Your APBT's toenails are too long if they make clicking noises on the floor when he walks on a hard surface. Dogs with very long nails tend to walk on the backs of their feet, leading to splayed toes and an unattractive gait. Not only is this uncomfortable for the dog, but it can lead to foot problems. Long nails are also more apt to break or tear during exercise or play.
To clip your APBT's nails, sit on the floor and invite him to lie down in front of you, between your legs, with his head in your lap. Give him a tummy rub to relax him. Then take one front paw, holding it gently but securely, and isolate one nail so you can hold it between a finger and your thumb. Using a pair of nail clippers made for a dog of this size (either the scissors type or guillotine type), trim off the excess nail, making sure you do not hit the quick. If your APBT has white nails, your job is easier than if his nails are dark, because the quick is a blood vessel that is clearly seen through white nails. Trim the nail just beyond the quick. You will not be able to see the quick in dark nails, so make the cut just beyond the hooklike projection on the underside of the nail.
Continue trimming the rest of the nails on that paw. Then let him relax, rub his tummy, and then do the other front paw. To do the back paws, you can have him change position on your lap. If your APBT is worried, stressed, or is trying to fight you, trim just one paw and stop. Later, you can do another paw. If he's trying to mouth your hand as you trim, give him a spoonful of peanut butter. He'll be thinking about the peanut butter and won't even know you're touching his paws!
When you cut the nail properly, your APBT will feel nothing more than slight pressure, the same as you feel when cutting your own toenails. If you accidentally cut the quick, your APBT's nail will hurt and bleed. Stop the bleeding with a styptic pencil made for human use, or use the styptic powder sold at pet supply stores. (In a pinch, cornstarch will also do.) Pressing the bleeding nail into a soft bar of soap for a minute or so will also stop the bleeding.
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