Dew Claws

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Re: Dew Claws

Postby slistoe » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:34 am

AverageGuy wrote:
Urban_Redneck wrote:5 tendons attach each front dewclaw, I suspect our creator envisioned a purpose for the appendage.


Same thought is always in my head. The coyotes seem to get along with their dew claws pretty well and they spend a lot of time in the brush albeit at much slower speeds which could sure make a difference in the threat of ripping one off. It could be that a very few occurrences of injuries with dew claws has put us all on a bad road of taking them off.

In an era where taking dews off is more normal than leaving them on, the fact that a very few occurrences of injury are still happening in the small population with them on should give one pause to reflect.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:36 am

slistoe wrote:In an era where taking dews off is more normal than leaving them on, the fact that a very few occurrences of injury are still happening in the small population with them on should give one pause to reflect.


That is the question. The tradeoff of leaving them on so a dog can productively use them to get out of a hole in the ice vs. the threat of injury when running miles a day through cover while hunting upland birds. Some data I think we could draw on is all the coonhounds, curs and beagles many of which are hunted with their dew claws intact. My first cousin has been running beagles for over 20 years now. I have hunted with his various pack members quite a bit in late winter over that period and I contacted him last night and verified his dogs have always had their dew claws intact and have yet to rip one off. A beagle works alot slower than our bird dogs do, but they also spend ALOT of time in extremely heavy cover. His dogs tails are bloody mess halfway through the season and the more recent pups he acquired from MS had the last third of their tails docked as a testament to the time they spend in heavy cover.

I do not know which is the best approach but I do think the video Bruce posted convincingly shows the advantage when a dog falls through the ice. I keep my dogs away from unsafe Ice but there is the Grace of God at work in that along the way with multiple dogs over many years.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:15 pm

Regarding the canine population world wide for dew claws I consulted the mammal bible, and illustration depicts a dew claw:

Image


Image

Image
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby hicntry » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:26 pm

Good post Bruce. Since all wild canids have them, the normal supposition is that they are there for a reason.....like getting off the ice, hooking small game with to hold it while they tear it apart....and and last but not least, to hold rubber squeak toys so they can pull the squeakers out and stuffed toys so they can shed them in the living room. :lol:
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:40 pm

I've wondered the same thing, like what possible advantage a dew claw can give an entire species during evolution? Besides helping them get out of frozen ponds maybe they help in crawling up steep muddy banks too. It's easier to see where tearing the squeaker out of squeak toys keeps mother canines from going mad evolutionary speaking. My wife is now pissed that our other dogs don't have their dew claws anymore and the paranoia is spreading to keeping everybody away from the pond. :evil:
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby roosterbrews » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:08 am

My imported Slovakian Rough Hair still has hers. No problems yet with the field.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby ForestDump » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:24 am

I don’t believe the dew claws have a real purpose in our modern dogs. More harm than any real good. Plenty of dogs without dew claws make their way in and out of icy waters. Most of the examples in that video showed experienced Dogs with dew claws vs inexperienced ones without.

Dogs without dewclaws also do a fine job of holding small animals and toys.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby LongHammer » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:40 am

I had a Lab that still had his dews. When he got a little humpy nothing could escape his dewey grasp.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby blue04 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:37 pm

I can't tell you how many holes my dogs have ripped in my shirts over the years with dew claws. I am of the "they don't need them" school personally, but I can understand why others would want to keep them.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:03 pm

ForestDump wrote:I don’t believe the dew claws have a real purpose in our modern dogs. More harm than any real good. Plenty of dogs without dew claws make their way in and out of icy waters. Most of the examples in that video showed experienced Dogs with dew claws vs inexperienced ones without.


I respectfully disagree. You're thinking the examples in the video were slanted towards "experienced dogs with dew claws vs inexperienced without". I reviewed the video and don't think that's so.

Also, even were it so, how would that explain a nine week old puppy (who's never even been swimming in his life) being able to pull himself out using his dew claws? The posted image clearly shows the pup's forefeet pronated such that the claws are in position to be used as ice picks to help. Are you saying claws aren't helpful on ice?
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby ForestDump » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:15 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:
ForestDump wrote:I don’t believe the dew claws have a real purpose in our modern dogs. More harm than any real good. Plenty of dogs without dew claws make their way in and out of icy waters. Most of the examples in that video showed experienced Dogs with dew claws vs inexperienced ones without.


I respectfully disagree. You're thinking the examples in the video were slanted towards "experienced dogs with dew claws vs inexperienced without". I reviewed the video and don't think that's so.

Also, even were it so, how would that explain a nine week old puppy (who's never even been swimming in his life) being able to pull himself out using his dew claws? The posted image clearly shows the pup's forefeet pronated such that the claws are in position to be used as ice picks to help. Are you saying claws aren't helpful on ice?


Not helpful enough for all the trouble they bring. They are not “ice picks” and plenty of dogs exit and enter ice water fine without them.

I’m not calling anyone an idiot for choosing to keep them on their dogs. Some people chop tails others don’t. Do what you feel works best for your situation and your dog. But the whole ice pick thing is sensationalized.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Doc E » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:03 pm

It's actually very simple.
DO NOT let your dog go on ice that might break through.
Then it doesn't matter if they have dew claws or not.

Also, even were it so, how would that explain a nine week old puppy (who's never even been swimming in his life) being able to pull himself out using his dew claws
And anyone who would let a 9 week old puppy go in ice water is 100% certifiably nuts !
If I saw someone doing this, first I'd smack the crap out of them and then throw them into ice water and tell them to pronate their wrists and pull themselves out with their thumbs.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby greg jacobs » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:48 pm

He seems to be a retriever trainer. Can't see why he would have an agenda. He appears to believe they help a dog to climb out. He also mentioned the problem if a dog does injure one. He appeared pretty straight up. That being said I have never had a gsp that had them yet. I try to keep my dogs off bad ice but a bigger running dog is out of sight part of the time. I've been in up to my waist twice now in 10 or 20°mornings. Once a pup fell between two logs. And once out in the middle of a cattail slew. Wet pants and boots full of 32°water makes a pretty chilly walk back to a cold rig. I would like to train my dogs to climb out of a hole in the ice, but not sure if a gsp is going to deal with that kind of training sessons. Thin ice freaks me out.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby Urban_Redneck » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:51 am

Since declaws are typically removed 2 or 3 post birth, did those who advocate leaving them intact ( 8) ) ask the breeder beforehand if they typically cut them? I didn't.
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Re: Dew Claws

Postby greg jacobs » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:12 am

I've always known. Most gsp breeders dock tail, remove dew claws, give first set of shots.
One of my breeders has moved to DK's and is mixing in some of his old FT blood for his foot hunter customers. He is going to start leaving them on. I keep in touch with a couple of the breeders I've used in the last few years
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