Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 77 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,686 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This came up in another thread and I thought it would be a good topic on its own. Poodles only have dew claws on their front legs. It is typical for breeders to remove these at around 3 days of age.

Recently there has been interest in keeping dew claws on with some, especially in the agility community, saying that intact dew claws improve agility performance. There has also been an argument that dogs without dew claws are more susceptible to arthritis.

Here is the arthritis article. Note it is opinion and no formal study has been done. I also question her gait analysis and would like to see stop motion pictures of different dog breeds to see if she is right about the dew claws role in the stride.

Dew claws

Here IMHO is an argument for routinely removing them. Note how many of these agility competitors had damaged dew claws and had to have them removed later in life.
Agility Forum • Agility Addicts Forums • View topic - Front Dew Claw removal - advice needed please
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,463 Posts
It would be great if someone could do a study on this. I wonder if some breeds are more prone to problems with their dew claws than others; conformation does vary. One of my friends has a Jack Russell that loses a claw regularly. We can't play fetch with him in the house because he's constantly getting a claw (any claw, not just dew claws) caught in the carpet. On the other hand, my mutts never had problems with their dew claws. I would assume that wolves and pariah type dogs don't have a lot of problems with their dew claws either. Wild canines can't go to the vet when they rip their dew claws open, after all. Natural selection would have selected for no dew claws if it was a problem for them. Is it possible that fragile dew claws are yet another trait, like hip dysplasia and infection prone ears, which we've allowed to creep into modern dog populations?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,183 Posts
Flynn came from Dayspring Kennels in Alberta and she does not believe in altering the dog at all. Quincy came from Winnow and they are no allowed to. So, I have two boys who have natural tails and their dew claws. I can handle the tails, but the dew claws scare me. The thing I used to see when I worked in a salon was dews that curled right around and were growing back ingto the foot. Most groomers, unledss they feel it while holding the foot to clip it, do not make a habit of trimmking them because they don't normally see them. It would be very easy for one of them to catch their dew on something and tear everything off. I may one day stop docking but will always remove the dew claws. I think it is very risky leaving them on and do not think there is any advantage to leaving them be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,537 Posts
Personally i have seen to many injured dewclaws to want to leave them on. I prefer them removed when i get the puppy. To me, the risk of tearing a dewclaw is higher then Potentially getting arthritis later (which i personally see no coorilation to). Also, i am not that into agility compitition to warrent the Maybe few seconds it would give me. JMO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,398 Posts
Tate is dewclaw free. However, TQ (while not a poodle, so she doesn't have hair covering it) has her dewclaws. Actually, she is double dewclawed and has them on both front and back feet.

The ones in the back are not attached and serve no purpose, but they also don't bother her, so I haven't had them removed. The ones in the front are attached and she honestly uses the extra "finger". I could never see myself removing dewclaws after having TQ - that being said though, some dogs wouldn't use theirs. She grabs things and uses the dewclaw like a thumb, holds bones and toys with her "hands".

Growing up, we had a grey with a dewclaw, and one without. Our grey with his dewclaw uses his as a thumb as well... so I guess my experiences with dewclaws have all been ones where the "excess" was used and hasn't been ripped or torn even with excessive play and roughhousing/exercise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Wow, very interesting discussion...

Working at a vet's office... I've seen many ripped nails. The most common ones injured are the middle toe on the front foot, and the back dewclaws. (From what I've seen anyway). :dontknow:
I've never seen a front dewclaw injury, but that doesn't mean they don't happen.

Dana still has her front dewclaws. They only bother me when I'm brushing her front legs. I always get them caught in the comb. :doh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
I did all my puppies at 3 days old but the ones I had done by the vet about 6 years ago, several of those dos have had them regrow in a deformed manner. Well, we dont use that vet anymore anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
I decided to leave tails and dewclaws on the partis. Had several folks wanting the dogs natural. I have to tell you, it was really nice to not have to do anything to them..yeah!!

BUT...... after a couple of years, I went back to taking off dews. I have seen the dogs use them to hold bones,etc. But the Spoos with them removed are just fine too.

and I like the tails shorter...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
I dont see how the dew claws helps in agility seeing as how it doesnt really touch the ground.... i personally hate dew claws and like the tails docked too. Im also the person that likes ears cropped on certain dogs too. If a Spoo was a hunting dog it would be dangerous to keep the dews on. I have a friend with a small "designer breed puppy who has front and back dews and that dog gets them caught on things once a week at least. The get caught, he pulls and the bleed! She is now getting them removed when the dog gets neutered....so why not just do it when they are young.
I like a correct looking dog and a dog to breed standard, to me that is a docked tail and cropped ears and dew removed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,560 Posts
I dont see how the dew claws helps in agility seeing as how it doesnt really touch the ground.... i personally hate dew claws and like the tails docked too. Im also the person that likes ears cropped on certain dogs too. If a Spoo was a hunting dog it would be dangerous to keep the dews on. I have a friend with a small "designer breed puppy who has front and back dews and that dog gets them caught on things once a week at least. The get caught, he pulls and the bleed! She is now getting them removed when the dog gets neutered....so why not just do it when they are young.
I like a correct looking dog and a dog to breed standard, to me that is a docked tail and cropped ears and dew removed.
I tend to agree with you here. Sometimes I feel like the only one who likes docked tails and cropped ears on certain breeds.
I never even thought that there would be an issue over dewclaw removal, but this thread has been very informative. I had no idea that people preferred to leave them on for any purpose, nor did I understand the extent that they could be injured. I always thought they were removed simply because they were a bit of a hassle, (could grow out of hand to a dangerous length if not clipped) and served very little purpose for the dog. It always seemed like a "better safe than sorry" situation to me, and still does. It's one thing to want a "natural" dog, but the dewclaws really might as well be removed, in my opinion. Natural tails at least offer an aesthetic appeal to some people, but dewclaws are just kind of in the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
We have one toy poodle with a docked tail and he had his dew claws removed. And then 2 all natural toy poodles. Are poodles have sometimes caught their claws on blankets and things but nothing serious. Are chihuahua however gets his caught alot, but its mostly because he likes to bury himself in blankets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
Jackson has one dew claw and I just hate it. When I first discovered it, it was very long, curled and sharp. It is hard to dremel and since I don't see it buried in his fur, I sometimes forget to take care of it.

I'll let you know in 10 years if he gets arthritis in one joint and not the other!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,546 Posts
I have four dogs - one with dewclaws (Vinnie) and three without (non-poodles). I do have a photo of Frank doing agility (landing after a jump) and his pastern is down and he would have been using a dewclaw to dig in. I cannot, for the life of me, find that picture. I have also seen photos of dogs running and using dewclaws (turning, landing, etc...). It's crazy to see in a photo as it happens so fast you don't normally notice it on a running dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,145 Posts
Thanks for the link cbrand.

In my class we just covered bones and my teacher ( dairy farm veterinarian) Told us there are two types of dewclaws. One is just extra skin with a nail no bone is there, the second is actual bone where the dew claw is.

He is an avocate of removing dewclaws because he has seen too many working dogs rip them off while working.

Like cbrand stated the first article is just someones opinion. There has not been any studies on this. IMHO I don't think the declaw has anything to do with artritis. There are SEVERAL questions one should ask when someone claims keeping dewclaws is better because of artritis...

1. How was this dog bred ? did it come from a sound reputable breeder?
2. What food was this dog fed from puppy to current ? ( nutrition has been link to canine bone diseases )
3. What age was this dog started in agility ?
4. How is this dog at home ? ( is the dog always jumping on or off stuff at home all of the time ?( did the owner let dog jump on and off stuff as a puppy?)

Here is a good link on arthritis
Dog Owner's Guide: Arthritis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,155 Posts
I do not care about any article that is not supported by a study - I mean in general :)

I would guess that during breed development period of many, many generations, there would be also a variation in DC placement and shape and length to which it can grow :rolffleyes: It might be very well the case that in some breeds it does not present and issue and in some can. Same as with a long tails ! Labradors have long tail - but it is muscular and thick and strong and actually has a function during swimming - so it definitely should not be docked nor it is prone to easy injury. Poodle's tail is much thinner, and the tip is especially frail and "bushy" so it would definitely get easily caught in the brush and marshland. The fact that spoos are now mostly pets puts them in less danger of that LOL - but if somebody wants to use a spoo as a retriever - than docking would be very advisable IMO.

All "alternations" on all breeds initially started to enhance the dog's performance in the field of work it was bread to function, nobody cared about "looks" back then !

That said - I think that cropping and docking and dewclaw removal should be a personal choice and done accordingly to breeders best judgment of what is in the best interest for a particular breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,145 Posts
I forgot to add that I had a GSD with an actual boney declaw she would use it to jump and hang onto our 7ft fence. She never tore or injuried them, She tore a ligament in her front leg by playing to hard with our neighbors dalmatian.

She was a very activie dog and was always running jumping etc... I wonder if she would tare one if I put her in herding or sch ?

Enzo has no declaws and it has not inhibited his gait / movement. He can't turn corners fast because of his over angulation but thats another story LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,145 Posts
I do not care about any article that is not supported by a study - I mean in general :)

I would guess that during breed development period of many, many generations, there would be also a variation in DC placement and shape and length to which it can grow :rolffleyes: It might be very well the case that in some breeds it does not present and issue and in some can. Same as with a long tails ! Labradors have long tail - but it is muscular and thick and strong and actually has a function during swimming - so it definitely should not be docked nor it is prone to easy injury. Poodle's tail is much thinner, and the tip is especially frail and "bushy" so it would definitely get easily caught in the brush and marshland. The fact that spoos are now mostly pets puts them in less danger of that LOL - but if somebody wants to use a spoo as a retriever - than docking would be very advisable IMO.

All "alternations" on all breeds initially started to enhance the dog's performance in the field of work it was bread to function, nobody cared about "looks" back then !

That said - I think that cropping and docking and dewclaw removal should be a personal choice and done accordingly to breeders best judgment of what is in the best interest for a particular breed.

I agree :) I think my teacher said the ones he seen tore where of the skin type declaw
 
1 - 20 of 77 Posts
Top