to touch their paw, give them treats and lots of praise. Repeat this process several times a day.

3.) Acquaint your dog to the sound of the nail tools

Open and close the nail tools as you talk to your dog in a soothing voice and give them a treat.

Next, you got to gradually decrease the space between your dog and the tools without letting the nail tools touch your dog.

When they are happy and calm in hearing the tools open and close, give them a treat and move on to the next step.

4.) Combine paw handling with nail tools

While they are laying on the floor, handle the paw with one hand and open and close the nail tools with another hand.

Then, keep repeating this step gradually moving the tools closer to your dog. If they remain calm, gently let the tool touch your dog’s toe while talking in a soothing voice.

Give your dog a treat for doing a good job. If they continue being calm, let the nail tool touch each toe in your dog’s paw.

However, if they become afraid of the tool, take a break and then try again later but with a gentler touch.

5.) Trim your dog’s nail

how to clip dog nails when dog is scared of tools: clipping dog's nails
Credited: AKC

Hold your dog’s paw and gently grab their toenail. Then, trim the very tip of the nail. Don’t trim too much of the nail so you avoid hurting the quick. Always clip at a 45 degrees angle.

After you trim the nail, give your dog a treat and lots of praise. For the best results, don’t complete all four paws in a single session.

Instead, take breaks in between each one to two trimming of a toenail.

Other methods on how to clip dog nails when dog is scared of tools

1.) Exercise

Exercise your dog outdoors by making them walk or run on rough surfaces such as concrete or pavement.

The concrete or pavement will naturally wear down the nails and your dog’s nails will shorten.

2.) Nail trim mats

Get your dog a nail trim mat for their nails. A nail trim mat is a doormat with a rough surface that files the dog’s nails when they walk through it each time.

3.) Use anesthesia

This should be your last option when the fear of clipping your dog nails is so high. It isn’t the best option to happen each week. It also leads to many drawbacks such as many dog parents leave their dog’s nails remain long.

As a result, long dog nails leads to problems in posture, joint problems, and arthritis. Long dog nails are also more likely to break and split.

The final drawback is that dogs with long nails can destroy furniture and other objects in the house.

Tips for reducing fear of nail trims for dogs

1.) Make your dog comfortable

Get your dog to relax by going on a walk before you trim their nails. Exercise is great for relieving stress.

Then find a place that is comfortable to your dog. The place must be free from noises and comfy enough to make your dog want to stay.

2.) Safety first

If you don’t know how to clip your dog’s nails, then don’t do it so you also don’t end up scaring your dog. To clip your dog’s nails, you need to know how to do the process so you don’t injure the quick.

You can go to the groomer or vet to show you how to clip your dog’s nails effectively.

So Don’t worry, There’s a better way!

Using this Gentle Nail Grinder to effortlessly and painlessly shorten their nails and give them smooth.


In conclusion, clipping your dog’s nails is a necessary process that must become a regular routine. It is important to follow these methods if you want your dog to become less afraid of clipping their nails.

For more information regarding best clipping methods for dog nails, check How to Use Dog Nail Clippers: The Best Methods .

Share with us your experience when clipping nails of your scared dog. What did you do? and How did it go?


Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

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