How to Trim the Nails of a Miniature Schnauzer

How to Trim the Nails of a Miniature Schnauzer

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Miniature Schnauzers are a breed that require regular nail clipping. Learn how to trim their nails here.

Miniature schnauzers require regular grooming to keep them looking and feeling their best. Part of this grooming includes weekly nail clippings to prevent the nails from touching the floor when they walk, potentially causing the dogs to slip or lose their balance. Overgrown nails can also cause health issues and painful infections when they grow into your dog's paw pads. Start grooming sessions at a young age to get your dog used to them, and use a pet nail clipper or sanding device to give your miniature schnauzer regular trims in order to keep feet healthy.

Step 1

Purchase the type of pet nail clipper you feel most comfortable using. Some work like a pair of scissors, while others work like a guillotine that snips off the sharp nail tips. The guillotine style work better for many people. For miniature schnauzers, choose a pet nail clipper designed for small dogs to accommodate their little nails.

Step 2

Place your miniature schnauzer on a grooming table or on your lap to elevate the small dog to your level so that you can easily reach the dog's feet.

Step 3

Touch and massage your miniature schnauzer's feet while giving the dog verbal praise and tasty treats. This accustoms dogs to having their feet handled. If there is a second person available, have that person distract the dog with treats and praise while you focus on the nail trim.

Step 4

Hold one of your miniature schnauzer's feet in your hand and put the tips of the nails through an old nylon stocking to push back the schnauzer's long, wiry foot hair giving you a better view of the nails themselves. You can also wet and push back the fur from the nails.

Step 5

Place only a small portion of the sharp tip of one of your miniature schnauzer's nails between the blades of the pet nail clipper and press down on the clipper to cut it off. Hold the nail firmly between your thumb and forefinger while clipping and position the clipper blades top-to-bottom, rather than side-to-side around the nail.

Step 6

Clip small bits from the nail continuously, until you can see a black circle in the center of the nail that indicates you are getting close to the quick. The quick contains blood vessels and if you clip into it, your dog can experience pain and the nail will bleed.

If you cut the nail's quick, apply styptic powder or corn starch to it to stop the bleeding and stop the grooming session. Continue to cut your miniature schnauzer's nails the next day.

Clip the rest of your miniature schnauzer's nails using the same procedure.

Step 7

Treat your dog and give the miniature schnauzer verbal praise after clipping each nail of the foot. While schnauzers are usually easygoing and obedient, sometimes they can be stubborn and may try to resist the clipping of their nails. If your dog shows signs of being upset, such as pulling away or growling, stop the clipping session and continue it the next day.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your miniature schnauzer's nails click on the floor when the dog walks, the nails are too long. When first clipping nails that have grown very long, clip them a tiny bit every other day, so that the quick recedes and you can keep them at a normal length.

  • Cut the nails at the same angle as their curve. File them to smooth the tips and eliminate roughness. If using an electric file, use caution with miniature schnauzers because their long foot fur can become tangled in these types of devices.

  • Guillotine-type clippers may work better than clipper-style, which can crush the nail before it cuts.

  • Miniature schnauzers are prone to von Willebrand’s disease, which can impair the clotting of the dog's blood from a minor injury, such as clipping the nail past the quick. Be extra cautious when trimming your miniature schnauzer's nails and seek the care of a veterinarian if the nail begins to bleed and doesn't stop after a few minutes.

  • If your dog is adamant about not having nails clipped and manifests this attitude through growling or other warning signs, bring the dog to the vet or a groomer for a nail trim. The procedure takes only a few minutes and the cost is not prohibitive. 

  • If you are for any reason uncomfortable clipping your dog's nails, take them to a groomer. 

Things Needed
  • Pet nail clipper
  • Grooming table
  • Dog treats
  • Old nylon stocking
  • Styptic powder or corn starch
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