Items needed:

  • Sharp snub nosed bent grooming scissors (recommended) or small sharp blunt end hair cutting scissors
  • Good quality nail clippers
  • Fine toothed comb
  • Styptic stick or Kwik Stop powder for bleeding

It’s a good idea to get your dog used to having his feet touched. Start early, be gentle and always make it a pleasant experience. Dogs have scent pads in their feet and are very sensitive to touch. Initiating this practice in puppy hood will give you a good grooming foundation. A good breeder will have already started this practice.

As the coat grows you will have to trim the hair around your dog’s feet, especially if he has access to the outdoors. Trimming is an easy process if you start early and keep it up. There are 2 positions you can use to trim you dog’s feet. One is to stand your Yorkie on a table or countertop (make sure it’s non-slip) and trim around each foot. Trim one foot at a time, being careful around the toes and in between the foot pads. This is where the blunt, bent end scissors do best as there are no points to injure the dog. Trim the pads of each paw by placing the scissors flat against the pads. This is also a good time to check for cracks or cuts in the footpads. These can be helped with a good footpad cream.

A natural tendency for a dog is to raise the foot that you are working on. When this happens, lift up the opposite foot causing your dog to drop the paw you are trimming. Do this gently, do not pull his feet out from under him. Remember, a Yorkie never forgets.

The other way is to put your dog in a down position in front of you and pick up and trim one paw at a time. Try each position and use the one your dog feels most comfortable with. If you are just starting this and are a little slow, your dog may get impatient. Do not scold or get into a tugging match with your dog. If one paw is all you can do, then leave it at that. Continue it later or do the other paws at alternate grooming times. This will make grooming easier and less stressful and your dog will not develop issues with their feet being touched.

After you trim each paw, brush through the hair with the comb, removing loose hair that may not have come off. This also helps you to see the neatness of your trim.

Never leave your dog unattended on a table or counter. Always keep a hand on your dog.

Consider clipping the toenails when your Yorkie is fresh from the bath and the nails are softer. It’s a good idea to get your veterinarian or groomer to show you how to cut your dog’s nails. The nails must be kept short in order to promote good foot development. Have a good pair of sharp nail trimmers ready to do the job. Dogs’ nails curve down. Only trim the part of the nail that curves, as close to the tip as you can. Doing this regularly will help the quick to remain set back in the nail. If the nails are very long, then you should have a vet or qualified groomer do the trim. Don’t trim above the curve because that is where the vein ends. The vein will bleed profusely if it is cut. If you have trimmed back too far and the nail bleeds, place the styptic stick or Kwik Stop powder on the end of the nail and hold the paw off the table or counter for a few moments. The bleeding should stop very quickly with these. Try not to let the dog lick the toe until the bleeding has stopped completely. Remember, the toe will be sensitive after this, so be careful.

Regularly walking your dog outdoors will help to keep his nails in good condition. They will be worn down naturally. Always keep an eye out for nail or pad injury if you walk your dog outdoors regularly. Remember that his footpads are very sensitive to the heat, cold and especially winter road salt.

Always praise your pet for his cooperation and good behaviour.