When it comes to giant breed health and nutrition, there's a lot that goes into raising a happy, healthy dog. We're going from A to Z talking about giant breed specific needs! Today, it's all about the unique double dew claws of the Great Pyrenees.

Unique Double Dew Claws

If there’s one thing that can get Great Pyrenees lovers worked up (okay, there’s a lot of things, but just hang in with me), it’s the discussion of removing the double dew claws. Any pyr lover will tell you, never never never remove the double dew claws.

When Mauja was a puppy, we went through the standard vet visits that every puppy goes through. As she got older and we began discussing her spay with the vet, the vet casually said, “And don’t worry, we’ll remove those while she’s under”.

“Those?” I replied.

“The double dew claws on her back legs. We’ll remove them while we’re doing her spay so she doesn’t have to go under twice.”

I was confused. Everything I read about the Great Pyrenees breed stated that the double dew claws should never be removed. The rear dew claws serve a purpose and are attached by a bone, which means removing them is akin to removing a human thumb.

I told the vet that we would not be removing Mauja’s double dew claws, which certainly didn’t make her happy. At every visit until her spay, the vet mentioned removing them. No matter how many times I said no, she wouldn’t leave us alone.

Ultimately, Mauja was spayed at a different vet clinic because I didn’t trust our current vet. I was afraid she would remove Mauja’s dews without my permission.

Recently, I was randomly perusing the internet when I stumbled upon an interesting article about dewclaws. The article stated,

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 don’t really serve any purpose but are considered part of breed type and are never removed.

My jaw dropped. Articles like this are exactly why vets are pushing new pyrents to remove their dog’s double dew claws. Per the breed standard, Great Pyrenees have two dewclaws on their rear feet. While it is possible to see pyrs with single dews on the rear, it is generally a sign that the dog is a mixed breed.

The double dew claws actually do serve a purpose. Most people who have spent time around pyrs have seen the double dew claws in action. I can see Mauja and Atka’s double dews dig in the ground for stability when they’re chasing each other around the yard or climbing a hill. They are able to gain traction by utilizing their double dew claws.

Please, do not let a vet convince you that the double dew claws on your Great Pyrenees are useless or highly-likely to be torn. I’ve been around a lot of pyrs and can count on one hand the number who have had issues with their dew claws. Most of these dogs actually had deformed dew claws at birth which made them more susceptible to experiencing issues.

If you’d like more information on Great Pyrenees double dew claws, I have a more in-depth post here!

Does your dog have double dew claws? Did anyone try to convince you to remove them?

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When it comes to giant breed health and nutrition, there's a lot that goes into raising a happy, healthy dog. We're going from A to Z talking about giant breed specific needs! Today, it's all about the unique double dew claws of the Great Pyrenees.

6 comments on “Unique Double Dew Claws”

  1. As always another great informative article. More than just the dew claws it is a great reminder you need to be able to trust your vet. If you can’t it is time to find another. People are often surprised our vet isn’t in our home town. We use the Vet from my home town because my parents trusted her and so do I. If you can’t agree on treatment, you need to find someone who you will be able to trust.

  2. No one has ever suggested I remove Bear’s double dew claws but they have expressed disgust as though they are a deformity. I have known several mix breed dogs who have them as well and the owners have been told to remove them. It is curious that a vet would see this natural trait as a deformity.

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