Here at Cause and Effect Dog Training, Toowoomba, we take a holistic approach to your dog.

For us, its not just about training, whether that is obedience, life style, or therapy dog training.   We want to make sure that your dog is healthy and mentally able to be the best he can be.   Making sure he doesn’t have to deal with  unnecessary pain or discomfort is part of this approach.  One commonly overlooked issue is having long nails.

Lots of dogs don’t like their nails being cut, some for good reason.  But for many, its just because they haven’t really had a lot of experience with it.  Perhaps they haven’t had their paws held for a length of time, the click and vibration of the nail clippers can be stressful.  Some have had a painful experience when their nail was cut too close to the quick. This is why starting to handle a puppys’ feet right from the start is super important, by giving them positive experiences when paws are held and progressing to cutting just the tip off their nails.

But Why Are Long Nails so Bad?

Your dogs’ nails, are not meant to touch the ground.  Dogs are supposed to walk on the pads of their feet, cushioning their body as they step.

When nails get too long, they contact the ground and as they grow longer, they start taking the weight of the dogs body away from the pads.   This forces the claws upwards, which in turn changes the way your dogs feet contact the ground and starts putting pressure on his toes forcing them backwards.   In turn, this changes the angle of firstly the wrist, then the forearm, creating tension in the shoulders, moving down the back and into his rear end.     What does this do?  It creates pain and discomfort potentially in areas all around your dogs body.     All because of nails that are too long.

So What Can You Do?

  • For puppies, starting touching their feet and nails as soon as possible.
  • Get them used to having just the very tip clipped off their nails.
  • Don’t try and do them all at once. Maybe just one foot each day.
  • For older dogs, get advice on how to get them used to the process – you may have to start by just getting them comfortable with the sight of the clippers.
  • You can get your Vet to clip the nails, but if your dog isn’t comfortable with the process, it is not taking away any stress for him…. just you, and can make him worse over time.


If your dog has previously had nails that were too long,  we can reset his muscles with an Emmett Therapy treatment and make sure his body is working correctly from his feet to his tail.