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

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.

Wondering how to cut your dog’s black nails?

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 for your dog that you could do at home?

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 grooming to daily teeth cleaning.

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 tried to figure out how to cut 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 afraid because I was afraid.

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 my junk drawer.

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 e-guide (step-by-step dog nail trimming instruction shared through instant access videos, diagrams, and downloadable reference guides.) The more I learned about this comprehensive solution, the more confident I became that I’d found something that Chloe and I could master together. Learning how to find the quick on dark nails, how I could position her for a more comfortable nail trim, and making the experience positive for Chloe—it was definitely worth trying! 

If you’re ready to learn exactly how to trim your dog’s nails (including step-by-step instruction on how to find the quick on black nails) from start to finish, use the code HAPPY to save $60 on Dr. Buzby’s nail trimming course.  While the e-guide is regularly $99, Dr. Buzby has graciously offered it to my readers for the special price of $39.

Chloe and I watched the dog nail trimming videos together

While I’d seen online dog training, this was the first online dog nail trimming solution I’d seen.

Once I’d signed up, I had instant access. With Chloe sitting beside me on the couch and my laptop open, I started. As I watched the videos of Dr. Buzby demonstrating everything from how to position a dog for comfort to 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 and looked at the diagrams and printable materials, I became more confident that Chloe and I could do this together.

After sailing through the e-guide, 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. I’m trimming her nails routinely, getting closer the quick, and I’m happy to share that I’ve never hit the quick or had to use styptic powder (a clotting agent to stop the bleeding).

But what was the difference between our success and my previous attempt when Chloe had pulled her paw away? Through the e-guide, it was clear that I hadn’t set 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 dog nails (including dreaded 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 to avoid the blood vessels and nerves
  • how to make sliver cuts to cut closer to the quick
  • 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.

How did I do? 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 dog nail trimming course, Dr. Buzby explains how long nails can negatively impact your dog’s stride.

Do you want to know more about this nail trimming solution?

Here are answers to some of the questions that you may have:

  • What is it? Dr. Buzby’s DIY Dog Nail Trimming Without Fear is an online, self-guided training course that includes 11 videos, step-by-step instruction, diagrams, close-up photos of the quick, and printable reference guides.
  • Where do you take the course? Since you have instant access to the information as soon as you sign up, that’s up to you. 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? Dr. Buzby’s entire “vault” of dog nail trimming information is included: 11 videos, printable quick reference guides, photos of how to identify the quick, and step-by-step instruction.
  • What type of nails will you learn to trim? Dr. Buzby demonstrates how to trim every type of dog toenails: dreaded dark nails, white nails, puppy nails, and large nails.
  • What will you learn?  You’ll learn which nail clipping 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 dewclaws, and even which toenails to trim first. 

A special offer for my readers: Save now 

Use my promo code “HAPPY” to save on Dr. Buzby’s nail trimming course! Go to or click here: Dr. Buzby’s DIY Nail Trimming Without Fear. Then enter the promo code HAPPY at checkout. My readers will receive Nail Trimming Without Fear, which is regularly $99, for $39. That’s a savings of $60.  

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® dog nail grips, which help senior and special needs dogs gain traction on slippery floors. The idea for a dog 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 e-guide! Download it now so that your dog can enjoy a happy distraction during your first DIY nail trim!

The online giveaway has ended. However, Dr. Buzby has graciously extended the special 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.


Get the latest Happy-Go-Doodle stories delivered to your email inbox.

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!

Comments are closed.