From The Canine Perspective


At “Designer Aussies”and "American Miniature Shepherds", we handle our puppy’s feet and toes shortly after birth and start trimming their nails at 1 week of age, and weekly thereafter. We trim their nails to prevent them from scratching their mothers while nursing, and to acquaint them with the procedure. At this very early age, our puppies learn what we expect of them while we trim their nails. With consistency and repetition, our goal is to promote the nail trimming process as a routine “positive experience”. An assistant comfortably and securely holds each puppy. We always smile and speak in a happy tone as we teach them to hold still and willingly accept our handling, as we trim their nails. When finished, we always reward them with a treat.


Feeding quality dog food promotes rapid nail growth.
A tired, relaxed puppy is easier to trim.
Handle your puppy’s paws and nails until they are comfortable with it.
Do not allow them to bite you or the nail trimmers.
White toe nails are the easiest to trim because you can see their visible vein or “quick”.
It is easier to trim toe nails after a bath because their nails are softer.
Trim to the curve of the nail.
Trimming their nails on a weekly basis is easier because we know exactly how much we can trim off and we are less likely to trim them too short.
The quick recedes if their nails are trimmed on a weekly basis.
If their nails are not trimmed regularly, their quick or blood supply continues to grow. Causing them to bleed also known as “kwiking them” can be a negative or painful experience which they do not forget. It can be more painful than tearing your cuticle.
When you hear their nails clicking on the floor as they walk, their nails should be trimmed. For them, long nails are as painful as if you wear shoes that are two sizes too small.
Many dogs lick their paws & chew their nails when they become uncomfortable. If their nails are ignored—their front feet break down in the pasterns, their toes splay out, and their feet become flat. Long rear toe nails weaken their pasterns, their toes turn out and arthritis develops.
We recommend using the nail trimmers (made in the US or Italy) and having “Kwik Stop”or" Nik Stop" on hand as well. Both products can be purchased at “Cannon Veterinary Services”. We would be happy to teach you how to properly trim your puppy’s nails.

Other options that may be used are: a “human nail file”, “cat nail trimmer”, or a “dremel tool” grinder. Do not use a Resco or guillotine type trimmers because they often get stuck and crush the nail which can be an extremely painful experience for your dog.

If you are an inexperienced person and your puppy is a show prospect, I do not recommend trimming their toe nails on your grooming table. If you are experienced, use the table with the help of an assistant. Grooming tables should be used to teach your puppy to stack, as well as to stand for the grooming process. Be careful not to use the table for something that they may perceive as traumatic or a negative experience. Once they learn how to stand quietly for nail trimming---the grooming table can be used.

If you have problems or questions please remember we are just; a mouse click or phone call away.

American Miniature Shepherds chart of proper nail trims for dogs.

Remember: Your dogs feet are as important for them as yours are for you.