Although the Rottweiler is a large, stocky breed, this physical characteristic doesn't prevent the dog from being agile. When exercised rigorously outside, the Rottweiler's large nails usually wear down naturally, especially if the dog has contact with rough pavement. This alone can eliminate the need for cutting the nails with a pair of clippers - a good thing since not many Rotties do not like to have their feet held and the sheer weight of the dog may prevent you from doing so. Failure to keep the dog's nails short can cause orthopedic issues, such as a splayed foot. If your dog has a tendency to bite; however, you should take precautions to prevent injury. If you cannot clip your dog's nails without risking injury, take your dog to a professional dog groomer for a nail clipping or ask your veterinarian to do it.
Begin clipping your Rottweiler's nails from an early age, if possible, to condition your dog to this essential grooming process. Massage the pads, and inspect the areas between the toes. Take this time to bond with your dog. Over time, this will counteract the dog's natural instinct to pull away, which can cause injury to both you and your Rottie.
Place a well-ventilated muzzle around your Rottweiler's nose if the dog has a tendency to bite or is combative. Use a soft muzzle that is a comfortable fit for the dog. A soft muzzle allows your dog to breath, bark and even drink water while in place.
Squeeze the handle together to open the clippers if you are using clippers. Carefully insert a small portion of the tip of the nail into the clippers and squeeze the handles again to clip off the tip of the nail where the nail begins to curve. Since Rottweiler nails are black, it's difficult to know where the quick is. If you clip too short, the dog will experience pain, bleeding and will generally never forget it, making the next time nearly impossible. Always clip only a little at a time and never go beyond where the nail begins to curve. A better alternative for this task may be a rotary sander. A rotary sander is not good for dog's with an aversion to noise. However, it cuts down on the chance you will clip the quick since you sand off a little at a time.
Cut just a few of the dog's nails at one sitting if the dog is bothered by the clippers and/or the noise of the rotary sander. You can always come back the next day and try again.
Keep cornstarch or a styptic pencil handy in case you get too close to the quick. If you do see bleeding, touch the styptic pencil to the cut to stop the bleeding. If using corn starch, dip the nail into the cornstarch.
Reinforce good behavior by rewarding the Rottweiler with a treat after each nail has been cut.
Tips & Warnings
- Use guillotine clippers rather than the type of pliers that can crush the nail. Crushing the nail can cause pain to the sensitive nail bed inside.
Take your dog to a professional groomer or your veterinarian for a nail clipping if you are concerned about injuring your dog.
If nail clipping is not done properly, infection can set into the nail and cause severe injury to the toe.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.