Almost all dogs have a sliver of skin between their toes to link the paws and provide the appearance of webbed feet. However, especially in the case of German Shepherds, this area of skin is rarely referred to as webbing.
Despite the fact that their toes are joined by additional skin, German Shepherds do not have webbed feet. A German Shepherd can have webbed feet, however, this trait is not typical and should be checked by a veterinarian. The presence of the webbed feet trait in a German Shepherd usually suggests a mixed-breed dog rather than a purebred dog.
Continue reading to learn more regarding whether German Shepherds have webbed feet, whether they can have webbed feet, whether a German Shepherd possessing the webbed feet trait has benefits, and more.
Do German Shepherds Have Webbed Feet?
Keep in mind that every dog has a small amount of skin between his toes that is normal and healthy. This web-like trait provides a German Shepherd’s paws with strength and stability, but it isn’t regarded as true webbed feet.
Typically, the paws of most German Shepherds will not be entirely webbed together, as this is exceedingly uncommon in dogs. However, a tiny percentage of German Shepherd Dogs may suffer from a medical issue known as syndactyly, which results in a webbed-like foot appearance.
Remember that webbed feet are not a significant medical problem and can actually benefit your German Shepherd. The increased webbing provides a larger surface area, allowing your German Shepherd to swim more powerfully and glide through slick and wet areas.
Overall, whatever type of foot your German Shepherd may have, webbed or not, they will adore you for the rest of their lives.
What Are the Breed Standards of German Shepherd Feet?
Since purebred German Shepherd breed standards do not apply to mixed breeds, the American Kennel Club makes no mention of webbed feet in German Shepherds. This implies that purebred German Shepherds do not have webbed feet. According to the American Kennel Club, German Shepherds have a compact, small feet with well-arched toes.
German Shepherd dogs are said to have robust and solid paw pads as well as short, black nails. As you may have observed, there is no mention of webbing in this definition, indicating that German Shepherds do not have webbed feet. That is not to argue that a German Shepherd cannot have webbed feet; it just means that webbed feet are not part of the breed standard.
What Causes Some German Shepherds to Have Webbed Feet?
The skin between a German Shepherd’s toes is supposed to hold the toes together and give stability from an anatomical perspective. However, dogs only require a tiny quantity of skin to provide the strength required for effective foot function. Similar to how you just need a thin layer of skin between your fingers to keep your hands strong and mobile.
Due to heredity, certain German Shepherds may have webbed toes. Webbed feet in German Shepherds are a hereditary characteristic, which means they may be passed down through the generations from parents, grandparents, and even further back in the lineage of a German Shepherd puppy.
Due to the additional flap of skin between each toe, you could still think your German Shepherd has a touch of webbing if you look at him. Although practically every dog has a sliver of skin in this fashion, the German Shepherd’s skin does not form a complete webbing.
Instead, the skin merely joins the paws so that they may function as a single unit. The dog’s swimming abilities are also improved by the skin, albeit not as much as a natural webbed foot.
Therefore, a form of webbed toes are seen in a tiny percentage of German Shepherds, however, they are rarely documented in the Shepherd Dog and are not included in their breeding criteria.
Is it Possible for German Shepherds to have True Webbed Feet?
Despite the fact that webbed feet are not listed in the German Shepherd breed criteria, webbed feet are feasible in German Shepherds. Webbed feet can be caused by irresponsible breeding or particular health issues in German Shepherds and other non-webbed breeds.
If your German Shepherd appears to have proper webbed feet, they are probably not purebred and can have a webbed-footed breed in their bloodline.
Unfortunately, some German Shepherds with webbed feet must undergo surgical removal with the assistance of a veterinarian. Webbed feet can cause various long-term problems for the German Shepherd. Thus, this webbing must be removed. Before you get too worked up, keep in mind that not all German Shepherds born with webbed feet require surgery.
Is it Possible for a Purebred German Shepherd to Have Webbed Feet?
German Shepherds are not renowned for having webbed feet, according to the American Kennel Club standard. Although there is a small amount of webbed skin that links their paws, the toes are not considered webbed.
However, webbed feet are possible in purebred German Shepherds. If you have the proper registration documents and your German Shepherd has webbed feet, they are still entirely natural and purebred. Webbed feet on German Shepherds are a unique trait, but they shouldn’t alarm you if your dog’s paws are generally healthy and fit.
Whether you’re merely looking at your German Shepherd’s feet to see if they’re purebred, you should know that this isn’t a reliable method of determining breed ancestry. Only a DNA test can provide you with a definitive answer.
Should I Be Concerned If My German Shepherd Has Webbed Feet?
Since German Shepherds’ feet have less amount of webbing, it shouldn’t give them any trouble. Water-bred dogs with more webbing on their feet, on the other hand, are nevertheless vulnerable to attack. While there isn’t an easy solution to this question, webbed feet have been linked to or even caused other health issues.
Limping and other affections in dogs can also be caused by the webbing between the toes. According to researchers, the chromosomal mutation that causes webbed feet in dogs also causes a cleft palate, shortening of the tibia and fibula, and even scoliosis.
If you suspect your German Shepherd has webbed feet, you should get it checked out by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian will make sure the webbing isn’t interfering with the dog’s ability to play, walk, or swim.
If your German Shepherd has webbed feet, surgery may be required. This isn’t a certainty, but if the webbing impacts the dog’s quality of life and health, it’s a possibility. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if separating the webs is necessary for your dog.
Are Webbed Feet in German Shepherds Beneficial?
Webbed Foot Land Benefits
A German Shepherd is generally a land-based working breed. When a German Shepherd possesses the webbed feet trait, the extensive surface area of their paws increases their ability to navigate over muddy regions faster and sink more slowly than a German Shepherd without webbed feet.
Furthermore, when a GSD travels on slick surfaces, the webbing between their paws may offer a firmer hold on the surface, reducing the likelihood of their falling.
Webbed Foot Swimming Benefits
Other dog breeds with webbed feet have been shown to be good swimmers and retrievers in the water, which is the most substantial natural evidence we have that webbed feet in German Shepherds can be useful. Since the additional skin and webbing enhance the paw’s surface area, webbed feet make swimming simpler.
As a webbed foot pushes through the water, it advances speed and agility, increasing the surface area of their feet and toes, which, in turn, translates into a stronger swimming stroke.
What Dog Breeds Typically Have Webbed Feet?
Although it may be difficult to perceive, all dogs have webbing on their feet. Nonetheless, some dogs have substantially more webbing than others since they were bred for the sole goal of keeping that feature. Water-loving dogs like the Newfoundland and Portuguese Water Dog were developed to assist hunters in retrieving wildlife from lakes and marshes, as well as to bring heard creatures to fishermen’s nets.
The German Wirehaired Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever are some of the most well-known dog breeds with webbed feet. However, many other dogs breeds have webbed feet that help them with their duties and make them more efficient.
Purebred German Shepherds are not known to have official webbed feet according to the AKC breeding standard. However, on the other hand, non-purebreds can have webbed feet. Take your German Shepherd to the vet if you believe it has webbed feet to ensure the webbing isn’t impacting its quality of life.
The main disadvantage of having webbed feet on your German Shepherd is that you won’t be allowed to enter your dog in any dog shows. Although you won’t be able to display your German Shepherd, webbed feet don’t always have an adverse effect on a German Shepherd’s quality of life, and the German Shepherd can still be an excellent companion.