why does my dog have webbed feet

Pooch paws were made for walking, but thats not all they do. If youve ever taken a closer look at your dogs feet, youll notice that they have lots of features that make them unique. From overall size to nail length to toe placement, your pups paws are the product of a long line of ancestors. One of the things you may not have looked for before is whether or not your dog has webbed feet. Webbed feet arent all that uncommon in dogs, and theyve intentionally been bred into some pups. Here are some dog breeds that have webbed feet and the reasons they have them. This black wooly giant of a dog was bred to help Newfoundland fishermen work in the cold waters of Canada. Nearly every one of their traits is perfectly suited to make them experts at that duty. Their thick fur is water resistant, their muscular build lets them haul in fishing nets and carts, and their size and loyalty make them perfect for lifesaving should a man fall overboard. And, of course, they have thick, webbed paws and the longest toes of any breed that let them tear through the water. They also use those paws to swim in a unique way, with a down-and-out motion, rather than an ordinary dog paddle. This lets them power through waves and surf. Theyre so good at being water companions that a Newfoundland named Seaman accompanied
as they explored and mapped the rivers of the American frontier. Almost everyone knows a Wiener Dog at first sight. Their long, noodle-like bodies make them easy to spot.

But that tubular bod is built for a reason: to hunt. Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers and other small, burrowing animals. Their long, skinny bodies let them reach into narrow holes in the ground while having their backsides close to the entrance so they can haul themselves and their prey back outside. Being descended from scent hounds also helps them hunt. And their webbed paws also are designed for this purpose. Their feet may be small, but the webbing in their toes helps them move lots of dirt, letting them dig around for all sorts of small game. They were also used in the American West to hunt prairie dogs, which were pests for farmers. Like the Newfoundland, the Portuguese Water Dogs webbed feet are built for swimming, but the breed isnt as bulky or wooly as the Newfoundland. They helped fishermen in a different way, by herding. They didnt herd cattle like several other dog breeds. Instead they herded schools of fish into their fishermens nets. They also helped retrieve items that feel overboard, and they carried messages between ships. You might recognize this kind of dog hanging out with the President of the United States of America, as has been leaving his webbed paw prints all over the White House for years. If there were an all-terrain vehicle of dogs, this would be it. They were bred to hunt anywhere; mountains, forests, or fields. They were very carefully mixed with other breeds to have a thick coat, a great nose, and a loyal disposition.

All of these traits allowed them to accompany hunters and track game. But they are also great at retrieving game. Thats where their webbed paws come in extra handy. If the prey is waterfowl, these guys can jump in and bring it back easily. Theyre meant to go anywhere, and water doesnt slow them down. Although they make for devoted companions, they do like to roam, so make sure you satisfy their desire to go everywhere if you become buds with one. In the 1700s, lots of dogs were imported to America for hunting. European hunting dogs worked for Europe, but in the American South the terrain was very different. There were plenty of swamps and forests, which made it easy for prey to climb trees or throw off trackers in murky water, rather than burrowing to escape. Coonhounds were bred for this new terrain. Theyre fearless, able to intimidate alligators, black bears, or cougars, and relentless so they can keep raccoons in trees until a hunter arrives. They also had webbed feet, which let them doggedly pursue their prey, even through the swamps. They were built to handle America, which is why they are still mostly only found in the U. S. You may recognize them from the book Where the Red Fern Grows, which probably made you cry unless you have a heart of stone. Does your pup have webbed paws? Do they like to swim, dig, or hunt?

Let us know by tweeting! Sources: Webbed feet are known as a common feature of ducks, swans, albatrosses and amphibious animals. In fact, some breeds of dogs do have webbed feet like ducks and most of them are standard dogs. Dogs with webbed feet are believed to be very good at swimming and sinking so that they are loved by those who like water sports. Moreover, they can move easily in swampy terrain, so they are a good assistant for hunters. Why Do Dogs Have Webbed Feet? Interestingly, all kind of dog breeds used to have this feature. However, due to the evolution process, the membrane in dogs disappears because its no more necessary when they can adapt the mainland. However, some dog breeds still retain this trait throughout the history. Until now, they are seen as a swimming expert and usually given several small duties like catching fish or chasing birds under the water. Do Pitbulls Have Webbed Feet? One thing you must know at first is that Pitbull dogs are a combination between many dog breeds like the hybrid of. They arent really a standard breed, except The American Pit Bull Terrier which is recognized as a purebred dog by the United Kennel Club and American Dog Breeders Association. In overall, the majority of Pitbulls are non-webbed feet. There are some special cases that Pitbulls do have webbed feet, but the possibility is extremely low. The explanation for webbed feet in Pitbulls is quite easy: they have the gene of water dogs.

Perhaps, their grandfather or grandmother belong to standard water dog. In fact, sometimes dog owners misunderstand webbed feet with connective tissue. All species have connective tissue, including humans. So, if you see it on your dogs, dont affirm that your dogs have webbed feet. Is Having Webbed Feet Dangerous? Having webbed feet is not a problem. However, if your dogs dont belong to the webbed-feet breeds but they still have webbed feet, be careful because it can be a sign of having other health problems. Therere several cases in which dogs have webbed feet accompanied by cleft palate. Dogs with this condition are diagnosed to have abnormalities in genetics. To normal dogs, their mouths roof must stick together which makes it have no blank space. However, to dogs have cleft palate, two sides of their mouth dont link together. Instead, their toes which shouldnt be fused, now fuse together. This is the condition in which your dogs spine bend to another side. The most obvious sign of this condition is that dogs have difficulty in walking. One leg is stronger than others and they may be very sensitive in the back area. If dogs with scoliosis arent be cured as soon as possible, they will suffer the pain and walk difficultly forever. Which Dogs Belong To The Webbed-Feet Breeds? Pitbulls are not the only webbed-feet dog. The following is some other breeds of webbed-feet dogs:

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