When we got Rita, we said she seemed to be a mix of Abby and our other angel Bailey. Bailey had no dewclaws in the back, but Abby had both.
|Our long little doggie with both back dewclaws|
|Rita's lone back dewclaw|
I looked up why it's called a "dewclaw" and found this theory: "so called because it does not touch the ground, but only the dew on the surface," apparently from Webster's New World College Dictionary.
Front dewclaws I get - they can help a pup hang onto a bone or whatever while it's noshing. (Rita definitely uses hers!) But back dewclaws seem so useless. (Like men's nipples, or wisdom teeth, or politicians.) Abby's were big and attached to her leg by bone/muscle. I worried she'd catch them on something and hurt herself, but luckily she never did. Rita's on the other hand is not attached at all, well other than by her fur. It's a funny little thing, like a cherry on top of a sundae.
Jan's post also reminded me of the weird way that both Abby and Rita sometimes stood/stand.
Dogs normally walk/stand on their toes, distributing their weight between their digital and metacarpal/metatarsal pads.
But what Abby would do a lot, when she was just standing around, was to rock back onto her metatarsal pads, taking almost all her weight off her digital pads. I never really caught a perfect picture of it, but here's one of Abby's back feet:
|Hello to angel Lou in the background!|
I asked the vet if it was a sign of anything I should be worried about (cuz I'm a worrier, doncha know) and he said, no - it's just a weird quirk of my weird little pup.
Have you ever known a dog to stand like that? Does your dog have back dewclaws?
Thanks to Blogpaws for hosting Wordless Wednesday!
Phew glad it was just a weird quirk. Never seen that before. Have a wonderful Wednesday.ReplyDelete
Best wishes Molly
She's a quirky little thing!Delete
Bailie and I have front dew claws only, but Katie has all four. Mom finds them all troublesome to keep trimmed and they seem to get in the way more than anything. Nice pads by the way.ReplyDelete
They are troublesome to keep trimmed! Rita's front dewclaws get really long and sharp if we don't stay on top of them! Thanks for the nice pads compliment! :)Delete
Glad it is just a quirk! We only have front dewclaws! Happy WW!ReplyDelete
Less nails to trim! Yah!Delete
That's an interesting quirk that Rita has. I remember the first time I saw a dog with back dew claws. I was kind of shocked because they were also not held that close to the leg as normal front leg dew claws, they were kind of flappy and loose. I'm glad it's never been a problem for Rita. Interesting post. :)ReplyDelete
Yeah, Abby's were big (as you can kinda see in the picture). I also knew a dog who had big ol' double dewclaws in the back. They looked kinda funny.Delete
I never knew dogs could have back dew claws. Roxy has her front ones, but not Torrey.ReplyDelete
We always used to tease Abby that she looked like a country bumpkin with those big ol' back dewclaws. We'd never really seen them on a dog before we got her. But then of course we noticed lots of dogs with them.Delete
I remember Bob's breeder, who has sadly passed away, telling me that Dew Claws help pups walk which is why she leaves them on. Tubby and Bob have dew claws. I think that Weasley has, bad mom i need to recheck, Fry definitely doesn't nor does Ping. This was an interesting post and pretty cool that Rita has that little dew claw quirkReplyDelete
That's interesting about them helping pups walk. Glad you thought it was interesting! (Esp'y since I broke the rules and was wordy.... I always feel a little guilty about that...)Delete
Neither of my dogs do, my guess it has a lot to do with mixing breeds over the years. I learned a lot thanks! Love DollyReplyDelete
Yeah, probably something to do with mixing breeds. I wonder if Rita was born with only one, or if the shelter removed it because something happened? She certainly doesn't have a scar or mark there.Delete
Harley has them only in the front - I think it's because of the webbed feet. Hard to say about his PAWrents - will have to look into the poodle and the retriever.ReplyDelete
Interesting. I wonder if there is a connection with the webbed feet thing?Delete
Hmm that is all interesting. Toby only has dewclaws in front and his feet are webbed. All I can say about his pads is that they are industrial strength. He's hiked with us on rocky trails, sand, snow, etc. for hours without ever hurting them. Funny about quirky little things dogs do, they're so endearing.ReplyDelete
That's good to have industrial strength pads! Rita seems to too - at least so far!Delete
Blueberry only has dewclaws in the front. I don't believe I've ever seen a dog with them in the back!ReplyDelete
Blueberry has a weird stance - she even sits weird, but it due to her bad hips and bum knee. She's actually a pretty weird looking dog. Her spots are stunning - but it takes a lot of pictures for me to get ones that don't make her look completely odd on the blog.
Oh, that's too bad about her bad hips/knees. (She sounds like the hubs...)Delete
As for the back dewclaws, some dogs even have big ol' double dewclaws in the back. They're really strange looking the first time you see them!
I didn't know dogs could have back dewclaws! I learned a lot about dewclaws from our huskies when I was a kid (but only about front ones!) Huskies use them to maneuver snow IF they have been properly bred with strongly attached dewclaws. If a dog has dewclaws that just dangle (which means they are not attached to the bone) we would have the flapping nail removed during spay/neuter surgery because there was too high of a risk the nail would tear (and we had plenty of huskies with constantly taped, torn dewclaws. Poor things!) Now about the stance... You are the most observant pet parent ever! I now want to drag my sleeping dogs out of bed to check out their paw weighting because I have never observed it. Well, that isn't entirely true. I am in constant watch of Brychwyn's front paws pronating. The other dogs feet are too fluffy to really se how they stand but I am now determined to find out!ReplyDelete
I'm sure they'd be thrilled if you dragged them out of bed for that! With Rita, it's not something she does often. I have a theory that she only does it when she's really tired, after playing a lot with one of her buddies. I'll have to keep observant pet parent skills honed to see if that really is the case!Delete
Glad it was just a weird quirk and nothing serious. " Dewclaws seem so useless. Like men's nipples, or wisdom teeth, or politicians" LOLReplyDelete
Happy to provide a laugh. :)Delete
Intewresting little quirk. Looks like diagnosis "happy feet" though. ;) *wags* - Gilligan from WagsAhoy.comReplyDelete
Haha! Yes, "happy feet" - love it!Delete
My Poodles had their dewclaws removed by the breeder, but Chamois got hers torn so badly that I had to have the vet remove it. It was fairly major surgery and then in spite of tape, cone and smelly drops, managed to open the incision for a quick trip to emergency vet.ReplyDelete
Not a fan of dewclaws.
Oh, that's awful that she tore it! It's one of my (many) worries!Delete
How interesting, to have just one dewclaw on the back! I remember the first time I noticed back dewclaws: on a Pyrenees in nose work class. They looked so strange to me, but then, front dewclaws would look weird if I'd never seen them before too.ReplyDelete
Back dewclaws do look funny. Abby's were really big. Like I commented above, we used to tease her about looking like a country bumpkin with them.Delete
Some of my puppies had rear dewclaws and I had them all removed. Don't like them on when out in the field hunting.ReplyDelete
While I was looking up dewclaw info I saw somewhere that hunting dogs usually have them removed, since they can get caught on things in all that underbrush. Seems like a wise idea!Delete
Zoe had back dewclaws, too! They were not attached, either. I had the vet remove them because I was worried they'd catch on something. I'm really glad I did because a week prior to the surgery she almost ripped one off. We left the front though because they are attached.ReplyDelete
We asked the vet about removing Abby's, but couldn't since they were attached. Although Rita's back one isn't attached, it's so adorable... we plan to keep it. :)Delete
Great photos to explain what you mean. And, yes, I had a dog who stood rocked back onto her metatarsal pad like that... but the reason was that one of her toes had been amputated. After she lost that toe, she seemed to shift her weight backward a lot.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure that dewclaws really do anything. In evolution, lots of "parts" have stuck around that don't necessarily have a purpose. I've always thought that dew claws fall into that category. We had a Lab, years ago, who caught his dew claw on a rise in a doorway. He ripped it right off and was scared of doorways for the rest of his life. Now, I am okay with puppies having their dew claws removed.
Oh, gosh, if missing a toe I can see why she'd rock back like that.Delete
Rita does use her front ones, but yeah that back sucker is useless. Except for me finding it adorable. Shhh... this is a secret but sometimes I kiss it! There! I admitted it!
In Chessies the back dewclaws are a DQ in the show ring. They pop up every once in a while. The litter Thunder sired with a dog from Canada there were a couple of pups with back dew claws. They came from her side according to the people who bred the litter. Most Chessies have front dew claws that we remove. The shape of the foot and how a dog stands can be important for the job the dog does. We want well webbed hare feet well rounded and close. Splay feet can be an issue when they work.ReplyDelete
Oh, very interesting. So, 'splay feet' - is that what Rita and Abby are doing in those pics? Didn't know there was a name for it, but that name makes sense!Delete
Neither one of my dogs has back dews. Sampson has front ones and Delilah had hers removed before she came to us. Delilah DOES however stand like that. The first time I was it, I admit I sort of freaked out a little, but quickly came to realize it is just Delilah. LOLReplyDelete
Oh! Delilah does it too! I should have figured a quirky girl like Delilah might share's Rita's/Abby's quirk!Delete
Mr. N has front dewclaws but not the back ones. I've seen him use them to grip chews. I've seen a couple of dogs with back ones, they're a bit odd when you're not used to them.ReplyDelete
Rita definitely uses hers to grip chews as well. And she'll really extend her claw out when she's doing it. She reminds me of a cat when she extends/retracts her claws like that. (Don't tell her I said that... she'd hate that.)Delete
Thanks so much for the shout out to my post, and I love how it inspired this follow up from you! I thought back dewclaws were pretty rare, and I wonder what breeds brought them to two of your dogs. And how cool that Rita is a combo of both of your angels....because how else would she end up with just one back dewclaw?ReplyDelete
That is really interesting how they rock back on their back paws....I'm going to have to watch mine to see if they ever do that.
Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets
You'll have to let me know if you ever see them standing like that. I thought it was so weird the first time I saw Abby do it. She would do it all the time - and the little pads on her toes would all be showing. She looked so funny. She was such a goofy girl! Couldn't believe when Rita did it too!Delete
Very interesting! I've often wondered what the purpose of dew claws is because I never saw my dog actually using them on anything. I felt they were in the way and worry about them getting caught on things. My dog has both front dew claws, but no back - I never even knew dogs had back dew claws!ReplyDelete
hello pooch smooches its dennis the vizsla dog hay i think their is a song abowt this!!! it goes dew!!! claw!!! wot is it gud for??? or sumthing like that!!! ok byeReplyDelete