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How to Cut German Shepherd Nails

Short nails are essential for German Shepherds and all other dog breeds.

But you don’t have to wait until you hear the nails scuffling on the floor or until your dog is hurt by them before you give your German shepherd’s long nails a trim.

Long nails can hurt a dog’s family, neighbors, and even other dogs in addition to hurting the animal and affecting its health. However, the good news is that we have given you some advice on how to clip German Shepherd nails without inflicting pain on either you or your dog. Happy Reading!

How to Cut German Shepherd Nails Like A Pro

Cutting your German Shepherd’s nails can be quite an easy task if you properly take into account the steps that we have listed below. They include;

  • Call your dog in contact
  • Get the appropriate tools.
  • Provide your German Shepherd with comfort.
  • Cut the nails slowly 
  • Praise and compensate
  • Trim only the straight-across end of the nail

Call Your Dog into Contact

It’s a good idea to practice getting acquainted with their feet first before trimming. Before clipping their toes, play with and massage their feet for a few days or weeks to get them used to the sensations. It will be much simpler to clip your dog’s nails if you can get them used to having their paws handled. This training should ideally start when the dog is still a young puppy.

Get the Appropriate Tools

 Use nail clippers that are appropriately sized for your dog’s feet and nails and that are sharp. Polishing nails might benefit from using a nail file and a grinding tool can also be used to smooth off rough edges or keep nails short until they need to be trimmed.

Provide your German Shepherd with Comfort

Make sure your dog is at ease being touched by you and that you are both in a peaceful area. Position the dog’s nail and hold its paw firmly but gently while holding one toenail with the hair pulled back so you can cut easily 2 to 3 millimetres from the bottom of the nail.  Put your forefinger above the nail on the toe and your thumb on the pad.  To expand the nail, move your forefinger forward while lifting your thumb a little bit.

Cut the Nails Slowly

Just one toe at a time, at first. Avoid cutting too deeply into the nail to avoid hitting the quick, living nerve that extends from the toenail. As you trim your dog’s nails over weeks and months, the quick will get shorter. You could have hit the nail on the head if your dog jerks back or yells. When clipping your dog for the first time, it’s recommended to only remove a small portion of hair to help him become used to the sensations.

Praise and Compensate

Give your dog lots of praise and some treats once you’ve finished trimming his nails. They’ll be inspired to take pleasure in more nail-clipping sessions as a result. When you are just starting, try not to stretch out these sessions too much.

Trim Only the Straight Across The End of the Nail 

To prevent cutting quickly, keep the cut below the nail’s natural curvature and only remove the tip of the nail.  Also, trim any protruding edges, and do not panic if you overcut the nail and it bleeds. To stop the bleeding, hold some tissue tightly to the bleeding, and use blood-stop powder, flour, or sugar.

It may happen that your dog stares at you while you’re cutting its nails. Don’t fret, it’s a usual behavior. Here is an article on what to do when your dog keeps staring at you.


Whenever you notice that your German Shepherd’s nails have gotten very long and uncomfortable either by seeing it or hearing the crack of the long nails while walking on a hard surface, it is very important to trim them to prevent any discomfort or damage that can be caused.

Ideally, you would know if your German Shepherd’s nails are too long if they stick out the pad or reach the ground.

So, pay careful attention to your dog’s welfare.


  • Rob

    Hi! I welcome you to my blog, where I discuss German Shepherds. Cheers to your GSD's welfare. And I hope you have a good time surfing my posts. Rob

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