How to Dremel Dog Nails

How to Train your Dog to Submit to having their Nails Filed with a Dremel

Traditional toenail clipping with guillotine style nail trimmers can be a traumatic and painful experience for many dogs; dremeling is a recently discovered alternative to nail clipping that is easier and safer for the average do-it-yourselfer. Most dogs will need a few desensitizing lessons before willingly accepting their nails being dremeled, but the investment of time is well worth the effort to have short, soft nails and no drama about the process. Do note that the vast majority of dremel style tools sold specifically as nail grinders do not have motors strong enough to grind medium and large size dogs. This article is written specifically to address how to introducing a sensitive rescue dog to the dremel tool. With this method, and dog should become willing to allow you to dremel their nails. If you have a dog traumatized by nail clipping or who is terrified of the dremel tool this tutorial is for you. Work these steps twice a day, before every meal.


*Many dogs object to the sound of the dremel tool: To deal with this issue, sit on the floor and start by scooping your dog's food into her bowl and holding it in your lap. Turn on the dremel and hold it in your hands, turned on, until your dog gets up the courage to come eat anyway. (watch that they don't touch the sander with their nose!) After they are eating without hesitation when the tool is turned on and off, move on.

*Next comes touching the nails with the tool: Sit with the food bowl and make your dog lift her paw. Gently and quickly touch the TURNED OFF tool to the nail. As soon as you get the slightest contact praise and release the bowl of food. After you can touch the nail and hold the dremel there for 3 seconds while she waits without anxiety, move on.

*To begin filing nails, repeat the above step with the tool turned on low. Take it slow and be careful with long hair aroudn the paw- getting the hair caught now can take weeks to overcome.

*Turn tool on high and repear, begin shaping the nails a tiny bit at a time. Always stop at a good point, preferably before your dog has the chance to react badly or get frustrated.

*Begin desensitizing the dog to having the back nails dremeled, taking it as slow as you need to and each time withholding food until the dog permits you to advance a tiny bit.

Keep working this program EVERY DAY, as your dogs gets more and more used to this activity as a daily exercise to earn her food, she will willingly and completely submit to having her nails field with a dremel. Work with her to the point where, you can do multiple nails and, eventually, multiple paws in one sitting.

Doing one paw at each meal, twice a day, takes less than 6 or 7 minutes total and results in having each nail done every other day. By dremeling a tiny bit of each nail every other day you can force the quicks to recede back (thus shortening the live part of the nail with no pain) and keep your dog relaxed about having her nails dremeled.

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