The mere idea of cutting nails sends a wave of terror through many canine guardians. When I regularly ask "how often do you cut them?" I receive a look of horror and the common reply is "I can't cut his nails." I know the idea of cutting too much and having your dogs nails bleed all over is scary for most but you can learn to do it without injuring any of those little toes. Some guardians are lucky and they have a dog who grinds their nails down perfectly when they go for their daily walks. I've seen dogs with beautiful short nails and they never have them ground or cut. I don't have those dogs; mind you I'm not much into walking in the streets, we do alot of field running.
So I have been cutting nails for 30 years now. I remember back when I was in the conformation ring; the nails were not to be heard, that's short. But now I want to make sure they are short but not too short. If you trim your dogs nail regularly it is actually easier. That way you can just clip the very tip off each week; being sure that you are not catching any quick with it.
When you start out with a puppy you can use human nail cutters until their nails get too large and hard. Then there are two types to choose from; the guillotine style and the scissor/clamp style. I've used both and use the scissor style mostly now, I find them to give me more control although they do loose their edge fairly quickly.
I ordered a dremel tool and got it yesterday. I have never been a nail grinder but my little Jack Russell has been objecting to having her nails done lately. Being that she is 13.5 she is allowed to object and I will adjust. So my dremel came and I love it already; you can take the tiniest amount off with it and do a little at a time. Now my dogs are very accustom to having their feet messed with so that would be the first thing to do. If your dog is not use to having their feet touched then you must get them use to it. The dremel vibrates and I would imagine feels strange to them.
And I have been worned to watch the hair; if a dog has longer hair on their feet you must take care. The best way is to hold the nail firmly, not just the paw. This gives you better control and less chance of slipping. The dremel will also heat up so only do a second at a time breaking in between. I will use the dremel for keeping my Jack Russells nails nice and short and for smoothing out the rough edges after cuttting the poodles nails. So far I love it.