Opposable "thumbs" (dewclaws)?


  • I was wondering if anyone else experienced this. Yoshi, my basenji (probable) mix, has all four of his dewclaws and uses them in ways that I don't see in other dogs. His rear ones he uses like climbing spikes when he's scaling . He seems to be able to use his front ones independently (distressing!) to do things like hold onto windowsills, grab and hide the remotes, and manipulate his kennel lock. Am I gonna come home one day to find him typing away on the computer?


  • Mine does have declaws but set up the camera if Yoshi hits that computer he is a money maker. See money maker not trouble maker. We have to hide remote its free game. This was great thanks.

    Rita Jean


  • dont be surprised when the pizza delivery guys shows up.

  • Houston

    yepp, you are in for a ride..make sure your credit cards are safe…
    Otis doesn't have his..and I don't think he knows to miss them.


  • Nicky uses hers to help hold bones and bully sticks, and to clean her eyes and face. They are not really 'opposable' but go help grip and hold.


  • LOL! Wouldn't that be hysterical, a Basenji at the keyboard. What's that they say about 1000 monkeys at keyboards ultimately coming up with Shakespeare? It would probably only take 3 Basenjis….:)


  • @Varanus:

    I was wondering if anyone else experienced this. Yoshi, my basenji (probable) mix, has all four of his dewclaws and uses them in ways that I don't see in other dogs. His rear ones he uses like climbing spikes when he's scaling . He seems to be able to use his front ones independently (distressing!) to do things like hold onto windowsills, grab and hide the remotes, and manipulate his kennel lock. Am I gonna come home one day to find him typing away on the computer?

    In 25 yrs in the breed, I have never seen a Basenji with rear dew claws? Do you have a picture?


  • @tanza:

    In 25 yrs in the breed, I have never seen a Basenji with rear dew claws? Do you have a picture?

    We have never had rear dew claws either thank goodness!!. It could be because Yoshi is a Basenji mix.

  • Houston

    I was thinking that as well, not for B's but for dogs in general, so I did some research..i.e googled and there are dogs out there with dewclaws on the back paws, I had no idea. I have yet, needless to say seen one in real life. I would love to see a pick as well. Apparently the dew claws on the back paws are more of a fleashy type area, so the claw does not fuse with the bone like to front ones do, therefor they can be removed, rather painlessly for the dog. I would love to see a pic as well, really interesting.


  • @Basenjimamma:

    I was thinking that as well, not for B's but for dogs in general, so I did some research..i.e googled and there are dogs out there with dewclaws on the back paws, I had no idea. I have yet, needless to say seen one in real life. I would love to see a pick as well. Apparently the dew claws on the back paws are more of a fleashy type area, so the claw does not fuse with the bone like to front ones do, therefor they can be removed, rather painlessly for the dog. I would love to see a pic as well, really interesting.

    Like many of the Nordic breeds the Buhunds have always had ugly rear double dews:eek: which we always removed.

  • Houston

    I also read that Great Pyrenees have it as a breed requirement, meaning it is not considered purebreed without'em.

    I had no clue, just goes to show how truly blond I am…swede all the way..


  • I had forgotten that Yoshi was a mix.. that would explain it since Basenji do not have "rear" dew claws


  • Not only is he a mix, but I think he had a pretty rough life before me, so I doubt whoever produced him knew or cared anything about breed correctness (any breed!). If he were mine when he was a puppy, I might have had the rear ones removed, but now he seems to use them functionally. I was researching this also, and I found that few breeds even have double dew claws, so let me make sure I've got this right: a dog "should" have four toes on each foot, and the fifth is a vestigial "dew claw," correct?
    attachment_p_80690_0_img_0007.jpg

  • Houston

    Wow, thanks for posting a pic..how cool. I have never seen that before, so to me it is very cool. I don't know about the four toe thing, but the research I did stated that 4 was the most common.


  • @Varanus:

    Not only is he a mix, but I think he had a pretty rough life before me, so I doubt whoever produced him knew or cared anything about breed correctness (any breed!). If he were mine when he was a puppy, I might have had the rear ones removed, but now he seems to use them functionally. I was researching this also, and I found that few breeds even have double dew claws, so let me make sure I've got this right: a dog "should" have four toes on each foot, and the fifth is a vestigial "dew claw," correct?

    Wow…that is so bizarre to me - never seen it before. :eek:


  • Yeah, it was really weird when I realized he was using them to scale things and to stay on rough terrain. I'll try to get an action shot, but obviously that's easier said than done.


  • Realy unusual


  • Basenjis just have front ones, which most show breeders have removed from their litters. They can be nasty if they catch on something and rip.

    I do know German Shepherds sometimes have rear dews. Not sure about most other breeds. lol Again they are removed as newborns (the rears).

Suggested Topics

  • 19
  • 14
  • 25
  • 7
  • 8
  • 51