The Great Dewclaw Debate
By Tom Davis
One of the most fascinating pieces of folklore I’ve ever run across is the belief, held by a certain cadre of backwoods houndsmen, that a dog with intact dewclaws is “naturally snakeproof.” Why? Because the dews “suck up the poison,” of course.
While science may smirk at this country-fried wisdom, there’s a growing body of opinion that removing the dewclaws of newborn pups—a practice accepted virtually without question among breeders of purebred dogs for as long as anyone can remember—is unnecessary and even harmful. For one thing, it increases the risk of developing arthritis in the carpal joints (the dog’s ankles, essentially); for another, it robs them of some potentially crucial functionality. Full article here.