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Dog modification...

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  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 3,538 Captain
    The African wild dog, dingo, and dhole, would be examples of wild, non-wolf, dogs. There are a few others in the world. As stated, African wild dogs have no dew claws because they are amazing long distance runners. The other wild dogs do, and theirs are connected the same as domestic dogs.

    That the dew claw is immovable by the dog is irrelevant to whether it serves a purpose. In nature it does serve a purpose. But that the dew claw is purposeful is irrelevant as to whether we human owners should remove it or not. We remove it so as to give the dogs’ feet extra running functionality like Cape dogs have. It serves our purpose for dogs intended to be long distance runners. That’s what matters. 

    The pro claw removal camp errs by dismissing the natural function of the dew claws and pretending they don’t have a function. The anti claw removal camp errs by pretending there is some sort of magical morality that goes against modifying a dog to make the dog suit human purposes over its own natural state. Both sides err by trying to appeal to nature, as if whoever can make the best argument in line with nature somehow wins the argument.

    The dog is property that is bred to serve a purpose for humans. If the human finds it beneficial to lop off the dew claw so the dog won’t get it ripped off on a protracted chase, so be it. There’s no magic dog moral code written into the laws of the universe that says otherwise. 
  • cadmancadman Home of the Gators Posts: 33,392 AG
    All this time I thought the dew claw was a leftover from the tree climbing predecessor of the modern dog. 


    Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • 2amigo2amigo Posts: 5,965 Admiral
    edited January 2019 #64
    mplspug said:
    My vet told me they like to wait until 12-14 months before neutering now.  He said they don't want to cut off the testosterone until a full adult, which makes sense to me.  @Saltygatorvet have you heard of this and do you have a take on it?
    I try to wait as well. Growth plates close on long bones when testosterone/ estrogen hits a certain level.  When folks were neutering early ( medicine changes with time as peer reviewed papers are written, and practices formally thought of fact are changed), the dogs ( especially males) were growing very “leggy”. The best comparison I can make is for you to look at the difference between a steer and a bull. Bulls are thick and masculine looking, steers have longer legs and faces with a more feminine look. So I try to let the females go through one maybe 2 heats( too many heats and the rate of breast cancer goes way up). And the males go at 12-18 months depending on personality. That is what I do, there are differing opinions. Mine may change if/when I come across a study that convinced me otherwise or I go to a lecture convincing me otherwise. I recommend folks get a veterinarian that they trust and ask them.  It isn’t a black and white subject so there will be many opinions. 
    We got a rescue pup at about 6 1/2 weeks old. They required neutering and it seemed like they took him at 3-4 months old. He’s “leggy”as can be. DNA test showed American bulldog and lab. He’s leggier than both and we thought the  DNA test was wrong. What you said makes perfect sense here. Some people even ask if he has some Great Dane in him. 
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    cadman said:
    All this time I thought the dew claw was a leftover from the tree climbing predecessor of the modern dog. 


    There are theories , but no one knows for sure
    You should have been here yesterday
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 3,538 Captain
    edited January 2019 #66
    cadman said:
    All this time I thought the dew claw was a leftover from the tree climbing predecessor of the modern dog. 


    Many species besides dogs have dew claws, including some reptiles. Some hooded mammals have them. All cats have them. In position and structure, cat dew claws are virtually identical to dog dew claws. If dew claws were simply vestigial organs, they would have had to originated from an ancestor way back up the tree and would have had to have remained useless across time and various species, while mutating back into normal toes for other species (for instance, bears and dogs are supposed to be more closely related than dogs and cats, where dogs and cats have identical dew claws but bears have a normal fifth toe). Cheetahs use theirs to trip the prey animals that they are running, and are also unique among cats in that their claws are not retractable but are instead very dog-like, which gives them better traction for their high-speed pursuits. All dogs have them except the mentioned African hunting dog. As already stated, African hunting dogs specifically do not have dew claws so as to aid in their long-range runs. The absence of them in African wild dogs for a specific purpose actually also suggests they must still serve purposes in the species that retain them, or else those species too would have lost them like the African dogs did. Some domestic dog breeds actually do use their dew claws for tree climbing. 

    Basically, dew claw build and use varies across various species and breeds. If they served no purpose, animals wouldn't have them, as the African wild dog doesn't have them as they're better suited without them. The fact that other species have kept them suggests that they're better suited with them for the lifestyles they live. 
  • johnpowersjohnpowers BayPosts: 2,898 Captain
    edited January 2019 #67
    Fish Haid said:
    I once cut all of my Dobe's legs off at the knee.  Sold it to a near-sighted Eskimo as a seal.
    Then there is this, to make a dog taller. 

  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    edited January 2019 #68
    Many animals and people have organs and appendages that they haven’t used for thousands of years. Just because they don’t need them doesn’t mean they just go away. Evolution doesn’t work that quickly or that way. It usually involves a mutation that enhances survival
    You should have been here yesterday
  • JohnnyBanditJohnnyBandit Posts: 8,532 Admiral
    ANUMBER1 said:
    ANUMBER1 said:
    dew claws yes, nuts maybe.. tails and ears no



    Dew Claws NEVER.... Remove  the dew claws and you severely WEAKEN the Elbow Joint..... FACT...

    Ears..... Whatever your preference..... But a drop eared dog is MORE likely to have ear issues..... A drop ear keeps the ear canal warm and wet.... Does not allow air flow... A recipe for infection....

    Tails...... Depends on the dog.... an Athletic dog with a robust tail....... Leave the tail as the dog uses it for a rudder.....
    Dogs with whippy slender tails...... Dock them..... Scotland banned tail docking on spaniels and other field dogs.... The incidence of tail damage was so significant the government is working to remove the ban on docking.
    Keep in mind...... Most dogs are tail docked at three to five days old. At that age it is a snip..... The nerves are not developed. There is almost ZERO blood.... A three day old pup will protest you pulling it off it's mama's T it . But will not protest the snip... and once you return it to its Momma if will immediately return to suckling.....Conversely.... if you have a breed like a Doberman, Rottweiler, any of the mainland European pointers etc... and you choose not to dock the tail because of your misguided beliefs..... you had BETTER hope you are LUCKY..... because while docking a puppy is painless and not big deal. IF you have to dock a tail because of an injury on an adult dog... it is a MAJOR deal.... It will cost you around 2 grand, your dog will be hospitalized a couple of days..... And you are talking 8 weeks in the cone of shame.... And bandage changes are a PAIN in the Butt. I have been there...Done that.....

    Bottom line is..... Dew claws is PURELY for ease of ownership. And HARMS the performance of the dog.... Some argue.....But the dog might tear a dew claw..... Fact is... IF you are a good owner and keep up with care and maintenance of your dog.... you WILL keep your dogs dew nails trimmed short..... you will likely never have an issue.... But if you do..A torn dew claw is SMALL potatoes compared to a blown out elbow joint.

    Ears...... Purely a choice.... But if you choose to not crop a drop eared dog, you better keep up with ear care.


    Tails...... It i no accident that some breeds traditionally keep their tails and some breeds are typically docked.Different breeds have different types of tails. Some breeds have robust tails that they use.... Some breeds have whippy spindly tails  that are easily broken...
    I guess all those FDSB champions thru the years with no dewclaws weren't at their peak..

    Mind you they weren't being led around a manicured ring by thick legged lesibans or equal minded questionable males, but they won field trials for years (still do)..
    I’ve never heard such BS
      Salty Gator Vet..... Removal of dew claws will weaken the elbow joint.... And that is fact.... Nothing new about this.... Folks with working dogs and vets that worked with working dogs have known this for at least 20 plus years. Some breed standards have been changed to prevent the removal of dew claws.... And some dog sports discourage running dogs sans dew claws.... The dew claw is NOT a vestigial digit. It attaches to multiple tendons that attach to muscles....The dew claw stabilizes and strengthens the joint. Additionally  the dogs use  their dew claws. All you have to do is watch a stock dog working in tight quarters..... The dew claw digs into the ground on tight turns and keeps the  dog;s front end from sliding out. 

    See below..... I can give you more examples of vets that work with sports and working dogs that will say similar things....

    From Dr. Christine Zink, DVM, PhD, DACVSMR.
    you will see that there are





    I can assure you, the OFA doesn’t agree with her either. Or does the ofa not matter to you either. I can tell I’m not going to convince you of anything. So enjoy those dewclaws, but please stop stating your onpinion or dr zinks opinion as fact. It simply isn’t true
    The OFA is very important for health screens for breeding dogs...

    Sorry..... I don't accept your assurances...... Show me something in writing that the OFA has taken a position on Dew Claws. I searched for a position......Found nothing....... Since the OFA basically a database for genetic diseases. It would be VERY unusual for them to publish a position on Dew Claws.
  • JohnnyBanditJohnnyBandit Posts: 8,532 Admiral
    This video will show you all you need to know about a dog's ability to use its dew claws..




  • JohnnyBanditJohnnyBandit Posts: 8,532 Admiral
    Dogs use their dew claws even in every day play...



  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    edited January 2019 #73
    My point about the ofa was if removing them had a negative impact on elbows or increased the incidence of injuries, there would be a strong stance against it, which there is not. I’m not sure why you believe the ofa is more credible than the avma. But I think I’m starting to understand more. Dogs don’t need dewclaws to do anything in those videos. 
    To be clear, I’m not saying all dogs should have them removed, and most shouldn’t. But the right information needs to be considered, and they should be between you and your veterinarian and/or breeder
    You should have been here yesterday
  • JohnnyBanditJohnnyBandit Posts: 8,532 Admiral
    My point about the ofa was if removing them had a negative impact on elbows or increased the incidence of injuries, there would be a strong stance against it, which there is not. I’m not sure why you believe the ofa is more credible than the avma. But I think I’m starting to understand more. Dogs don’t need dewclaws to do anything in those videos. 
    To be clear, I’m not saying all dogs should have them removed, and most shouldn’t. But the right information needs to be considered, and they should be between you and your veterinarian and/or breeder
    To be clear, I’m not saying all dogs should have them removed, and most shouldn’t. But the right information needs to be considered, and they should be between you and your veterinarian and/or breeder

    So we largely agree........

    My issue with the AVMA....... I feel that the organization is moving away from what is best for animals and respecting the owners wishes and has begun yielding to popular opinion on things like ear cropping and docking.

    This statement you made...... "
    But the right information needs to be considered, and they should be between you and your veterinarian and/or breeder" is huge to me...... Much respect to you for that Sir....... That is how it should be......

    As a dog owner, I will not buy a dog that has had its dew claws removed. I don't think I have had a dog with its dew claws removed in over 30 years. As a breeder..... I will not removed or agree to the removal of the dew claws on any litter I am involved with.

    I disagree that the dogs in those videos could do the same thing. At least as well. I have been watching my dogs use their dew claws for years. 


  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 3,538 Captain
    Many animals and people have organs and appendages that they haven’t used for thousands of years. Just because they don’t need them doesn’t mean they just go away. Evolution doesn’t work that quickly or that way. It usually involves a mutation that enhances survival
    Actually,  not really. Most of what we used to believe about organs being useless has been debunked. Even the appendix has been shown to have immune system and digestive functions (its the storage place for the good gut bacteria).

    Whether you believe in classic evolution or not,  nature doesn't have much tolerance for useless physical traits among animals. You'll be hard pressed to name any real ones. For every one you might find off of a superficial list of vestigial organs, you'll actually find that they each do serve a purpose even now. 
  • pottydocpottydoc Port Saint JoePosts: 4,147 Captain
    edited January 2019 #76
  • 2amigo2amigo Posts: 5,965 Admiral
    edited January 2019 #77
    Women have dew claws but they are hidden underneath the skin. They are also known as “money hooks”. If there is money around, they will come out and grab it  but so quick you might not notice. 
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    edited January 2019 #78
    Many animals and people have organs and appendages that they haven’t used for thousands of years. Just because they don’t need them doesn’t mean they just go away. Evolution doesn’t work that quickly or that way. It usually involves a mutation that enhances survival
    Actually,  not really. Most of what we used to believe about organs being useless has been debunked. Even the appendix has been shown to have immune system and digestive functions (its the storage place for the good gut bacteria).

    Whether you believe in classic evolution or not,  nature doesn't have much tolerance for useless physical traits among animals. You'll be hard pressed to name any real ones. For every one you might find off of a superficial list of vestigial organs, you'll actually find that they each do serve a purpose even now. 
    I was reading millers anatomy of the dog today. Which is the source that Jonny’s vet used in the “paper” and it said some dewclaws were functional and some were vestigial. And then appendix or cecum is considered vestigial by most. We benefit very little from any fermentation, and the amount of gut associated lymphoid tissue is throughout the small and large intestine and a tiny little pocket would make little difference. The problems that arise from having an appendix far outweigh the benefits that they provide. There are more examples but there are two
    You should have been here yesterday
  • GA FinGA Fin Posts: 8,956 Admiral

    We have Dobermans. The two(one since deceased) we got as pups have floppy ears and docked tail.

    The one my wife rescued from an indifferent owner came to us at 4 year old. She has docked ears and tail.

    The two floppy eared dogs have constant ear infections. The one cropped eared dog does not get ear infections.

    The dozen or so cropped eared Dobermans owned by friends over the years did not get ear infections.


    Straight white male living a life of privilege and proud of it.


    "The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters."
  • Bruce SBruce S Posts: 531 Officer
    I had a pet crow as a kid and was told if you split it's tongue it would learn to talk better. I could never do it because he was a mean SOB, smart too. He thanked me later. It was a little garbled, probably been clearer with a split tongue.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ScoutboatScoutboat Posts: 2,461 Captain
    GA Fin said:

    We have Dobermans. The two(one since deceased) we got as pups have floppy ears and docked tail.

    The one my wife rescued from an indifferent owner came to us at 4 year old. She has docked ears and tail.

    The two floppy eared dogs have constant ear infections. The one cropped eared dog does not get ear infections.

    The dozen or so cropped eared Dobermans owned by friends over the years did not get ear infections.


    A once a month or so, simple ear irrigations will take care of ear infections.
  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 6,505 Admiral
    Perhaps the ear infections are resulting from the missing or removed dew claws.....
    Heeeeerrrrrs Johnny.....

    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
  • ScoutboatScoutboat Posts: 2,461 Captain
    The source of ear infections is hair growth in the ear canal
    Wax builds up on the hair, creating a perfect climate for infections.
    I use simple hydrogen peroxide. 
  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 6,505 Admiral
    Scoutboat said:
    The source of ear infections is hair growth in the ear canal
    Wax builds up on the hair, creating a perfect climate for infections.
    I use simple hydrogen peroxide. 
    That's what I use. I put in on a q-tip and get way down in there and pull it out of the crevice's.
     Only one of my dogs has this problem and he does not have floppy ears. His ear gets sore in the summer time and I know I have to get in there and clean out the sludge. The pain goes away in a day or so after cleaning.


    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    Scoutboat said:
    The source of ear infections is hair growth in the ear canal
    Wax builds up on the hair, creating a perfect climate for infections.
    I use simple hydrogen peroxide. 
    Only dogs like poodles amd maltese that have to get groomed have hair in their ears, and not plucking that hair will absolutely increase the likelihood of an infection. Labs, dobis, German Shepards etc get ear infections for a bunch of other reasons.
    You should have been here yesterday
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 12,892 AG
    I just noticed my pom has her front dewclaws.  I thought my pugs dewclaws were higher on his front arms, I had no idea they were that close to the paws.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • ScoutboatScoutboat Posts: 2,461 Captain
    Scoutboat said:
    The source of ear infections is hair growth in the ear canal
    Wax builds up on the hair, creating a perfect climate for infections.
    I use simple hydrogen peroxide. 
    Only dogs like poodles amd maltese that have to get groomed have hair in their ears, and not plucking that hair will absolutely increase the likelihood of an infection. Labs, dobis, German Shepards etc get ear infections for a bunch of other reasons.
    Plucking ear hair is very painful.  Instead, I clip the ear hair as close as possible
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    Scoutboat said:
    Scoutboat said:
    The source of ear infections is hair growth in the ear canal
    Wax builds up on the hair, creating a perfect climate for infections.
    I use simple hydrogen peroxide. 
    Only dogs like poodles amd maltese that have to get groomed have hair in their ears, and not plucking that hair will absolutely increase the likelihood of an infection. Labs, dobis, German Shepards etc get ear infections for a bunch of other reasons.
    Plucking ear hair is very painful.  Instead, I clip the ear hair as close as possible
    It’s only painful in an infected ear. You’ll never get clippers inside an ear canal, it’s impossible. Your only getting the hair on the outside of the canal with clippers. And that hair doesn’t really contribute to the problem. The best way is with ear hair powder and short quick pulls to get it out, some use a hemostat, I like fingers and powder. They really don’t mind at all if the ears are healthy
    You should have been here yesterday
  • ScoutboatScoutboat Posts: 2,461 Captain
    Scoutboat said:
    Scoutboat said:
    The source of ear infections is hair growth in the ear canal
    Wax builds up on the hair, creating a perfect climate for infections.
    I use simple hydrogen peroxide. 
    Only dogs like poodles amd maltese that have to get groomed have hair in their ears, and not plucking that hair will absolutely increase the likelihood of an infection. Labs, dobis, German Shepards etc get ear infections for a bunch of other reasons.
    Plucking ear hair is very painful.  Instead, I clip the ear hair as close as possible
    It’s only painful in an infected ear. You’ll never get clippers inside an ear canal, it’s impossible. Your only getting the hair on the outside of the canal with clippers. And that hair doesn’t really contribute to the problem. The best way is with ear hair powder and short quick pulls to get it out, some use a hemostat, I like fingers and powder. They really don’t mind at all if the ears are healthy
    My Fox Terrier yelps in pain when the hair is pulled.  I would too.
    I use good clippers to trim the hair. 
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    Scoutboat said:
    Scoutboat said:
    Scoutboat said:
    The source of ear infections is hair growth in the ear canal
    Wax builds up on the hair, creating a perfect climate for infections.
    I use simple hydrogen peroxide. 
    Only dogs like poodles amd maltese that have to get groomed have hair in their ears, and not plucking that hair will absolutely increase the likelihood of an infection. Labs, dobis, German Shepards etc get ear infections for a bunch of other reasons.
    Plucking ear hair is very painful.  Instead, I clip the ear hair as close as possible
    It’s only painful in an infected ear. You’ll never get clippers inside an ear canal, it’s impossible. Your only getting the hair on the outside of the canal with clippers. And that hair doesn’t really contribute to the problem. The best way is with ear hair powder and short quick pulls to get it out, some use a hemostat, I like fingers and powder. They really don’t mind at all if the ears are healthy
    My Fox Terrier yelps in pain when the hair is pulled.  I would too.
    I use good clippers to trim the hair. 
    Fox terriers really dont have the ear hair I’m talking about. Only dogs that have hair that continually grows. Like a poodle. Dogs that have to be groomed or their hair would be long like ours. 
    You should have been here yesterday
  • ScoutboatScoutboat Posts: 2,461 Captain
    Scoutboat said:
    Scoutboat said:
    Scoutboat said:
    The source of ear infections is hair growth in the ear canal
    Wax builds up on the hair, creating a perfect climate for infections.
    I use simple hydrogen peroxide. 
    Only dogs like poodles amd maltese that have to get groomed have hair in their ears, and not plucking that hair will absolutely increase the likelihood of an infection. Labs, dobis, German Shepards etc get ear infections for a bunch of other reasons.
    Plucking ear hair is very painful.  Instead, I clip the ear hair as close as possible
    It’s only painful in an infected ear. You’ll never get clippers inside an ear canal, it’s impossible. Your only getting the hair on the outside of the canal with clippers. And that hair doesn’t really contribute to the problem. The best way is with ear hair powder and short quick pulls to get it out, some use a hemostat, I like fingers and powder. They really don’t mind at all if the ears are healthy
    My Fox Terrier yelps in pain when the hair is pulled.  I would too.
    I use good clippers to trim the hair. 
    Fox terriers really dont have the ear hair I’m talking about. Only dogs that have hair that continually grows. Like a poodle. Dogs that have to be groomed or their hair would be long like ours. 
    Respectfully, there are two types of Fox Terriers.
    Smooth coat and Wire haired.
    My Wire haired requires grooming about every six weeks or so,  he doesn't shed.
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