Do GSP have dewclaws?

German shorthaired pointer, also known as GSP, is a medium-sized dog breed, particularly a pointer or pointing dog. Dogs of this breed are known for their excellent hunting and swimming skills. If trained to be sociable, GSPs are energetic, but they are also very friendly to humans.

Most dog breeds have dewclaws. These dewclaws help the dog to track better while running. Dewclaws are also present on both sides of the German Shorthaired Pointer’s front legs. Some dog owners remove the dewclaws, while others leave them in place.

What is the purpose of dewclaws?

Dewclaw is just another toenail located on both sides of the dog’s front legs. Some dog breeds even have dewclaws on all four legs, such as Saint Bernard, Pyrenees and the Briards. Every part of the body has a purpose, and likewise, even dewclaws are there for a reason.

  • Dewclaws play their part when a dog is in motion, such as running, digging, holding stuff, etc.
  • When a dog runs, dewclaws help them better track their movement and help them keep balance while galloping.
  • Even while digging, their dewclaws dig and grab the ground to support the limbs.
  • Dogs even use their dewclaws to hold items such as bones as they chew.

However, it’s important to remember that these dewclaws rarely get to touch the ground. With all that being said. Also, when dewclaws grow long, it injures the dog’s legs. Therefore, many breeders surgically remove the dewclaws or trim the nails regularly.

Some people like to keep the dewclaws, while some remove them. If you want to remove the dewclaws, it is best to do it when the dog is just a few days old. You can also get it removed surgically on a grown adult dog. Always consult a vet or a professional before the surgery to avoid future problems.

Why do some breeders not remove dewclaws?

Many breeders out there surgically remove their dog’s dewclaws to prevent injuries in their dewclaw pad. However, there are still many who do not opt for eliminating the dewclaws for a few reasons.

Dewclaws are the closest to that of a thumb. Like the human thumb that helps while grabbing stuff or holding onto things, even a dog’s dewclaw allows them to grab hold of bones, toys, etc.

There is galloping involved when a dog runs, and while they gallop, these dewclaws help keep balance by grasping onto the ground and keeping track. These dewclaws also make it possible for dogs to climb trees.

Some breeders do not remove dewclaws on these grounds. However, they keep in mind to regularly trim the dewclaws to prevent them dewclaws from growing inside the flesh of the footpad.

Should a dog have its dewclaws removed?

Well, if at all the dewclaws were not necessary, it shouldn’t have been there in the first place. However, it is there for a reason or a purpose. These dewclaws help dogs in many ways in their day-to-day activities.

You must have indeed seen a dog holding onto a bone as they chew on it. Well, they can grasp onto the bone because of the help of dewclaws. Dogs can also climb trees and swim better in water with the help of dewclaws.

Dewclaws help dogs in traction while running and galloping on slippery surfaces. They probably might lose balance and fall without dewclaws, especially while making a turn while running.

It is not necessary to remove the dewclaws unless your dog has been injured by the growth of the dewclaws or until a disease or tumor appears in the area.

Removing healthy grown dewclaws will not do you any benefit. Your dog will not be able to grab onto stuff and climb trees like it used to once the dewclaws are removed.

However, if you still feel kike removing them, that’s your choice. But remember to get the consultation of a professional before going through the procedure.

Is it normal for dogs not to have dewclaws?

Not all dog breeds have both front and rear dewclaws, while some have a hint of it with extra skin and no nail. Dog breeds like Saint Bernard, Pyrenees and Briards have dewclaws on front and rear limbs.

If your dog has dewclaws missing, they were removed early, soon after birth. In many cases, the dog only has a small part of the skin bulging out with no nail. This is primarily visible in the case of rear dewclaws.

If your dog already had its dewclaws removed, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if the dewclaw is not grown correctly, you will have to get it checked by a vet. This poorly grown dewclaw might indicate a poor connection to the rest of the leg, which will harm or injure your dog severely.

If already removed after birth, it is normal for the dog not to have dewclaws. However, if that is not the case, it is a matter of worry.

What happens if dewclaws are not removed?

Well, nothing much will happen if dewclaws are not removed. It’s a fact that these dewclaws are meant to serve a purpose, as it helps dogs while running, galloping, digging, grasping toys and bones, etc. In fact, dogs like German Shorthaired Pointers are mighty dogs that use their dewclaws in hunting, swimming and climbing.

It is safe and best not to remove dewclaws to keep it short and straightforward. Why? Like the rest of the toes connected to the nerves and muscles, even dewclaws have those connections. And once removed without proper surgery, it can be life-threatening to the dog.

Unless there is an ingrown dewclaw nail in the footpad and it’s injuring your dog, or there is some tumor in that same area, it is advised and recommended not to go for dewclaw-removal surgery.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is to clip or trim the nails regularly to prevent the nail from injuring the footpad.

Can you remove dewclaws yourself?

In order to answer this question, you need to know that, unless there are problems with the growth of the dewclaws that are harming your dog, it is recommended not to remove them.

Now, moving on to the question! Just like the human body, even a dog’s body has various connections all over the body. Even the smallest of the body part, like that of a dewclaw, has muscles and nerves connected to the rest of the toes.

So, until and unless you’re a vet surgeon, you cannot just remove a dog’s dewclaw on your own. While removing, once you cut any vital nerves, your dog’s life will be in danger.

Of course, you can trim or cut the nails of the dewclaws, but removing a dewclaw is a case of amputation that needs crucial care. Therefore, let a professional do the removal, and you do the trimming!

What dog breeds have rear dewclaws?

Most dogs have front dewclaws. However, only a few dog breeds have rear dewclaws. According to sources, these dog breeds are found to have rear dewclaws:

  • Saint Bernard
  • Briard
  • The Pyrenees
  • Norwegian Lundehund
  • Anatolian Shepherd
  • Beauceron
  • Icelandic Sheepdog
  • Estrela Mountain Dog
  • German Shepherd
  • English Bulldog

These dogs use their rear dewclaws to grasp bones and toys while chewing them. The dewclaws help them keep their balance while running while climbing trees and swimming.

Do German shorthaired pointers have webbed feet?

Not all dog breeds have webbed feet, but the German shorthaired pointer falls among the unique species that possess webbed feet.

German shorthaired pointers are energetic and powerful gun dogs that are incredibly great hunters. There is also no doubt that German shorthaired pointers are exceptionally great swimmers because of their webbed feet.

 It is not just the hunting German shorthaired pointers that love to swim or have the ability to swim. Even a non-trained German shorthaired pointer loves swimming! They have compact and oval-shaped webbed feet, which help them swim in flowing water bodies and get their duties done, hunting.


German shorthaired pointers are undoubtedly one of the most intelligent and energetic dog breeds trained specifically for hunting. They are robust, active and durable dogs that don’t get tired quickly.

One of the reasons they are great hunters and swimmers is their dewclaws. These dewclaws help much in traction of their motion, climbing trees, swimming, digging, etc. Only after proper consultation from the vet or there is a valid reason no breeders opt to get the dewclaws removed unnecessarily!


An Owner and a huge fan of GSP's! I have owned my GSP for 7 years now and learned so many things along the way to share with you all about German Shorthaired Pointers!

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