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10 May 2011

18 Dogs = 72 Pads + 288 Claws

I have 18 dogs and that means 72 pads of hair to thin and 288 claws to trim.

Why bother? Left unchecked, snow will ball up on pad fur between my dogs’ toes on runs causing a dog to eventually go lame. Consider it comparable to running with rocks in your trainers. Trimming pad fur is not a job for bare hands. When choosing scissors I go for handles that take gloved fingers.

Don’t go thinking claws give dogs traction on ice. Flesh on the dogs’ pads does that. If claws get too long they can cause toe bruising. This can take what feels like forever to heal. I trim claws to an even length, again to prevent my dogs from going lame. I do this by clipping away the claw whites down short of the black. Nip into the black and you hit blood. Some dog claws are entirely black so care must be taken not to cut into the nail bed. Do that and the dog will remember and associate pain with you handling his paws.

To get the job done with badly behaved dogs would not be good. So, my dogs learn this routine as puppies. Even the most boisterous dog (Mikkey) has learnt not to fuss. Apart from King who always says it tickles. He lets me know this in the closing scene of the video.

For more information about Gary and his dogs go to http://www.garyrolfe.com/


  1. How often is all of that done?

  2. Hello,

    On average, for the majority of my dogs I clip and trim claws and pad fur once a month during the snow season (nine months of the year). But, like humans for example, some dogs’ hair growth is not equal to all. I am always checking feet so it becomes clear if a dog requires clippers and scissors ahead of time.