Dew Claws

In February 11, 2013

I often get asked about dewclaws on pups.  Do we remove them?  Should we remove them?  Well, here’s my answer…

lola in sunglasses

We do not remove dewclaws. First, because we do not predominately breed field labs that are going to be heavily hunted in thick brush.  Secondly, because they do it at 2 weeks old, with no anesthesia (and I can’t stand the sound of screaming puppies in pain), and also the possibility of infection in a pup so young.  If you wish to hunt your pup in thick brush, you can either remove the dewclaws right away after it goes home, or have it done when the dog is asleep when spaying or neutering it. Even my show dogs have their dew claws, so I don’t even do it for “cosmetic reasons”, as God did intend this claw to be there…we don’t just remove it unless a particular dog has some kind of problem with its dew claws.

The dew claw is a dog’s thumb.  Watch one play with a toy or chew a bone sometimes, they use it all the time, it is very useful.   I don’t want to chop off my dog’s thumbs.

Taking dew claws (which, by the way, was ONLY ever done in the US) is as cruel as docking tails, or cropping ears.  The pups don’t care how they look, all they feel is the trauma.

New studies have also found that snipping of the dew claw can cause damage to the joint.

The point at which they snip it is also a very important acupuncture point.

I choose to keep my dew claws.  Its in the best interest of my dogs.  If you want to do something helpful with the dewclaw, just merely keep that nail short…most dog owners totally ignore that nail or let it get to long.

Bridge Creek Chocolate Labradors has an article on their website that is written by a veterinarian about this subject.

Hope that helps!

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  1. I am glad to hear you do not remove dew claws, I have 5 labradors and they all have their dewclaws and there on problems. I wouldn’t want to put my puppies through that unnecessary pain.
    Bodey, Cielo, Denali, Aspen, and Nico we love are dewclaws!

  2. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it.

  3. I had a peekapoo whose few claws needed regular trimming or they would grow around into her pads. It never occurred to me to have them removed. Now I have a cat with 2 extra things on both front feet that will do the same thing. I am considering having them removed because he has a hard time letting me clip them without biting.

  4. We had the dew claws on are white lab removed as she would not leave them alone but this was when she was an older dog versus a puppy. After they were gone she never she never bothered the area again. Our current black lab still has hers.

  5. Thanks for your take on dew claws, I whole heartedly agree.

  6. Thanks for your take. I have always removed dew claws on my puppies, but will certainly rethink the idea.

  7. Thankyou for the information. I was going to have them removed. Now I think they will stay.

  8. Thank you wonderful advice as usual.

  9. Would rather have them removed then have them ripped off when they get caught on something

  10. Every time we have had a litter we have them removed with in 3 days of birth, I’ve seen what happens when they get ripped off later when a dog is older!! Not good

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