How to cut black Dog nails

How do you cut a dogs nails that are black?

I would go so far as to say, that the majority of Dog owners at some point or another, will have had a Dog which needs at least one of its nail’s clipped.  This can be an anxious time, for you and your Dog. Which is Understandable.

Do Dogs Nails Need Clipping?

Your Dog’s nails will more than likely need clipping if you don’t tend to walk on concrete, or other hard surfaces very often. 

 Many Dog owners exercise their Dogs in fields, woodland or the beach, which is all great; however it isn’t always enough to keep the Dog’s Nails short on it’s own and they can get quite long.  It is definitely worth noting that long Dog Nails can be very painful for your Dog and can also lead to the Dog becoming lame.

What happens if my Dogs nails do get too long?

If your Dogs Nails do get too long, as I mentioned above, it can cause your Dog to become lame, and it can affect their paws, their wrist and inevitably it can lead to joint problems.  So it is better to aim to keep them short.

 A veterinary professional or a groomer will be able to show you how to keep your Dogs Nails at a good length.  (If you feel comfortable clipping your own Dogs nails)

What is a “Quick” in my Dogs nails?

Within your Dogs Nail is a blood vessel (often referred to as the Quick) and nerve.  If the Dog’s Nail is cut too short, this can lead to bleeding and pain for the Dog.

 How can I tell if I am close to the “Quick” when I cut my Dogs nails?

If you have a Dog with light coloured Nails, it is often easier to see the quick in your Dogs Nails as they are slightly transparent.  The quick will show as either a pinkish type hue to the Dog Nail, or can show as slight discolouration.  If you are unsure of how close you are to the quick, you could either:

  • Try taking a smaller amount of nail off to avoid risking clipping the quick


  • You could take your Dog to the groomer or vet nurse, and let them show you the best way forward.

**If you have a Dog with Dark Nails, you can sometimes see the Quick by shining a torch on the nail.  (Or have someone do that for you or use a head-torch like we do)**

Click on the YouTube button at the bottom of the  page to view our own German Shepherd Dog having his Black Nails Cut

Click here to see the type of Dog Nail clippers we use. Click on the subscribe button for our YouTube Channel and be notified when new video’s are added too!

Then it is a case of clipping a little bit of Nail off at a time.  

Don’t be tempted to take a bigger bit, just small bits Often with Dark/ Black Dog Nails,after clipping some of the Nail away, you can see a hint of the Quick line, and I don’t recommend going further.  As above, if you are in any doubt at all, please do seek advice from a professional.

Will the Quick grow to the end of the my Dogs Nail?

If your Dogs Nails are long and haven’t been trimmed for a while, it may be the case that the Nail Quick has grown further down the Nail.  Caution is needed if this has occurred. 

How can I stop the Quick from growing in my Dogs Nails?

You can’t stop the Quick from growing in your Dogs Nails.  However, you CAN help it to recede back.

By trimming a small amount off your Dogs Nails each week or so, the Quick will slowly start to recede.

What should I do if I clip my Dogs Quick?

If you clip the Quick in your Dogs Nail, it may well bleed quite a lot and cause your Dog pain.  If it is bleeding, & you have a First Aid Kit for your Dog

you may already have a styptic pen/powder that you can use to help stem the bleeding.  (The First Aid Kit shown in the image is the one we use. Please click the image for detailed contents of the kit.)

If you don’t have a styptic pen then I would advice that you call the vet to check what would be a suitable alternative that would be safe to use on your Dog.  (Some people recommend using corn flour or ordinary flour, however, I would check first) Click the image for  details of the first aid kit included contents.


IF your Dogs bleeding doesn’t seem to be slowing at all, please seek assistance from the vet as soon as possible.  It could be that your Dog has a condition which affects blood clotting, know as Von Williebrand disease.  This condition is often undetected until the Dog has a situation where he/she is bleeding, and then it comes to light due to the blood not clotting as it should.  It is often referred to as vWD. ( Please ask at your Dog’s veterinary clinic for further information about this.)

And let’s not forget, if you do clip the Quick, try to remain calm.  As your Dog will react to your panic, as well as its own.

When should I start to clip my Dogs Nails?

Ideally, we should be starting to clip our Dogs Nails the first week or so that we have our puppy.  Many breeders clip the puppy’s nails prior to them going to new homes.  When you first go to see the Dog you are looking to bring into your family, it is well worth asking the breeder to show you how to clip the puppies Nails. Most will gladly show you.

When they are small, the breeders tend to use baby nail clippers, (like the ones we use on our babies) as the Nails are tiny and soft.  However, by starting them young, they get used to the clipping noise and sensation.  And once completed without fuss they can have the occasional treat for being calm.  This process will stand you and the Dog in good stead for the years ahead.

What clippers do I use to clip my Dogs Nails?

There are different types of Nail clippers for Dogs Nails.  

There are:

  • Guillotine Clippers – These sound a tad harsh. Basically the Dog Nail goes into the clippers and your squeeze the handles to cut the Nail.  I am not a personal fan of these, however I know many owners who have always used them.  Without problems.
  • Grinder Tools These I have used, and I found that with larger Dogs, I took me a long while to get the Nails down, as the part of the tool that the Nail goes to in order to grind it down, tends to get warm, and smells like burning. However, there are no doubt owners who also swear by them.  I can only tell you my personal experience with them.
  • Scissor type I have only ever used one pair of Scissor type clippers, and they didn’t seem strong enough to work on my big breed Dogs Nails. They didn’t cut the whole nail, and broke before I could try to redo most of the Nails.  They may be more suitable for smaller breed Dogs. 
  • Pliers type These are the ones I always refer back to as I have never had a problem with them. All our Dogs Nails have been cut great with these Pliers type of clippers.

If you check out our YouTube videos, you will see one of our Dogs having his Nails cut with a pair of Mikki Nail clippers 

Click on the YouTube button below to view our own German Shepherd having his Black Nails Cut.

Click on the subscribe button for our YouTube Channel and be notified when new video’s are added too!

Do I Have To Microchip My Dog?

Do I have to Microchip my Dog?

Yes.  Microchipping your dog has become an important part of owning a pet.In April 2016, it became illegal to not microchip your Dog.

Microchips act like a collar I’D tag, in that they hold unique identifiable details, like the Dog’s name, breed and colour of the Dog and all the details of the registered owner, in case it runs away or gets lost/ stolen.  It can be used to identify the Dog and reunite him/her with their registered owners. However, that is where the similarities to a collar I’D tag end. 

It is now illegal to not microchip your Dog in England, Scotland and Wales.  Not having your Dog micro-chipped could lead to a fine of up to £500.  The only EXCEPTION to this is if a Vet deems a Dog not suitable to have a microchip due to health reasons. 

What is a Microchip?

However, that is where the similarities to a collar I’D tag end.

The Microchip itself is a tiny transponder, roughly the size of a large grain of rice.

The Microchip is implanted into the Dog, roughly at the base of the neck, between the shoulder blades.  It stays in that particular Dog for the whole of its life.

It doesn’t require batteries. 

What age should I Microchip my Dog?

It is possible to microchip a Dog at any age.  However, it is suggested to be better and more comfortable for the Dog if you do it at an age no younger than 7 weeks.

This is due to the skin being firmer around the puppy’s neck and this can make for an easier insertion of the microchip and make it less painful for the puppy. 

When inserting/implanting the microchip, many Dog breeds have thicker skin around their neck at younger ages, but universally it is accepted that between 7 to 8 weeks of age is the minimum age for microchipping a Dog, as this is a time when they will not feel as much pain and it will be more comfortable for them

What Date did Dog Microchipping become law in UK?

Having Dogs microchipped became law/compulsory on the 6TH April 2016. 

This is to help the welfare of Dogs around the UK.  It also benefits stray/stolen Dogs, as Dogs which are found, can be scanned by the Dog Wardens, Vet’s, Police and various charity or Dog rescue centres that help deal with lost Dogs.  The microchip number, which is unique to that Dog, is then entered into a database, which will return details of the Dogs registered owners.  From there go they can go on to be reunited.

Puppies that are being sold and those from registered breeders, now need to be microchipped by the time they are 8 weeks old and ready to go to a new home by law.

 This means that the details of both those who are breeding them as well as the family, who purchase the puppy, have their details registered to them as well.  However the “breeder” or person you purchased your puppy from should be the first registered name on the microchip documentation.

How long does it take to Microchip my Dog?

The actual process of microchipping your puppy is very simple and quick.  It takes literally as long to insert the microchip as it does to have an injection.

How is the Microchip inserted into my Dog?

Once the paperwork has been done, and relevant questions asked, for safety, it merely involves a needle being inserted into the scruff of the neck of the Dog, usually, and the microchip is inserted using a pre loaded instrument which nowadays looks just like an injection needle.  The transponder/chip is already inside the instrument, and sterile, so the implanter simply gives an “injection” type procedure, and that is it…  All done!

Can anyone microchip my Dog?

No.  Not just anyone can microchip your Dog! 

You need to have a successfully completed a microchip implanting course, in order to be able to do this yourself.

However, there are courses available in the UK, for people to learn how to microchip Dogs themselvesAnd these are often courses which last only a couple of days, so they can be fitted into most hectic schedules.

Much of the time Dogs are microchipped by veterinarians or qualified vet nurses.  However, nowadays, many Dog groomers and Dog trainers along with Dog breeders, also carry out Dog microchipping.  Providing an all round service/package.

How much does it cost to microchip my Dog?

The cost of microchipping your Dog will vary, depending on where in the world you live.  However, here in the UK it can cost roughly between £10 and £15 to get your Dog microchipped.  Sometimes is can a bit more to have it done by a vet or vet nurse, often depending on whether or not any other services are purchased at the same time.  Sometimes, if you have more than one Dog, you can get a discount, especially if you are having a litter of puppies’ microchipped.  Also, some rescue charities have microchip discount days, so it’s worth checking this out too…

Many people now offer microchipping as a service. From Dog walkers to pet sitters, however it is important to make sure that the person to who is going to microchip your Dog is qualified to carry out the procedure. 

You can also check their details by asking them if they are a registered microchip implanter, and if so, which implanter code do they have.  Different companies that sell microchips have a different prefix to their implanter codes, which the implanter needs to register any implants they do, and also they need this in order to lawfully purchase microchips.  It is your Dog at the end of the day, and you are well within your rights to ask for proof they can implant.

What is a Microchip Scanner?

A Microchip Scanner is a portable, handheld device which picks up the transponder signal which is emitted from the Microchip inserted into the animal.

When a handheld scanning device, is passed over the length of your Dog’s body, if they have a microchip implanted, the scanner will pick it up and emit a loud beep, notifying that a chip is present.  The screen of the scanner will show a long number, with a couple of letters.  These together, make a unique microchip number, your Dog’s unique microchip number.

All the information about the Dog, including breed, and any unique identifiable marks, or scars, is electronically stored on a database paired with that unique microchip number.

The database covers the whole country, and in some cases that information may actually cover all Europe.  Depending on the microchip company and the database they use, and applicable data laws.  (Please refer to your microchip paperwork

 for details of where the information is stored)

There’s a huge variety Microchip Scanners available, with differing price points.  (This Halo Microchip Scanner, has option of with or without carry case & a variety of colours. Please click the image for further product information)

One thing to bear in mind when you are looking to purchase a Microchip scanner, is it’s ability to read different types of transponder/Microchip.   The majority of Microchip scanners available to purchase in the UK are only able to read the Microchips which are known as FDX-B (ISO compliant, 15 digits).  Some, not all, can read the FDX -A (10 Digit) Microchips & then there are models which can read both FDX -B & FDX-A Microchips.  As if that isn’t enough information to get our heads around, for those animals here in the UK that had a Microchip implanted in the USA, notably the Friendchip, then they would need to be scanned with a Scanner which covers ALL protocols.  If your reason for purchasing a Microchip Scanner is for your own pet, then models like those in this Dog Blog should suffice, (please check on your pets paperwork prior to purchase to see which type of Transponder is implanted, FDX-A or B) 

Dogs can be natures medicine for us

Dogs can be natures medicine for us..

Nature has shown us how beautiful she can be and with the varying seasons, gives us a taste of what is yet to come over the next few months or so.. In Spring, the migratory birds will have found their new homes for this next phase of their journeys, and new life begins… Cuckoo’s call echoes across the countryside and mingles in with the beautiful song of the Blackbirds..


Happy Malinois Dog

For us humans, Spring tends to bring along with it also, the age old saying of “Spring Cleaning” or “out with the Old and in with the New..” and many of our families have handed down to us and instilled in us, that we really should “Spring clean” our houses from Top to Bottom..”  as soon as Spring arrives! Welcoming in the lighter, brighter mornings and evenings and the fresh air drifting through our homes, now that sounds great..

I’m all for Spring Cleaning,however, my Dog’s have other ideas of what clean is…. and i’m sure clean doesn’t have a muddy colour or texture!

I love to be out with my Dog’s, especially around this time of the year, Spring.  The weather may still be a tad unpredictable, however, it’s not too hot, not too wet, (unless we go to the Loch or the Sea) it’s just nice, good old Dog walking weather. And for those of you who are as passionate about their canine pals as we are, early morning strolls and late evening “chuckit” sessions are a god send in this technology driven age. As daft and wappy as our Dogs may be, they too are natures Medicine, and they help us more than they will ever know.



Working Labrador Dog in the woodland wearing a harness



So, while we unwind after a late meal, and peruse the world wide web, please take a second to have a look over there… right where your Dog sleeps, does the Dogs sleeping area need a Spring Clean too?

Has the old Dog bed had a few too many washes or been chewed into a totally random shape? Take a look at these fantastic Dog Cot’s (raised Dog bed’s)?

They are easy to keep clean and your Dog will sleep like an angel…

 Go on…spread a bit of love to your beloved walking partner and buy them some thing special.. they’ll adore you even more for it.. #UnconditionalLove

I found the best Indoor and outdoor Dog bathing tool..

Using the AquaPaw bathing tool is The easiest way I have found to bath a Dog…if like me, you have Arthritis /Painful Hands, then you may find yourself asking why you didn’t have this product months ago! 

 ( Click here to check out video’s of me using the Aquapaw bathing tool on one of my own Dogs, and see for yourself how much easier it is to bath your Dog!)

So many Dog owners & pet owners in general, struggle when it comes to bathing their beloved companion, that they can end up spending hundreds of pounds each year taking them to groomers, to get a straight forward bath/shower and dry their coats.

Don’t get me wrong, certain breeds of Dog, and Cats, do require professional grooming services, however, us owners really ought to be able to do a straight forward bath/shower right? 

So why does bathing my Dog become such a battle?

Well, I think we fall head over heels for the soft sorrowful eyes so much, we forget that they have just “conditioned” us. 

Yep, that’s right, we give in too easily.  “Oh, Fido doesn’t want to go out in the rain…never mind, we can go when it stops…”  “Oh, Fido doesn’t have to get down off the couch, he’s comfy…leave him there…”, “Fido isn’t growling, he’s just telling me he doesn’t like something…”

Do you see where I am going with this?

We’ve all done it at some point.

This is why bathing our Dog becomes such a battle.

We know we should set the standard when our pets are tiny, when we bring them home we should start as we mean to go on, instead of the age old excuse of “he’s only a puppy, its fine…”  “Don’t worry about bathing him; he’s going to the beach…  In the sea, that will clean him…”

By not being consistent enough when they are young, we are basically letting them dictate whether or not they are going to be bathed!

Now, I can look at this from two points of view really:

From a Dog owner point of view

From a Dog Trainer point of view

Like the majority of Dog Trainers, I was a Dog owner first.

Right from a young age my family home included a Dog.  After I left home and had a family of my own, I had multiple Dogs at a time.

 However, when I think about it, when it came to the Dogs needing a bath (generally due to rolling in the unpleasant out-comings of farm animals), there was never any “Come on Fido bath time” being yelled, and definitely never any kind of baby talk to the Dogs.  It was a straight forward process of

    • Sort the garden hose pipe
    • Hold Dogs collar
    • Clip on the lead
    • Wet the Dog use a bit of Dog shampoo (if we had any, otherwise is was soap)
    • And to quote a famous Hairstylist, “Rinse and Repeat”

That was all there was to it!  Simple. 

And the Dogs never growled, they accepted the fact that they were having it done, no “what if’s or maybe’s”.

The Dogs were then towel dried and left in the garden to dry off.  Never a thought about using a hairdryer to dry the Dog … wowser, my parents would have gone berserk with using electricity for the “Dog”!

So you see, everything seemed very matter of fact.  “This is what is happening to you Fido, not up for discussion”.

And it was the same when it came to grooming our Dogs.  We didn’t have nor need a pocket full of Dog treats.  The task was done, end of. 

And when I now look at it all from a Dog Trainer’s point of view, yes, I am still methodical with my own Dog’s.  However, when I hear the stories of owners who’s Dog’s would rather bite them, than be bathed, that is unnerving and downright dangerous.

Yet when I talk to those owners, there is always a common denominator, and that is how they treat their Dog like a human/child.  (Instead of treating it like a Dog.)

Many people call it “humanisation”.  However, the correct term is “anthropomorphise”.It is causing behavioural issues with those Dogs, but the Dogs are merely reacting to how they have been raised.  It’s a symptom of their 

environment, nature versus nurture.

What advice is there for bathing a puppy?

I offer this advice to take away from this: (paraphrased from a fantastic Pet Dog Trainer in the USA, whom I think more of us should be like with our Dogs)

“Remember, that when you purchase a puppy, you are not raising a puppy.  You are raising a DOG.”  Only accept behaviour from a puppy that you would be happy to expect from an adult Dog.  It’s not cute or fun to have a 50kg German shepherd try to bite you when you try to bath it, so don’t let a puppy mouth you when you try to bath it.  I’m sure you get the gist of it.

It’s not very often a new Dog grooming/bathing product comes onto the market that I get excited about.

 However, I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I have got excited with this one.  It is a game changer in regard to bathing pets.

In all my Dog owning life, I can honestly say I have never had a problem with my Dogs when it comes to them needing to be bathed.  However, none of them have had sensitive skin issues either! Up until recently.

 So, that it’s self gave me a challenge, trying to keep my Dogs skin from being too itchy, and trying to make sure that my Dog doesn’t get any kind of yeast issues.  So after addressing the issues internally, with diet etc, I was then looking for an easier way to address the sensitive skin externally.  My Dog was ok IN a bath but it was not practical given our bathroom and the size of my Dog…  (Very big).

And the other challenge I was finding, was that when trying to use the hose on my Dog, the shower type adapter for the garden just made the water come out way too fast for my sensitive Dog and it actually felt like a bit like a power shower.  Good for us, just not for my Dog.  (It’s worth adding here, that my other Dog, a Sprocker, loves any kind of bath….even if it was coming straight from a hydrant, he would be there, waiting for the water)

What is the easy way to bath your Dog?

So while searching the internet for a possible adapter for the garden hose, I was thrilled to bits to find what I can only describe as a HUGE BREAKTHROUGH in Dog Bathing/Grooming.

THIS is the easy way to Bath your Dog!

Let me introduce you all (if you don’t already know …) to the Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool.


  This beauty is a whole new game changer when it comes to bathing/showering Dogs/pets. 

Why?  Let me explain to you what makes the AquaPaw special, in my opinion:

What are the best points about the AquaPaw?

My top 10 selling points for the AquaPaw Pet Bathing Tool

1) It is so easy to use (even with my small sized hands)

2) It is easy to regulate the water flow

3) It has a brilliant on/off switch in the palm of your hand

4) Multiple tap adaptors

5) Feels like a rubber Dog Grooming brush

6)Doesn’t startle the Dog

7)Has plenty of hose to it

8) Very Sturdy

9) The strap on the back of your hand is easy to adjust

10) Ergonomic

I could carry on listing the AquaPaw plus points.

What are the negative points of the AquaPaw?

To be bluntly honest, I can’t find any negative points about the AquaPaw.  I have had mine for over 6 months now, and in that time it has had plenty of usage, I can tell you.  In fact I am purchasing another one to have as a standby, as I couldn’t imagine not using one to bath my Dogs now!

It’s not very often I can’t find any negative things to say about Dog products, especially within the Grooming sector, however this product has come out on top for me and my Dog.  So I say a big thank you to AquaPaw for creating this.

What can I use to bath my Dog that won’t hurt my hands?

Another reason I like the AquaPaw is because it doesn’t take much dexterity to use it.  You don’t need to use much force in order to activate the on/off switch, so if like me you happen to have sore joints around your fingers etc, you would still be able to use it with ease.

 I strongly recommend giving this Pet Bathing Tool a try.  Being able to turn the water off, with a clench of your fist on the bathing tool, so you can add shampoo etc to your pet, without wasting water, without getting soaked to the skin yourself, is just brilliant.

Take a look at our videos to see why I won’t use any other product!

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