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How To Cut Dachshund Nails (10 Simple Steps)

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Want to be able to cut your Dachshunds nails without struggle and with confidence? You’ve come to the right place.

We know the frustrations of cutting a Dachshunds nails, so we made this post to make it as easy as possible for you.

This post will show you:

  • How to cut your dachshund’s nails safely, step by step.
  • When it’s the time to cut and trim their nails.
  • Why it’s necessary to cut their nails (+ the 7 dangers of long nails).
  • Some of the best products to help

And more…

dachshund nails

How To Cut A Dachshund’s Nails?

Cut your Dachshund’s nails by getting a solid hold onto their paw and then trim down the nail bit by bit at a 45 degree angle. Take this slow and only trim small bits at a time to avoid the quick. Reassure and reward your Dachshund to keep them distracted.

My Dachshund Won’t Let Me Cut Their Nails, What Now?

If your Dachshund won’t let you cut their nails, consider waiting until they’re fatigued and use treats to distract them. You may still need to hold their body and paws firmly but it should make it harder for them to make a fuss.

Ideally, get someone to help hold your pup while you cut their nails to make life easier.

Here are some easy tips and tricks to cutting your Dachshunds nails.

10 Tips To Cut And Trim Your Dachshunds Nails

1) Know Your Dog’s Nail Anatomy

The biggest fear for any dog owner when cutting your pups’ nails is “quicking” them.

Which just means cutting the sensitive area hidden in the nail. It typically leads to bleeding and can be nerve racking to deal with.

The best way you can protect your pup from this happening is to understand the anatomy of their nails.

When you have a better understanding of the nail it can help you avoid harming your pup in any way.

Here’s a great image giving you a visual representation of your dog’s nails:

dog nail structure anatomy
dog nail structure anatomy / fingernail vector

The goal when trimming your Dachshunds’ nails is to cut through the outer and inner shell while avoiding the live tissue, known as the quick.

2) Get Your Dog Comfortable With Nail Clippers

The more comfortable you can make your dog with nail clippers, the easier it will be for you to trim up their nails.

Here are some simple steps you can take in order to desensitize your Dachshund to nail trimmings:

  1. Allow them to sniff the nail trimmer, then praise them and give them a treat.
  2. Touch the nail trimmer to their paws and give them a treat each time.
  3. Repeat step 2 but squeeze the trimmer so your pup can hear the sound, then give them a treat each time (do this for each paw).
  4. Complete steps 1-3 until they seem comfortable with the trimmer.
  5. Next step is to try trimming a tiny bit off the tip of a few nails. Give them a treat each time you do it.
  6. Keep working your way up, trimming additional nails each day until your pup is comfortable.

This process may take some time, so be patient. In some case it can be done in 1 week but depends on how scary the trimmer is for your dog.

Note: This can be applied to any tool you use. Including grinders, scissors, and other grooming tools.

3) Use Proper Positioning And Grip

It would be easy to trim your Dachshunds’ nails if they never moved and you knew exactly where to cut for the perfect length nails.

Unfortunately it’s not that easy.

Dachshunds are especially known for their disliking of paw grooming. So to make it easier for you to trim them it’s important to get the proper set up and positioning.

Here are some easy steps to follow: 

  1. If your pup tends to squirm and is difficult to hold you’ll need to place them across your body, with your arms firmly tucking them up against your body. This will allow you to hold them while still being able to use your hands to trim their nails. (If you have someone around that can hold them for you that will make it 10x easier.)
  2. Once their movement is limited, hold their paw firmly, but gently, place your thumb on the pad of a toe and your index finger on the top of the toe above the nail. Make sure your dog’s fur is out of the way.
  3. Push your thumb slightly up and backwards on the pad, while pushing your forefinger forward. This extends the nail.
  4. Clip only the tip of the nail, at a 45 degree angle (inline with the curvature of the nail). Avoid cutting too much and too deep to avoid the quick.

If you learn better from visuals, here’s a great video demonstrating exactly how to cut your dachshunds nails:

4) Cut At 45 Degree Angles

It’s important to cut your dog’s nails in the proper orientation to avoid issues. As a best practice you’ll want to cut them at a 45 degree angle in the direction of the nail.

Here is an image showing the “Cut Line” to get a better idea.

dog nail image

5) Get The Proper Tools For Nail Trimming

The main tools recommended for trimming your Dachshunds nails will be dog nail clippers, treats, and styptic powder (cornstarch or flour).

It’s important you pick out the right size clippers for your pup. They have relatively small paws so they require a smaller set of clippers compared to large and medium sized dogs.

Warning: Trying to use improper tools is never a good Idea. Human nail clippers, scissors, or other tools designed for anything other than dog nails shouldn’t be used.

Here are some of the best nail clippers / grinders that are well suited for dachshunds:

6) Pick a Time When Your Dachshund Is Calm

This is pretty self explanatory but makes a huge difference when cutting your dog’s nails.

Wait until they are sleepy and/or relaxed.

Trying to cut their nails while they’re hyper or frantic will just end horribly.

So time your nail trimmings when they are calm. Ideally around the same time every time. This will help build it into something familiar.

7) Use An Emery Board / File

After you’ve done a majority of the nail trimming with clippers using an emery board or nail file to smooth out the nail and remove any sharp tips or fragments left over.

This also helps to get the nail a bit shorter with less risk of cutting through the quick.

This is something that usually happens naturally from your dog walking on hard surface tops. However, it can be great to use a file or emery board to make their nails smoother right from the get go.

8) Front vs. Back Claws

Your dachshunds nails on their front paws will generally be longer than their back paw’s nails.

This means you usually don’t need to trim the back claws as often as the front. This also means when you’re clipping the back claws, you won’t need to trim as much.

This is important to know because if you trim the front claws the exact same way as the back you might hit the quick on the back claws.

9) Use The Notch As a Marker

You might find that your Dachshunds nails have a little notch on the bottom side of the nail.

It’s essentially a little bump and can be used as a guideline not to cut past the quick.

Not all dog’s will have a prominent notch so if you can’t see any bump on the back side of the nail it’s likely you won’t be able to use this tip.

10) Don’t Forget The Dew Claw!

Last tip on the list is one I have forgotten myself…

Don’t forget the little dew claw! This is a non weight bearing toe Dachshunds have and can sometimes be forgotten!

It is their 5th toe and sits in a similar position to your thumb.

How Short Can I Cut My Dachshund’s Nails?

You can cut your Dachshund’s nails just before the quick and that’s the shortest you should ever cut a dog’s nails. Any shorter and you will cut into the quick which harm your pup and cause bleeding.

image of a dog nail being clipped

What To Do If You Cut Your Dachshund’s Quick?

At some point you may accidentally cut into your Dachshund’s quick, or it may have already happened.

With Dachshund’s dark nail color it’s definitely tricky to avoid the quick.

So what do you do when you cut your dachshund’s quick?

Grab a tissue or cloth and press it tightly up into the nail that is bleeding, It should stop bleeding in about 5 minutes without treatment. As treatment you can use a styptic pen or powder to dip the nail in to stop the bleeding. 

Alternatively, you can also dip their nails in cornstarch, flour or an unperfumed natural bar of soap (just make sure it’s clean).

If you cut your dog’s nail super short and it won’t stop bleeding, contact your vet for further assistance. 

How To Know When Your Dachshund’s Nails Need Trimming?

A dachshund’s nails are too long when they protrude over their pads and touch the ground when standing. If you can hear your Dachshund’s nails clicking on the floor when they walk on hard surfaces, this is usually a good sign that their nails are too long.

Aim to have your pup’s nails hover above the ground when standing. And anytime you hear clicking of their nails hitting the floor you know it’s time for a trim!

This also partially answers the question, how often should you trim your dog’s nails?

The frequency depends on how fast they grow and how long they are. On average you want to trim your dog’s nails every 3-4 weeks. This can vary depending on how worn down they become on a day to day basis.

the proper length of dachshund nails

7 Dangers Of Not Cutting Your Dachshund’s Nails

Dachshunds are typically small and don’t weigh a lot. Thus, their nails don’t naturally wear down as much while doing activities as other dogs.

This can lead their nails to getting long quicker than other breeds.

The reason this matters is because dogs are “digitigrades” which means they walk on their toes. If their nail length is too long it can affect how they stand and support their body.

Here are 7 dangers for Dachshund’s with long nails:

  • Can lead to abnormal walking or limping
  • Worsen pain associated with arthritis
  • Lead to growth deformities in your their toes
  • Lack of traction on slick floors increase risk of hip injury
  • They can curl into the paw pad and cause damage
  • Pain in the area where the nail grows 
  • Easier to break off or tear off causing pain and discomfort

So make sure you are cutting your Dachshund’s nail!

Other posts you might find interesting:

12 Best Dog Beds for Dachshunds

Do Dachshunds Get Along With Other Dogs? 11 Breeds Reviewed

8 Reasons Why Your Dachshund Is So Lazy + Helpful Tips

27 Fruits Dachshunds Can And Can’t Eat (Ultimate Guide)


How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails Safely

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How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails Safely