Yes, German Shepherds do have dew claws. All dog breeds have dew claws, which are protrusions with toenails on the front legs of the dog, a couple of inches above the hock (ankle).
Dew claws are attached by two tendons to the dog’s leg bone. Although they serve no real purpose, some people believe that they help the dog grip when running and climbing.
1. What are dew claws?
Dew claws are the thumbs and big toes of dogs. They’re located on the front feet and correspond to our pinky, ring finger, middle finger, and index finger.
2. Do all dog breeds have dew claws?
Dew claws are a type of toe that is typically found on the front legs of dogs. Some breeds, such as the Great Pyrenees, German Shepard, and Briard, also have dew claws on their hind legs. Dew claws are often considered to be “abnormal” in other dog breeds.
4. How are dew claws attached to the dog’s leg bone?
Dew claws are attached to the dog’s leg bone by several tendons. These tendons connect the front dewclaw to muscles in the lower leg, further demonstrating the front dewclaws’ functionality. There are indications that dogs without dewclaws have more foot injuries and are more prone to arthritis. Zink recommends “for working dogs it is best for the dewclaws not to be amputated.
5. Are there any benefits to having dew claws?
Dew claws are often thought of as useless or vestigial appendages, but they actually serve a number of important functions. In dogs, dew claws are typically located on the inner side of the leg, just above the paw. While some dogs have only one dew claw on each leg, others may have two or even three.
Dew claws help provide extra traction and stability when a dog is running or climbing. They also help protect the delicate carpal (wrist) joint from impact and injury.
In addition, dew claws can be used to help grip objects (such as bones or toys) for better chewing leverage. And finally, dew claws can assist dogs in climbing out of the water if they break through the ice.
6. Are there any risks associated with having dew claws?
There are a few risks associated with having dew claws. The most common is that they can become injured if not properly trimmed or if they catch on to something.
If a dewclaw is partially or completely pulled off, it can be quite painful for your dog and may require veterinary attention.
In some cases, the nail may split or break, which can also be painful and may lead to infection. Ingrown nails are another potential issue, although this is more likely to occur in regular nails.
Overall, dew claw injuries are rare but can happen, so it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s nails and have them trimmed regularly.
7. Can dog with dew claws be safely bred?
Dew claws are the extra toes that some dogs have on their front or back legs. While there is no medical reason to remove dew claws, some people do it for cosmetic reasons. There is no evidence that breeding dogs with dew claws are unsafe.
8. Should I have my dog’s dew claws removed?
Dogs’ dew claws serve an important purpose, and should not be removed unless there is a good reason to do so. In rare cases, a dog’s dewclaw may be severely injured or develop a disease, and removal, under those circumstances, would be in the dog’s best interests.