Isn’t it surprising that dogs can have webbed feet too? Generally, webbed feet are the physical traits of those animals that spend most of their time in the water. That is because webbed feet help them to move around and swim in the water effortlessly. Animals like the ducks and frogs are some of the common examples to relate with. However, other land animals possess webbed feet too, and your canine buddy is one of them. So, do Labradoodles have webbed feet?
Labradoodles can have webbed feet similar to that of their parent Labradors or Poodles. As a result, they can learn swimming quickly and can manoeuvre the waters with ease.
Somehow, all dogs have webbed feet, but you may find that the connecting skin is recessive in some. Hence, swimming is not a skill that any dog can excel at. As Labradors are excellent swimmers with their dominant webbed feet, Labradoodles can also possess similar traits.
Webbing In Animals
Webbing is a biological trait in animals’ feet that regularly requires movement through or along the waters. It is a thin membrane that connects the toes and, hence, increases the feet’ surface area. As an excellent example, ducks have webbed feet to paddle the waters and move efficiently.
The comprehensive foot feature also allows them to walk on rugged terrains like marshy lands and muddy areas. Due to increased surface area, they can walk without sinking or slowing down. It is a trait that evolved overtime to help the animals adapt to their surroundings and thrive.
Webbing in Labradoodles
It is surprising to know that all land animals develop webbed feet when at the embryo stage. But in the following cycles, the feature becomes unnoticeable. When it comes to your canine companions, there are some dogs with dominant webbings than average. Hence, breeders favour such dogs to breed offspring with webbed feet.
The Labradors, the Otterhounds, and the Newfoundland dogs are some breeds with well-developed feet webbings. Luckily, Labradoodles happen to have the Labradors as their parent breed. And hence, have proper webbed feet.
Throughout history, dogs with webbed feet have proved more reliable while hunting or even herding animals. Hence, to obtain desired traits, selective breeding has become a common practice among dog breeders. Their swimming ability allows them to have more command over the wetlands.
However, that does not imply that they belong to the waters. Instead, they are much like any other land animal, with the only difference being their strong swimming ability.
Other Types of Dog Feet
Surprisingly enough, there are two other types of dog paws.
- Cat’s feet:
Make sure that the name does not confuse you here. The cat’s feet shape of a dog’s paw is tiny and round. The form helps them to maintain stability and great endurance. As a result, in the initial days, the owners preferred their dogs to have this paw shape.
- Hare feet:
The hare feet paws appear thinner but longer when observed. The two middle toes are longer than the rest, which helps them gain incredible speeds while running. As an example, the greyhound and the whippet are two dog breeds with hare feet paw shape.
Cons of Webbed Feet in Labradoodles
Though there may be various benefits for your canine companion to possess webbed feet, there are risks involved. It can pose multiple health risks to your dog in the long term:
- Cleft Palate:
Many observations show that Labradoodles with webbed feet often suffer from cleft palate too. The main reason behind this unfortunate occurrence is due to abnormalities in genetics. Usually, dogs have their mouth roofs stuck thus and adequately leaving no space on the lips. However, during their embryo stage of dogs with webbed feet, the toes do the sticking instead of the mouth roofs.
- Shortened Tibia-Fibula:
Two bones are responsible for connecting your dog’s lower rear leg, namely, the tibia and the fibula. The same gene accountable for the webbed feet can affect the premature joining of the two bones. As a result, it can cause fracturing of the bones or limp too. However, in case it happens, you can cure it through surgery.
Scoliosis in dogs results in the sideways curvature of the spine. It means that its spine is croquet and bends to the side. The changes in the body may start to appear right before or during puberty. You can examine it by touching its back or visually observing how your dog walks. Scoliosis causes the dog to limp and may even paralyze it if left untreated. Scoliosis usually accompanies with webbed feet, as they both involve spinal and bone deformations.
Can your Labradoodle swim?
With both its parent breeds known to be excellent swimmers, the Labradoodles also excel in swimming. With their well-developed webbed feet and natural swimming abilities, they can have proper command over the waters. Swimming is a necessary exercise for your dogs to burn fats, freshen and clean themselves up.
However, you may need to teach them how to swim in the initial process.
Steps to train your Labradoodles to swim:
- Get your dog to play with water often:
Allow it to become familiar with the sound and feel of water. Do take it to a river or a lake and let it play with water. You can help dip its paw into the water the first time.
- Expose it in shallow water:
Be it a bathtub, seashore, or a bucket; try to let it feel the depth of the water. Try to be gentle and not push it too far.
- Carry it to deeper waters:
Hold it properly and guide it while you introduce it into deeper areas. It will shake its limbs and try to swim. Be always on the lookout, as even a second of ignorance may put its life at risk.
- Use similar training methods as while on the playground:
Be patient and do it consistently to get maximum improvements. However, do not wear your dog out in the process. Praise it and care for it throughout the process.
The Labradoodles, with their webbed feet, are excellent swimmers in general. However, there may be a few Labradoodles that fear water or are unable to swim. In such cases, it is best to leave them be and not push them too hard. Any mental or physical stress may pose a severe risk to their life. Also, for timid dogs, you can allow them to mingle with other dogs that love swimming. It can act as a booster to help them learn to swim.
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