Jan Martin and Marsha Caldwell


Grooming the Feet

Yes, they need a little work!


Of course, Flora's feet are this hairy only because we need to demonstrate how to groom feet.


First, clean out the hair between the pads. This process is easiest when the dog can be convinced to lie down, either on the grooming table or on the floor.

Flora's feet

We love these little Dovo scissors, but any sharp pointed scissors will let you clean up feet. Remember, you're not cleaning between the TOES, but between the PADS!



After everything is clean between the pads, even up the hair at the back pad.

Don't trim around the outside of the foot until she's standing up; you'll find yourself trimming higher than you meant to and it will not look round and natural.

Be careful when you comb out the hair between the pads. The feet are sensitive, and knots in here can cause pain... that your dog will tell you all about!


has better photos of clipping nails than we do. We assume you've messed with feet since your dog was a baby; if not, follow WSU's advice about how to start getting the dog used to the process.

We prefer the scissor-type clippers.


We hope you're lucky enough to have a dog with light colored nails. Nails grow longer on the top than on the bottom, so clip at right angles to the foot. You can SEE where to cut clearly in WSU's photos. If you do have a problem, Kwik-stop or a styptic pencil will stop any minor bleeding .

Dogs won't bleed to death through their toenails.

Of course, you could let your Vet do it :-)

When you groom the top of the foot, you're trying to present "feet [that] are round or slightly oval. They are compact and well-arched, of medium size, with thick pads, and well-feathered between the toes." Hmm, never left many feathers between the toes, but it's always intrigued me! Some have described it as aiming for a "cat's paw."

Flo's feet are not her best feature, but looked OK when groomed.