What Dogs Have Extra Dew Claws?
Dogs are known for their unique and diverse characteristics, and one such characteristic is the presence of dew claws. Dew claws are essentially like thumbs for dogs, located higher up on their legs than their other toes. Most dogs have dew claws on their front legs, but some breeds have extra dew claws on their hind legs as well. In this article, we will explore the breeds that have extra dew claws and their purpose.
Breeds with Extra Dew Claws:
1. Great Pyrenees: This breed is known for its double dew claws on the hind legs. These extra dew claws are believed to provide better stability and traction when navigating rough terrains and mountains.
2. Briard: Briards, a herding breed, also have double dew claws on their hind legs. These claws are believed to be remnants of their herding ancestors, aiding in climbing and gripping sheep.
3. Beauceron: Similar to Briards, Beaucerons have double dew claws on their hind legs. These claws were historically used for herding and guarding livestock.
4. Icelandic Sheepdog: Icelandic Sheepdogs have double dew claws on their hind legs. These claws are believed to help them navigate the rough and icy terrains of Iceland.
5. Norwegian Lundehund: This unique breed has not only double dew claws on their hind legs, but also an extra toe on their front paws. These extra dew claws and toes assist them in climbing steep cliffs and hunting puffins.
6. Anatolian Shepherd: This breed has double dew claws on their hind legs, which provide stability and strength when guarding livestock.
7. Pyrenean Shepherd: Pyrenean Shepherds have double dew claws on their hind legs, which aid them in herding and navigating steep slopes.
8. Spanish Mastiff: Spanish Mastiffs have double dew claws on their hind legs, believed to provide them with better grip and stability when working as livestock guardians.
9. Bergamasco Shepherd: This breed has double dew claws on their hind legs, which help them traverse mountainous terrains while herding.
10. Cao de Castro Laboreiro: This Portuguese breed has double dew claws on their hind legs, contributing to their agility and stability in rugged terrains.
11. Estrela Mountain Dog: Estrela Mountain Dogs have double dew claws on their hind legs, helping them navigate the challenging landscapes of their native Portugal.
12. Saint Bernard: Some Saint Bernards may have extra dew claws on their hind legs, although this is not very common. These claws provide them with better traction in snowy and icy conditions.
FAQs about Extra Dew Claws:
1. Can extra dew claws be removed?
Yes, extra dew claws can be surgically removed for cosmetic or preventative purposes.
2. Do extra dew claws serve any purpose?
Yes, extra dew claws can provide dogs with better stability, traction, and grip when navigating rough terrains.
3. Are extra dew claws common in all breeds?
No, extra dew claws are only found in specific breeds that have a historical need for them, such as herding or working in challenging terrains.
4. Can extra dew claws cause any health issues?
Extra dew claws, if left untrimmed, can become overgrown and lead to discomfort or injury. Regular trimming and maintenance are essential.
5. Can dogs with extra dew claws participate in dog sports or activities?
Yes, dogs with extra dew claws can participate in various activities and sports, provided their claws are properly maintained and do not interfere with their performance.
6. Is there any advantage to having extra dew claws?
The advantage of extra dew claws is increased stability, traction, and grip, particularly in challenging terrains or working environments.
7. Do all dogs with extra dew claws have them on the hind legs?
No, some breeds may have extra dew claws on the front legs as well.
8. Are extra dew claws more prone to injury?
Extra dew claws are not necessarily more prone to injury, but they can get caught on objects or become overgrown if not properly maintained.
9. Can extra dew claws be functional?
Yes, extra dew claws can be functional and can contribute to a dog’s overall agility and stability.
10. Do extra dew claws require any special care?
Extra dew claws should be regularly trimmed, just like other nails, to prevent overgrowth and potential issues.
11. Can extra dew claws be used for training purposes?
Extra dew claws are not typically used for training purposes, as they are generally not as dexterous as the front dew claws.
12. Can dogs live comfortably with extra dew claws?
Yes, dogs with extra dew claws can live comfortably, provided their claws are properly maintained and do not cause any discomfort or health issues.
In conclusion, while most dogs have dew claws on their front legs, certain breeds have extra dew claws on their hind legs. These extra dew claws serve various purposes, such as providing stability, traction, and grip in challenging terrains or working environments. It is important to properly maintain these dew claws to ensure the comfort and well-being of our canine companions.