Searching for How to Cut Your Dog’s Black Nails? I Was Too Until I Tried This

Puzzled by how to cut your dog’s black nails?

photo dog with dog nail clippers and how to cut black dog nails
disclosure: Happy-Go-Doodle Chloe and I received Dr. Buzby's course and monetary compensation in exchange for this post. We only share products that we believe in and love.

I was too…until I tried this

Do you know how to cut black dog nails? Are you struggling to find the quick on your dog’s dark colored nails? Most importantly, do you wish nail trims were a happier experience your dog?

If you’re searching for solutions, you’ve come to the right place. And you might be surprised by what I found. 

I struggled with trimming my dog’s nails

As a “DIY dog mom,”  I enjoy dog care routines because it’s a chance to bond with my furry family member. Chloe, my Goldendoodle dog, and I work as a team on everything from Goldendoodle face trims to daily tooth brushing to dog baths.

But dog nail trims? Cutting Chloe’s dark nails seemed like a daunting task. After an unsuccessful attempt, I was unsure of how to cut black dog nails and I was afraid of hitting the quick. 

dog's feet with black toenails
A look under the “floof” and you can see Chloe’s dark nails.

Here’s what had happened:

When Chloe was younger, I’d attempted cutting her black nails on my own. I wasn’t sure how to find the quick on her dark-colored nails. This made me fearful of cutting the nails too short and hitting the quick (the blood and nerve supply) hidden in the toenail.

And Chloe was fearful because I was fearful.

Rather unwisely, I plunged in using some dog nail clippers I thought would work. I held her paw in my hand and was…

A B O U T  T O  C U T 

T H E  F I R S T  N A I L  W H E N…

…Chloe quickly pulled her paw out of my hand.

Do you know where those dog nail clippers are now? In the back of a junk drawer somewhere.

Since I knew nail trims were critical to her health and mobility, trips to the groomer or vet seemed like the safest plan for both of us. 

red goldendoodle dog's paws with dark colored nails
Chloe’s fluffy Muppet paws hide her dark nails.

Problem solved: a new solution

Fast forward a few years to a new discovery: Dr. Julie Buzby’s Nail Trimming Without Fear online course. The more I learned about the course, the more confident I became that I’d found a solution that Chloe and I could master together. Taking the course and learning to how to find the quick on dark nails while making the experience positive for Chloe was definitely worth trying! 

If you’re ready for happier nail trims for your dog (including step-by-step instructions on how to find the quick on black nails), use the code HAPPYNAILS to save 15% on Dr. Buzby’s nail trimming course.  This special offer is for my readers.

Chloe and I watched the nail trimming course together

While online dog training classes were familiar to me, this was the first online dog nail trimming course that I’d seen. In addition to providing online videos and reference guides, I received a dog nail trimming kit (dog nail clippers, styptic powder, and a tip sheet) in the mail as part of the course materials. With the right tools for the job, I was already ahead of the game.

I took the nail trimming course on my laptop with Chloe sitting on the couch beside me. As I watched the course videos of Dr. Buzby demonstrating exactly how to cut black dog nails, I had an ah-ha moment. This was the next best thing to having an expert right in my living room giving me step-by-step coaching. As I watched videos, I became more confident that Chloe and I could do this together.

After sailing through the online course, I’m happy to say that I am an empowered pet parent who has learned how to cut black dog nails and make it a positive, happy experience for Chloe too. 

red goldendoodle's muddy feet running through leaves showing importance of mobility in dogs
Chloe’s Muppet paws and toenails get plenty of action. She’s a ball dog through and through. Her toenails dig into the soft ground and give her traction.

Three paws and a TA-DA! Celebrating successes

Yes, Chloe and I can now add nail trimming to our list of dog care routines! But what was the difference between our success and my previous attempt when Chloe had pulled her paw away? Through the course, it was clear that I hadn’t been setting myself up for success. The conventional dog nail trimming method I’d tried was more like a McDonald’s drive-thru: grab the nail trimmers and go!

After taking the course, I had a clear picture of exactly how to cut black dog nails from start to finish including:

  • how to set Chloe up for a happy, fear-free experience
  • which tools to use (and why not to use guillotine style nail clippers)
  • exactly how to find the quick on black nails
  • how to make sliver cuts
  • which technique to use to cut more of the dog’s toenail

Additionally, Dr. Buzby’s focus on keeping the dog’s entire nail trimming experience positive and happy fit my DIY dog mom philosophy.

On my first try, I trimmed the nails on three out of four paws! Now that Chloe and I are both more confident with nail trims, I know I’ll be able to trim all four paws the next time. We’re a team! 

goldendoodle dog in full stride
Oh, the places you’ll go…Chloe’s Muppet paws take her on many ball-loving adventures! In the nail trimming course, Dr. Buzby explains how long nails can negatively impact your dog’s stride

Want to know more about the nail trimming course?

  • What is it? Dr. Buzby’s DIY Dog Master Course: Nail Trimming Without Fear is an online, self-guided course.
  • How do you take the course? I recommend taking it on your laptop or any device with a large screen. A small screen like a cell phone is completely fine to use, but I loved being able to pause a video and look at the close-up camera shots (especially of the dark toenails) on a bigger screen.
  • What’s included? In addition to three hours of video learning and printed course material, Dr. Buzby is including her dog nail trimming kit (nail clippers, styptic powder, reference guide, and gift bag) for free with course purchase.
photo of dog nail trimmers and how to cut black dog nails
Dr. Buzby’s dog nail trimming kit (dog nail clippers, styptic powder, reference guide, and gift bag) is included with course purchase.
  • What type of nails will you learn to trim? Dark nails, light nails, puppy nails, large nails, Dr. Buzby includes demonstrations on each type of nail.
  • What will you learn?  You’ll learn which nail trimming tools to use (and why to avoid guillotine style nail trimmers at all costs), prep tips, how often to trim your dog’s nails, how to cut black dog nails, how to position your dog so that he or she is comfortable for the nail trim, the technique that Dr. Buzby has perfected so that you can trim more of the nail, how to find and avoid the quick so you don’t cut the nails too short, how to trim dew claws, and even which toenails to trim first. 

A special offer for my readers: Save 15% 

Use my code “HAPPYNAILS” to save 15% on Dr. Buzby’s nail trimming course! Go to  courses.drbuzby.com or click here: Dr. Buzby’s DIY Dog Master Course: Nail Trimming Without Fear. Then enter the code HAPPYNAILS at checkout to redeem this offer. 

About the instructor, Dr. Julie Buzby

Dog nail trimming expert and Integrative veterinarian Dr. Julie Buzby photo
Integrative veterinarian Dr. Julie Buzby is passionate about dogs and dog nail care. In addition to 20+ years as a vet, she runs a family-owned business and is the mom of eight children and two dogs.

I’d met Dr. Julie Buzby while attending a pet blogging conference. I became an instant fan when I learned about her product, ToeGrips, which help senior and special needs dogs gain traction and mobility on slippery floors. The idea for a nail trimming course grew out of her love for teaching nail trimming techniques to her veterinary clients. 

Do you trim your dog’s nails? We’d love to hear. Please comment below! 

A happy distraction for your dog!

As a thank you for reading to the end of this article, here’s a pupsicle treat recipe for your dog. It’s one of the happy distractions that Dr. Buzby recommends in her course! Download it and enjoy!

The online giveaway has ended. However, Dr. Buzby has graciously extended her 15% savings on the course for my readers. 

One lucky winner received Dr. Buzby’s DIY Dog Master Course: Nail Trimming Without Fear AND Dr. Buzby’s Nail Trimming Kit.

 

17 thoughts on “Searching for How to Cut Your Dog’s Black Nails? I Was Too Until I Tried This

  1. Gosh, this sounds great! I am also very nervous trimming Ruby’s nails, which are also black. Sometimes I can do a couple, but then I get too nervous and rush her off to the vet! LOL. I am definitely going to bookmark her course and think about this!

    1. Yes, I felt the same way! I’m more confident now and I think Chloe senses that so she’s happier! Dr. Buzby shared such valuable techniques and preparation tips in her course. I know how to set myself (and Chloe) up for success! It was just the support and know-how that I needed. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. yes, i trim my 2 gals nails. i also got a dremel. my oldest is very touchy and has to be given a sedative to clip her nails. my former vet when she was young screwed up and she has been terrible ever since. sometimes she will let me do the dremel but most times she has to go to the vet. my youngest will let me but she is very naughty. she will start screaming as soon as i touch her toes. but i can get her nails done.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Sandy! It sounds like your oldest dog must have had a painful nail trimming experience with your former vet that makes her fearful now. I’m glad that both your dogs have you as their advocate to help make nail trims less stressful for them. If you’re interested, here are a couple of additional resources from Dr. Buzby on dog nail trimming 5 Tips to Successful Dog Nail Trims and her free mini-course: Why Nail Trims Matter.

  3. My dogs go to the groomer and vet for their nail trims. I just don’t trust my hand-eye coordination, but my husband can clip the nails for two of them. The third one has a lot of apprehension about getting his nails trimmed. He’s been like that since we adopted him, we have to take him to the vet and he wears a muzzle just to be on the safe side. However, the vet tech says that he’s much better now.

    1. Hi, Beth! Thanks so much for your comment! It sounds like you, your husband, and your vet tech make a great team! If you’re interested, Dr. Buzby has a blog post called 5 Tips for Successful Dog Nail Trims that you might find informative, too. My favorite tip is exercising your dog prior to the nail trim. I’m glad to hear that your third furry pal is doing better with nail trims.

  4. Makes me nervous

  5. I have three dogs and 2 have black nails. All of them let me trim the nails but one with black nails is scared and gives me grief. This means it’s not easy and I’ve accidently quicked a nail. I wish it was easier with black nails and a scared dog. Enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I get it! Chloe’s black nails were intimidating. Watching the videos and really getting a good look at what the “pre-quick” looks like, helped so much. Also, I’m giving Chloe the frozen pupsicle treat every time I trim her nails now and it really works wonders. She’s so excited about the treat that I can snip the nails on at least two paws before she even notices.

  6. My dog doesn’t seem to mind nail trims much but I think she definitely associates it with treats because when I finish she will go stand by the treat cupboard & if I don’t follow her she will start to shake her head & stamp her feet & come nudge me & try to lead me to the treats. And the only time she does this treat dance is after nail cutting! (She does get the treats though so I accidentally reinforce it!)

    1. That’s great to hear! It sounds like you and your dog have a great bond!

  7. My dog Jackson goes to the groomer to get his nail clipped. I’m to nervous to do it myself. It would be nice to do it myself and save my money for other things my baby boy needs.

  8. great i want this i have 3 older dogs this will help alot

  9. One time years ago, Dad trimmed Bessie’s nails and accidentally cut three of them too close to the quick, ‘cuasing bleedies. Too bad Dad didn’t know about the nail training course back then! Mom took over the nail trimming duties after Dad’s blundert! Tee hee hee. Bessie’s fear of the clippers has reduced over the years, but she still doesn’t care for the process. Mom always leaves Bessie’s black claws a little longer than the white ones, to be safe. Though whenever the V-E-T cuts Bessie’s nails, they cut them much shorter. Purrs.

    1. Yes, cutting the quick can happen so easily! I’m glad Bessie’s brave and let’s Mom clip her nails. Thanks for stopping by! It’s always nice to hear from you! Tail wags!

  10. I’ve tried doing my dos nails and it’s terrifying. I ended up cutting my little one’s too much and she bled.

    1. It can be scary! I learned so much about how to identify the pre-quick (the area just before the blood and nerve supply) by taking Dr. Buzby’s course. It’s truly helped!

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