What breed of dogs have dew claws on hind legs?

Answered by Jason Smith

The Norwegian Lundehund is a unique breed of dog that possesses an interesting feature – double-dewclaws on its rear paws. This distinct characteristic sets it apart from many other dog breeds, as most dogs typically only have a single dewclaw on their hind legs, if they have any at all. The presence of double-dewclaws on the Lundehund can be attributed to its history and purpose.

The Lundehund, also known as the Norwegian Puffin Dog, has a long-standing tradition of hunting puffins on the Norwegian islands. Puffins are seabirds that nest in rocky crevices and cliffs, and the Lundehund’s unique anatomy is believed to be specifically adapted for this task. The double-dewclaws on its rear paws provide the dog with enhanced stability and grip while navigating the treacherous terrain of the cliffs.

But the Lundehund’s extraordinary features don’t stop there. In addition to the double-dewclaws on its hind legs, it also possesses six toes on its front paws. These additional toes, known as polydactylism, further contribute to the dog’s exceptional agility and dexterity. The extra toes provide increased surface area and traction, enabling the Lundehund to traverse uneven and slippery surfaces with ease.

The evolutionary purpose of these additional toes can be traced back to the dog’s puffin-hunting heritage. The Lundehund needed to be able to maneuver through narrow crevices and rocky ledges to access the puffins’ nesting sites. The six toes on its front paws allowed it to grip onto small footholds and maintain balance in precarious positions, ensuring a successful hunt.

It is worth noting that while the Norwegian Lundehund is the breed most commonly associated with double-dewclaws on the hind legs, it is not the only breed that may exhibit this feature. Some other breeds, such as the Great Pyrenees and the Briard, are also known to occasionally have double-dewclaws on their rear paws. However, the Lundehund is the only breed that consistently presents this characteristic, and it is considered a defining trait of the breed.

The Norwegian Lundehund is a remarkable breed of dog that possesses double-dewclaws on its hind legs. This unique feature, along with the additional toes on its front paws, is believed to be an adaptation for its traditional role of puffin hunting. The double-dewclaws provide increased stability and grip, while the six toes offer enhanced agility and dexterity. These characteristics make the Lundehund an exceptional dog with a fascinating history and purpose.