Have you ever noticed something unusual about Jeep’s back feet? If not, next time take a closer peek. She won’t mind. In fact Jeep is proud of her feet. Just like all Great Pyrenees, Jeep has a double dewclaw on each of her back feet.
Dewclaws are much like a thumb on your hand. They are higher up the dog’s leg than the rest of the claws. All dogs have dewclaws, but Pyrenees actually have two on their back feet and one on their front feet. (Of course we know that Pyrs are special and there are only a few other breeds that double dew, too.)
It is not uncommon for dewclaws to be removed from puppies shortly after they are born. Some people are afraid that the extra toes will get snagged and ripped. However, I am happy to report that more and more people are now deciding to keep the dewclaws on dogs.
Dewclaws do have a purpose. They help dogs grip snow and ice. They help them grab toys and sticks. Dogs use dewclaws to balance and climb. Dewclaws also help dogs turn quickly when running or playing. (Jeep does a lot of that with Dot Com!)
Keep in mind that it is important that the actual toenail in a dewclaw is kept short. Jeep is very good about getting her nails trimmed and we always remember to do her double dews.
You can see a running dog in slow motion using its dewclaws by clicking on this link: How a Dog Uses Dewclaws
Way to go Jeep! Your double dews are twice as nice!