Can You Declaw a Dog?
Technically, yes, you can declaw a dog. That being said, it is very strongly suggested that you DO NOT do this!
Declawing is a process where a dog’s nail is completely removed. Sometimes part of declawing can also mean partial removal of the actual claw/foot. This is a very painful process and leaves the dog feeling crippled. For a human being, this would be like having a nail ripped out of your hand. The thought of this makes me cringe!
On very rare instances, and because of very strong medical reasons such as injury or tumor, a vet might recommend declawing one or two claws of the dog. This is very rare. For example, if a dog has a claw sort of hanging out, and not properly attached, the vet might consider declawing because he can get hurt while running or playing since it’s dangling.
There are times when a vet might declaw a dog while it is being neutered or spayed because they think it will be for their best. I would always ask the cons of keeping the claws in (how exactly will this affect your dog) before making a drastic decision.
Dog claws are not sharp, and they are not meant to be for the purpose of hurting a person or another animal. Sometimes, they will scratch because they are either trying to protect themselves or because they are playing! For example, when we are playing tug, Bunk will run in circles trying to catch the rope and tug at it. He sometimes ends up scratching my hand since he’s trying to reach the rope. This is not his fault, but mine, because I decided to hold on to the rope in the first place!
There have been instances where people have considered declawing because dogs are digging up holes in their yard. One thing we need to remember is that dogs will we what we let them become. If we take them out on long walks, and regularly exercise them, they will come home and sleep peacefully. Their minds and bodies will be worn out. If we leave them out in the yard all that, they will be bored (just like humans!) and will come up with ways to entertain themselves, such as digging up holes. In this instance, again, it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure the dog is properly trained and is getting its daily workout. Declawing a dog should never be used as a remedy in an instance such as this. In this instance if someone asked me can you declaw a dog for this reason, I would strongly say no.
I personally do not believe there is any dog behavior that cannot be modified through proper training and care. If you are facing some extreme issues with your dog, talk to a vet, to a dog trainer or someone else who deals with dogs and there is a lot of different things that can be tried to make sure you can correct that behavior.