Dogs with Rear Dew Claws

Dogs with Rear Dew Claws
January 19, 2019

Dogs with Rear Dew Claws

First of all, what are dew claws? Dew claws are the same as the claws or toes you will see on the ends of the dog's toes. Aside from dew claws are found a little further up the dog’s leg. However, not all dog breeds have any dew claws at all, this is due to the different evolutionary pathways each dog breed has followed to get where they are to this day.

Generally, dogs are found with dew claws on their front legs, however, there are a select few which have dew claws on the back legs too. An even more rare occurrence is for dog breeds to have 2 sets of dewclaws on their back legs.

Even though they are not opposable, dew claws still count as the dog version of thumbs which may be able to help your dog grip onto things and retain balance. However, dew claws are also useful to their owner, as dew claws can often be an indicator of the dog’s ancestry. This is because dew claws are only found in a very small number of breeds.

Here are the 8 dog breeds which have dew claws – while the trait may also be seen in rarer breeds or mixed breeds, we have covered the most popular pure breed dogs which are still found in homes today.

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is a very sizeable breed with a history which dates far back into ancient origins. Yet, it is known that the Pyrenean Mountain Dog is a direct descendant from European dog breeds, which were known historically to guard livestock such as sheep. They were most commonly found in the Mountain regions of their native land France. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog can come with not one, but two sets of dew claws on their rear legs.

 The Beauceron dog breed is yet another giant breed of dog with a long history when it comes to herding and protecting livestock. The dew claws on the Beauceron breed are usually found very low down the dog’s rear legs which will appear as a double set. The Beauceron breed found plenty of uses for their rear dew claws as they proved effective when it came to helping them walk over ice and snow.
Yet another French dog breed makes the list! And once again, the breed was also used for livestock protection and herding. Back in the 19th century, the breed numbers declined to a drastically small number. It was bred by crossing the Beauceron breed in with the bloodline which meant that rear dew claws became a genetic trait with the Briard Breed. Just as with the Beauceron, you’ll find the dew claws far down the dog’s legs.
 Norwegian Lundehund
The feet of the Norwegian Lundehund is incredibly unique. While there are not many breeds you can say that about, it is definitely true for this breed which commonly has at least 6 toes per foot – including the double hind dew claws. In addition to this, the Norwegian Lundehand also possesses an extra joint in their toes which has only ever been seen to be present in this breed. 
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Dog breeds don’t get much bigger than the Anatolian Shepherd dog which is quite literally larger than life. The breed originated in Turkey where it has been given the rather uninspired nickname as the Turkish Mountain Dog. It makes a lot of sense for dogs who were repeatedly exposed to rough terrain to possess rear dew claws to help them out when it came to balance. It is very rare for you to come across an Anatolian Shepherd Dog without double dew claws. 

Catalan Sheepdog
The Catalan Sheepdog is one of the smaller breeds of dog to possess the rear dew claws. The breed which first originated from Spain, like most of the breeds on this list was used to protect and herd sheep on mountain ranges which spanned from Spain to France. Yet, the dew claws on a Catalan Sheepdog aren’t like you will find on most breeds. The rare dew claws join together.

Saint Bernard
There’s a reason why ‘Saint’ is included in the Saint Bernard dog breed’s name. From its native land of Switzerland, the breed is thought of as a gentle giant, and its reputation has gained it international acclaim. There’s no dog breed you’d rather see if you were stuck on a mountain than the Saint Bernard. The rear dew claws on a Saint Bernard can either be single or double.

Estrela mountain dog

The Estrela Mountain dog is yet another European addition to the list (are you spotting a trend yet?) – this time the breed originated in Portugal. The breed was bred to protect the livestock of Portuguese farmers and sheepdogs. You’ll see rear dew claws on the Estrela Mountain Dog in singles or in pairs.