Dogs and Rear Dewclaws (September 2019)

Most, if not all, dogs have dewclaws on their front paws, which act as their thumbs.

Declaws help them hold bones, toys, etc. In short, dewclaws aid in stability while moving and balance while standing still even though these particular claws don’t touch the ground. They also help in the cleaning and grooming process, too.

Not all dogs have back dewclaws, though, which can seem strange if you adopt a dog who has them and you’ve never seen this before.

Why Some Dogs Have Rear Dewclaws

Like I said, not all dogs have dewclaws on their rear legs. Rear dewclaws also tend to be different than front dewclaws.

Rear dewclaws, also known as hind dewclaws, are a genetic anomaly. They flop around because they are attached to a flap of skin, whereas front dewclaws are usually, but ont always, attached by a bone or a ligament.

Breeds Who Have Rear Dewclaws

Listed below are the most common breeds to sport rear dewclaws:

  • Pyrenean Mountain Dog
  • Briard
  • Beauceron
  • Norwegian Lundehund
  • Catalan Sheepdog
  • Anatolian Shepherd
  • Estrela Mountain Dog
  • Saint Bernard

These are only some of the breeds with rear dewclaws.

However, if you are unsure of what breed your dog is, but you know they have rear dewclaws, this may help you get some answers.

Should Rear Dewclaws Be Removed?

Front dewclaws have a purpose, but rear dewclaws really don’t. Rear dewclaws tend to get snagged on things and cause an injury.

If your dog gets a dewclaw injury you can easily treat it at home.

If you want to remove your dog’s rear dewclaws because of injury, make sure you talk about it thoroughly with your vet.

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