If you are a dog lover or owner, chances are that you have sometimes noticed a thin membrane between your dog’s toes. This is one feature amongst dogs that has in recent times become popular.
Apparently, dogs do not only come in a wide array of different colors, shapes, and sizes but also have different types of feet/paws, and one such dog webbed feet.
While some of these feet types are desired by owners of pedigree, there are other types that are undesirable and seen as major faults. One such types are dogs with webbed feet. This has gotten a lot of dog lovers and owners asking: what are dog breeds with webbed feet?
What Really is Webbed Feet?
Webbed feet are feet that have a membrane by way of bone or soft tissues and helps in connecting the toes together. Rather than being separated like normal paws. They are usually regarded as simple if the union is done only by skin and fibrous tissue and complex if linked by bones.
These webbed feet can be likened to the boat paddles or the flippers of a scuba diver, in that they work in pretty much the same way. Some webbed feet are more obvious in some dogs than others. In the same vein, some webbing can be very obvious while others can be seen if you look closely.
Generally, if you want to see the membrane connecting their toes, whenever you clip their nails spread their toes apart.
What is the Purpose of Webbed Feet?
You probably have wondered why some dogs have this webbing, while others don’t? Science suggests that certain breeds of dogs through evolution have passed down this unique feature, where dogs develop an adaptation that makes them do very well around water.
History has it that these breeds were more than likely used to hunt and retrieve game for their owners and as a result, developed webbed feet to help them navigate the diverse terrain and water.
These dog breeds are equipped to be keen swimmers, with a natural affinity for flexibility in the water. Webbed feet help dogs to be able to better swim and do so more efficiently in different bodies of water. They help dogs glide on top of the water and paddle longer distances and so chances of drowning in water are minimized.
Webbed feet also come in handy for dogs that will be running on muddy areas. With normal feet, any dog is likely to sink into a boggy area; plus, they have a tendency to slip on slick spots. Thus having webbing on their feet enables them to keep from getting stuck in soggy areas, thus making them more sure-footed.
Examples of Dog Breeds With Webbed Feet
By now you know that not all dogs are the same. Dogs have their unique features, some specific to their breed. This is to help them perform specific jobs that are water-related. Here are a few breeds that have webbed feet:
The Golden Retriever is well known webbed feet dog and was first discovered in Scotland. History also has it that it came from Labradors and a variety of water spaniels. This is also a breed that has a natural love for treading water, and so it is no surprise that they have webbed feet.
The Golden Retriever breed is known for its ability to retrieve games such as upland game birds, geese, and ducks. And also often uses its webbed feet to help people who are in peril inside the water. Generally, they love humans and don’t hesitate to jump into the water and save a person who is drowning.
Do labs have webbed feet?
This happens to be one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the United States. In fact, the American Kennel Club has the most registrations. The Labrador is known to adore the water and as such plays in any appearance of water – whether a small amount of it, even if it is in its water bowl. It is said that this breed hails from around the waters of Newfoundland.
They have long been used by fishermen for fish retrieval, as a duck hunting dog, and for rescue missions in the ocean, hence the webbed feet adaptation. As part of its adaption, it has also developed a coat that keeps out the cold to navigate cold waters.
Also known as beautiful “grey ghosts, these breeds of dogs are used for a variety of hunting purposes. It is recorded that at some time they chased big games such as mountain lions and bears. History also has it that they have been adapted to be used as waterfowl and bird dogs.
They have sleek and athletic bodies plus powerful webbed feet that enable them to glide through water bodies. Their feet come in handy in marshy areas and through the dense brush for retrieval of birds.
The Newfoundland dog breed is another dog with webbed feet; ironically, it only has partially webbed feet. But, this dog breed became famous for using its webbed feet to perform several forms of dangerous rescues in the freezing waters of Canada. All these rescues were made possible because of their ability to swim, their size, and their warm fur coat to keep out the frigid temperature.
As a result of its gigantic size, it must have proportionally large webbed paws too. Its sheer size also enables it to haul up heavy fishing nets on the slick surfaces of boats. All this ability has made this breed become popular worldwide.
This is a rare breed of canine, but one with webbed feet. There are only a few canines left in the breed, and as such are considered so valuable. Otterhounds are one dog breed that could practically live in the water if left to. They are known to dive into the water with excitement, to the point of sticking their heads beneath the water.
Like any typical webbed feet dog, they have an affinity for water bodies. And again this likely stern from the use of the breeds in hunting otters and later mink.
Their bodies also feature a long, waterproof coat, with their noses highly sensitive. Together, all these traits made it useful for tracking and rescuing objects around water bodies.
Final Thoughts On Dogs With Webbed Feet
So, one obvious fact about webbed feet dogs is that they live to be and hang out in and around water. This makes a perfect canine to own if you live in a place or country around the beach, near rivers, lakes, or ponds. These are things for dog lovers and to-be owners to ponder.
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