Before we got Mauja, I had researched the Great Pyrenees for months. Even though I had never met one, I was confident that it was the right breed for my family and that I could successfully care for one. I spent hours learning about the things that make Great Pyrenees unique, including the double dew claws.
At Mauja’s first vet visit, the vet brought up her dew claws and how strange it was that they were attached by a bone. I tried to explain the Great Pyrenees breed standard and why the double dews were useful, but she was not convinced. Every visit until her spay, I received a lecture on why I needed to remove her dews. Eventually, we decided to take her to a different vet for her spay because I was terrified the vet would remove her double dews without my permission.
Thus began my mission to help educate about the necessity of the double dew claws on the Great Pyrenees.
Have you ever seen them before? I love the looks on people’s faces as the notice the double dews on Mauja and Atka. There’s always the double take followed by the, “are they supposed to be there?” question.
As you can see above, there’s a pad with two toenails slightly higher on the foot. That’s a pyr’s double dews.
It is commonly believed that dewclaws need to be removed, preferably as soon as possible. While this is true for some breeds, it does not apply to the Great Pyrenees. Many breeds have floppy dew claws that can easily snag and rip. If you dog isn’t a working dog, vets typically remove them at a young age.
The double dew claws on the Great Pyrenees are very strong due to being attached by a bone; they act as a sort of thumb for the dog and are surprisingly useful.
I love watching Mauja and Atka run around and make use of their extra toes. The dews help grip the ground for turning, climbing, descending, and jumping. I’ve never seen Atka jump, but Mauja uses her dews when she jumps!
Removing the double dews is highly discouraged due to being extremely painful and is ultimately detrimental the dog. Due to being attached by a bone, it is very uncommon for them to snag when taken care of properly. This means ensuring regular trimming to prevent the nail from growing too long and back into the pad, which would be very painful for the dog.
My experience with Mauja taught me that it’s great to ask your vet for advice but always do your own research. Talk to people involved with the breed, such as reputable breeders, people who show dogs, and rescue workers to help learn the most accurate information.
Have you ever seen a dog with double dew claws?