Make your Aussie look great even if they aren’t going into the ring! Don’t be afraid. Just try it. If you make a mistake, it will grow back!  You don’t have to have a grooming table but it certainly helps especially at the beginning while the dog is getting used to being groomed.

Here are some Videos that are very helpful. This first video is an introduction. It will go over the different brushes and scissors you will need. Check out the GROOMING TOOLS Page.

Paws & Pads


Another Great Video

This is another set of videos. See how these groomers do things slightly differently? It’s OK! Get your own technique.


guillotine and scissors type nail trimmers
There are several styles of nail trimmers, including a guillotine type and a scissors type. The guillotine type is the easiest to use in dogs.
The scissors-type is used to trim a toenail that is so long that it is curling in a circle. Long claws can grow into the toe-pad. This most often happens to dew claws, the claw on the inner side of the paw. Dew claws do not touch the ground so they are not worn down as the dog walks.
The dew claw is attached to the leg by loose skin. The dew claw can usually be bent away from the leg so that you can fit a guillotine type trimmer over the tip of the dew claw.
the dew claw
The scissors-type cutter is placed at a right angle to the toenail
using scissors to cut the dew claw
Hold the trimmer in your right hand if you are right handed. Close your hand around the clipper to squeeze the handle which will move the cutting blade.
holding the guillotine type nail trimmerdifferent sides of the guillotine nail trimmer and where each side faces
The guillotine type trimmers have stationary ring through which the nail is placed, and a cutting blade that moves up to slice off the nail when the handles of the trimmer are squeezed.
close-up of the guillotine type nail trimmer, including labeled parts

Unlike cats, dogs do not have retractile claws. The color of the nail is determined by the color of the surrounding skin and hair. This dog has black claws on the brown paw and a mixture of white and black claws on the white paw.Always remember to trim the dew claws that are located on the inner surface of the paw. Your dog’s dew claws may have been removed as a puppy.

dogs front feet

The claws on the rear feet are often shorter and require less frequent trimming than those on the front feet.

rear feet

Light colored claws are easier to cut than dark claws as the blood vessels and nerves that supply the claw, called the quick, are easier to see.

toenail including labeled quick and line designating area to cut

Cut the claw to within approximately 2 millimeters of the quick.
If you cut into the quick, the claw will bleed and the dog will experience pain.placing the trimmer over the nail

The handles of the trimmer can be held pointing toward the floor, as pictured at the left (cutting the nail from bottom to top) or the handles of the trimmer can be held pointed towards the ceiling (cutting the nail from top to bottom); which ever is more comfortable in your hands.

The tip of the nail is placed in the stationary ring in the trimmer with the clipper perpendicular to the nail (cutting either top to bottom or bottom to top). If the trimmer is placed parallel to the nail (cutting from side to side), the nail is crushed and may splinter.

The cutting blade should be facing you, NOT the dog. The screws on the handle of the trimmer should be facing the dog.

If you turn the trimmer around with the screws toward you, the cutting blade is cutting closer to the quick than if the trimmer is held with the cutting blade toward you. You are less likely to cut into the quick if the cutting blade faces you.

cutting the nailtrimming a dark colored nail

Cut dark colored claws in several small cuts to reduce the chance of cutting into the quick.

The sharper the trimmer, the cleaner the cut. The cutting blade on guillotine-style cutters can be replaced when it is no longer sharp.

You can file the end of the nail to smooth the cut surface.

can of styptic pencils containing silver nitrate

If the toenail is cut too short, you can use a styptic pencil containing silver nitrate to stop blood flow, although many animals object to the styptic pencil as much, or more, than toenail cutting. The black end of the stick is held to the bleeding nail and gently rotated until bleeding stops.

Even without any treatment the nail should stop bleeding in about 5 minutes or less. DON’T PANIC!



Grooming your Aussie — 16 Comments

  1. This site is wonderful! Helped me out a lot when I first started to learn to trim Aussies (still learning!). Wonderful site! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. This is great – I need a lot of help grooming my Aussies. Is there any way I can get a printable version of this to reference as I groom? I am of an age that needs hard copies. Thanks.

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