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Do Golden Retrievers Have Double Dew Claws

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Which Dog Breeds Have The Most Toes

Dew Claws Do Have a Purpose!

Ernest Hemingway had a thing for cats with extra toes. It started by accident: A ships captain gave him a white six-toed cat. Visit the Hemingway museum today and youll see dozens of cats each with a dozen toes on their front feet. Polydactyl cats, as theyre known, arent a particular breed, but the trait is genetically determined. Like cats, dogs normally have five toes on their front feet and four on the rear feet. So are there polydactyl dogs?

Yes! In fact, some breeds, such as the Great Pyrenees and the Norwegian Lundehund require the dog have extra toes.

Some breeds, such as Great Pyrenees and several other flock guardian breeds, naturally have one or even two dewclaws on their rear feet as well. They dont really serve any purpose but are considered part of breed type and are never removed. The trait is due to a non-sex-linked recessive gene, and is technically called hind-limb-specific preaxial polydactyly. Yeah, well call them rear dewclaws or if there are two, double dewclaws.

Other breeds with rear dewclaws are the:

  • Portuguese Sheepdog ,
  • Icelandic Sheepdog ,
  • Cao Fila de Sao Miguel ,
  • Saint Bernard, Estrela Mountain Dog ,
  • East Siberian Laika, Anatolian Shepherd Dog ,
  • Beauceron ,
  • Catalonian Sheepdogs and
  • Briards .

The Lundehund has at least six toes on each foot to help with climbing rocks. Via In_deep/Shutterstock

Image: Norwegian Lundehund by Shutterstock

What Type Of Shampoo Should I Use To Wash My Golden Retriever

According to many canine experts, its not recommended to wash your dog using dish soap or human shampoo. This will most definitely strip your dog of its natural oils. Plus, shampoo made for humans is too acidic for regular use on a Golden Retrievers hair and skin.

The best shampoo to use is one thats specially formulated for dogs. Its recommended that you use a highly-rated oatmeal shampoo like at amazon.com to help in the nourishment of their coats. Its organic, soap-free, and contains vitamin E and Aloe Vera to naturally soothe and moisturize sensitive or dry skin.

While using this shampoo, you should wash your pup from front to back, gently scrubbing your dogs fur to get the dirt thats attached to the undercoat. 

When drying your Golden Retriever you can choose to use an old dog towel, but many people choose to use a blow dryer on their dog in order to make sure that all their fur is dry. A double-coated dog, like a Golden Retriever, can stay wet for hours, even after being towel dried so a hair dryer can really speed up this process.

A pet-friendly hair dryer like this on amazon.com, can also help with regular grooming. Its temperature controlled so it wont get too hot for your pooch.

What Is A Dewclaw

A dewclaw is a dogs 5th digit. You can kind of think of it as a dogs thumb or big toe, while not necessarily as crucial. Usually, a dogs front dewclaw is much more substantial and is attached by bone and muscle. The rear dewclaw is usually just attached by a small piece of skin, making it pretty floppy and not very useful.

Labradoodles are typically born with dewclaws on only their front legs. In rare instances, they may be born with rear dewclaws. Many breeds, like Saint Bernards and Great Pyrenees, are born with both front and rear dewclaws. Some might even be born with double rear dewclaws.

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Why Do Some Dogs Have Extra Claws On Their Hind Feet

Sophie Jackson is a dog lover and trainer living in the UK. She competes in agility and obedience with her four dogs.

Nearly all dogs are born with front dewclaws, however rear dewclaws are rarer

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When you look at your dog’s hind feet, do you see an extra claw on the inside of their leg? It might appear to be a full toe, or it might be a loose piece of skin with a claw at the end.

A typical canine paw consists of four toes that sit together to create the main part of the foot with an additional fifth toe sitting further up the leg. This toe is . It is sometimes compared to a human thumb and it acts as a stabiliser for the wrist. In some countries it is common practice to remove these dewclaws shortly after a puppy is born. However, this can lead to complications.

Occasionally, puppies are born with a declaw on their hind feet as well. This is far less common and often these extra toes are poorly formed, lacking bone and sticking out from the foot. These claws can lead to problems and many vets like to remove them, but before you make a decision on your dog’s rear fifth toe, it is important you know the facts behind the claw.

What If I Cut Off Too Much When Cutting Dog Nails

Double dew claws and pink toenails?

Uh oh. Now youve done it. That last little cut nicked the quick, and now the toenails bleeding. What do you do now?

Dont panic, and dont put yourself on a guilt trip. Youre probably more upset than your Golden Retriever dog. Donât let that little drop of blood put an end to your brave first attempts at cutting dog nails.

Most of the time, a minor cut to the quick will stop bleeding on its own. To speed up the process, you can dab a bit of styptic powder on the nail. If that still doesnt stop the bleeding, applying the powder along with some gentle pressure for a few minutes will do the job.

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How To Groom A Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever grooming is required regularly as they have double coats with very heavy feathering, which means.MORE GROOMING! The adult Goldens coat can grow from 1 3 inches long, with an average rate of 0.5 1.5 inches monthly. Their hair should be trimmed at least 0.5 1 inch every month. Learning how to groom a Golden Retriever should start as soon as your puppy is born, to socialize them to being touched and brushed. Its a great time to bond with puppies!

It is highly recommended to brush their coat at least 3 to 5 times a week to assist with keeping the coat clean and preventing tangling and matting, it can be problematic if unwanted bacteria lodge in and cause infection.

Daily Golden Retriever grooming should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes. The constant brushing will also lessen hair shedding although it is unavoidable. The adult Golden Retriever dog sheds heavily twice a year and can be a real problem for pet parents. There are however steps you can take to reduce excessive Golden retriever shedding.

What You Need To Know About Meningitis In Dogs

Rear dewclaws that are an actual bony toe and sit flush to the foot are a more complicated matter, since they are effectively a true toe with nerves running through them. It is not fully understood if removing such a toe could lead to similar issues that occur from removing front dewclaws, including the withering of the nerves that were in the toe.

Usually, these types of rear dewclaw are so solid and neat to the foot they cause no problem for the dog’s well being and once again consideration must be taken as to whether putting a dog through an operation to remove claws that cause no issue is really necessary.

Many vets now prefer to leave dewclaws alone and only advise removing them if they are severely injured.

When debating your dog’s rear dewclaws and whether they should be removed, consider that some breeds are expected to have single or double rear dewclaws and they do not suffer problems because of them.

Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are one breed that should have double rear dewclaws

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Dogs With Double Dewclaws

Rare as they are, there are dog breeds that are commonly born with functional double dewclaws on both hind legs! In fact, there are a few dog breeds for whom the double dewclaw is not only present, but a breed standard requirement. For American Kennel Club conformation shows, members of the Beauceron, Briard and Great Pyrenees breeds are required to present with double dewclaws intact.

There are other dog breeds that are occasional hosts to double dewclaws. These include Anatolian Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Estrela Mountain Dogs, Icelandic Sheepdogs and Spanish Mastiffs. What is the common ground? Youll notice that these are all large or giant dog breeds, and all working dogs who utilize the functional double dewclaw for stability in rough terrain.

Can I Perform The Dewclaw Removal Procedure At Home

*Dogs, Dew Claws, & Cliffs!

You should not attempt to remove your Golden Retrievers dewclaw at home. There are tendons attached to their dewclaws. Carelessly removing these dewclaws can cause your Golden Retrievers a lot of pain, and it could result in health issues from infections. Even if the dewclaw looks to be very loosely attached, you should still not perform the procedure yourself.

There are quite a few complications that could be encountered while removing the dewclaw. The nail could regrow after removing the dewclaw.  You should go to your veterinarian, who will perform the procedure safely.

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How Much Of My Time Will My Puppy Require

Golden Retrievers are people dogs. They thrive on attention and need to spend time with, around, and near humans. If youre considering a Golden Retriever as a pet please consider your lifestyle and how busy your schedule is: do you have time to give the substantial love and attention a Golden Retriever needs? With love and care, Golden Retrievers will add more joy to your life than you could imagine.

Where Is The Best Place To Bath Your Golden Retriever

Where to should you bath your Golden? It is an important question because if you do it in the house or apartment, you could end up with wet paw prints racing through the house and on the furniture.

Maybe you already have your Golden accustomed to baths and you are not worried about her bolting for another location.

If that is the case, then great job. Keep it up.

On the other hand, I know that if my dog gets out and runs through the house leaving behind her a trail of soap suds and dirty paw prints, I know how much trouble I will be in.

I would rather not risk it. So, I simply set up somewhere that, if my dog does break loose, I dont have to worry about what my wife is thinking.

There are two places that I like to go.

The first one is an actual doggy wash near my home. This one might be the best because there are leashes that keep her where I need her in order to vacuum out her hair.

If you cant get to an official doggy wash, then try your backyard with a hose, or, better yet, a swimming pool

This will keep your dog cool in the summer months. Additionally, when she gets used to the pool, she will be easier to bath.

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The Importance Of Dew Claws

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And The Answers To Those Great Pyrenees Questions Are:

Do Golden Retrievers Have Dewclaws? Your Dog

13. They bark more than most dogs since this is a tool of their trade. They bark to deter predators including butterflies two miles away. This dog was ‘created’ by man to watch over livestock without human intervention except for grooming, health care, and to be fed and watered. Without this tool, they cannot do their job. NEVER debark these dogs. If you can’t handle the barking, this is not the dog for you.

12. The Great Pyrenees has double dewclaws on his back feet and single dewclaws on his front feet. These dewclaws must not be removed and the dog cannot be shown if they are. It is believed that the double dewclaws help the Great Pyr maintain stability when working in rough, hilly terrain and also provide a snowshoe effect in deep snow. It is important to keep all nails trimmed regularly to avoid nails growing into pads.

11. The Great Pyr has a double coat. The outside layer has long, straight or slightly wavy hair while the undercoat is a soft down which protects these big dogs from water, cold and to some degree, heat. Brushing once or twice a week is all that is required since the dirt falls out of the hair as it dries these are self cleaning dogs. The undercoat has to be slicker brushed and combed weekly to prevent matting, and particularly during the spring and fall as the dog blows coat.Never shave these dogs. If you don’t like to groom, engage a master-groomer.

3. Males average 100 to 120 pounds; females average 85 to 100 pounds.

1. No No No No

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How To Cut Your Dogs Nails

Its slightly more complex cutting the nails of a dog than it is a human. Firstly, your dog is likely to be quite wriggly and secondly, it is easy to cut into the quick if youre not careful, causing your dog some pain and bleeding.

First things first, get acquainted with what the nail actually looks like and what you need to be aware of. Dummies has a great diagram for what the inside of the nail looks like here.

Each claw is made up of the nail itself, which is insensitive and can be trimmed without causing pain, and the sensitive quick that contains the blood supply. If you trim the nail too short, you will cut the quick cue bleeding, pain and a dog who might be scared of having their nails cut in the future.

If your dog has white nails, its super easy to spot the quick as its darker often in a pinkish hue than the rest of the nail.

If your dog has black nails, however, the quick is much harder to spot and so youll need to take your time as you cut and just do small snips at a time. After each snip, take a look at the cross-section of the cut nail youll know youre approaching the quick if you can see darker pigmentation in the middle of the nail.

Before you start cutting, make sure that youre equipped with the following:

What Do Dog Dewclaws Do

A dogs front dewclaw has several functions, minor though they may be, including balance and stability when dogs are in movement over uneven terrain or making landfall after swimming. The front dewclaw gives a dog some assistance and control in the normal course of grooming, particularly when dogs are cleaning their heads and faces. You may even notice your dog making good use of it when shes gnawing with satisfaction upon her favorite chew toy.

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Can You Have All Your Dogs Claws Removed

Youre probably heard of cats being de-clawed in cases where they tear up furniture or are aggressive to people and other animals. Well, that same procedure, known as canine onychectomy can be performed on dogs. Declawing of cats is seen by many as inhumane as it removes their ability to defend themselves.

This procedure is seen as even more inhumane for dogs. Its actually down-right abuse. Cruelty! Youll be hard-pressed to find a veterinarian who will even consider it, except in extremely rare instances.

How Often Should A Golden Retriever Be Professionally Groomed

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For around $50 a professional groomer will take care of all of the above-listed challenges. The Golden Retrievers coat has an average growth rate of 0.5 to 1.0 inches per month.

This implies that they need trimming off 0.5-1.0 inches every month. 

To save some money, you can have your Golden Retriever professionally groomed every few months and groom it at home in the meanwhile.

The professional grooming sessions are important because they give proper shape and structure, making home grooming easier to manage. 

However, if you have more money than time, you can have your Golden Retriever groomed by a professional every month. 

Tip:  Make sure your groomer, and you speak the same language. Groomers often use professional terms, and owners use the term they read online but do not fully understand. 

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Should Rear Dewclaws Be Removed

Unlike front dewclaws which are important for stabilising the wrist joint, rear dewclaws do not appear to have a functional purpose. People sometimes think it is best to have them removed to prevent injury. However, injuries to rear dewclaws are not as common as people fear and in some breeds rear dewclaws are a requirement of the breed standard and should not be removed.

Rear dewclaws that stick out from the foot and are not articulated by bone can be at risk of catching and being injured. If these are not removed when the dog is a puppy then it may be an option to have them removed when another surgical procedure is being carried out, such as when the dog is spayed or neutered. Consideration should be made to the necessity of this removal, as this will require a general anaesthetic which can carry risks of its own.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Have Whiskers

Dog whiskers are kind of like the antennae on insects, they are a sort of a sensory radar that give the dog information about movements of objects around him. They are often called tactile hairs, but its important to note here that they dont actually feel anything.

A dogs whiskers are able to detect slight movements and changes in the air currents around them, these changes are so subtle that its impossible for us, humans to detect. By feeling these subtle changes, the whiskers can transmit information to sensory cells about the size, shape, and speed of nearby objects.

So, in essence, a dogs whiskers are his radar. The whiskers can detect very faint vibrations that are caused by the slightest changes in air currents and send this information instantly to the canine brain, and by so helping dogs sense things that they may not be able to see.

Whiskers, much like other senses, are always working and are constantly sending information to the canine brain, helping it construct a better image of the world around the dog.

Whiskers can allow dogs to sense objects in their path in the dark to avoid pumping into stuff, and in the wild, it allows dogs to sense the presence of prey or a predator gaining on them. And, of course, they also allow them to be better hunters. You can learn more about golden retrievers as hunting dogs here.

Speaking of seeing in the dark, you can learn how dogs really see in the dark here.

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Golden Retriever Lab Mix Grooming & Care

Although they have thick double coats, Golden Lab mixes are moderate shedders and wont fill your house with loose hair. However, regular grooming is still necessary and you should brush your mix three times a week with a curry brush. Your mix will shed more during the shedding season at which time youll have to brush him every day.

When it comes to bathing, do it once every two months or as needed to keep your Goldadors coat clean and shiny. For bathing, use only dog-approved shampoos that wont dry up or irritate your dogs skin. Furthermore, be sure to rinse your dog any time he goes swimming to prevent skin infections.

The rest is basic care and includes regular teeth brushing, nail clipping, and ear cleaning. The Goldador can be prone to ear infections due to its floppy ears so make sure to check and clean the ears weekly. And whenever in doubt, take your dog to the vet who can show you how to clean your dogs ears at home.

How Often To Bathe Golden Retriever Dogs


Your dog needs to bath twice a month avoiding getting their ears wet as part of their Golden Retriever grooming routine. It is highly recommended to brush their coat before you bathe to reduce the amount of hair and tangles. Bathing and grooming a Golden Retriever will assist in the removal of loose hair, making the job of cleaning up after a coat drop a little easier.  A quality dog shampoo should be used for washing and if skin reactions occur, try a different product as there are many to choose on the market. Rinse off the shampoo carefully. Your dog will also require rinsing after swimming in chlorinated or salt water to avoid skin irritations.

It is important that Golden Retrievers are thoroughly dried after bathing, especially the ears and  tail. Goldens can get limber tail from cold water at the base of the tail which can be very sore and his tail will just hang, too painful to wag.

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When Are Dewclaws Removed

In many breeds but certainly not all the dewclaw has traditionally been removed in the first few days of a dogs life. In some breeds, the removal is thought to improve appearance for the show ring. In others, its done to prevent possible injuries, such as being damaged while a hunting dog works through brambles.

If dewclaws arent removed in the days after birth, the next opportunity is typically at the same time as a spay or neuter. If a puppy has torn or otherwise injured the dewclaws before that time, its certainly worth discussing their permanent removal to prevent reinjury.

Should Dewclaws Be Removed

Because front dewclaws serve an important purpose, they should not be removed unless there is a very good reason to do so. In rare cases, a dogs dewclaw may be severely injured or develop a disease and removal under those circumstances would certainly be in the dogs best interests. These problems occur so infrequently, however, that removing healthy front dewclaws to prevent them makes little sense.

It is more common for veterinarians to remove loosely attached double or rear dewclaws to prevent injury. The actual incidence of these types of injuries is still quite low, so the value of these surgeries is up for debate. Typically the surgery is scheduled at the same time the dog is being spayed or neutered .

Some breeds of dogs routinely have their dewclaws removed to improve their appearance in the show ring. If you choose to have this procedure performed it should done when a puppy is under 5 days of age and only after the area has been numbed with a local anesthetic .

Keep in mind that removing the dewclaws in other breeds, like Great Pyrenees, disqualifies them from the show ring.

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Do Goldendoodles Have Dew Claws Pros And Cons Of Removal

How many toes does a Goldendoodle have?  The answer might not be as obvious as youd first thinkit depends on whether your dog has dew claws!

So, do Goldendoodles have dew claws? Goldendoodles naturally have two dew clawsone located on the inside of each front paw.  Sometimes breeders or owners choose to have their Goldendoodles dew claws removed.  However, dew claw removal is becoming a less common practice.

Heres a photo of my Goldendoodles dew claw:

Keep reading, as well discuss what dew claws are used for, how to care for them, and whether you should have them removed!

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