Hi, my name’s Irena and I have three lovely dogs. I’ve been looking at their feet and one definitely has got webbed feet.
I’m not sure about the others but it does seem as if there is a little webbing there.
What is Webbing?
Webbing is a thin membrane which is between the toes of dogs just like we have a bit of skin between our fingers.
Most dogs do have a little webbing, but with some dogs, it is more prominent. It is part of how their paws are made.
Their pads provide grip when they are walking and to help them dig, their toenails provide traction.
Some dogs don’t have as much webbing as others. They could have cat’s paws which are small and round.
Working dogs usually have this kind of paw. Another type of paw is hare feet which have two long middle toes.
These are great for running fast and greyhounds and whippets usually have this type of paw.
Why Do Dogs Have Webbed Feet?
There is a practical reason behind webbing and some breeds have been bred to have webbed feet.
They are usually dogs which can be used to retrieve waterfowl and herd fish into nets. They are great swimmers and love to be in the water.
The webbing also gives stability when they are walking so it is useful even for those dogs which don’t swim.
Do Labs Have Webbed Feet?
It probably won’t surprise you to discover that the Labrador retriever is the most popular breed of dog in the US.
They are great family dogs with plenty of energy so suit people who have time to exercise with them.
Labs love to play in the water and on land if there is no water available.
They were originally bred to retrieve and hunt and this instinct is still in their nature.
Labradors have wide webbed feet meaning that they can easily do the doggy paddle.
In addition, they have thick waterproof coats making it easy for them to shake off the water after a swim.
They are great dogs to have in a colder climate as the webbing doubles up as snowshoes. If snow builds up between the toes, it can be painful for the dog, but the webbing stops the pain.
However, their feet and that of other breeds aren’t completely webbed like a duck or goose. If they were they wouldn’t be able to walk properly on land.
What Other Dog Breeds Have Webbed Feet?
There are plenty of dog breeds out there that also have webbed feet.
This breed was used to hunt down otters that were eating too many fish.
Portuguese Water Dog
They were bred to herd fish into nets. They are never happier than when they are in the water.
German Wire-Haired Pointer
This breed is used specifically to retrieve waterfowl.
This is an amazing dog. Not only were they bred to haul nets full of fish, but they were also used to rescue people from the water.
They are very hardy as they were originally bred in Canada where the water is usually pretty cold.
These dogs are common in South Africa and were bred to hunt animals like boar and deer, but they are also trained to retrieve from water.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
This is another hardy dog like the Newfoundland as it was originally bred to retrieve ducks from the freezing cold waters of Chesapeake Bay.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
This dog was bred in the 19th century to retrieve water birds. This dog is also very hardy as it goes into the cold waters of Nova Scotia.
For an in depth list of dog breeds with webbed feet check out this article!
Do Labs Have Webbed Feet: Final Thoughts
I hope that this article has made you have a look at your dogs’ feet!
Most of them should have some webbing, but if you have a Labrador retriever you will notice a lot of webbing.
Why not take your Labradors to a lake and see how competent they are at swimming.