Trimming Your Doberman Puppy’s Nails

When trimming our Doberman puppy’s nails for the very first time, he absolutely hated it. Now at 4 months old, nail trimming is a non-event for him.

Atlas received his first nail trimming on the day we picked him up from our breeder. His nail trimming session was quick since our breeder has trimmed Doberman nails many times many years over. In fact, it only lasted less than 2 minutes with Atlas howling, squirming and whining in fright. Our breeder pinned him down with his legs and did quick work with each nails. He used a Dremel rotary tool equipped with a sanding barrel attachment. I did not have to trim Atlas’ nails for almost three weeks after he arrived home with us. However, once we started receiving scratches on our legs due to Atlas’ regrown nails, it was time to trim.

First Time Trimmer

Why not just hire a dog groomer or the veterinarian to trim your dog’s nails? Well, it costs between $15 ~ $30 to have your dog nails’ trimmed by a professional. This adds up in the long run. Plus, if you do your own trimming, you build a closer bond and relationship with your Doberman. That’s enough reason to do your own nail trimming.

When I trimmed Atlas nails for the first time, he absolutely hated it. At 12 weeks old, he has grown substantially and pinning him down wasn’t easy as it looked at the ranch. It was like wrestling with a toddler. Atlas howled, whined and squirmed like nothing I’ve seen before. It took me about 10 minutes to trim all his nails once all the paw nail dust settled.

What I Did Wrong the First Time

What I did wrong the first time was not properly introducing him to the nail trimmer device. I just trimmed his nails nonchalantly and it spooked him out; the sound of the nail trimmer and sharp vibration on his nails. What I did prior to his second trimming was gradually introduce him to the trimmer. I set the nail trimmer vertically on the floor next to Atlas while it was on. It vibrated, it moved, it rotated while Atlas observed it with caution. I did this 5 minutes at a time for about 5 days. After each session, I give Atlas his favorite treat for a job well done.

Getting Atlas Used to Nail Trimming

When Atlas became susceptible to the nail trimmer being around him, his nail trimming sessions got easier. Still on his second nail trim, he whined and howled but he did not panic and squirm. I was able to cut down the second nail trimming session down to 5 minutes from 10. I reward Atlas with praise and his favorite treat afterwards.

Atlas, our Doberman puppy, anticipates his nail trim session with fear.

On Atlas’ third nail trimming session, he was completely still. He briefly howled when the trimmer touched his nail, but then settled down and allowed me to trim his nail. The third session only took me two minutes.

How Often Should I Trim My Doberman’s Nails?

That really depends on your dog. Some dog’s nails regrow faster than other. I personally started trimming Atlas’ nails every 2 weeks, then switch to once a month. You want to trim your dog’s nails before they make clicking sound as your dog walks. If your dog jump on your legs due to excitement and its nails leave scratches on your legs, it’s also time to give the nails a trim down.

Trimming a Doberman Puppy’s Nails

Before you start, have your dog’s favorite treat ready! If your dog is edgy and not used to nail trimming yet, you’ll need to pin it down unless you have a helping hand to hold down your puppy. This requires you to sit in an Indian-style position while holding your puppy down with your legs. Think of it as head locking your Doberman with your legs.

First trim the nail at a 45 degree angle, no more than 1/2 the length of the nail as to avoid grinding into the quick.

Trimming your Doberman puppy's nails.

The quick is a blood vessel that runs through the nail and keeps the nail healthy. Since a Doberman’s nail is dark, it’s harder to see, but if your work environment is brightly lit, you can faintly make out the translucent outline of the quick. It is usually within 1/2 of the nail from the base of the paw.

Once you grind the nail down, you’ll want to round out the edges. Set the nail trimmer to high speed and quickly round off the side edges and the pointy tip. I simply grind the edges at a 45 degree angle to eliminate it, rendering the nail blunt. You may skip this step but if you don’t blunt the nails, you can still get scratches when your dog jumps on you.

The Canine Nail Trimmer Device I Use

I use a wireless Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder to trim Atlas’ nails. It has two speed and it is chargeable with a USB cord. I use the high speed mode to grind Atlas’ nails. If you are starting out, I recommend practicing with the low speed mode until you are comfortable using it.

The wireless nail trimmer is definitely less powerful than a corded nail trimmer. In fact, if you use it for a prolonged period of time, you can feel the power gradually decrease as its battery drains. However, the convenience of not plugging a cord or using an extension cord outweighs the decreased power. And once you get the hang of trimming your Doberman’s nail, the entire process will take no more than 5 minutes.

Now you understand the do’s and the don’ts, trimming a Doberman puppy’s nails should be a breeze and will save you a ton of money.

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