First we get the supplies together for cutting your dog's nails
The following information has helped me become more confident with cutting my dog’s nails. And I hope it helps you too! :)
You may be wondering about the difference between the two and why nail grinding is more expensive than a trim. For the trims, we use a scissor type nail clipper specifically designed for dogs. This is a great option to remove excess length and make the process a little quicker for a dog who may be nervous about getting his nails cut. For the grinding, we use a professional electric nail grinder to remove length and smooth out the edge of the nail. Grinding is the preferred method for getting as close as possible to the quick (the nerves and blood vessels inside the nail) without cutting it, as we are able to take off smaller amounts at a time. It also removes any sharp edges and keeps the nails nice and smooth.
I have found that a cat claw clipper works better on the nails of small and even medium size dogs as it is easier for me to see and position the nail with the smaller tool. If I have to apply too much pressure to cut, though, then that is a sign I need to go with a larger clipper. I have one dog that I've had for 10 years, since she was about a year old. It took me months to get to the point where I could trim all her nails in one sitting and even now she is convinced that each time might be "the time" that I end up cutting off a toe....I use lots of treats during the process and sometimes end up putting her in a "sheep hold" (cradling her upside down in my lap as if fleecing a sheep) and somehow this calms her down and she stops struggling.
A Stress-Free Way For Trimming Your Dog's Toenails
How to Trim a Dog's Toenails | petMD
Nail cutting becomes an event surrounded by angst and drama. For very active dogs who run all day long on varied surfaces, cutting nails may not be necessary. High mileage wears them down naturally.With the dog's ankle cradled in your palm and pads facing up as described above, use your fingers to spread his toes and push the nail you want to clip upward into view. For these first few sessions this is important just nip the very tip of the nail with the clipper so that there's no way you're going to cut too far and hurt him. It means that you're going to have to live with longer nails for awhile, but it's critical for the dog to learn that nailcutting might be uncomfortable but it doesn't hurt. After you've nipped the first nail, praise him and give a treat (but don't let go of his foot!) and move on to the next toe. Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, pet nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog. Cutting a dog's nails, especially when they are curled, can be nerve-wracking for you and the dog. You don't want to injure him and he doesn't want it done at all. Not a good combination. Invest in the proper nail cutting equipment.