If you can, arrange to have a Fear-Free veterinarian, vet tech, or groomer show you how to trim your dog’s nails, or watch a video: it’s much easier to replicate if you see it done first.
The prep. Have delicious treats on hand to dish out with every snip of the trimmers. If your dog has already had a bad experience or is nervous, go slow. Better to get less done but have a good experience that builds a lifetime of easy nail trimming.
The strategy. Aim to cut a little bit at a time to make sure you don’t hit the painful pink part. Cut conservatively first and then use a nail file from there.
The trimming. Hold your dog’s paw and gently push out a nail. Avoid the pink (live) part of the nail. When you cut, be quick, smooth, and decisive. After each snip, give your dog a yummy treat.
The alternatives. If nail trimming is just too stressful for you or your dog, consider filing down your dog’s nails with a dremel made for that purpose, or teach your dog to use a scratch board.