How to Cut Goldendoodle Nails? [Instructions]

Like most dog owners, you might dislike trimming Goldendoodle nails, which can be stressful. However, untrimmed nails can produce various health issues for your dog (and risk hurting your family, furniture or floors!).

Thankfully, cutting your Goldendoodle’s nails doesn’t need to be stress-inducing. Learn how to cut Goldendoodle nails safely and without too much fuss. You can follow simple steps that will keep your dog’s nails short and healthy.

how to clip goldendoodle nails
How to clip Goldendoodle nails – step-by-step

DIY dog grooming can be easy and fun, you just need the right approach and training. Goldendoodle grooming is more than just using a brush on the dog’s coat. The face and paws need a little extra attention (Yep – you also will need to clean a Goldendoodle’s stinky ears).

Nail Trimming a Goldendoodle

Nail trimming is a significant and often anxiety-giving task. But it is essential as it helps maintain healthy Goldendoodle paws. It entails cutting away the nail tips. When done right, it’s painless and perfectly safe. However, you must be careful because you could nick the quick if the cut is too deep.

The quick is a part of a dog’s nails that comprises nerves and blood supply. Like with human nails, the quick is the part that will hurt and bleed when damaged. 

You’ll find that nail trimming becomes more manageable if you do it frequently. No matter how you feel, nail-trimming is an unavoidable chore as long nails could hinder your dog’s gait. This can make it painful and uncomfortable for them to walk.

Additionally, nails can break easily. Typically, this occurs at the nail base, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. If you hear a clicking sound on the floor, this implies the nails are due for a trim or cut.

It’s worth noting that dogs that exercise on hard surfaces, such as pavements, wear their nails down faster than those who exercise on soft surfaces, such as grass.

You can request your dog groomer to perform nail trimming on your Goldendoodle. They will trim hair from around the paw pad and clean this area anyway.

If you decide to do it yourself, you’ll require a purposely designed clipper. Most have safety guards that prevent you from cutting nails too short.

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You want to trim the ends and clip the hook-like part of your dog’s nail. It’s safe to say that numerous dogs dislike nail trimming as owners often cut too much. Nevertheless, you can make the procedure painless by getting your dog accustomed to having its paws handled as a puppy.

Begin trimming gently, one nail at a time, and your Goldendoodle will learn trust. If you cut the quick accidentally, the styptic powder will help stop the bleeding. 

Another option involves filing your Goldendoodle’s nails using a nail grinder. You will find that some dogs have tough nails that are difficult to trim. A nail grinder might be less stressful for the dog and will decrease the likelihood of bleeding or pain. It might take some time for your Goldendoodle to get accustomed to a grinder’s sound, so begin with short sessions.

Steps for Nail Trimming a Goldendoodle

a mini goldendoodle
A miniature Goldendoodle chillin’

Preparing Supplies

You won’t require much to trim your dog’s nails- a pair of quality clippers, enough treats, and styptic powder in case of bleeding. Always ensure that you work with clean nail clippers.

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Select the Appropriate Spot for Trimming

Once you have your supplies, you should pick the right spot for nail trimming. The first factor worth considering is the light. This task will be much easier if you select an area with good lighting. Furthermore, you’re less likely to cut too much if you can see well. This means a decreased likelihood of causing your Goldendoodle any pain.

You’ll want to position your bud such that he’s comfortable. For Goldendoodles, you can lay them on a flat, raised surface. This will prevent you from stressing your back as well. You might enlist the help of a family member to hold your dog and comfort them.

Use a Clipper Designed Purposely for Dogs

One of the biggest mistakes dog owners make using their nail clippers on their dogs. Make sure you own a pair of clippers designed specifically for dogs. Once you’re ready with the appropriate trimmer, start by making tiny cuts along the nail’s exterior.

Try to maintain the nail’s shape through angle-cutting. This will prevent you from cutting your pet’s quick. Don’t make massive cuts at once; this will increase the likelihood of a bleed and make nail shaping harder.

As you gradually trim the outside of your dog’s nail, watch out for a black dot in the middle of the nail. This part is quick, so when you spot it, stop cutting. When you first begin trimming your dog’s nails, you’ll notice the quick might be closer to the tip. However, it will often recede deeper into the nail over time, making this task easier.

Use a Nail File

At times, even the most careful individual will crack a nail. Cracking is different from cutting too deep, as it means the nail edge has splintered. In this case, a nail file is necessary. Start at the nail base and file while working your way towards the tip. It should only take a couple of strokes to smoothen the nail surface.

Take Breaks in Between

mini goldendoodle licking everything

Numerous dog owners try to rush this process, believing that they should complete it as fast as possible. While this is a sweet thought, it often causes your pet more distress. And it will increase the likelihood of errors.  Take your time.

When you trim your dog’s nails for the first time, you probably won’t finish all paws in one sitting. And that is all right!

Consider taking breaks between paws by giving your Goldendoodle treats. You might even want to follow a one-paw-a-day routine. By reducing the intensity of your pup’s experience and adding goodies, you’re less likely to have a Goldendoodle that snaps when its paws are handled.

Some owners only do some nails, depending on need. And while this might seem slow, it’s a good way of avoiding injuries and keeping your pet calm. Remember, if done right, nail trimming gets easier over time. Therefore, you must take your time and avoid harming your dog by finishing this grooming step in a rush.

Have Styptic Powder on Stand By

Even the most cautious dog owner will ultimately cause a bleed during nail trimming. That’s because the quick’s location will differ between nails. Besides, nails have smaller blood vessels, and owners find it difficult to spot these. If you see bleeding, don’t panic.

Most bleeds are minor and heal fast. Just ensure there’s styptic powder on hand to apply to the injured area. Most owners typically get extra nervous after a bleed. This makes them slower, more undecided, and prone to making mistakes.

If you get anxious, it will feed your bud’s anxiety. So stop and give both you and your Goldendoodle time to rest.

Should You Get An Electric Nail Grinder for Your Goldendoodle?

Suppose you are looking for a way to make the nail trimming process more accessible and more enjoyable for both you and your pet. In that case, it may be time to consider investing in an electric nail trimmer.

Electric nail trimmers are designed to make the process of trimming your dog’s nails easier and more enjoyable for everyone. They work by using a rotating polishing blade or disk powered either through electricity or batteries. This rotates at high speeds to grind off any excess length from their claws without requiring much effort.

Used correctly, electronic nail clippers for dogs are safe and effective. Some Goldendoodle dogs prefer the powered nail grinder’s speed over the positioning and clipping of traditional manual nail clippers.

goldendoodle vs aussiedoodle breed guide side by side
Comparing a Goldendoodle Vs Aussiedoodle side by side

The following are some of the benefits of using an electric nail trimmer for your Goldendoodle: 

  • They’re safer than traditional clippers because they don’t require the use of either force or sharp blades. This is especially important if there’s a chance that someone could be accidentally cut by sharp nails while trimming. 
  • They’re easier to use than traditional clippers because they don’t require the same level of manual dexterity. This makes them a good option for owners who are less confident in their nail clipping ability. They are also a lifesaver for those who have difficulty using manual nail trimmers due to physical limitations like arthritis pain.

Drawbacks and limitations of electric nail clippers for dogs include

  • They’re more expensive than traditional clippers. The cost of an electric nail trimmer can range from $30 to over a hundred dollars, so it’s crucial that you know the product is worth your money before making any purchase decisions or putting down cash for one without trying out its features first
  • Some dogs may be frightened of the noise of the electric nail clippers. This can be a problem for dogs that are already timid or nervous around machine noises (we all know a dog who is frightened of the vacuum)
  • Some people find it challenging to use these types of clippers because they feel there is no easy way to know much pressure should apply when clipping nails. People worry about trimming or grinding the nails too short. They worry they could cause pain as well bleeding if done improperly.

You should use whichever type of nail clipper both you and your Goldendoodle dog are most comfortable with. While grooming a dog is not always a pleasant experience, it should not be a traumatic one! Use plenty of treats to distract and reward your Goldendoodle no matter what. See our best picks for Goldendoodle friendly electric nail trimmers.

Tips for Stress-Free Nail Trimming

The Nails Should be Short Enough

When trimming, ensure you cut the nails short enough to prevent them from dragging across the floor while walking. This will decrease the likelihood of broken and bleeding nails. You’ll also end up avoiding scratches on your floor.

Invest in Quality Clippers

Nail trimming must be part of your dog’s routine from puppy-stage. Introducing this stress-inducing activity early on will give your bud time to ease into it. Since nail-trimming is a frequent task, invest in quality clippers meant for a Goldendoodle. Quality clippers will make it easier for you and the dog. It will also reduce the likelihood of accidents. 

When buying clippers, ensure that they are easy to use and comfortable so that you can trim your dog’s nails confidently. Some new clippers have sensors, which indicate where you need to trim. These are perfect for owners who are prone to making mistakes.

Our favorite manual dog nail clippers are basic, simple, durable and used by hundreds of thousands of dog owners.

Help Your Dog Feel Comfortable During the Process

As you start the process, be attentive to what your Goldendoodle is communicating. Responding to his body language will help your dog become more comfortable with nail trimming. Some indications of discomfort are apparent, like attempting to shift a paw repeatedly.

Other signs might be more subtle, for instance, if your dog constantly yawns as you work. If your furbud signals at any point that you’re moving too fast, put the clippers away and call it a day. Don’t continue despite signs of discomfort from your dog; this will only derail the progress you’ve made.

Start Young

It would help if you initiated body-handling exercises in the puppy stage. Familiarizing your Goldendoodle with all facets of nail trims, from how you’ll manipulate his feet to the equipment, can help the puppy understand that it isn’t painful or scary. The earlier you introduce a Goldendoodle puppy to grooming routines – the easier it will be later in life.

See more Goldendoodle videos on our Oodle Life YouTube channel

Why Nail Trimming is Important

Nail trimming is essential for numerous reasons, including appropriate posture. Long nails can affect your Goldendoodle’s joints, forcing them to shift their weight backward. This means their hind and back legs will take on more stress than necessary.

Dogs use their pads to grip and feel surfaces. This is another reason why owners must trim nails-too long, and your Goldendoodle cannot walk without slipping. Most dogs can’t wear their nails down naturally, even if you frequently walk them on hard surfaces.  

Overgrown nails can spread a dog’s toes apart, making it a struggle to walk. Dewclaws can also grow to the extent of curling back into a dog’s pad, resulting in infections. Appropriate nail length is even more significant in elderly dogs where tripping, joint injury, or snagging can produce severe injuries.

A puppy’s nail is surprisingly sharp, and left untrimmed can damage furniture, other dogs, or people!

Overgrown nails can result in black nail, dark nail, infections of the dog’s paw, thick nails, excessive paw licking, and more. Save yourself a trip to the Vet with a simple nail trim. 

How Often Should Goldendoodle Nail Trimming Occur?

It would be best if you trimmed your dog’s nails when they’re almost touching the ground when walking. If you find your dog’s nails are snagging on the carpet or clicking on the floor, it’s time for a nail cut. There’s no definitive frequency-for instance-as nail growth speed differs from dog to dog every four weeks.

What’s more, some dogs wear their nails through habitual activity and require less-frequent trims. Generally, the frequency of nail trimming will depend on activity level and lifestyle. On average, most dogs need trimming every 1-2 months though it can be as often as once weekly for senior dogs.

Nail Trimming in Senior Dogs

puppy at the vet with owners one adult one child
A cute puppy enjoying a Vet visit

As your Goldendoodle enters its senior years, it becomes more vulnerable to joint illnesses such as arthritis. Regular dog nail trimming is paramount to preventing unnecessary stress on their aging joints. Even if you’ve been trimming your dog’s nails his entire life, it can be challenging to establish whether you’re doing it frequently enough as they age. Their lifestyle and activity levels all change!

Factors Affecting Nail Growth and Trimming in Senior Dogs

Numerous factors determine the rate at which your senior dog’s nails grow. Here’s a list of potential contributors:

Activity Level

outdoor type of Goldendoodle
A Goldendoodle puppy loves to play outside! (Image: Instagram/@mochathegoldendoodle)

Dogs that take regular walks on pavements will wear their nails naturally. So they won’t require trimming as frequently. As your dog ages, it typically slows down and might develop diseases that change his or her mobility. This implies shorter or decreased walks. Therefore, you’ll have to trim more often.

Bear in mind that if your senior Goldendoodle is still active and takes many walks, his nails won’t wear down as fast if you’ve switched from asphalt or sidewalks to grass.


quick break from walk of Goldendoodle
A dog gets a quick break on the sidewalk. (Image: Instagram/@mr.cookie_doodle)

You need to determine the kind of surface your Goldendoodle spends most of its time on. A dog mostly indoors will need more recurrent dog nail trimmings than a dog that spends considerable time in the backyard.

Even if you have hard floor surfaces or concrete yard pads, a senior dog experiencing mobility loss might spend most of its day lounging on a dog bed and less time walking on those surfaces. This implies you’ll have to increase the frequency of nail trimmings. Keep the following in mind when cutting your dog’s nails.

The front nails usually grow faster than the back ones, so you might not need to cut the rear nails as often as the front ones.

If you hear the sound of nails clicking, they need trimming.

scratching the tile flooring
The Goldendoodle scratching the tile flooring. (Image: Instagram/@gallopingryedoodles)

A good rule is that trimming should occur as frequently as it takes to prevent the nails from touching the ground whenever your pet stands.

Numerous pet parents dislike the idea of trimming their dog’s nails. However, nail cutting for dogs is a basic and effective grooming task that can help maintain bone and joint health. Make sure you adopt a positive attitude. Remember, dogs tune into what their owners feel. So, if you dread cutting their nails, they’ll mirror your emotions. 

Stay positive, go slow, and stop when it becomes too much for the both of you!