How to cut black Dog nails

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**Dislcaimer : does not provide veterinary advice, nor does it claim to be an alternative to seeking professional advice. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

How do I cut black dogs nails?

How to cut black Dog nails – 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 very 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 here to view our own German Shepherd Dog having his Black Nails Cut, on our YouTube channel.

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

Click here to see the type of Dog Nail clippers we use.  Or see video at bottom of page.

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 Pet Nail Clippers

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 Pet Nail Cutter

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.   My other concern with grinders is that they do tend to make a noise, not always a loud noise, however couple it with the vibration on the Dogs nails and it could take a while to desensitise them enough to not have a  Dog trying to get away from having nails filed.  However, there are no doubt owners who also swear by them.  I can only tell you my personal experience with them.

Scissor Type Pet Nail Clippers

Scissor Type Pet Nail ClippersI 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. 

Plier Type Pet Nail Clippers

Pliers Type Pet Nail Clippers 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.

**Dislcaimer : does not provide veterinary advice, nor does it claim to be an alternative to seeking professional advice. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

Here are some more of my favourite Dog Products

Thank you so much for reading my Dog Blogs. I hope you find them really helpful and informative. Here are a few Dog products which I use/have used, as a Dog Trainer and/or Dog Owner that I hope you will also find helpful. These are affiliate links (please refer to my full disclosure throughout my website) therefore if you do use them, I may receive a commission. However, these products are a selection of the products I use with my own Dogs and I have no problem at all in recommending them to likeminded Dog owners. Some of the items you can also see on my YouTube channel like the one above.

Tough Dog ToyKONG Extreme Dog Toy – I love these so much as I can put my Dogs food in it and freeze it, it becomes a fab way to feed and has so many uses, we even play hide ‘n’ seek with them!

Tough Dog MuzzleDingo Gear Dog Training Muzzle – This Dog Muzzle is Tough! It is handmade from leather and has reinforced Muzzle and Herm Sprenger buckle. Make no mistake when I say this is Top Quality. There are different sizes available, however, for my Working Line German Shepherd Dog I have size 2. When the muzzle arrives, it may feel quite stiff, but, bear in mind that leather does get softer with use, just like leather Dog leads, they become more subtle.

Dog Grooming/Bathing The AquaPaw Pet Bathing Tool. OMG! This Dog Grooming product has been a game changer for me. If you have difficulty when it comes to Bathing your Dog/s, or if you have dexterity issues with your hands (like me, I have arthritis), then this product can make it much easier. I have videos going into detail of how easy this product makes bathing my Dogs. I always recommend this product to anyone and everyone I come across who owns Dogs.

Tick Remover O’Tom Tick Twister Yeah, those awful pests that can spread disease. TICKS! I live in an area of beautiful countryside in Scotland, however, so do many many thousands of Ticks (and Deer). It’s inevitable that my Dogs will get them, and they do! So, I use this Tick Twister. It doesn’t seem like much, but they are effective. They only thing I would change about them is the size of the handle/grip, but we manage. They are easy to use, it tends to be more of a case of getting the Dog to sit still while we get the Tick that is the biggest problem, not the actual Tick removal! These come in a 2 pack, though the largest of them seems to be easier to use for me. Again, I do have a video on my YouTube channel showing me use these. I think they are a must for every Dog owner.

Health Supplement Gold Label Brewers Yeast I feed my Dogs a Raw Diet and I endeavour to ensure they are getting all the nutrients etc that they need in their diet. However, regardless of whether it’s Raw or Kibble, there are some vitamins and minerals that are just a tad harder to find than others, and that is why I supplement with Brewers Yeast. It has so many benefits: It’s a natural prebiotic for a healthy gut, recommended as a skin and coat conditioner for show stock, natural source of B group vitamins which are essential for growth and healthy nervous and digestive system.. there are many more benefits, too many to list here. However, I have noticed an improvement in my Dogs condition, especially one which is on long term sterodial medication, so I intend to keep adding it to their food. (The 300g tubs last ages!)

Dog Cage Ellie – Bo Dog Cage I know the use of Dog cages/crates is always likely to be a contentious one in the Dog owning world, however I do believe it’s a personal choice, and there are many reasons as to why someone may choose to use a Dog cage. All that aside, there are 2 main brands of Dog cages I use. First up is Ellie – Bo. I have a huge Dog cage in the house for my working line Gsd to sleep in, and that is an Ellie – Bo Dog cage, It has been a great Dog cage. I’ve had it for a fair few years now and it sure has given me my monies worth. I recently purchased an Ellie – Bo Dog Cage cover for it, and it fits absolutely spot on. I can’t fault it at all. I love the products and love the Brand. The second brand of Dog Cage I use is Savic. For many many years I used Savic Dog cages in my vehicles. They are the most robust, sturdy cage I had come across on the market at the time, in terms of foldable portable Dog cages go, and they fitted my Dogs at that time and my vehicles with ease. I used to tether them to the anchor points in the boot of my vehicles so they were secure, and they didn’t move. they may cost a few quid more, but they are so worth it in my view, especially if they are going in a vehicle. ( Although there are specific companies that manufacture cages etc to fit in vehicles, I am simply talking about foldable cages here, in this Dogblog) These are just a few of my current fav’s that I’d like to share with you, I thank you for reading my DogBlog. To view some of my current recommendations, check out my other DogBlogs here!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Any links which are clicked and subsequently purchased from may provide a.k.a with a small commission. Our full Affiliate Disclaimer can be found throughout our website.

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