That has not been my experience at all, Wendy. Both agility trainers I have worked with instruct short nails and admonish students who do not comply, as their dogs scramble and slide all over the equipment.
"Not safe anywhere"? I think you are being overly dramatic. I have never, as in NOT ONCE, had any sort of injury related to one of my short nailed dogs (oh, the horror!!) biffing it. Biffing it is a terribly rare occurrence, anyway, and, thinking back probably happens less often than when I left the nails longer.
GLR, I just did Koa's nails and have some photos for you. I will figure out where to upload and post here when they're ready. I will brace myself for the wrath from Wendy for abusing my dog in such a manner ;)
Okay, GLR, here we go:
This is what we are starting with
The last time I did her nails was just with the clippers and not with the dremel, so there are no rounded edges, and you can still see some of the cut used to take off the tip of the nail last time. Take note of how the edge (ground surface) of the nail is shaped, particularly in that last photo. See how there's a little lip or corner all the way around, including toward the back of the nail? (What I would call the heel on a horse.)
When nails are long, I'll clip first and then use the dremel, as it reduces the dust. Koa was really pretty borderline here, but I did go ahead and clip first, which got us this.
Unless nails are quite long, I never have enough nail to use the clippers straight across--I just remove the tip and the back corners, which you can see above.
Now time to dremel.
Same foot, dremeled.
On the ground
You can see how I use the dremel to really take back the entire wall of the nail. I don't touch the soft interior at all. The heels get backed up to the pad of the foot and everything else gets backed up 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the nail.
No clicking with this trim :)
When my dog's nails are long enough to touch the ground she promptly breaks them off to the nail bed running outside. It's extremely painful for her when she shatters a nail and had the pulpy inside exposed. For her, short, short nails are a necessity.
Originally Posted by wendy
Yes, when we were in any performance activity, we had to keep nails very short or they would keep getting injured, hanging and twisting.
Originally Posted by Simkie
Dogs paws work better, not worse, without nails hitting stuff.
Even now that my dog is not that active, I still keep her nails fairly short, but she is not running enough to hurt herself anyway, if I left them a bit longer.
My vet does recommend using a dremmel to get the quicks to recede. He said to dremmel them back until the dog starts to pull back his foot, which is as short as you can kindly go.
But we were not successful - so we use a tranquiliser and snip, quicky.
They are not good on our bare floors, but the nails are not a factor. They just clackety clack and scratch the wood.
Simkie: Thank you for taking time to photograph that process. It really helps me visualize what I am aiming for in terms of shape.