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We always have the dewclaws removed on our pups, but it usually happens when they are about 5 days old and it is a very minor thing at that point. We've never had any complications from it and they simply heal on their own. A few dabs of alcohol occasionally, but that is it. I know when they get older it is a little bit more of a procedure and you may have a little more healing time, but it is nothing to be concerned about.
 

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Brien, I don't actually know whether the AKC views dewclaw removal as something that disqualifies a dog or not. To be honest when I see that a dog needs to be intact I always thought that simply meant they needed their reproductive organs. Obviously I do not show my dogs. lol Sorry.

As for the dewclaws..I was told one time that the only dogs that really need their dewclaws are dogs that tree animals. Since I haven't seen many rabbits climb trees I never figured a Beagle needed them. I know dewclaws can cause issues with getting caught on things as you mentioned, but also because people forget that they do not naturally grind down (due to not hitting the ground) so if they do not keep them clipped they will grow back into the leg causing pain for the animal. That is why I have always had them removed.
 
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