I began when Grimm was a porky little fuzzy baby. I had originally had the techs at the vet clip his nails, but that ALWAYS turns into a frantic 2-person rodeo. They have a waitingroom full of other clients to see. The end result is a dog who anticipates a STRUGGLE! i couldn't allow that.. Grimm was gonna be HUGE oneday.
So, I had him lay on his side when he was sleepy, on the carpet in the livingroom.
Do NOT grasp the paw. Instead, use your hand to softly nudge the paw so that it bends/curls under. (think of when a horse gets shod)
Clip lightly the very tip of ONE nail. Say in a cheery, impressed voice "Wow!"
Repeat this nightly. No big deal at all. Sleepy puppy blobbed out on the carpet. Paw nudged into folding over. Nail tip lightly clipped. Happy-sounding "Wow!" Mom goes away to do other stuff. No biggie.
I just finished clipping collossal 95 lb Grimm's nails. I can now do all of them at once, front and back, and he just lays there like a blob. Okay, sometimes he rolls to present his tummy for scritching, but, I can manage to take a break to do that, too.
PS-- I tried using treats at one point, but we were both swimming in drool then.