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Canine dewclaw notes by KFCemployee Canine dewclaw notes by KFCemployee
tried to make it bigger and broke deviantart GROOAN

I've seen drawings in the past with wolves with dewclaws on their hind legs and it's always irked me. I looked up more about these mysterious hind leg dewclaws and it led me to a nice trove of information! I wrote down what I learned above :)
I made this to study how realistic canines should be portrayed in art/drawings! I say "never" in some sentences but obviously there are rare exceptions! :D I mean "never" in the way that, in a realistic drawing, they should never have those features if you're trying to accurately represent the canine. 

For wolves and normal dogs
Standard phenotype is one dewclaw on the front leg and no extras. The front dewclaw has developed muscles attached to it because canines use them for various purposes. Wild canines will never be seen with double dewclaw or dewclaw on hind legs. Sometimes a dog will have extra loose or bulky dewclaws that don't perform the same way as normal dewclaws. In that aspect they're better to be removed, as those kind of dewclaws will pose a big risk for tearing.


For specific breeds and mutations (Pyrenees, Beauceron, Briard) 
Certain working breeds can be seen with dewclaws on their hind legs or double dewclaws. Dewclaws on the hind legs have no function, no developed muscle, and can be ripped off in very painful accidents while playing or running. Loose dewclaws in general pose risk of being torn. Double dewclaw and dewclaw on hind legs is a mutation and only seen in domesticated dogs. The ONLY time you will see a wild canine with dewclaws on the hind or double dewclaws is in a situation when they've interbred with domestic dogs (italian wolves found with dewclaws --> they had bred with dogs). 


For drawing dewclaws and where to put them

  • This is anecdotal, but from the patterns I've seen I think a safe place to put the dewclaw on your canine would be in the middle place between the wrist and the paws. To be more accurate, try to put the dewclaw a little closer to the paws but still roughly in the middle.
  • It looks like the nails on dewclaws should be of similar size to the nails on the fingers and toes, so aim to make them similarly sized. 
  • Dewclaws have pads and they can vary in sizes- some might be bulky and very obvious and some are subtle and small! Try different sizes!
  • If you're drawing a wild canine (non domesticated) or any normal dogs, one dewclaw on the front leg is the realistic choice :) 

The examples
I put a few of my own drawings down at the bottom and "fixed" them! I mess up the dewclaws a lot because I haven't figured out what to do with them. Anyway, I thought it'd be helpful to see my own errors and how I kind of fixed them! It helps me!


References:

Photos- sta.sh/211lzzwpb87g
Information, research- retrieverman.net/2009/04/02/de…iheartdogs.com/the-dewclaws-de…



Here are some more resources I've made! :)
KFC's wolf markings chart by KFCemployee  Papa KFC's big brushes, updated by KFCemployee  Canine teeth study by KFCemployee  Agression vs Fear in Wolves cheat sheet: Snarls by KFCemployee  Fixing canine teeth and common anatomy errors by KFCemployee 







My commissions website: www.carnivoradesign.com/
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Patreon: www.patreon.com/KFCemployee -get fullsized images, monthly commissions, and more!
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Add a Comment:
 
:iconaristodes:
Aristodes Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice tutorial. Makes all that time spent staring at dog feet worth it, I hope. :D
Reply
:iconchartoons101:
Chartoons101 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017
Thanks 4 postin' this stuff, boi! Very helpful for me as a developing artist!
Reply
:iconwildfire-tama:
Wildfire-Tama Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2016
This is so useful, thank you for making it! The paws are always so hard for me xD
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:iconkikane:
Kikane Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016
I looove your tutorials! Especially the parts where you take your own old art and edit it. It gives me hope as a canine artist. 
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:iconsevas-tra:
sevas-tra Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love when you go back and redo your own work. Not that they were eyesores or anything, I just don't think I've ever really seen someone do that in a tutorial.  I went back through my work just now to look at mine. Turns out, African wild dogs don't have them? I didn't put any on any of my drawings and here's another ref at large resolution where you can easily see the lack of - www.oregonzoo.org/sites/defaul…
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:iconbeetleinabottle:
BeetleInABottle Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
My dog Richter has 3 extra dewclaws on both his hind legs and two dewclaws on his front! :D 
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:iconravica:
Ravica Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
I found it rather funny and cute first time I noticed our shepherd mix had 3 declaws ^^ one hind leg missing one.
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:iconwrabbitt-euse:
WRabbitt-Euse Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Aaaaaaah thaaaaanks- this is so usefull!
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:iconwildwoodwanderer:
WildwoodWanderer Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Student Digital Artist
My german shepherd puppo has dewclaws on his back legs and we were all lIKE WHAT IS THIS ABOMINATION but we love him nonetheless he's pretty chill too lmao
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:iconjatowhitz:
JatoWhitz Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
One of my dogs is very good at manipulating things with his front dewclaws. Uses them to grab a hold of bones and stuff while eating and when I take stuff away from him (I know my dog, he's not food aggressive and I usually give it back to him a couple seconds later anyway, just in case he's eating something he's not supposed to) he tries to hold it back down like "see, my mouth isn't touching it, I dropped it" xD
He also happens to have back dewclaws and those things constantly freak me out. They're just so flimsy and weak and I worry about him ripping them off all the time. Luckily it's been 11 years and we've never had an incident. 

It's very interesting though how a mutation like this could come about.
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:iconevlonarts:
EvlonArts Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
The last 2 dogs I've adopted BOTH had dewclaws in the back.
The first is a yorkie/min pin, and had a pair that were so disconnected you could rotate them 360 and she wouldn't notice.  We had these removed, they were just attached by the skin, even the vet was surprised how floppy they were.
The second is a Catahoula girl and has some of the most sturdy connected back dewclaws I've ever seen/felt before.

I find dog mutations really interesting, and this is probably one of the better guides focused on dewclaws I've seen :>
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:iconbadazal:
badazal Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
These are so useful!
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:iconyataroutheboi:
YatarouTheBoi Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the refs, dude!
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:icontisefe:
Tisefe Featured By Owner Edited Dec 23, 2016
You start to think about how the hell the dewclaw gets ripped off, it's horrible how it can, just thinking about the pain it could cause for the guy. o:
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:iconkfcemployee:
KFCemployee Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i've heard it's extremely bloody and traumatic/painful :/ it can get infected and cause a lot of trouble and it's just way more work than removing the loose dewclaw as a pup instead. it's also nearly painless and risk free as a pup with numbing combined with their underdeveloped systems :) but as the Dr said, those little front dewclaws can have uses, so it's not always good to remove them without knowing. I think double dewclaws should always be removed though!
Reply
:icontisefe:
Tisefe Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016
That's really bad. v.v 

Yeah, my friend was getting a puppy and there was a litter and one had a double dewclaw, the freaking owners said that it was the ugliest thing they've seen and freaking put it down due to the mutation, I didn't know they could be ripped off so easily though, which is all I was really wondering. I still can't believe they put it down. :c
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:iconkfcemployee:
KFCemployee Featured By Owner Edited Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They put it down just because it had double dewclaw??? o______o i.. would not buy from a breeder who culls over something so, in general, benign. They're just extra, useless digits and very easily removed when young- the breeder could've just taken the pup to have the digits snipped off. Maybe they had never seen something like that before somehow (yet they breed dogs)? Were they a backyard breeder? I think they must've not known what it was an freaked out because of that. Double dewclaws get snagged on stuff and cause problems but it's pretty harmless in comparison to other mutations and issues. Some dogs are still bred to have them, even. 
That's ridiculous though. The dog could've probably lived a healthy happy life if they hadn't put it down. Yikes :c

the only reason i could think of as to why they put the pup down other than being dumb/ignorant is that they didn't want it to pass on to the next generation. But spaying or neutering would've accomplished the same thing. That's so weird.
Reply
:icontisefe:
Tisefe Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016
I know, my friend told me and I was confused about it too. I told them that they probably shouldn't buy one off of them, since they seemed as a bit of a shifty person, and it was a horrible thing to do. They probably would be a backyard breeder thinking of it. It's such a stupid reason, as well as an overreaction. Also, I wouldn't either, I would straight away just say: "No, the deal is off" You don't freaking kill a dog due to a mutation.
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:iconkfcemployee:
KFCemployee Featured By Owner Edited Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you know i think this dewclaw mutation stuff could have some outside-of-art applications-
what if your wolf roleplay couple has a litter and some of them have double dewclaws or dews on their hind legs
"how could you??"
you know because then the mom wouldve had an affair with a dog to get that mutation- get it?
:( i liked it
Reply
:icongypsyco:
GypsyCo Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016   Photographer
Useful tutorial! Dewclaws are a pain to draw on certain angles. :meow: Thanks!

I've seen two coyote pelts with a double dewclaw one one front leg. Mutation though, no dog mix. I agree it's really rare. Never saw it in foxes and jackals so far. Wolf is a different subject.
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:iconkfcemployee:
KFCemployee Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah they can be really tricky at weird angles!
That's amazing :o very rare to find something like that! I think perhaps they could've had an ancestor who bred with a dog to let the gene show. Some of the italian wolves i saw with dewclaws looked completely wolf! but apparently they'd had contact with dogs in the past. But then again, if it exists in the dog then it existed in the ancestor too, so it could be a genuine mutation!
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:icongypsyco:
GypsyCo Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016   Photographer
There's more chances of coyotes being part wolf than dog, hence the Eastern ones. Still possible in their ancestry though. I do have a yote pelt that has a phenotype (black & tan) gotten from wolves, who said wolves got it from dogs. Genuine mutation or not, it's interesting. :)
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:iconvolinfer:
Volinfer Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been always drawing 'em much closer to a wrist and I knew it was a mistake xD I feel like I have to re-learn some shit now Lol
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:iconkfcemployee:
KFCemployee Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah me too! I'd seen them drawn on the wrist/near it and I decided to do it too, and I was a little surprised to see where they actually are :s it was so convenient drawing them closer to the wrist, ugh! 
I feel a little discombobulated!
Reply
:iconvolinfer:
Volinfer Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
YESYES! It's like... It seemes just so comfortable to draw 'em right underneath the wrist. And also, it's really funny how many anatomical mistakes I do just because I'm lazy to learn Lol (I actually see them hahh)
Reply
:iconkfcemployee:
KFCemployee Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i knoooooow!! so many things i want to learn to do properly but keep burying to do work instead! I think some day, maybe next year, i'll go on a sabbatical and spend a month just improving my anatomy and studying. That'd be so cool :XD: Some day!
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:iconvolinfer:
Volinfer Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
We all think this way, don't we XDD "I will be studying THIS year for sure!.."
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:iconguiis:
guIIs Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wolf feet are so extemely bothersome to draw for me, they have such a distinct shape thats really hard to nail
you do a great job at it tho! Love ur work and this tutorial : ) !!
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:iconkfcemployee:
KFCemployee Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yeah i know! they have a really unique shape- the pictures on the right are all from dogs instead and you can really see how squareish and boxy they are in comparison! Wolves have such long toes and fingers :XD: It's difficult for me too!
and thank you, that's really nice! :D
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:iconwheresunrises:
WhereSunRises Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for this amazing tutorial! It helps soo much! I always had trouble getting these little "guys" right! Thank you once again! :) Merry christmas by the way!
Reply
:iconkfcemployee:
KFCemployee Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww, you're welcome!! I've always had trouble with them too :) I hope this helps us both haha! Merry christmas!
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:iconwheresunrises:
WhereSunRises Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Thank you :) Have a wonderful day!
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:iconmolfar-spirit:
Molfar-Spirit Featured By Owner Edited Dec 23, 2016  Student General Artist
Thank you for the next tutorial!
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:iconkfcemployee:
KFCemployee Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:) no problem, I liked making it!
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:iconmolfar-spirit:
Molfar-Spirit Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2016  Student General Artist
You're sweet! <3
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