Does your dog dislike having their nails cut?

Learn how to cut your dog’s nails. Avoid the stress, pain and fear your dog may have associated with getting their nails trimmed.

dog nail trimming, how to cut dog nails

Mindy Before and After

“We inherited Mindy from a very dear friend when she died.  Mindy’s owner was unable to take Mindy to the groomer and never thought it was important to trim Mindy’s nails herself. By following the course we were able to trim Mindy’s nails using the Dremel.  She now gives us no problems and with her nails much shorter than before, we can take her for walks and her weight has significantly dropped to a healthier weight as well!” – Nailed It student, Laurie R.

This course is designed to help dog owners become comfortable and confident cutting their dog’s nails at home and avoid the inconvenience that comes with going to the vet or groomer as often as proper nail care necessitates. Following a training plan and using the process of desensitization can make a big difference for people who wish to cut their dog’s nails themselves.

Sign up below. Many people have successfully completed this course and learned to cut their dog’s nails, avoiding the stress, pain and fear previously associated with it! Please read disclaimer

Let’s Do This.

Rocco’s Story (my inspiration for creating this course)

I would like to introduce myself and explain my interest in learning to maintain dogs’ nails without pain, stress or trauma. My name is Lori Nanan, and I’m a proud dog nerd and professional dog trainer. I’m certified through The Academy for Dog Trainers (CTC) and the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA).

Many people struggle with canine nail care because it can be overwhelming and a bit scary. If your dog gets hurt during a nail trim, it can be hard for him to bounce back. Not only is getting ‘quicked’ (cutting into the blood supply) painful, the sensation of having his leg held can be panic inducing. The thing about it is: with something like this, all it takes is one time. One bad experience can cause nail maintenance to be difficult (if not impossible) for the rest of your dog’s life.

I know this because I’ve been there. In the course, I’ll introduce you to Rocco, who was the love of my life for 13 and a half years – through all of which nail care was virtually impossible. I subjected him to traumatic trims at the vet for his whole life, and this is one of my biggest regrets. You’ll also meet Hazel, my current dog, who inspired me to learn more and to get better at nail maintenance without fear. The goals of the course are simple: to walk you through the process of filing, Dremeling or clipping your dog’s nails. The “why” of this method is also important, so going through the course as it’s laid out is crucial. You’ll learn a lot along the way and gain confidence as you go! There are some pretty common questions about dog nail maintenance, and I will try to answer them here.

How often should you cut your dog’s nails?

Many people think that they should never hear their dog’s nails clicking as they walk across the floor. A better way to gauge is by looking closely at your dog’s paws as he stands “squarely”, with weight evenly distributed. The nails should sit just off the floor to avoid flattening of the paw, which can come with nails that are too long. Nails do provide some traction and grip, so while super short nails is the goal for many people, remember that sitting just off the ground may be a better benchmark.
Because dog’s nails never stop growing (just like ours!), regular maintenance is very important. Sticking to a schedule is helpful, and doing a little work two to three times a week can really make the difference between nails that are too long and nails that are just the right length!

Why do we need to cut our dog’s nails?

Dogs that go for long walks and are very active can naturally grind down and maintain their own nails to some extent. Many people believe that short walks on concrete or other abrasive surfaces is all that is needed to keep their dog’s nails short and well maintained. Unfortunately many dogs don’t get enough activity and their nails can get overgrown. We often need to do some trimming to get them to a length that is good for their bones and joints, as nails that are too long can put strain on ligaments, which can lead to pain.

Why dogs get stressed about having their nails trimmed:

Some dogs get very nervous, stressed and fearful when you try to cut their nails. There’s a few reasons dogs dislike having their nails maintained. One is past bad experiences- so if you quick your dog once, he’s likely to remember the experience unfavorably, and the other biggie is that restraining their leg can elicit the same fear that getting a leg stuck in a trap can. The video below with Jean Donaldson of the Academy for Dog Trainers explains more about why this can be so scary for dogs.

Dogs with black nails:

Many dogs have black nails, making it impossible to see the quick, which contains the blood supply running through the nail. You should only trim off the tip, and if you accidentally cut your dog’s nails too short, he may yelp in pain, pull his leg away and start bleeding. Although this is not a serious injury, it can be painful, and you don’t want your dog to be in pain or become fearful of the nail trimming process and you can avoid this by taking your time and following our plan for nail care.

Be extra careful to avoid the quick when cutting long nails:

Nails that are overgrown often have a longer quick, and owners need to be very careful when they start to cut long nails. Cutting them too short can result in bleeding due to cutting the quick. For dogs whose nails are very long, it is recommended to cut just a little off at a time to avoid hitting the quick. This will allow the quick to begin to recede, allowing you to get them shorter bit by bit until you reach the ideal length.

What’s included in the course:

  • A training plan for whichever tool you decide to use.
  • Videos of dog owners following training plan: You’ll read more about the participants in the course and get to see them executing the plan in action. When it comes to working with dogs, seeing really is believing and the work of these amazing participants is meant to help your confidence and see what really can be done.
  • Video interview with Jean Donaldson: Jean runs The Academy for Dog Trainers and is the author of several books, including The Culture Clash, which is considered by many to be the most influential book on dogs they’ve read.
  • Video interview with Carol Haak: Carol is a veterinarian and specializes in critical care. She’s also an Academy for Dog Trainers grad and mom to 3 beagles- Penny, Sam and Howie.
  • Downloadable documents for you to review, save and print to go along with the course.
  • A progress tracking sheet designed to provide you with the ability to keep track of exactly where you are in the training plan.
  • Discussion topics and peers to chat with regarding your progress and thoughts throughout the entirety of the course.

Learn to Cut Your Dog’s Nails. Please read the disclaimer before signing up. 

Get Started Now!

Still undecided? Read about some of the participants who’ve completed program with their dogs (you’ll get to see their footage in the course and hear what they have to say):

Claudine and Alfred

cutting small dog nails, dog nail trimming

“As a dog trainer working mostly with fear and anxiety, being completely frozen with respect to my own dog was the worst for me. What I’m training most people to do, I’m not even able to apply with respect to Alfred. You can just imagine how much ‘Nailed It!’ has allowed me to be a guardian, simply. Lori has coached me through my fears and doubts and has supported me all the way. Even though Alfred and I are not completely done with the plan, I am confident that we will achieve it. This is not just a course. Alfred used to panic every single time he had to have his nail clipped. This is ‘peace of mind’. It’s definitely a life changer.” – Nailed It Student, Claudine

Samantha and Liberty

Sam & Liberty Nailed It Participants, how to cut dog nails, dogs with black nails

“Nailed It has been a godsend for Liberty my husband and I. Before going through this course Liberty wouldn’t let you cut her nails at all. I would have to take her to the vet, and she had to get sedated just to trim them. Every month it became a hassle and a traumatic experience. If we tried at home she would jump around crazy making noises, whining, and just plain scared. In the beginning of the course just getting her used to having you hold her paws and nails took time. Gradually using a nail file as the program progressed so did she. She became more comfortable with the whole experience.” – Nailed It Student, Samantha

Tim and Joker

cutting dog nails, trimming dog nails

Joker is still less than a year old. I’d worked on many parts of body handling, but I hadn’t spent enough time on handling his feet. His nails were getting really long when I heard about this course. So, I decided to give it a try. I knew he could get better if I just put in the time. The steps in the course are really simple – clearly described and not very complicated. Even though I’ve trained my dogs to do a lot of things, the one thing I struggled with is not going too fast. The course is VERY clear about the importance of this (and they are right!), but I’m human and I sometimes get impatient. I know that rushing things like this always causes a setback though. So, I stuck with it and we made great progress very quickly. Now, Joker will lay upside down in my lap (laying down was ultimately his decision – when he sees the file, he just rolls over and relaxes). I do a few nails on each foot each day and we’re making real progress on his nails. We’ll have them down to their ideal length soon! Having these steps made this so easy for me. I encourage everyone with a dog to check their feet – it’s an easy thing to overlook, but an easy thing to fix too!” – Nailed It Student, Tim

These dogs were afraid and stressed to get their nails cut but now they actually look forward to it, almost like spa time. Ready to get started?

This course is offered at only $39 USD and worth every penny to ensure your dog’s happiness while getting their nails trimmed. Please read disclaimer before signing up.

Sign up Here!

Be sure to see the other courses we have available and those in development.

** CCPDT Accredited Dog Trainers – Maintain your Certification with The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).  This course is now eligible for 6 CEUs for CPDT-KA. Please email for more information.

Submit your review

Create your own review

Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care
Average rating:  
 10 reviews
by Emily Heitzmann on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care

I worked through the Nailed It! course with my dog Milo who has a history of extreme fear about foot/leg restraint and nail care. He's 8-years old, and so has a long history of unpleasant associations with having his nails clipped, and I was hoping for at least a little progress. Not only did we get progress, but Milo now glows with anticipation and runs to our "nail filing" area when he sees me getting the file. Fabulous.

by Marylin on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care

The material in this course was so helpful and clear. I learned about a lot more than just nail care! Step by step and makes it seem easy instead of scary to trim your fearful or resistant dogs nails. I LOVE that the course teaches you how to actually enjoy doing nail trims (and your dog too!)

by Floriana Ramundo on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care
Helpful & Effective!

Great course! The topics and the related presentations are friendly and easy to follow; the plans SO EFFECTIVE!
Thank you Lori and your team for creating and sharing this course.

by Emily Heitzmann on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care

worked through the Nailed It! course with my dog Milo who has a history of extreme fear about foot/leg restraint and nail care. He's 8-years old, and so has a long history of unpleasant associations with having his nails clipped, and I was hoping for at least a little progress. Not only did we get progress, but Milo now glows with anticipation and runs to our "nail filing" area when he sees me getting the file. Fabulous.

by Erin Partridge on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care
Makes nail trimming a fun and exciting experience for the dog

I enrolled in Lori's "Nailed It!" course and was not disappointed. It is easy to follow and aims to make nail trimming a fun and exciting experience for the dog. The results with my dog are incredible, he now loves having his nails filed whereas before he was quite indifferent about the nail trims. I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to work on nail trims with their pooch.

by Joan Hunter Mayer on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care
The Nailed it! training plan has been SO helpful!

The Nailed it! training plan has been SO helpful! Everything is divided up into easy-to-do, easy-to-replicate steps. Our dog enjoyed the process, and it was rewarding for us humans too. Low-stress nail trimming! You couldn't ask for anything more.

by Caryn Charlie Liles on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care
Thank you lori

I loved this course! It breaks things down so well and provides such clear guidance. I was able to modify my own fear of black nails and my pup snoozes while I clip and shape his nails now. You can't ask for a better result. Thanks Lori!

by Jane Wolff on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care
Fabulous resource!

Fabulous resource! The course does a great job breaking down the steps to nail trims to help your dog be comfortable. I’m still working on it with my dogs but we are making progress quickly!

by Marie Poliseno on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care
Highly Recommended

This was an amazing course and I'd recommend it to anyone with a pet. Nails have always been a challenge for me despite the hours I spend grooming my dog for the show ring. Lori's carefully laid out plan turned an unpleasant experience for both my dog and me into something we can both look forward to and not just tolerate, but ENJOY. Thank you Lori for sharing your wisdom and training techniques. Nikko, Annie and Mo will love you most for it, but I too am extremely grateful.

by Rachel Szumel on Nailed It - Course in Canine Nail Care
The Nailed It! course is beyond excellent.

The Nailed It! course is beyond excellent. Lori knows her stuff and presents it so well. I recommend this to all my veterinary patients!