My German Shepherd has dew claws on his hindlegs, is it harmful for him?

Do I need to have them removed?

Asked by Member 711342 on Aug 20th 2008 in Health & Wellness
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Typically, no. How old is your Shepherd? If he is a puppy, then yes, you should remove them. If he is older, then I wouldn't worry about it unless they get caught on things all of the time. The should be removed when they are very young puppies, but many people don't do it. If they are not bothering your dog, don't worry about it. Just make sure you trim them regularly so they don't get hung up on anything. If they bother your dog, take him to the vet and see what options you have.

Sergeant answered on 8/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)


Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 8/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Just keep the dewclaws trimmed like you would normal nails- in fact you will probably have to trim them more often because they don't touch the ground like normal nails.

Don't have them removed unless your dog suffers an injury to them. A family member of mine had her dog's dewclaws removed after he got one hung on something and it was apparently quite a painful experience for him.

TK, CGC answered on 8/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


How old is your German Shepherd?

German Shepherds that are born with dewclaws usually have them removed by the breeder when they are only a few days old, particularly if the breeder mainly produces working dogs. The reason for this is that the dew claws can get caught and become torn, especially in a working dog or a sport dog (like agility). It's preferred that they are removed so this does not happen.

If your dog is already an adult, you can leave the dew claws or have them removed. If you were to choose to have them removed, it's best done while he is already under sedation for another medical procedure, such as neutering or a tooth cleaning. It's best to do it at the same time. Healing takes a bit longer in adults but isn't too bad.

If the dew claws are left intact, there is a chance of injury or tearing the claw when doing activities such as hiking, playing with other dogs, or any type of work. Such injuries to the hind dew claws are very common.

Abby answered on 8/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer