Does your dog head for the hills when he sees you reach for the nail clippers? If so, he is in good company, lots of dogs do not like to have their nails clipped. With many dogs, it may just be that having nails clipped creates an unpleasant sensation, while with some it may be that they have had a nail clipped too short once or twice resulting in sharp pain. This is actually pretty common, accidents do happen. Sometimes dogs may be picking up on your stress, or fear of cutting the nails too short, and resist because they feel something is wrong--dogs are pretty sensitive about such things.
If your dog does not want his nails clipped, he may try to flee or even become aggressive and bite or scratch when restrained for nail clippings. A dog that struggles and moves while you are trying to clip his nails puts himself and you in danger of injury. In a way, it is a sel- fulfilling prophecy: a dog that is difficult to trim is more likely to have a nail trimmed too short when they struggle, resulting in pain and a vicious cycle, as now the dog will have reinforced his negative experiences associated with nail trims.
There are a few things that may contribute to your dog being difficult when it comes to trimming his nails. Trimming requires restraining your dog--most dogs don't love this, who would?! Also, the sensation of having nails trimmed can be unpleasant. Even when not cut too short, there is pressure applied to the sensitive nail and if tools are not sharp, a crushing sensation may be felt. If your dog had caught his nail on something like a bush or a carpet, it would be a similar sensation and would cause your dog alarm, as his nail could be ripped. No wonder your dog does not like the sensation of having his nails trimmed! Working with your dog to reassure him that you are not hurting him, and using the right tools, is well worth it as it will make nail trimming sessions easier in the future.