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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok...so this is going to sound really stupid, but why do some dogs have rear dew claws, and others don't?
 

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Great Pyrenees breed standard is double dew claws....


Some breed standards will specify dew claws others do not. Some of my dogs don't have them, but most of them do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've always seen the front ones...just never ones on the back. This is the first dog I've ever had that has them. So I started to pay attention to other GSDs and I haven't seen any with them...but I've only recently started looking. I mean, I know that you are supposed to get the back ones removed, but I haven't even seen that extra toe on other dogs....unless without the dew claw you really can't see them! :)
 

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Most breeders will remove the rear dewclaws a day or two after birth if they are born with them. Thats the reason you never see them.
 

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Some dew and some dewn't
 

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Some dogs are born with them, some are not. With the ones that are born with rear dewclaws, many breeders will have them removed unless it is a breed that is supposed to have them. Some breeders remove the front dewclaws too depending on the breed.
Beacerons, Briards and Pyrenees for example are supposed to have double dewclaws on the rear legs.
 

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I always took off my own dewclaws on my puppies,its very easy to do, just pop them off with your thumbnail while mom is eating the afterbirth, then hand her back the puppy and she licks and cleans them up. Babies are still working at breathing from the birth and popping off the dewclaw actually give them a bit of a jumpstart on breathing.. I have had some rear double dew claws on babies and always took all rears off and took off fronts also, but the last few litters I left on the fronts but removed the rears always
 

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Here's an interesting explanation:


Horses have splint bones and some dogs have "dew claws" - but what are they ? Surprisingly splint bones in horses and dew claws in dogs have a common origin - they are the remnants of anatomical structures originally present in their 5-toed ancestors !.
Many mammals (including humans) have evolved from ancestors which had 5 digits on their feet or hands - these were called "pentadactyles". In the original anatomical design of pentadactyles the lower limb consisted of a joint - called the carpus in the front leg, the tarsus in the hind leg. Below this joint were 5 long bones -called the metacarpals in the front leg, the metatarsals in the hind leg, and each of these ended with a joint to a digit. A digit (a finger or toe) would originally consist of up to 3 smaller bones - called phalanges. The end (3rd) phalanx would grow a nail or claw.
Even ancestors of the modern horse originally had 5 toes, but now horses and ponies have evolved to walk and run on one digit (the middle or 3rd toe) - the equivalent of a humans middle finger ! Below the carpus - confusingly now also called the "knee" joint in horses - and below the tarsus, there is a large bone which is the 3rd metacarpal or metatarsal bone, also called the cannon bones. These are some of the strongest bones in the skeleton - and to the sides and slightly behind these are two shorter, thin long bones which are the rudimentary remnants of the 2nd and 4th metacarpals or metatarsals - which are known as the "splint bones".
Modern day dogs have 4 toes on both the front and the hind legs. Higher up on the inside of the forelimb, adjacent to or below the carpal joint, it is common to find remnants of the the first digits - called "dew claws". Front dew claws are usually properly formed with joints and they are tucked in tight to the leg, and do not cause the animal many problems. However, because the nails on the dew claws do not get worn down naturally during exercise they should be trimmed regularly and occasionally they can get caught when the animal exercises, in which case the claw may break.

Higher up on the inside of the hind leg, below the tarsal joint, dew claws are less commonly found - but they are seen in quite a few large and giant breeds of dog. Unlike front dew claws hind dew claws are often not fully formed, and do not have proper joints so they hang loosely and are much more likely to get caught during exercise. Some breeds of dog(Great Pyrenees, i.e.) even have double dew claws - 2 on each side.
Dew claws or splint bones do not usually cause any problems for the animal but sometimes they do . If dew claws keep getting caught they are removed surgically to stop the dog having repeated discomfort. In horses and ponies splint bones can become inflamed or even fractured and cause lameness - so treatment becomes necessary.
 

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Our last female gsd had dew claws all 'round. The breeder didn't remove the rear ones and at first I didn't appreciate that but I have to say that hers were so developed that she used them as another digit, especially when playing and putting her weight in her hind end. When she walked on the deck it sounded like she was padding around in big slippers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here's an interesting explanation:


Horses have splint bones and some dogs have "dew claws" - but what are they ? Surprisingly splint bones in horses and dew claws in dogs have a common origin - they are the remnants of anatomical structures originally present in their 5-toed ancestors !.
Many mammals (including humans) have evolved from ancestors which had 5 digits on their feet or hands - these were called "pentadactyles". In the original anatomical design of pentadactyles the lower limb consisted of a joint - called the carpus in the front leg, the tarsus in the hind leg. Below this joint were 5 long bones -called the metacarpals in the front leg, the metatarsals in the hind leg, and each of these ended with a joint to a digit. A digit (a finger or toe) would originally consist of up to 3 smaller bones - called phalanges. The end (3rd) phalanx would grow a nail or claw.
Even ancestors of the modern horse originally had 5 toes, but now horses and ponies have evolved to walk and run on one digit (the middle or 3rd toe) - the equivalent of a humans middle finger ! Below the carpus - confusingly now also called the "knee" joint in horses - and below the tarsus, there is a large bone which is the 3rd metacarpal or metatarsal bone, also called the cannon bones. These are some of the strongest bones in the skeleton - and to the sides and slightly behind these are two shorter, thin long bones which are the rudimentary remnants of the 2nd and 4th metacarpals or metatarsals - which are known as the "splint bones".
Modern day dogs have 4 toes on both the front and the hind legs. Higher up on the inside of the forelimb, adjacent to or below the carpal joint, it is common to find remnants of the the first digits - called "dew claws". Front dew claws are usually properly formed with joints and they are tucked in tight to the leg, and do not cause the animal many problems. However, because the nails on the dew claws do not get worn down naturally during exercise they should be trimmed regularly and occasionally they can get caught when the animal exercises, in which case the claw may break.

Higher up on the inside of the hind leg, below the tarsal joint, dew claws are less commonly found - but they are seen in quite a few large and giant breeds of dog. Unlike front dew claws hind dew claws are often not fully formed, and do not have proper joints so they hang loosely and are much more likely to get caught during exercise. Some breeds of dog(Great Pyrenees, i.e.) even have double dew claws - 2 on each side.
Dew claws or splint bones do not usually cause any problems for the animal but sometimes they do . If dew claws keep getting caught they are removed surgically to stop the dog having repeated discomfort. In horses and ponies splint bones can become inflamed or even fractured and cause lameness - so treatment becomes necessary.
Wow! Very interesting!! Did you look this up...or do you just KNOW all this??? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Our last female gsd had dew claws all 'round. The breeder didn't remove the rear ones and at first I didn't appreciate that but I have to say that hers were so developed that she used them as another digit, especially when playing and putting her weight in her hind end. When she walked on the deck it sounded like she was padding around in big slippers.
So you never had them removed? And if not, you never had any problems with them?
 

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If the rear dew claws are really loose, they can get caught and tear. Kaiser had rear dew claws when I adopted him and I had them removed when he was neutered. It was only an extra $100. His weren't really loose but they weren't really established either but the peace of mind that I won't have to worry about him tearing one was worth it to me. (I don't do well with blood)

They took a while to heal and I had to keep them bandaged pretty much the whole time but that was all K's (and my) fault. He was impossible to keep from jumping around and the only 8 hours he didn't have them bandaged, he tore out 6 of his 8 stitches which added to the healing time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If the rear dew claws are really loose, they can get caught and tear. Kaiser had rear dew claws when I adopted him and I had them removed when he was neutered. It was only an extra $100. His weren't really loose but they weren't really established either but the peace of mind that I won't have to worry about him tearing one was worth it to me. (I don't do well with blood)

They took a while to heal and I had to keep them bandaged pretty much the whole time but that was all K's (and my) fault. He was impossible to keep from jumping around and the only 8 hours he didn't have them bandaged, he tore out 6 of his 8 stitches which added to the healing time.
The vet said one is very loose, but not the other. I am going to have them removed when she is spayed. I just feel so bad for her...she is going to get spayed, have a hernia fixed and have her dew claws removed...all at the same time. She is not going to be a happy pup! :(
 
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