Types of Puppy Nail Clippers

By Rena Sherwood


Puppies should receive their first nail trimming when they are 10 to 12 weeks old, according to the "ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs." They should then be trimmed again whenever the nails are long enough to reach the ground. Dewclaws also need to be trimmed, should the puppy have them.

Guillotine Style

The tip of the claw is placed inside of a hole. At the squeeze of the handle, the blades quickly chop off the tip.


Scissors-type nail trimmers require the two blades to be secured around the nail tip and then squeezed together. These do not work well with large dogs, as they tend to slip.


Files can be used to smooth out rough edges or to help trim the nails of very small or ones terrified of clippers. These take much longer to use than the other types of clippers listed.


Small wireless devices such as a Dremel with a grinding attachment or a PediPaws quickly grinds the nail tip down.

Use Caution

Except for files, no type of nail clipper is 100-percent guaranteed not to make the puppy's nails bleed. Always have styptic powder ready to stop any bleeding.
Comments (2)
Nov 28, 2009 hamachi
I'm surprised the article doesn't mention the importance of avoiding cutting the kwik (cutting too much claw off)! Assuming the claw is white, take a look at it and notice that there's a white, translucent part at the end, and a pink, opaque part closer to the leg. Be sure only to cut the white, translucent side; if you cut into the kwik it will be bleed and be painful to the dog, who will learn to fear clippers. --H
Jul 23, 2010 Trinket
I'm a Groomer and the nail trimming can be the most nerve wracking part of the whole Grooming process. I've never caused bleeding with a white nailed dog, but no matter how careful I am with the black nailed dogs, sometimes I catch the quick. I feel terrible, but we must go on. This problem is exacerbated when a dog is flinching, pulling and flipping around on the table. The one saving grace to an otherwise distressful situation is that most dogs are very forgiving, especially if they sense that you are kind and truly love them. I admit that it's getting easier, and there are many "tricks" that I've developed to get the job done. Poor babies, they are pretty much at our mercy when being Groomed, and I have so much compassion for them, that they know I'm doing my best to make them comfortable and "pretty."
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