How to Cut a Goldendoodles Nails: A Step by Step Guide

Trimming a dog’s nails is an essential part of their routine grooming.  At first, trimming your dog’s nails may seem difficult.  This article will give you a step by step guide on how to trim your Goldendoodles’ nails.

How To Cut A Goldendoodles Nails: A Step By Step Guide

How Do You Properly Cut A Golendoodle’s Nails?

Use a dog nail trimmer and trim just the sharp points of their nails.  If they are clear, you can see the quick that you are trying to avoid.  If the nails are black, a good rule is to trim them even with the footpad.

While this may sound easy, there are many tips and tricks on how to make this process easy for you and your dog. 

Sometimes your dog may wiggle a little when they are first learning to get their nails trimmed, but they eventually will get used to the process, and it will make it a whole lot easier for you and your Goldendoodle.

Essentials Tools For Trimming Your Goldendoodle’s Nails

These are a few of the tools that you will need to have to trim your Goldendoodle’s nails.  There are many different brands that you can try.

We have listed some of the best brands that we have found to work the best for trimming Goldendoodles’ nails. Make sure to gather all the needed supplies before starting to trim your dog’s nails. 

The last thing you want is to need something in the middle of your training and have to run to the store to get supplies.

Nail Trimmers

You will need a good nail trimmer.  They come as the scissor-type nail trimmer or a guillotine nail trimmer. The difference between the two is how the scissor mechanism works. 

For the scissor-type, there are two blades that cut from each side like scissors, where the guillotine type has a blade that comes from the top to cut the nail. 

Every Goldendoodle and owner has their preference.  If you get one and do not like how it cuts, try the other kind. 

Some of these nail trimmers also come with a guard that you put in front of the opening, only allowing you to trim off just a little bit of the nail at a time. 

This is helpful in preventing accidentality from cutting off too much nail. If the guard gets in your way, you can easily move it out of the way when trimming your dog’s nails.

Nail Grinders

To make your dog’s nails smoother, you will need a nail grinder.  One of the best ones on the market is made by Dremel.  This one is cordless, so it is easy to take wherever your dog is at.  Also, it is small enough that it can even be taken on a trip to help keep your pet’s nails taken care of while you are on vacation. 

A nail grinder will slowly grind down your dog’s nails and even make them smooth.  These can have a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to using them can make trimming your dog’s nails very easy. 

Most dogs will learn to tolerate the noise and vibration after just a few uses.

Clotting Powder

If you are cutting your dog’s nails at home, you will eventually cut one too short and cause them to bleed.  Having some clotting powder at home to help control the bleeding is the best. 

There are some other home remedies for stopping the bleeding, such as flour, baking powder, or super glue, the clotting powder works the best.  

There are also sticks that have clotting powder on them that you can use to stop your dog’s nails from bleeding.

Blood stop sticks are commonly used for men that accidentally cut themselves shaving but can also be used to stop your dog’s toenail from bleeding. 


During the training, make sure to reward your dog with treats.  Most dogs will behave better, knowing that there is a tasty reward at the end. 

During each step, praise your dog and give them a treat.  Use small treats as treats do have added calories.  You do not want to cause your dog to be overweight from learning to have their nails trimmed.

I’m a big fan of these pumpkin treats. Well, I should say, Lexie is!

A Step-by-Step Guide To Trimming Your Goldendoodle’s Naiils

You may have one of those rare dogs who do not mind having their nails trimmed.  At first, all dogs hate this process and need time to get used to having their nails trimmed. 

Do not get discouraged if it does take your dog a while to tolerate nail trimmings.  If it is always a struggle, sometimes it is just better to let a groomer or vet trim their nails.

When teaching your dog to get their nails trimmed, remember to be patient.  You need always to have a positive attitude, give your dog lots of praise, and always have treats ready to give when they are doing what you want.  This will help make the training process fun and enjoyable for your Goldendoodle.

These are some steps that you can take to get your dog use to getting their nails trimmed.  As you progress through the steps, remember that some dogs learn really quickly, and some need more time. 

You may be able to move through these steps fast while so will take more time.  Do not get discouraged; all dogs will eventually learn to have their nails trimmed.

Before Getting Started

Get Them Comfortable Having Their Feet Touched

Touch your puppy’s paws early and often!

Before trying to clip your dog’s nails, each day, pick up their feet and hold their paws.  Many dogs hate having their feet touched.  The earlier in life that you start training your dog to tolerate nail trimming, the quicker they learn. 

It is always advised to start touching and handling your dog’s feet and mouths as soon as you get them to help get them used to be touched.

At first, you may only be able to touch your dog’s paw with them on the ground.  Slowly work up to where you can hold their paws.  After they allow you to hold their paws without fighting, you are then just gently hold one toe and move the hair from around the nail. 

Do this to each toe until you have touched and held all toes.  Once your dog is used to you touching and holding their feet and toes, it is time to move on to getting them used to nail trims.

Get Them Used To The Equipment

Sometimes your dog may be scared of the nail trimmer or grinder.  These are steps that you can follow to get your dog use to having grooming equipment around them. 

If you are going to groom them at home, this is a good thing to do with all the grooming equipment. 

Step 1 – Let them see the Nail Trimmer 

Take out the nail trimmer or nail grinder, let your Goldendoodle sniff the nail clipper or grinder.

Give them a treat and praise.  Leave these out, laying around the house, so they are used to seeing them and being around them.  Sometimes new objects can be scary for your dog. 

Step 2 –Touching them with the Nail Trimmer 

Take the clippers and grinders and touch them to the paw.  Do not have the nail grinder on just yet.  If your dog is okay with being touched by the clippers and grinders, give them a treat and praise them.  

Step 3 – Let them hear the noise of the Nail trimmer

Touch the nail clippers to your Goldendoodle’s paw and touch the grinder to their paws.  Turn on the grinder and let your dog hear the sound.  Do not touch the grinder to your dog with it turned on just yet. 

Squeeze the nail trimmer a few times but do not actually trim their nails.  This gets your Goldendoodle use to the nail trimmer and grinders.  Once they are used to this, praise them and give them a treat.

Step 4 – Let them feel the vibration of the Nail Trimmer.

Touch the nail clipper or grinder to your Goldendoodle’s feet this time touch the base of the grinder (the part that you hold) to their feet with the grinder turned on.  This way, they will be able to feel the vibration. Once they are used to this vibration, give a treat and praise.

Step 5 – Trim your dog’s nails

Now that your dog is used to the nail trimmers, it is time to start trimming their nails.  Start off with just one or two a day and slowly increase the number that you do a day until they will let you trim all of their toes in one sitting. 

Sometimes you may want just to pretend that you are going to trim their nails even if they need trimming just to keep your dog used to the process.

Clipping Your Dog’s Nails

There are many different types of dog nail trimmers.  Some of the popular types look like scissors or a guillotine. 

Both of these have different pros and cons.  Some dogs like different the different types of trimmer too. There are even grinder tools specifically made for dogs. The grinders are used to help make your dog’s nails smooth while they are being trimmed. 

This is similar to you filing your nails to remove any sharp points.  When looking at dog nail trimmers get whatever type you are the most comfortable with, or whatever your Goldendoodle likes the best.

When you first start trimming your dog’s nails, you may cut one a little short and make it bleed.  It is always best to have some styptic powder or clotting powder around to help stop the bleeding.

Even once you are a pro at nail trims, your dog may wiggle a little, and you cut it a little too short.  

If you have never trimmed a dog’s nails before, you may want to ask your vet or groomer to give you a quick lesson on how to do it. 

They can also show you some of the different trimmers and may even let you try them out, so you know which ones you like best.

When trimming your dog’s nails, these are the steps to follow to trim your Goldendoodle’s nails properly:

  1. Gently pick up your dog’s paw, move all the extra hair out of the way of the first nail.  Gently but firmly put your pointer finger on the pad of the first toe.  Put your thumb on the top of the toe on the skin above the nail. The thumb will be used to move all the hair out of the way, so you sure none of your dog’s fur is in the way.
  2. Push your pointer finger slightly up and on the bottom of the pad, while pulling your thumb backward. This pushes the nail forward while pulling the hair backward.
  3. Put the nail of the toe in between the clippers.  You will only want to trim off the tip of the nails.  Make sure that the clipper is straight across the nails and trim.  Do not forget to trim the dewclaws.  These are your dog’s thumbs that are located on the inner side of the paw.  Some dogs do not have dewclaws because they were removed when they were just a few days old.
  4. Do not clip past the curve of the nail.  This will risk you hitting what is called the quick. The quick is the pink area of the nail that contains the blood vessels. If you accidentally nick this area, it will be painful and will bleed. This is when you will be glad that you have clotting powder.
  5. For dogs with white nails, you can see the pink part through the nail.  It is very easy to avoid the quick with dogs will clear and white color nails.  Dark nails can be a little more challenging. Start off by just trimming a little bit and slowly trimming away until you get the nails even with the footpad or you hit blood.  
  6. Using a grinder to make them smooth

Once your dog’s nails are at the right lengths, you can use a grinder to make the edges smooth.  The rough edges of dog nails after they get trimmed can easily scratch people. 

While this is not a big problem with younger people but older senior adults who are taking blood-thinning medication can have problems. 

It is always best to make your dog’s nails smooth after you trim them.  To do this, use a nail grinder and just grind the edges to make them smooth. 

If your dog’s nails are not too long, you can just buff the tips of the nails to make them smooth and may not need to use nail trimmer. 

Grinders take a little bit of time for you and your dog to get used to using.  Start off with just one nail and slowly progress to more toes each day until all toes are smooth.

Letting your dog run around on rough concrete after trimming their nails is a natural way for them to buff them smooth. 

The concrete acts as a buffer for the nails.  When your Goldendoodle is running on the concrete, they are slowly filling their nails smooth.

Side-Effects Of Untrimmed Nails

Most Goldendoodles need regular nail trimming.  This is more than for cosmetic reasons. Long nails can cause pain and, in some instances, cause irreversible damage to your dog’s nails.

Your dog’s nail consists of the bright pink quick and a shell that consists of the harder outer material of the nail. The quick is the blood supply to the nail and runs through the core of the nail.

There are some nerves that run along with the quick.  This causes the nail to bleed and be uncomfortable when you cut the nails too short. By trimming your Goldendoodle’s nails regularly, you will cause the quick to recede from the end. 

This will help you be able to cut your dog nails even shorter eventually.  The shorter quicks are the more desired length for the dog’s comfort and are the easiest to maintain.

If your Goldendoodle’s nails are long, it can reduce traction that they have and cause their feet to splay out when they walk.  Eventually, having long nail without ever trimming them can cause deformed feet and even injure the tendons over a long period.

When the long nail hits the ground, the pressure on the nail puts abnormal force on the feet and legs.

Some dogs will wear their nails down when they are outside walking and will never need to have them clipped.  Some dogs have very fast-growing nails and may need their nails trimmed every month. 

Watch for when your dog’s nails start touching the ground. You will need to trim their nails.  An easy way to know is by listening to them walking. Once you start hearing their nails tap the ground, you know that it is time for a nail trim.

Long nails are very easy to get caught in the carpet, the rug, or a blanket.  When they get caught, it can cause your dog to trip and break their nail.  Veterinarians see many broken toenails each year. 

This causes the nail to bleed sometimes uncontrollably.  Usually, this ends up with a trip to the vet where your dog’s toenail has to be cut off and cauterize to control the bleeding. 

They can be very painful for your dog for a few days and can even cause your dog’s toe to get infected.

It is best to trim your dog’s nails regularly to decrease the chance of any problems with your Goldendoodle’s nails. 

When Do Goldendoodle Puppies Need Their First Haircuts? +5 Tips To A Better Grooming Experience

What Other Grooming Maintenance Will My Goldendoodle Need?

Goldendoodle’s will need routine baths and haircutsTheir hair is continuously growing and will need to be trimmed. 

The downside of having a dog that does not shed is that they need to have their hair cut every 6 to 8 weeks.  You can learn to do this at home yourself, or you can just schedule an appointment with a groomer.  These are some of the basic grooming services that your Goldendoodle will need.

Hair Cuts

Goldendoodle’s will need to have their hair cut to keep them looking pretty and from getting matted.  Their hair can easily grow into their face making it hard for them to see. 

There are many different ways that you can trim your Goldendoodle. A quick search can show you many different options. When grooming your dog, it is the best time also to trim their nails. 

You can even trim the hair around their feet, first making it much easier to see their feet and nails.


While you are in the grooming and nail trimming mode, it is also best to give your Goldendoodle a bath to make sure that they smell good.  Goldendoodles will need a bath every few weeks.

They will need them more if they are swimming in ponds or lakes or rolling in the mud.  Goldendoodles are known to love to play in the water and get dirty.

It is best to use an oatmeal-based dog shampoo.  These are gentle on the skin and usually tear-free.  This means that it will not hurt your dog if some soap does accidentally get into your dog’s eye. 

If your dog does suffer from allergies, frequent baths will help wash off any allergen and decrease the time your dog spends scratching.

Ears Cleaned

Goldendoodles should have their ears cleaned whenever they get a bath.  Goldendoodles have hair that grows in their ear cannel.  Most of the time, it is best if this hair is pulled out. 

You can gently pull this hair out of your dog’s ears with your fingers or some tweezers. This hair can trap water and debris in your Goldendoodle’s ear cause a site of infection and other ear problems

It is best to use a dog ear cleaner to clean your dog’s ears.  Some homemade ear cleaners can burn in your dog’s ears if there are any cuts.  These finger-shaped wipes are super convenient:

When cleaning your dog’s ear, fill the ear channel with cleaner. 

Place a few cotton balls over the opening of the ear and massage the base of the ear. Wipe out the excess cleaner with the cotton ball.  Continue to repeat this process until the cotton balls come back clean.

Eyes Cleaned

Goldendoodle’s eyes can easily get matted with discharge from the eyes.  Make sure that you clean your Goldendoodle’s eyes every day to keep their eyes healthy and free of infection. You can even use the same wipes on their ears as their eyes.

As hair grows around your dog’s eyes, you may need to trim the hair.  Hair in your dog’s eye not only causes their eyes to water but can also cause scratches on your dog’s eyes. 

Anal Glands

When you are bathing your Goldendoodle, you may also need to express their anal glands. Your dog has two glands that sit on both sides of their rectum. 

These glands are usually emptied when the poop. This is very similar to a skunk’s scent glands.  Small and overweight dogs can have problems expressing these glands themselves. This is then something that you will have to empty for them. 

You can empty these glands by gently squeezing them toward each other and slowly pulling backward.  This will cause the material to come out of the glands. 

It is best to put a paper towel between your hand and your dog’s rectum, and these materials in these glands usually have a very horrible smell that can cause your hands to smell for hours.

Many people will leave this task to the veterinarian or the groomer as it can be a very gross task that needs to be done.  If you do not have your dog’s anal glands expressed, they can get impacted and infected. 

This can cause major pain and problems for your dog. If your dog continues to have problems expressing their anal glands, you can increase the fiber in their diet by adding some canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling). 

This will help make it easier for your dog to express these glands on their own.

Keeping Your Goldendoodle’s Nails In Tip-Top Shape

Nail trimming and other grooming are essential parts to help keep your Goldendoodle healthy and happy.  Having the tools that you need can help make this process smoother. 

The steps mentioned in this article will help you be able to trim your Goldendoodle’s nails in just a few weeks.  Just remember that some dogs learn very quickly while other dogs take a while to learn. 

Starting your dog’s training off very young will make teaching your dog to tolerate nail trims quicker.  If it is your first time with trimming a dog’s nails, you can ask advice from your vet or a groomer. 

Most are very happy to teach you to trim your dog’s nails.  With time and patience, you and your dog will have no problems with nail trimming or other grooming needs.

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