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My neighbor recently got to know that dogs have one extra toe called the dewclaw. This was something new for her, and wanted to see one herself. So she called me and asked do beagles have Dew Claws?
Beagles have dewclaws just like other dogs. They are generally present in their front paws only. Many breeders choose to remove these dewclaws when beagles are a few days old to cut down the risk of injury in their adulthood.
What are Dew Claws?
Dew Claws is the fifth thumb located above the dog’s paw, and they don’t even touch the ground. They are not even an entire thumb, just a small toenail situated inside of their foot. They have zero to little use for dogs.
Beagles usually have dewclaws only on their front paws. But in some rare cases, they can have dewclaws on all their four paws.
But why do beagles have dewclaws? Early ancestors of all dogs, including beagles, were cat-like animals who could climb a tree, and they had five claws for better grip. Dewclaws present in beagles today are the evidence of their evolutionary past.
What dewclaws are to dogs, the tailbone is to humans. We don’t need tailbone, but we have it as evidence of our evolutionary past of being Apes who had tails.
Uses of Dew Claws
So I decided to go on a mission to find modern-day uses of dewclaws for beagles.
For Holding Bones?
Dewclaws do serve teeny-tiny purposes in some dog breeds. They use their dewclaws to hold their bones and toys.
So I decided to find whether my beagle uses his dewclaws to hold things. I gave my beagle his favorite bone and closely watched him. He used both of his front paws to hold his bone tight so that he can chew it. But his dewclaws hardly touched the bone.
Some dog breeds may use their dewclaws, but I don’t think beagles use it for holding things.
For Better Traction?
I also read somewhere that when dogs run, their paws bend, and the dewclaws touch the ground. And when running out in the open, these dewclaws provide help them provide better traction.
But every dog breed is different, and we had to find out if they provide traction to beagles too.
So my brother and I created a small setup. We shot a video of our 2-year-old beagle, Yoda, running. We slow-moed the footage and found that the dewclaws of beagles slightly touch the ground when they run. But I don’t think it was enough to provide traction and avoid them from slipping.
Some dog breeds use their dewclaws to climb trees. But I am not sure beagles are capable enough to climb trees.
And you should not even try to teach them to climb a tree. They are too small and could get seriously injured if they fall.
For Climbing Cliffs?
There are some dog breeds like Norwegian Lundehund who use their dewclaws to get a better grip for climbing rocky cliffs.
However, the dewclaws of beagles are located way above on their foot and do not provide them with a better grip.
Advantages of Removing Dewclaws
Let’s look into some advantages of removing the dewclaws of your beagle:
Beagles are a playful breed, and they like to run and jump around. This increases the risk of injuring their dewclaws. Removing a dewclaw from your beagle puppy can prevent future injuries.
The dewclaws do not touch the ground, and hence the toenail does not get trimmed. It can grow big and curl up and injure the foot. However, to avoid this, you will have to cut the nail more often.
Apart from that, your beagle’s dewclaws can scratch your skin. They are sharp and small enough to pierce in the skin.
When and How to Remove Dewclaws
Generally, breeders remove dewclaws off the beagle when they few days old. It’s the best time to remove the dewclaw without causing them any pain.
Responsible breeders take the newborn puppies to the vet and have their dewclaws removed. However, to save money, most breeders these days remove them themself.
In early age, the dewclaws are attached to the foot with a thin skin. Removing it causes very little pain to the puppy. Infact most of them don’t even make any noise.
Removing them when the puppy grows up can cause a lot of pain. So the best time to remove dewclaws is when beagles are a few days old.
Should You Remove your Beagle’s Dewclaws?
Not all breeders remove the dewclaws of their puppies. So if your beagle has dewclaws, should you remove it? Well, it depends on the dog.
Beagles can live a happy and healthy life with dewclaws. In most cases, there is no need to remove it.
However, if your beagle had injured his dewclaws a couple of times, then you should definitely consider to remove it.
Just like other dogs, beagles have dewclaws too. However, they do not have any use for beagles.
Responsible breeders usually remove dewclaws when beagles are puppies.
However, if your pooch has dewclaws, then it’s not a big problem at all. Dogs can live a happy life with dewclaws. But if your pooch injures his dewclaws more often, then it’s better off to remove it.
Even the Americal Canine Club(AKC) allows owners and breeders to remove the dewclaws of the active dogs.