How To Restrain a Large Dog For Nail Clipping – Easy Method Explained

Nail clipping is one of those activities that can quickly turn into a scratching, yelling, and crying tournament. Most dogs absolutely loathe getting their nails clipped but since it is an important part of the grooming process, we don’t have a choice.

The best bet, especially if you have a large dog, would be to take your furry little friend to the groomers and have them clip the nails for you. However, due to various circumstances, this may not always be possible in today’s world. This is why we decided to help you out with some easy methods that will make the process less tiresome for you and less stressful for your dog.

How To Restrain A large Dog For Nail Clipping

How To Restrain A large Dog For Nail ClippingWe call this the lateral method. It has been proven to be quite effective and helpful. We hope it helps you too.

  1. To start off with, ensure that your dog is calm and peaceful. It is nigh impossible to clip the nails of an anxious and/or aggressive dog. Do not force yourself on the dog or force your dog to stay still. That’s not how it works at all. Nail clipping is an activity that you should only conduct when your dog is feeling calm.
  2. Have your dog lie sideways with his legs sticking out. Sit behind his back.
  3. Place your arm near the neck, on your dog, but do not apply too much pressure. You just need to keep him in place. If he chokes, he will freak out. So, always be gentle.
  4. Now, hold his paw and start clipping his nails. 
  5. For each clip, you can hand him a treat so that he knows he’s being a good boy. You can also keep speaking to him softly so that he is reassured. 
  6. You can go ahead and repeat the same process for the rest of the paws.

Remember, if your is uncomfortable, gasping, or struggling to be freed, you should let go immediately. You are doing something wrong. Give him some time to breathe and relax before you try again.

Things to remember while clipping your large dog’s nails

  1. It’s okay to seek help to clip your dog’s nails. While you hold him in place, someone else can clip the nails.
  2. If your dog is uncomfortable or in pain, he may bite. All dogs bite, especially in stressful situations. The trick is to make him understand that this is a regular process and nothing to be afraid of. Restraining him and keeping him in place every now and then even when you are not clipping his nails will teach him that it is a normal activity.
  3. Treat your dog with multiple treats when he behaves.
  4. Never use violence or force on your dog. It is really not the way to accomplish anything.
  5. If you have a very uncooperative dog, be gentler and more careful. Ask your vet if a sedative is a good option. It will calm him down. But remember never to take this call yourself. Your vet must be involved. 

People also ask

Here are the answers to a few questions we have received in the past few weeks.

1) What do I do if my dog won’t let me cut his nails?

It takes time and patience. Try the method mentioned above. If he is too anxious, take the help of a groomer.

2) When does my dog whine when cutting his nails?

It is either because he is anxious or because he is in pain. Please be careful while clipping your dog’s nails and never cut them too short. It causes a lot of pain and bleeding.

3) Can I give my dog Xanax to cut his nails?

No, you cannot. Please never medicate your dog without the vet’s advice.

4) Do vets sedate dogs to cut nails?

It depends on the circumstances. They only sedate extremely anxious dogs.


Clipping your large dog’s nails doesn’t have to be a stressful activity. It is important to take the right approach to make it an easy process. This article should help you in this regard. If you have any more doubts, kindly write to us and we will be happy to respond.

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