If I had to pick one of my favorite body parts on my Newfies, their paws would definitely be in the top 5.
I love a massive bear paw smacking me in the face when I’m sleeping.
I’m kidding about the paw in the face but I’m not kidding about my love for dog paws.
Taking care of my Newfoundland’s paws is a job in itself.
Not only is it important to keep those thick black nails trimmed but it’s also important to me to keep the underneath of their paws healthy and free from infection and debris.
There are several ways that I do that but the most important part is keeping the hair trimmed.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good Grinch paw but this time of the year (mud season) I prefer to give mud and snow less hair to cling to.
For me, trimming the on my Newfie’s paws is one of the easier areas to trim but for others, it’s kind of scary and I can understand that.
I’m going to try to make trimming paw hair a little easier for you and list the steps I use when trimming the hair on Odin’s and Lou’s paws.
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Grooming Tools Needed For Trimming Paws
You don’t need a lot of grooming tools when it comes to paw trimming.
The most important things you’ll need are a pair of thinning shears and a pin brush or dog comb.
You can also use straight shears, curved shears or clippers.
For years I only used thinning shears but my husband bought me a shear set for Christmas so now I use thinners, curved and straight shears. (you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on dog shears but if you’re looking to invest in some good grooming shears, this Chris Christensen Classic Set is nice. I don’t use the chunkers but I use the other 3 shears)
If you are just starting out and don’t want to buy a whole shear set, I recommend getting thinning shears because you can use them for almost everything.
- Thinning shears. Thinning shears are a good way to blend the hair. You can get thinning shears in several different places and they range in price. I like to use thinning shears that have 40 or more teeth. The more teeth your thinning shears have, the more blended the cut will be. I use thinning shears to trim the hair on the top part of the paw but you can use them for every area of the paw.
- Straight shears. Straight shears are good for trimming the hair on the under part of the paw and the side of the paw. I always trim flush to the pads. You can also use mini clippers to trim the hair between the paw pads-I have done this before but Odin doesn’t like it.
- Curved shears are good for trimming the edge of the paw. You don’t have to use these. I’ve never used them before this year but now I do love them.
- Pin brush. A pin brush is good for brushing the hair on your Newfie’s paw up before you trim. You can also use a comb or a slicker brush.
- Grooming table. You can trim on the floor but if you have a grooming table, it will make it easier. I have the most difficult time trying to trim paws on the floor but it’s probably because I’m getting old. If you’re not using a grooming table, try to do the trimming while your dog is standing. You can just see the paw better this way. You can use a lick mat or a Toppl to keep your dog occupied.
How To Trim
The shape of a Newfoundland’s paw when trimmed is supposed to look like a cat paw.
You don’t have to trim so the nails show, there should be a nice outline of hair left.
If you trim too much, don’t worry! That hair will grow back in no time!
Top of paw
- Brush the hair on the top of the paw up-make sure to get the hair between the toes
- Using your thinning shears trim the hair down. You want the tip of the scissors to be pointing towards the ground or table.
- Repeat these steps until you have a nice clean paw.
Side of paw
- Using your thinning shears or curved shears, carefully go around the outline of your dog’s paws so that no hair is touching the ground. Make sure to go all the way around the entire paw. You’re just cleaning it up and cutting off stray hairs.
Underneath of paw
- Using straight shears, thinning shears or clippers, carefully trim the hair so that it’s flush with the paw pads. (this is going to be ticklish for most dogs so be prepared for them to wiggle.)
- Some people like to shave the hair between the paw pads but I like to leave it flush for protection.
- When you’re trimming the underneath make sure to check for any small mats or redness.
If you’re also going to trim the hocks, comb or brush the hair and trim the hair at a 90 angle.
Depending on your Newfie’s stance, it might be different.
Odin stands more flat-footed so I trim more off of his hocks.
I don’t know how to explain this part, I just used curved shears and went for it (haha)
Should you start on the top or the bottom of the paw?
I think most people start trimming the hair on the bottom of the paw but I start on the top.
Why I Trim The Paw Hair
Besides being a magnet for mud, snow and dirt, I like to trim Odin’s and Lou’s paws to keep them free from infection.
Newfies are notorious for having yeast infections on their paws because they’re sponges.
I also like to keep them trimmed so the boys aren’t slipping and sliding on the floor as much.
I do use Duoxo pads weekly to help keep yeast at bay.
You can do this.
I know you can do this!
After I trim the hair on the paws I will usually trim the nails because I can see them better.
How Often Should You Trim Your Newfie’s Paw Hair?
That all depends on how fast the hair grows!
I feel like every time I trim the paws and turn around for a second the paw hair has already grown an inch.
I probably trim every 4-6 weeks?
I’m not a professional dog groomer by any means.
The way I trim and the grooming tools I use for my Newfies may be different than what other people do and use.
Always do what is most comfortable for you and your dog.
p.s. Odin was supposed to be standing for this demonstration but he had other plans:)