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Old 01-30-2013, 07:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dewclaws on Dobes

Hi guys I am kinda conflicted regarding the removal of dewclaws I have heard a lot of stuff about it for both keeping and removing dewclaws. This video (Dew Claws Do Have a Purpose! - YouTube) says that dewclaws are important because it apparently allows dogs to pull themselves out of water if needed and whatnot. I also heard that dewclaws help the Dobe balance which was kinda strange. But on the other side of the argument people make it seem like dewclaws are really easy to get caught and ripped off. So basically my question is that is it ok if i keep dewclaws on my Dobe if i keep them trimmed and maintained? Also when is the oldest age that they can be removed?

Thank you very much for taking your time to read this and sorry if its a little confusing.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Zypher,

Welcome to DT. How old is your puppy? My puppy's dew claws were removed at the same time when her tail was docked, at 3 days of age. I have no idea what the age limit is when it comes to dew claws to be honest, but I know that they're usually removed when the tails are docked, and that is couple of days after birth. One of my friends had her pit's dew claws removed at around 6 months ( when she had her girl spayed ) and she had a terrible time when it comes to healing, as her dog wouldn't leave her feet alone ( wouldn't leave the bandages alone ).
I have another dog, he is a lab/pit mix, and he has his dew claws. We've never had issues with them, we trim them regularly when we trim the rest of the nails, and he never had any issues.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Dew claws are usually removed when the tails are docked. My Pete has his and my Toula's were removed the only difference I see is Pete has more nails to clip. With the rescue I volunteer with if the dews are loose or floppy they will have them removed at the time of spay/neuter but honestly it's usually mixes or small dogs with the floppy dews not dobes
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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After reading Christine Zink's (DVM) work and a number of newer articles about the link between dew claw removal and later ortho issues, esp. in performance dogs, I'll never have a dog of mine without 'em, if I get the choice.

Leave 'em be, unless they are rear dewclaws that are badly/loosely attached, and liable to be injured easily because of that.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Dew claws on Dobermanns dont tend to cause any problems; they tend to be tight and small unlike some other breeds where they can be loose and floppy and get caught on things in the undergrowth.

They do use them, Rupert has a vice grip using his few claws!

Over here not many vets will remove them, but of they are done they are done at 2 days old. Older than that and they are much more attached with nerves.

I personally would always opt for them natural if I had a choice. I would only have them removed if they were persistently causing issues. Some articles have been out on here before about how dogs with removed few claws are more prone to injury in performance dogs, you could use the search box at the top to find it
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Not that many dogs here have them removed, and like RFR, I wouldn't want a performance dog that had its dewclaws removed.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a mutt that had very loose dew claws and she did get her caught once and it healed very easily. I asked about having them removed and they said if they are loose it is a pretty easy procedure, but if they are attached and tight they recommend not having them removed. Jordan's are right up to his paw and do not flop at all. He's never gotten it caught on anything.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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2 out of my 3 dogs have dew claws, one dobe does, one doesn't , I don't see much difference except that I have more nails to dremel on the one that does also Luna's dewclaws are very tightly attached and so are Wallace's
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The family dogs all have theirs and I would have preferred if Skoll did too- after having lived with dogs with dewclaws I can see where he struggles to do things that a dog with dewclaws does not. Even just holding his bone still while he gnaws on it is more of an adventure than the vice-grip "thumb" of a dewclaw all the other dogs have. He also gets more frustrated when getting himself untangled from something, for instance if he's being silly and gets the leash looped over his head/nose (not uncommon during walk zoomies) he'll scrape at his face with his leg- right where his dewclaws would be!- to get it off. Obviously without the nail to hook it he needs my help instead of just being able to do it himself and he'll give up and trot back to me very frustrated that he can't fix the problem himself.

Unless the dewclaws are loose and hanging and thus may cause a problem (and would also be nonfunctional), I'll always prefer them to be on.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes, dewclaws play a large role in the stabalization and balance of the dog when performing at high speeds. If your thinking of pursuing a working sport or competing at agility, think about keeping them intact.

Just an example of how often the dew claws make contact with the ground:

Take off, and stopping quickly


Turning (see how low they get, the dewclaws stabilize and aid in tight turns)


Jumping. Take off, you can see his front limbs loaded and sinking to the ground, the dewclaws are in contact with the ground.


Jumping. Landing, the front limbs take 100% + another 15-20% (approx) of weight from momentum. Loaded, they are again touching the ground.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If I had a pup with dew claws I'd leave them be unless I began to see problems with having them - like loose dew claws that were getting caught and tearing the skin or something.

Since training so much in agility the last few years not only have I seen the benefits of dews but I've also considered the benefit of tails for performance dogs. I have pictures of Fiona jumping and even running on contact equipment and you can see her nub kicked over to one side or the other, which if it were a full tail, she'd be using for balance and having that added bit of balance would likely allow her to move faster and more comfortably.

Not trying to turn this into a docked or not debate. Just my observations.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hmm, I never thought about dewclaws helping with performance sports, but it makes sense now that I think about it! Brandy doesn't have hers, but I don't think it makes a huge difference. I'm just thankful I have less nails to dremel
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Breeders get the front dewclaws removed?? I thought it was just the back ones.. weird
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Dewclaws on Dobes

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Originally Posted by Adnohr View Post
Breeders get the front dewclaws removed?? I thought it was just the back ones.. weird
They (dobes) should NOT have back dewclaws.
I've seen a lot of dewclaws ripped off dogs. Whether running thru the back yard or down a dog walk. Nasty injuries!


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Old 01-31-2013, 01:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I agree re. tails, its interesting to look at the jumping styles of docked/undocked dogs and see how differently they wrap jumps etc
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for your replies guys! I am getting my puppy a couple of months and this website is just making it 100 times easier. I think after reading all these responses I will leave the dewclaws on doesn't seem like there is any reason to remove them unless they become a problem.

Thanks once again guys!
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandy&Melanie View Post
Hmm, I never thought about dewclaws helping with performance sports, but it makes sense now that I think about it! Brandy doesn't have hers, but I don't think it makes a huge difference. I'm just thankful I have less nails to dremel
Aw, c'mon, it's a total of two more nails!

(Well, per dog, of course.)

And, I'd have to find the article, but there are, IIRC, five separate ligament attachments to those under-appreciated appendages--the humble dewclaws.

That's a lot of limb support and integral anatomical structure to be messing with.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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My pup came with her dewclaws removed. I think dewclaws are a little freaky looking, but nothing that would really bother me if they were there. If I had the choice I would have left them.

I'd like to add she is indeed a performance (working lines) schutzhund pup, so it can go either way, depending on the breeder.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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If I had a dog with dewclaws, I wouldn't have them removed unless they were a problem - its a lot more painful when they are older versus as a puppy at the tail docking age.
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DOB 2/17/07, red/rust, male neutered Doberman
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