How to Cut Large Dog Nails
/ / / How to Cut Large Dog Nails And Have Your Dog LOVE It [7 TIPS]

How to Cut Large Dog Nails And Have Your Dog LOVE It [7 TIPS]

How to Cut Large Dog Nails – The Universal Struggle

Learning how to cut large dog nails is a responsibility all big dog owners accept when they bring a puppy home.

How To Trim Large Dog Nails Graphic
© 2020 Big Dog Mom, LLC

Yet, when the topic of trimming nails comes up, it seems like it wakes the sleeping giant.  It is a struggle that we all face and face regularly with our dogs.

To illustrate, if I asked you to choose between $1,000 or perfectly manicured nails on your big dog forever, my guess is 99% of you would choose the dog nails.

We all want beautifully manicured nails for our dogs, but very few of us know HOW to achieve it.

Achieve it without a significant amount of pain, anxiety and, in many cases, tears, that is.

I have heard countless stories about having to tag team and pin the dog down, use a crate so the dog doesn’t escape, trick the dog or cut nails as the dog sleeps, or, much to the dismay of groomers everywhere, wait and let someone else do it.

Until today!

In this post, you will learn:

  • What makes large dog nails unique,
  • Why your trimming nails should be a top priority,
  • How often large dog nails should be cut, and
  • The 7 keys to successfully cutting large dog nails [with VIDEO tutorial linked below].

Effectively cutting a large dog’s nails without force requires preparation, proper conditioning, commitment, confidence, and plenty of treats in order to be successful. Recognizing signs of stress and responding appropriately will significantly enhance the experience of both owner and dog during the process of nail trimming.

Let’s dive into each of these in more detail…


how to cut large dog nails

This post contains affiliate links from which I may receive a small compensation.  There is NO ADDED COST to you should you use these links.


Common Complaints About Cutting Large Dog Nails

“I’m afraid of hitting the quick and causing my dog pain!”

“My dog hates it!”

“My dog is too big for me to cut his nails by myself!”

“It just causes too much stress for me and my dog.

[READ: Top 7 Most Popular Myths about Cutting Dog Nails – Busted!]

What Makes Cutting A Large Dog’s Nails Unique?

This is where the big dog owners of the world get in a circle and hold hands in solidarity. Because there is just no comparison between cutting nails on a 230-pound Mastiff and a 4-pound Chihuahua.

It is true that Chihuahuas can be vicious. I live next to one. I know.

But if a 230-pound Mastiff is fearful or anxious, that nail battle can often require multiple people, force, and, in many cases, sedation.

As my motto states, “Size Matters!”

Big dog owners face some unique challenges as they set out to learn how to trim large dog nails. Among these are:

  • Big dog strength
  • Big dog size
  • Size and strength of dog nails
  • Cost of dog grooming prohibitive for many big dog owners
  • The risk to others if a big dog is aggressive
  • Breed sensitivity
  • Memory imprinting during socialization or fear period
  • Holding a big dog is not an option
  • Restraint is extraordinarily difficult
  • The severity of orthopedic consequences of long dog nails
  • Cost of veterinary expenses if nails need treatment or surgical intervention

Need I go on?

Let’s boil this down to the crux of the issue.

Learning how to cut large dog nails requires brains NOT brawn!

Consequences of Overgrown Nails
long dog nails

Hearing dog nails on the ground are like fingernails on a chalkboard for me.  Literally.

And aesthetically, I think they ruin an otherwise gorgeous paw.  Yes, I am every bit a nail snob when it comes to my dogs.

More importantly, dog nails that are overgrown can cause extremely painful feet.

When a dog’s nails contact the hard ground, like a sidewalk or your kitchen floor, the hard surface pushes the nail back up into the nail bed.

This either puts pressure on all the toe joints or forces the toe to twist to the side.  This causes the toes to become sore and the dog to fuss when you touch his feet.

Secondly, overgrown nails cause the dog to compensate for his movement in an unbalanced way leading to over-used muscles and eventually over-used joints.  Over time this can result in lameness especially in their hind limbs, making it difficult to jump in cars, climb stairs, and even hard to get up from lying down.

If all this wasn’t enough to convince you, here are some additional reasons you may never have considered:  Dog Nails Too Long? The Truth About Why Length Matters


Want a resource guide for this post?  Grab your PDF cheat sheet, The Ultimate Tool Guide for Trimming Dog Nails.


How to Cut Large Dog Nails Without Stress or Anxiety

While this is not going to be a quick fix, I can guarantee you, if you follow my 7 keys to success, your experience, and your dog’s nail health WILL improve over time. 

I know because I have used them with my own 18-month 160-pound Mastiff that was deathly afraid of getting her nails cut. 

After a year-long struggle culminating in her having to have surgery for her nails, I decided enough was enough. Never again would I let my beloved companion suffer emotionally and physically due to long dog nails!

I learned, through that experience, how to condition a dog to love nail trims.

Maya went from a giant dog requiring a heavyweight wrestling match to one that would come happily and hand me her paws to get them cut.

NO FORCE was ever used or needed to get her to that point.

Just patience, kindness and time.  That’s it.

When your dog outweighs you, you have to use your brain, not your brawn to cut their nails.

[READ: 5 Subtle Signs of Stress in Dogs: How To Take the Fear Out of Nail Trims]

When your dog outweighs you, you have to use your brain not your brawn to cut their nails. Click to Tweet

7 Keys to Successfully Cutting Large Dog Nails Without Force, Fear, or Frustration

1. Begin With the End In Mind

As Stephen Covey wisely put it in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,

“Begin with the end in mind.”

Live your life by design, not default. Don’t merely accept what IS. Focus on what CAN BE.

This applies to cutting dog nails as much as it does business.

Have a goal and take baby steps to achieve it.  Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Do not spend one more second feeling guilty. Decide today to do something about it.

How to Cut Large Dog Nails

2. Start Early & Cut Often

Ideally, your breeder will have started manipulating and playing with their paws as early as when the puppies are first born and through 8-10 weeks. 

A breeder can and should also expose the puppies to a Dremel, or a similar dog nail grinder, and/or dog nail clipper during this time as well.

When you bring your new puppy home it is imperative that you start cutting your dog’s nails immediately and OFTEN. 

So many people ask me, “how often should I be trimming my dog’s nails?”

My perspective is that trimming nails is as much an exercise in preventative health maintenance as it is in training and socialization.

You wouldn’t keep your puppy from interacting with new people for a month or longer, would you?  You know that their early and frequent exposure to new friendly people is critical to them growing up to be a well-socialized, friendly adult.  If you don’t, read Puppy Socialization: 5 Common Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make.

So why wait that long to cut your dog’s nails?

I recommend never going longer than one week between sessions. And for the vast majority of big dogs who are anxious or fearful, I recommend you work with your dog much more frequently.

Check out the graphic below and this video for a more detailed explanation of my recommendations regarding how often you should be cutting your large dog’s nails and why.

Cutting dog nails is as much an exercise in preventative health maintenance as it is in training and socialization. Click to Tweet

3. Desensitize And/Or Counter-Condition Your Dog Slowly

As I stated above, conditioning a large dog to love nails trims does not happen overnight. There are no quick fixes or magic bullets.

And to all those slathering peanut butter on your foreheads, listen up.

If you are using restraint, confinement, coercion, or any other means of force in order to clip your large dog’s nails, let me ask you a question….

Do you or your big dog enjoy the process?

Whether you use these methods as a means to an end, or because you have convinced yourself they are the magic pill curing your dog’s anxiety, think again.

The only way to condition a big dog to truly enjoy nail trims is with time and patience.

In Dog Nailpro™ I go into much more detail about conditioning, but for now, let’s cover a few terms that are important for a high-level understanding of the process.

Counter-conditioning works to change your dog’s already established association with something he or she doesn’t like or that they fear from negative to positive by pairing it with something they love (treats, usually).  

On the other hand, desensitization addresses changing the pairing overtime at a safe distance, sub-threshold.

[READ: Best Guide to Classical vs Operant Conditioning for Dog Owners [Simple]]


If you would like to learn more about the Dog Nailpro™ for force, fear, and frustration-free nail trimming, click here. You can add your name to the early notification list for when I open the doors for enrollment.


4. Treat Generously

I use treats liberally because food is something that dogs inherently understand.

However, I do not use treats as a reward when I trim my large dog’s nails. Nor do I use treats to “occupy” or coerce my dog to sit still.

While these methods may work to appease a very food-motivated dog initially, using treats in this way will not result in changing how he or she feels about it.

My method, the Dog Nailpro™ Method, uses treats in a very specific way as a response.

I prefer to use tiny treats that are quick and easy for my dog to consume. These range from commercial dog treats to cut up pieces of steak or cheese. Anything your dog loves will work.

I have quite a few favorite commercial dog treats that I use for cutting my large dog’s nails. If you would like to check them out, here they are in a convenient one-stop-shop on Amazon.

5. Remain Calm and Confident

This one is very important!  If you are nervous, your dog will be nervous.  Your nervousness will reinforce his or her fear. 

Remove your emotional connection to the outcome and your dog will begin to relax as well.

Your dog will feed off of your emotion and respond accordingly. If you express frustration that your dog keeps pulling his paw away or runs away when you get the clippers out, he will learn that nail trimming is not such a positive experience.

Instead, relax.

Remember what I said in Life Lessons From an Ipad, Flip-Flops, and Two Giant Dogs,

“Worrying does not help Junior or my children. Living and loving do. So here is my advice. Look in the mirror and “RELAX.” Control what you can control and let the rest go.”

6. Be Patient With Your Dog and Yourself

The most important piece of advice I can give you is to follow your dog’s lead.

Invite your dog into the driver’s seat and let him tell you when he is ready to advance to the next step.

As I have stated several times, go slow. 

I am sure you have heard the saying “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.”  The more patient you are through this process with your dog, the more he will trust you.  Work at his pace, not according to your desire to “just get it done.”

Watch your dog’s body language and respond accordingly.

7. Do NOT Overreact If You Hit the Quick!

The last key to successfully cutting large dog nails is this… Do NOT freak out if you accidentally hit the quick. It happens even to the best of us.

For those that are unfamiliar with it, the quick is the soft cuticle inside the nail that is rich in blood vessels and nerves.  Unfortunately, as the nail (claw) grows, the quick grows too.

However, as you apply constant pressure on the quick through cutting, the quick slowly recedes. 

But as I said, you will, at some point, accidentally cut into the quick.  It is going to happen. 

I can assure you it is not the end of the world, for you or your dog. Keep some Kwik Stop, or styptic powder, on hand just in case.  You can also use cornstarch, baking soda or flour if you don’t have Kwik Stop on hand.

Just take a little pinch of powder and press it onto the nail.  That usually stops the bleeding pretty quickly.

READ: 7 Best Ways to Stop Dog Nail Bleeding [DIY FAST]


Do you fear hitting your dog’s quick?  Grab your FREE QUICK Starter Guide with everything you need to know – what the quick is, how to avoid hitting it, and what to do if you do. 


ProductAmazonChewy800-Pet Supplies
Dremel 4000Check Price
Cordless DremelCheck Price
Pet Dremel 7300 Check PriceCheck Price
Nail ClipperCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Kwik StopCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

How To Trim Large Dog Nails Video Tutorial

Summary for How to Cut Large Dog Nails

1. Begin With The End In Mind

2. Start Early & Cut Nails Often

3. Desensitize & Counter-Condition Slowly

4. Treat Generously

5. Remain Calm & Confident

6. Be Patient

7. Do NOT Freak Out If You Hit The Quick – Just Be Prepared


how to cut dog nails Infographic - Big Dog Mom

Your Turn!

On a scale of 1 – 10, how much do you struggle with trimming your large dog’s nails?

Put your number in the comments below and share what your biggest challenge is.

And if you have a big dog lovin’ friend who could benefit from this information, please share it!

Good luck and Get Cutting!!!

If you would like more great information about cutting dog nails my way, here are a few posts from the archives:

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50 Comments

  1. Well I just had to read this post! It’s not just the big dogs that have “issues” having their nails trimmed! Ask any pug owner or vet for that matter about pugs and nail trims and they will certainly have stories to tell! I have given up on trimming my dog’s nails and now take her to her vet tech to have them taken care of. I know that they have that special touch so as not to cause my dog anymore anxiety.

    1. Oh, absolutely! SOOOO many dogs have issues with nails, so hopefully my post resonates with all dog owners. I am so happy that you have found a solution for Edie. The vet for me was always more traumatic for my dogs and they never got the nails short enough for me. As I said, I’m a total nail snob.

  2. The graphic of the nail structure was really helpful. I don’t think I’ve seen that anywhere before and it made me less apprehensive of trying this with my dog. The desensitization information was also great – good things come to those who are patient!

    1. Thank you, Lori! Yes, I agree that patience is definitely the key!

      1. Hi BigDogMom, yes the graphic really helped. But my little dog has black nails, so I don’t see how far in I can cut. Is there a 100 percent “safe” size, like for example 1mm or so, where you can cut and be SURE not to cut too much. Thx so much for your answer. I just bought a clipper and want to try, because my little rescue dog is so afraid to let it done by someone else, she even jumped off a table and started reacting strange…

        1. Hi Marianne – I wish there was a magic solution for nails and ensuring the quick doesn’t get clipped. Unfortunately, there isn’t. If you cut nails long enough, it will happen. I have found that, while I don’t try to hit it, I sometimes do. Most of the time, it is a tiny knick, not anything serious. I have some Kwik Stop or cornstarch handy and the bleeding stops almost immediately. Two pieces of advice I would offer you. First, if it happens, don’t freak out or make a big deal out of it. I find if I don’t react, often my dogs don’t react either. Second, go slow. When using a clipper or a Dremel, it is a good idea to take little bits off at a time. It’s important for you to get very close to the quick so it starts to recede back into the nail bed, but you don’t have to do that in one fell swoop. I hope this helps. Let me know how she does. If she is frightened, you may want to take an even slower approach using treats and only one nail a day for a while. Your patience in the beginning will pay dividends in the future.

  3. “Just patience, kindness and time. That’s it.”- love it. Thanks for sharing, and giving a treat is right..

  4. I am way too paranoid and sensitive to be cutting my dog’s nails by myself, but I find this article a very great resource! So far our vet is doing the cutting as she is super skilled and takes her less than a minute, but if I ever decide to do it myself I’ll definitely be referring back to your blog post!

    1. Thank you, Luna! Please do and let me know if you ever need any help.

  5. Not only they can hurt when they grow really ridiculously long but even moderately overgrown they mess with proprioception and movement and can contribute to injuries.

  6. I love this article. I work as a veterinarian and cutting nails is definitely one of the things that most dog owners hate. And to be honest, it is one of my least favorite tasks at the clinic. Starting a dog off slowly and young, with tons of food rewards and patience can make such a big difference. No one, not the dog or the humans, likes having to hold a big dog down to trim his/her nails. I personally like to recommend that new puppy/kitten owners work on trimming just one nail each night (it will take about 18 days to get around to all the nails + I assume most people will skip a couple nights, which is just enough time to start over again). This makes nail trimming routine and doesn’t promote a big struggle. Definitely feed the puppy/kitten for distraction if needed. After a few months of this, most pets are ready to let you trim all of his/her nails in one sitting 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Dr. Kate! I take this as a huge compliment! Your account is exactly the method I used with my first mastiff who was deathly afraid of getting her nails cut. I have since done the same thing with my lab and other mastiffs and it works! I believe all dogs, no matter how afraid they are, with patience and time, can be desensitized and/or conditioned to enjoy nail cutting.

    1. Thank you, Shelby! Most dogs hate it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not easy, but you’re right, patience is definitely key!

  7. I don’t trust my hand-eye coordination to clip my dogs’ nails, but I think if I could get them used to a Dremel I could do that. My poor Puggle has fast growing nails and the vet or tech has nicked him a few times. It certainly doesn’t help his fear when it keeps happening.

    1. I think you are absolutely right, Lora. If every time the dog gets his nails cut, he feels pain, of course he’s going to hate it. I feel like when I was using a clipper I hit the quick on my dogs much more frequently than I do now using a Dremel. With a Dremel you can go very slow on each nail. Even with black nails, you can get right up to the quick and see just a little bit of dark before the dog feels anything. That’s where I stop. I want to see it but not hit it. You need to get this close for the quick to recede into the nail. Perhaps try to introduce a Dremel using some of my tips. Take it very slow, use special (only for nail cutting) treats and remember, it could take you a month before you get every nail But the next time around, it may only take 10, then 5, until you are able to do all nails in one happy session.

  8. I trim the girls’ nails on a regular basis. I got them used to it when they were kittens. They don’t really love it, but they tolerate it. I had problems trying to trim my mom’s dog’s nails because his nails are dark and I’m afraid of cutting into the quick.

    1. Yes, dark nails are tough. With a Dremel you can usually see the dark part of the quick before you hit it which is nice. Great job with your cats! I would imagine cats being even harder to condition to nail cutting than dogs. Nice job!

  9. I haven’t tried a Dremel and I should get one. When my springer did agility, my trainer had me trim her nails every week. She got real used to it. Chipper and Buffy hate to get their paws touched with shaving their legs and paws and trimming their nails. I have to flip them on their backs and sit on them to do it. It’s stressful for both of us. Great article!

    1. Sandy, you are not alone. I think nail cutting is stressful for 99% of dog owners out there. I think your trainer had the right idea, consistency and frequency are key. Perhaps taking it slower with Chipper and Buffy. Work on getting them to just enjoy having their feet touched, then work up to cutting or Dremeling. The other thing I would recommend is finding a treat they just love and ONLY give it to them while you are on the floor massaging their feet, eventually hearing the Dremel, and hopefully then trimming nails. The Dremel Micro is a great starter Dremel if you are considering it. It’s cordless and somewhat quieter than the one I use.

  10. I admit, I am one of those people who doesn’t like trimming nails. Ruby is small and handles it relatively well, but I still dread it. Mostly because her nails are black and I feel like I can never tell if I am close to the quick or not.

    I like your tip about special treats just for nail trimming. I will have to try that one.

    1. Thank you so much! If you are already to the point where Ruby does well with it, I think you will be thrilled to see the difference when she is rewarded with some special, only for nail-cutting treats! I prefer crunchy biscuit-type treats because they take longer to eat. I also make it a bit of a production and act like “getting your nails cut” is the most fun activity in the whole world.

  11. Joely Smith says:

    Such a great post and empowering as well. My daughter worked for a groomer so she is totally at ease cutting our dogs nails. Me, I am the timid one. I need to try doing it myself and will use your tips!

    1. Thank you so much, Joely! How wonderful you have your daughter to help you. Sometimes it’s that confidence that helps to calm even a nervous dog.

  12. Patience and calm and reward and love. I think the qualities you’ve outlined for nail trims could apply to so many areas of caring for our dogs. Thanks for sharing such a thorough, step-by-step instructional.

    1. Thank you so much and I agree. I believe rewards, patience and understanding are really all it takes for any type of dog training.

  13. Such an awesome post about dog nails! Soooo many dog owners feel so many of the ways you mentioned. I can’t even imagine trying to cut my dogs nails bc I’m just too scary and clumsy lol my husband will do it, but we usually just let the groomer do it. I’m sure so many people will find this helpful! I’ll be pinning this for sure.

    1. Thank you so much, Kia! I have no doubt that you could do your dog’s nails. Believe in yourself, my friend! 🙂

  14. I really like your process for getting dogs used to the trimmer, thanks for sharing that. Slow & steady with lots of praise is the way to go! I liked how in the first video you continually treated Junior. I can’t believe he was only 7 months old, he’s huge, LOL!! I had a very hard time trimming Phoebe’s nails, until I got a better trimmer – turns out my trimmer was dull and it wasn’t doing the job right. Now it’s a breeze!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    1. Thank you so much, Cathy! Great job with Phoebe! I find that I have to change out my Dremel tip pretty frequently because I can tell when it gets dull and the dogs become more sensitive to the added heat.

  15. Incredible guide! I imagine this is a topic most new owners are clueless about. Bear Cat’s always been bite-y and scratch-y (to me and the furniture), so minimizing the damage means clipping his claws on a regular basis. I’ve kept up clipping his claws every couple weeks – but I dread it. He acts like I’m hurting him terribly – and I’ve asked our vet several times just to double check that I couldn’t possibly be hurting him. Wrangling a 14 pound cat is hard enough … I can’t even imagine a 100+ pound dog! I think you said it best … use your brain and not your brawn. Thank you for linking up to the Showcase!

    1. Thank you so much! I can only imagine what cutting a cat’s nails would be like. It does not sound fun. As long as you truly aren’t clipping way into the quick, I’m sure you’re not hurting him. I wish I had better advice for cat parents in terms of how to minimize the anxiety for the animal and for you. I have to believe my tips on starting early in life and doing them regularly would be strategies that would also work for a cat.

  16. What a really useful post. Clearly the starting young is the way to go, but I bet with time and persistence and kindness an older dog can learn just as well, especially with the use of treats to aid. I never realised a dremel could be used as effectively in nail work either, but sort of makes sense now I’ve seen you use it.
    Thanks for sharing..
    Toodle pip
    ERin

    1. Thank you so much, Erin! Yes, I agree with you completely. An older dog CAN definitely be trained to calmly get their nails cut. For many older dogs the desensitization piece will likely take more time and patience than with a younger dog because they’ve spent a lifetime building up a negative association with nail cutting.

  17. I LOVE THIS. I struggle with this. I KNOW Sampson’s nails are too long, and I suspected (and you confirmed) that could be the cause of some of his pain. He is a light colored dog, and oddly, his quick is not easily discernible to me. I’ve cut him a few times, and he’s come to hate the nail clipping. I started using the Dremel and he doesn’t care for that either, but he tolerates to a point. I was just worried about how frequently I could work at those nails, you do think it’s acceptable to try like every two to three days? Will that eventually get his nails short enough?

    1. Thank you so much, Jodi! Until you get cutting and come close to the quick, in my experience it doesn’t matter whether the nails are white or black, it’s hard to see the quick from the outside just looking at the paw. So, don’t feel like you’re missing something. One thing to think about is what causes the quick to recede into the nail bed. You need to come close to it with each trim. Over time the quick will recede further and further back. So when you do cut the nails you want to try to cut them back far enough that that happens. One thing that some people do is just take the tip off the nail and, in my experience, that’s not enough to get that quick to move back. If you can use the Dremel, it is so much easier to use that and get the nails really good and short without cutting into the quick because you can grind slowly. I do think if you worked on desensitizing him to the Dremel that would be your best bet. Depending on how he’s feeling you could split his paws into four separate days or do half of the nails over two days. Make the whole experience happy and quick and work at his pace.

    1. Thank you so much for the feature! I am so happy you found value in this article!!

  18. Love this ultimate guide to cutting dog nails. It helps me a lot with my next writing idea.

  19. Thanks for the great post. Here is my challenge… my gorgeous girl – Butter the English Mastiff – is now 8! We did not start young, and we had groomers do it but in the past year she has started snapping at them and so they won’t do it anymore. Was looking at her nails today and hearing them on the floor and just know they are too long and may be causing her pain or discomfort. Will try the desensitizing now, but she is a smart girl and don’t know how far i will get. She knows when I am trying to detract her attention and she goes under the dining table to hide! Any reports of people starting with an older pup and who have had success? Thoughts on whether there are other options?

    1. Thank you so much, Cathy! I’m so sorry you are struggling with Butter. You are not alone! So many dogs of all ages struggle with nail cutting. So, here is my suggestion. Start really slow with her. I will assume you are using a nail clipper, but this works with a Dremel as well. Try to just have the clipper out and treat her for just being around it and not being fearful or running away. You may have to treat her without the clipper even in your hand at first and work toward holding it. When she is to the point where she is comfortable around it, try snipping a piece of spaghetti so she can hear the clip sound. Treat her with every clip. Fast forward… when all of that goes well and she seems happy and comfortable with the sight and sound of the clipper, you can try to touch her with it. Start somewhere not her feet at first then work up to touching her feet. So this might be 2-3 times a day take the clipper and touch her neck and treat her with each touch. Then touch her back, treat with each touch. Touch different areas and treat with each one. By going slow and essentially conditioning a different response to the clipper, she should be more manageable. I don’t think her age has anything to do with this other than she’s had longer to develop fear and it sounds like it is deeply engrained. I do worry about nail clipping done at the groomers because of so much that is not relaxing for the dog about it. This is not true in all cases, but it certainly is a concern. If you want, feel free to message me and I’m happy to help more with this. I’m actually working on some more materials on nail cutting to help people like yourself who are struggling. Please stay tuned. If you haven’t done so already, sign up for my newsletter so you get all the updates on that. 🙂 . Keep me posted on Butter’s progress. Best of luck!!

  20. Karen Fluharty says:

    I have a bullmastiff that I adopted at age 6. She had not been socialized well, and she was afraid of everything. She will be 9 in June and she has made huge strides. She loves everyone now as long as she meets them on her terms. No rushing her. I have young people in the home all the time and they know to not make a big deal out of saying hello. Let her come for the love and she does. I am going to try this and see if it will work at her age. She constantly is stepping on feet and those nails can hurt. She does not like her nails touched, so I need to start there. I have her desensitized to having her ears cleaned and to getting eye drops. Thank you for sharing your tips. I have been following you because I am planning to get a bullmastiff puppy in the future. I have been doing lots of research and preparing. My son laughs because he says it takes me over a year to make a decision. Yes, I want a companion that is healthy and that she and I can have a good life together. I adopted an English Mastiff and she was a game changer for me. She was the best and smartest dog I have ever had. I cannot handle an English as I get older and the English ages. Bull mastiff girls are smaller and a bit easier. I cannot give up having a Mastiff. My girl lived to be 11.

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Karen! It sounds like you are doing everything right with respect to your girl’s nails. I have two tips for you in getting started. First, assess at what point she “does not like having her nails touched.” So is that just when the Dremel or clipper is out in view, or all the time even when she’s totally relaxed. Understanding how she feels will help you to know how to help her. You want to start slow and ensure she is enjoying each step before you actually get to the clipper to the nails step. I know that can sound confusing… so here’s my second tip. I’m putting together a course that promises to take people from “my dog hates having his nails cut” to “my dog LOVES having his nails cut.” It is a video based course with accompanying live support calls and step-by-step how to information to help you get there. If that sounds interesting to you, join my waitlist (bigdogmom.com/waitlist) and you will be the first to know when it’s ready for launch. But either way, you are thinking about this the right way. You work at her pace, slowly desensitizing at each step. Oh, and tell your son all Mastiff puppies should take a year to find. The owners that are willing to wait that long are the ones who are in it for the long haul. We need more like you, Karen! Thank you!!!

  21. PATRICIA Juarez says:

    I have read through your first two posts. I loved them. Even though I have owned Great Danes for 42 years now. Although I have already dealt with all of it lol. I found the information was realy great. I loved the video’s, I think they are handy. Links are very helpful for getting information to big dog owners . Thank you for Helpful information. Theirs always something I take away from it.

  22. My boys are 11 and I have completely dropped the ball with their nails! They have always hated it but when they were puppies I could make it work. It got harder and harder as time went by! Essentially the only way for me to do it was to have someone pancake them to the ground while I tried to get it done. It is so miserable that I have mostly given up. I take them to the groomers but their nails are too long and need to go more frequently. I recently moved into an apartment with laminate floors and have found that my old babies are slipping and sliding all over the place and I’m worried for their old joints. I have read that their long nails are preventing them from gripping the floor with their pads so now I am trying to change 11 years of being afraid of nail trims! I’ve been reading your blog all day and had some successful Dremel time with Rorschach and a little bit of success with Indiana…I honestly thought it would be the other way around! I am super impatient about it and I’m trying to force myself to go slow which is super tough now that I’ve gotten it in my head that I CAN teach them (even in their senior years) to not be fearful of this! I am a special education teacher with a masters in behaviorism with a focus on autism and I have done what is called tolerance training With students in regards to various things such as wearing shoes, a seatbelt, different types of clothing, headphones for loud noises etc. this is VERY similar yet somehow is harder to do at home! I am working on it though because it’s a necessity! I also know that when my babies pass and I have a puppy again, I am going to do it right from the beginning!

  23. I have always been a big dog mom, in the past I’ve owned Great Danes & a Neapolitan mastiff. I could do anything to them bath, nails & brush teeth. So a few years back I adopted a English mastiff who was four. Needless to say she is the total opposite. I hope after watching the video all your helpful advice will work

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