I really like the pedi-paws nail grinder. It’s inexpensive, and gets the job done. Grinding your dog’s nails instead of cutting takes a bit more time, but you never have to worry about cutting the quick and creating a negative association.

You can find a review of the PediPaws here.

Take your time when you are introducing the nail grinder to your dog for the first time.  Choose a time when your dog is tired and calm (after a walk or in the evening), and when you can spend a significant amount of time with this tool (turn on some music or a movie and just relax).

Put a leash on your dog so that they can’t get away form you and avoid the situation (but don’t ever have the least taunt as this communicates tension). If your dog can stay calm while accepting treats, keep some nearby (You can also create a positive association by rewarding with words or a massage). Calmly turn on the nail grinder and give a treat. Turn it off. Then turn it on again and give another treat.

Pick up your dog’s foot and just barely touch the nail grinder to the nail. Then let go and reward your dog. You need to teach them that the feeling of the nail grinder is a good thing. Keep the love flowing via treats, praise, or touch (but remember to stay calm). Pace out when you give a treat. Grind the nail for 10 seconds, then treat. Then grind it for 30 seconds, then treat. Pretty soon you’ll be doing all four paws with no trouble even without a treat!

You’ll have to experiment as to which position for griding works best for you and your pup. So far I’ve found that the most successful way to trim nails using the PediPaws is to sit on the floor and have your dog show you it’s belly. You can use your legs on either side of him to keep him steady.

One more note about the PediPaws–I find that it is easier to angle and trim faster without the shield guard. Lead your dog!