Does your German shepherd swim very well, and you wonder whether they have webbed feet? German shepherds have webbed feet, but their appearance is not what you expect. So let’s see what is termed as webbed feet in a German shepherd. But before we do that, it is essential to note that the American Kennel Club doesn’t include webbed feet in their German shepherds’ description.
Their description of the feet of a German shepherd is as follows: “The paws are firm, short, and thick with perfectly arched toes.” But that does not nullify the possibility of having German shepherds whose feet are webbed because of deviations from the original. That is perfectly normal, and therefore you should not panic. This article talks about German shepherds having webbed feet. It will also show you whether webbed feet are only a characteristic of German shepherds or are also found in other dog breeds and whether they have any benefits.
Web-Footed German Shepherds?
Even if your German shepherd is web-footed, it’s not the same webbing as that of aquatic creatures. For example, ducks have densely webbed feet compared with German shepherds.
Many people think that German shepherds who are web-footed aren’t pure breeds. This is not true. By looking at your German shepherd’s feet, you cannot tell if they are purebred or not. Checking their coat is even a better way of knowing whether the dog is purebred or not.
Show quality and pet quality are two major categories used in referring to bloodlines and breeding of dogs. In case you bought your German shepherd from a seller who often shows with their dogs and the parents of your puppy are registered with the AKC, then your dog is show quality.
On the contrary, if the breeder of your German shepherd did not register her parents under the American Kennel Club and is not showing the dogs, then your dog is pet quality.
Irrespective of the family tree, each dog is important and amazing. Pet quality and show quality terms don’t indicate anything negative. Therefore, in classifying German shepherds with webbed feet, they will fall in the category of pet quality dogs because their parents are not American Kennel Club registered.
In case a German shepherd show quality breeder gets a puppy who is web-footed born by one of their dogs, they will not show the dog because they do not meet the standards of the American Kennel Club. So they will sell the puppy as pet quality. However, this does not mean the puppy is bad. The puppy will make excellent family friend or even worker. The webbing is the only reason they will not be shown.
Do German Shepherds Benefit from Having Webbed Feet?
Whether your German shepherd is web-footed or not, it’s still a German shepherd. During breeding, the webbed feet are retained because they are not harmful to the dog. However, they have some benefits too.
1. Assists in Swimming
Have you noticed that German shepherds are better swimmers than other dogs? That is one advantage of webbed feet. Moreover, although other dogs love water more than German shepherds, the latter enjoys swimming. The webbing increases the surface area of the paws, making it easy for the dog to swim.
The paw’s large surface area, the sturdy legs, and the lean body of the German Shepard enable them to move through the water easier and quicker. In case your German shepherd does not like swimming, you can train them.
2. Assists in Walking
Perhaps you think webbed feet aren’t useful outside water. That is not true. These feet assist the dog is moving in particular circumstances. This is made possible by the paw’s large surface area. For instance, when the German shepherd passes through muddy fields, they can move easier because the paws will not sink much.
Moreover, when the dog is walking on slippery surfaces, they have a better grip, which prevents them from falling. This is very important, especially if your German shepherd is a guard dog or is used for herding.
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My German Shepherd Doesn’t Have Webbed Feet.
It is hard to find a German shepherd who does not have some webbing in their feet. However, if it is true, your dog has no webbing at all, no need worry. They have lived without them, and so they can still live without in their entire life. If that is not convincing enough, you can ask a vet to examine your German shepherd to assure you they are okay.
Are Webbed Feet Only Found in German Shepherds?
Webbed feet are also found in other dogs. Almost all dog breeds have them. But, the difference comes in the level of webbing. Some dog breeds have highly webbed feet, while others have less webbed feet. The evolution of dogs determines the level of webbing. Examples of dogs with highly webbed feet are American water spaniels, Newfoundland, and Portuguese water dogs. These dogs have a history of helping fishers, and therefore webbed feet are of great benefit.
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Hopefully, your question on whether German Shepherds have webbed feet is answered, and you now know that even if yours does not have that feature, it is not a big deal. They can live a long healthy life without them, although it is not likely to have one whose feet do not have any webbing.
In case your vet confirmed your German shepherd has no webbing on their feet, but they are perfectly okay, you don’t need to worry. The dog will still do all the work one with webbed feet would do.
Webbed feet are an added advantage to German shepherd dogs. They help the dog swim with ease; they offer a firm grip when the dog is walking on slippery surfaces and prevents them from sinking if they are walking on muddy areas.
Besides German Shepherds, other dogs also have webbed feet. Most of these dogs are those who have been used by fishermen, and they include American water spaniels and Portuguese water dogs.