Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dew claws


I received an email from one of our puppy owners indicating that she would like to have the dew claws removed on her girl who is an older puppy. We don't remove dew claws on our puppies for a couple of reasons. First, as you can see in the photo, it requires actually snipping off the joint of a baby puppy. Ideally, this would be done at around 2 days of age. We don't like the idea of cutting off the thumb of a baby, having empathy when it comes to our own thumb. Taking off a dew claw is the equivalent of someone severing your thumb at the knuckle joint. Not a very pleasant experience for a baby puppy. The second reason that we don't remove dew claws is that the dog actually uses the claw like a thumb. Watch your dog sometimes with a chew toy and you'll see how the dew claws are used to hold the toy. We have heard the stories about claws being ripped off in the field. I haven't seen one but in terms of risk, I'm willing to take that chance rather than cut pieces off my puppies.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear this. My labrador is expecting next week, and I've been going back and forth over the whole dew claw thing. I keep getting that they serve no purpose, are a hazard etc. Can you tell me some other sources to look at that support your more humane (and to a large degree logical) argument? I would be much appreciative.

gregg.c.roberts@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

my dog ripped off both his hind dew claws whilst just running in windy weather down at the beach, i don't know how, but he was in quite some pain, I used to agree against dew claw removal, but now I see exactly why it is done.

Theresa said...

Actually front dew claws have bone, tendon and functional purpose for gripping and turning. If you remove them, your dog is more likely to have carpus problems. The hind dew claws do not have the same bone and tendon structure. Therefore they are not controlled as the front ones are. (remove back ones if you like) but removing front dew claws is like removing your thumb just incase you catch it in a door one day..
good for you for not removing them! its nice to see Labrador breeders doing this!

Anonymous said...

Over the years I have owned 5 labs and a rottie, all of them had dew claws. These dogs run through bushes, wilderness and climb sandstone. I have never had an issue. I have had the regular toe nails rip off or split before more then once; no one would consider removing them! I think it is a personal preference. I also see my dogs using their dew claws regularly.