Do All Dogs Have Webbed Feet?

“Do All Dogs Have Webbed Feet?” is locked Do All Dogs Have Webbed Feet?

Although to a differing extent, all dogs do have webbed feet. A feature of any dog's paw is the connecting membrane between their toes. This webbing help dogs swim better and be more sure-footed in tricky terrains. Webbed feet are a common feature of animals such as aquatic birds including ducks and geese. However, all land animals with toes start with webbed-feet as embryos. Researchers have determined that it is only when an embryo detects a certain level of oxygen concentration that the membrane between the toes disappears.

Dog breeds that are strong swimmers have more obvious webbed feet. These include Newfoundlands, Dachshunds, otterhounds, and Portuguese water dogs to name a few. 

The webbings on the paws of these breeds are much more pronounced because of generations of selective breeding as a function of the role they play in helping their owners. For example, the Portuguese water dog herded schools of fish for fishermen.