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You’ll be surprised…

There are many features which make your dog’s feet unique including the toe placement, nail colour & length. It’s taken a long line of ancestry to get to where they are now. Webbing is basically a membrane of connective tissue and skin. Have you checked to see if your dog has any between his or her toes?  Below are breeds which have some degree of webbing.

Labrador Retriever
Portugese Water Dog
Irish Water Spaniel
German Wirehaired Pointer
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Redbone Coonhound
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
American Water Spaniel
Siberian Husky

Dogs with webbed feet have the ultimate flexibility when it comes locomotion on land or in water. Many animals (us too) have webbing as they are developing, then at some stage at a cellular level, this is turned off. 

Dog breeds which worked around water had unique jobs and those such as the Newfoundland were often called upon for their brute strength, others with ‘less bulky’ bodies were used for tasks like herding fish into nets, carrying an item or message from one vessel to another or just retrieving smaller items fallen overboard.  Webbing came in handy for the Redbone Coonhound as he worked a lot in swampy or marshy areas, so his feet sank less.  This is the same principle for Husky’s working on the snow, that the webbed toes result in greater weight distribution.

The majority of breeding with webbing has been assistance for swimming, even helping create ‘super-swimmers’ but breeds such as the Dachshund used the benefit of his webbing for digging because with webbing you can brush more dirt away faster when you’re digging around for small game.  So whether it’s digging, swimming, wet & soggy surfaces or uneven terrain, there are benefits of webbing.

Leah & Angela OMeara

Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)