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Thread: Dew Claws

  1. #1
    Senior Member D1's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Default Dew Claws

    what are the pros and cons of removing or not removing them

    and what about removing them at 7-8 weeks of age
    may the Lord bless

    dogs are only as good as thier trainers,and trainers are only as good thier dogs

    Romans 14:11

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Judy Chute's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Falmouth, Maine


    We have two Golden Retrievers with dew boy is now 12 and the other 6 years. Our youngest boy..under two years old...does not have them. I do wish that he did.

    There was a good thread on this within the past might try to find it.


  4. #3
    Senior Member mostlygold's Avatar
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    Aug 2006


    Yes to what Judy said. Dogs doing performance events of any kind need their dewclaws. They have found a lot of injuries to tendons and carpal bones from removing the dewclaws. Dog use these to stop and especially to corner. They are also part of the "shock absorber" system on a dog's front feet. If you ever get a chance to watch agility dogs run in slow motion, you will see just how important dewclaws are. Lure coursing and field dogs use them as well, especially for turns and to help absorb impact when jumping over things. Without dewclaws, dogs have to bear all of their weight when cornering on their 2 inside toes which puts a lot of strain on the carpal joint and the tendons. When jumping the dog spreads out his front feet to absorb shock. Without the dewclaws, again, a few toes are taking all of the impact. Many breeders used to remove these in the mistaken view that the dewclaws would get ripped off when the dog was doing field work. That is simply not true. If the dewclaw is properly situated, tight to the foot, it is not going to be injured anymore so than any of the other toes.
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  6. #4
    Senior Member Juli H's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    The coldest part of Alaska


    in all my yrs of being a taxidermist I have yet to see an animal missing a it wolf, coyote, wolverine, pine marten, fox, or cat....

    also had a lab mix for 11 yrs that had her dew claws..never had an issue.


  7. #5
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    Apr 2007


    Interesting. I would like to hear more views on this. Does anyone have a good pro-removal position?


    "You may not think I'm funny but I do, please don't take anything I say seriously because it's probably not."

  8. #6
    Senior Member DEDEYE's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Yeah, I would like to hear more about this also. I always wondered what God put them there for since they just seem to hang there.. Don't most people expect breeders to have them removed? Just wondering for the future.....
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  9. #7
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    Mar 2006


    Well, my lab didn't have them removed as a pup. She DID tear one during training one day and it bled A LOT and seemed to be very painful. After it healed we went back to training. Within a month she tore it again. Seems like once they tear one it is more likely to happen again. And let me tell you...whe I say it bled a lot...I mean it bled a lot. If she had been out on a very long retrieve or in an extended hunt out in the field it could have been real bad. I decided to have them surgically removed after the second incident.
    nobody can fully understand the meaning of love unless he is owned by a dog - Gene Hill

  10. #8
    Senior Member spaightlabs's Avatar
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    Jul 2005


    I've had hard hunting dogs with them and they did fine, and I've had hard hunting dogs with them that have torn them badly. All in all, I like 'em gone to elimnate the possibility of that particular injury. My dogs don't do agility and we've never had a tendon or carpal bone injury that has manifested itself so I could tell despite the fact hat they do pull all day upland duty frequently...

  11. #9
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    NW WI


    Removing dewclaws on pups after 5 days would require anesthesia and sutures, the pups are far too developed and it would be very painful, even if you could hold them still. They are done within days for that reason. The pups squeal but it's quick and they are over it nearly instantly.

    Dewclaws are located near an artery and bleed a lot if they get ripped off, to the point where it can become dangerous if that artery actually gets damaged in the process too, particularly if you are out hunting in the middle of nowhere when it happens. Most field dog puppy buyers expect dews to be removed. I have two older Labs that never had their dews removed, I don't see where they function any better/differently than my dogs that don't have dews. It's just another nail to keep trimmed, and more often since it doesn't get worn down like the regular nails.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

  12. #10
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
    North Carolina


    I had not heard about the artery being at risk of damage. My understanding was that a hung dewclaw can cause the dog to go into shock, which is dangerous if you are out hunting hours away from a vet clinic.

    Amy Dahl

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