Maintenance and grooming is an essential part of owning a dog. With German Shepherds, the daily upkeep is relatively simple. Like regular brushing is necessary for a healthy coat, nail clipping is essential for healthy paws and non-razor like claws.
This article will recommend the best nail clipper for German Shepherds as well as give advice on how to trim and grind your dog’s nails.
*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you 🙂 .
Why Clipping Your Dog’s Nails is Important
Overgrown nails in German Shepherds can range from mere discomfort to serious damage when the long claws dig into the foot, causing injury.
Additionally, anyone with a GSD knows they can be hyper, thus play sessions with a dog with long nails can cause you some serious scratch marks!
Maintaining Your Dog’s Nails
Just like humans, dogs also need regular nail grooming. There are different options available for clipping your dog’s nails to perfection. Nail clippers and nail grinders are the most common ones on the market today.
Nail clippers are the most common tool to cut dog nails. Most clippers look like pliers with a soft curving blade where the nail fits in.
Scissor clippers are the most commonly used for larger dogs. These types of clippers are suitable for this breed as their construction provides the extra force needed to cut thick nails.
In looking for a nail clipper for your German Shepherd you want to make sure it is large enough and strong enough to cut through your dog’s nail smoothly and in one clip.
Nail grinders are an alternative to nail clippers. The device “grinds” your dog’s nail down to an acceptable level.
It has a small tool with a grinding tip at the end. Simply switch it on and file the nails to the desired length.
Many dog owners and pet grooming stops are now using a nail grinder instead of nail clippers because of the smooth edges it leaves after grooming the nails.
You may be wondering what the difference is between a nail grinder and a nail dremel?
The answer is not really anything. There are different manufacturers of nail grinders, with Dremel being just one of them! A Dremel is a handheld, rotary grinding tool that trims a dog’s nails down.
Which Tool Should I Choose to Clip my Dog’s Nails? Nail clipper vs. nail grinder.
Deciding the type of tool to chop off your dog’s nail is purely subjective. It largely depends on your level of comfort with each tool as well as the disposition of your furry friend. Below are a few things to consider when selecting your tool:
- Make sure the clipper or grinder you select is of the right size for larger German Shepherd nails
- How much control do you want? Many dog owners are scared of using clippers for fear of cutting the quick. A grinder still carries the risk of hitting the quick but since you have more control you will more be able to tell when you are in the danger zone.
- Does your dog get nervous easily? Clippers are the quieter choice, so if your dog may get scared with the noise of the grinder, a clipper is your best choice.
- Nail clippers can usually be acquired for a little cheaper than a grinder, so consider your budget as well.
How to Clip Your German Shepherd’s Nails with a Clipper
Some dogs don’t mind grooming sessions, while others run the other way. I personally got my dog accustomed to grooming as a puppy, but still, there are those occasional instances when it’s time for a bath or a nail trim, she just isn’t in the mood.
Learning how to cut your dog’s nails properly is key to accomplishing this task with as little frustration for both you and your pooch.
Here are step by step instructions on how to clip a dog’s nails:
Step 1 – Have your supplies handy
Have your newly purchased nail clippers and any other supplies you may need at your fingertips. This way you don’t have to keep running into another room to get different items after you get into the nail clipping groove.
The items you should have next to you can include nail clippers, nail file, styptic powder (to quickly stop a nail from bleeding), and dog treats to reward your GSD for being good for their manicure.
Step 2 – Get your dog used to the clippers
Let your pet sniff the clippers and become accustomed to having them near their paws. You want your dog to be calm when the clippers come out.
Step 3 – Locate the quick
The quick is part of the dog’s nail that carries nerves and blood supply. The key to successful nail clipping is to avoid cutting the quick as it can be painful for your dog and it will bleed.
On German Shepherds, the quick is usually grey in color when looking at their nails. As a general guideline, stop 2-3 millimeters in front of the quick.
Step 4 – In case of bleeding
If you cut into the nail, apply styptic powder or cornstarch in case of bleeding.
Step 5 – File the nails
Stroke the nails with a file to remove any splinters or sharp edges.
Step 6 – Treat your dog
Reward your pet with goodies for being good throughout the process.
If you need more of a visual – below is a video demonstrating how to clip your dog’s nails.
3 Best Nail Clippers for German Shepherds
The good thing about purchasing nail clippers is that they aren’t a product that needs to be replaced often. One set of nail clippers can last for the lifetime of multiple dogs.
Here are three best nail clippers for German Shepherds and large dogs.
Boshel Dog Nail Clippers
Certified by animal trainers and veterinarians, this clipper comes with a razor-sharp stainless steel blade to clip your pet’s nails in one swift motion.
This clipper is great for the thicker nails of a German Shepherd because it is powerful and provides a clean cut with every clip.
The Boshel Nail Clippers have a comfortable easy to grip handle that lends you to a steadier hand when trimming your dog’s nails. As an added bonus, the safety stop sensor helps to reduce the risk of cutting the quick, and it includes a handy nail file.
What I Love:
- Ideal for large dogs
- A razor-sharp blade so you don’t have to re-cut
- Easy to grip handle
- Safety Stop to reduce cutting the quick
- Free nail file
- Lasts for many many years
- Learning how to use the safety stop sensor has a bit of a learning curve, still possible to cut the quick if not used correctly.
Epica Pet Nail Clipper
The Epica Pet Nail Clipper is a comfortable, easy to use nail clipper for beginners. The semi-circular blades allow you to see exactly where the cut will be preventing over trimming.
The sharp stainless steel blade will remain sharp after tons of usage so you can safely use these clippers for many years.
Another benefit is the built-in locking safety feature accessible by squeezing the small handle on the side when the clippers are closed. The lifetime warranty makes these a no brainer.
What I Love:
- Beginner clipper friendly
- Comfortable non-slip handle
- Semi-circular blades
- Safety locking feature
- Lifetime warranty
- Blades may not be as sharp for really thick nails. These clippers are best for younger GSD dogs.
GoPets Nail Clipper
If you want to splurge a little on your GSD these clippers are the last clippers you will need to buy.
Made from professional quality materials, these clippers are recommended by veterinarians and professional groomers.
The GoPets Nail Clipper has stainless steel blades that were tested for their durability as well as their ability to provide a smooth clean cut every time. Additionally, the quick sensor safety guard helps reduce the risk of cutting the quick in your dog’s nails.
There is no risk in purchasing this product because of their unconditional satisfaction guarantee.
What I love:
- Great for the thicker nails of large dogs
- Resilient sharp blades
- Professional quality
- Quick sensor
- Free nail file
- Unconditional satisfaction guarantee
- A portion of the proceeds from each sale supports animal charities, no-kill shelter, and animal rescues.
- Pricer than other options listed
- Quick sensor difficult to use
How to Use a Nail Grinder to Trim Your Dog’s Nails
If you’ve decided to get a nail grinder, below are step by step instructions on how to trim your dog’s nail with this tool.
Step 1 – Safety precautions
Ensure your dog does not have long hair in between its paws to avoid getting them stuck in the grinder.
Step 2 – Familiarize your GSD with the grinder
Get your dog with the buzzing sound of the grinder. Run the machine near your dog on a few different occasions so they get used to the sound before trying to trim their nails.
Step 3 – Slowly place the grinder onto the nail
Start the grinder off at the slowest speed until you are accustomed to the process. Begin with the lowest part of the nail tip and make your way up. Apply gentle pressure to grind the nail.
Be careful not to leave the grinder on your dog’s nail for a long time. The spinning motion of the grinder creates a lot of heat, so grind for a few seconds then come off the nail to prevent discomfort to your pooch.
Continue this process until the sharp tip is trimmed away on all nails. This could take a little time.
Step 4 – Polish
Apply the grinder in a circular motion on the top of the nail to polish the nails.
Best Nail Grinders For Large Dogs
If you’ve decided a nail grinder is the best option for you and your dog, here are a couple of the best options you can purchase.
Dremel Cordless Grinding Tool
Dremel is a very well known name in the dog grinder market. Accordingly, their products are highly trusted and high quality.
This grinder has two speeds (low and high) to allow you to comfortably grind your dog’s nails at your own pace.
No more worrying about being close to an outlet or your dog getting tangled up in the cord, as the Dremel runs on battery power. The 60-grit sanding drum is easy to insert and take out of the tool. It is powerful enough to get the job done but gentle enough to be harmless and comfortable for your German Shepherd.
What I Love:
- Easy to maneuver
- 2 speeds
- Well known trust brand
- Can take longer than clipping to trim the nail
- Only a 1 year warranty
Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder
The Hertzko Nail Grinder is another option for the best nail grinder for large dogs like German Shepherds.
Equipped with a diamond bit grinder, it will efficiently and safely trim your dog’s nails to the perfect length.
This grinder is good for dogs of all sizes because it has three size openings for dog nails of all sizes. For dogs that don’t like loud noises, this grinder is perfect because it is designed to be quieter and create less vibration which is super helpful for those skittish pooches.
This grinder is rechargeable and comes with a USB cable for charging.
What I Love:
- Quieter machine
- Great for multiple sized dog households
- Easy to clean
- Safe and easy to use
- Doesn’t hold the charge for a long time, thus requires more charging
Are you sick of worrying about going to the veterinarian or making a grooming appointment every time your dog needs their nails trimmed? Any of these options for the best nail clippers for German Shepherd will have your GSD strutting proudly with perfectly manicured nails.
Do you use a nail clipper or nail grinder for your dog’s nails? Let me know in the comments.