Why Do Dachshunds Have Webbed Feet?

Last Updated on October 19, 2021 by Marco

Webbed feet are often associated with animals that spend a lot of time in the water, like ducks, so why do dachshunds have webbed feet as well? Before going over to your dog to check its feet, you should know that it will have some webbing between its toes. You may ask yourself: Do all dogs have webbed feet? 

Astonishingly enough, all dogs have some degree of webbing between their toes, but some have it more prominent than others. Dachshunds are one such breed, even if it may sound surprising for the sausage dog to have such a feature. A detail like this is easy to miss as we mostly look for coat color or size.

What Are Webbed Feet?

Webbed feet are toes interconnected with a tissue membrane. In aquatic animals like frogs or ducks, this membrane is what propels them through the water with great speed and precision.  Webbed flat feet act as a paddle similar to what we use with boats or canoes. 

Webbed feet can also offer great advantages to land-based animals. Some dogs with webbed feet are, in fact, strong swimmers. But not all dogs are bred for summing so other uses come to light for their webbed feet. 

What Are The Uses Of Webbed Feet In Dachshunds? 

All dogs as we see them now are a result of selective breeding done by humans. Dachshund’s webbed feet fall under the same facet of bred traits. But dachshunds are not well known as powerful swimmer dogs, so what uses do they apply to their webbed feet?

Digging In The Ground

The little dachshund breed with its long body was actually bred to be a hunter. Badgers are the main prey in mind for the doxie, and their webbed feet are perfect for digging after said prey. 

The skin membrane of a webfoot dog acts much like a shovel blade. This allows them to move dirt out of the way, fast and efficiently. A dog with less membrane between its toes is not as efficient at digging and relies more on its claws. Taking a longer time to dig the same amount as a doxie. 

dachshund digging in the ground

Efficient Swimmers

Yes, dachshunds are not very well known or recognized as swimmers, especially the smaller sizes of dachshund breeds. But they are in fact quite good swimmers and their webbed feet are what provide extra points in that department. 

Dachshunds may not be the epitome of rescue operations dog breeds but their merit should nevertheless be acknowledged. Dachshunds that like to swim will also get quite the exercise out of it, and they will surely have fun. 

dachshund swimming

Learn more about: Do Dachshunds Like To Swim and Are They Good At It?

Dogs With Webbed Feet Tackle Difficult Terrain 

Doxies are efficient in both aquatic environments as well as on solid ground. Their webbed feet let them tackle any kind of terrain. A dog with a smaller webbing may have a more difficult time going through muddy areas. Whereas a dachshund with its wider webbing is far more balanced and displays better traction. 

The webbing covers a wider surface area permitting them to maintain their footing on slippery surfaces. This means they won’t sink in muddy terrain and won’t fall on a slick surface. Depending on where a doxie lives, a wet climate will be an easy environment for them to truck through. 

in muddy terrain

Snowy Climate

As webbing helps with wet and muddy surfaces, it can also be of use on icy and snowy ones. Although this type of climate comes with some issues not thought of before. As far as the versatility of webbed feet goes, trekking in the snow is another advantage to be had. 

Dachshunds will find it easier to walk on snow as their webbed feet allows them to not sink. There is a catch, however, as the webbing will also permit snow to be stuck inside the dog’s feet. This can lead to cracked paws and painful skin if left untreated. It’s thus important to protect your dog’s paws by cleaning them and applying paw balm. 

dachshund swimming

Do Dachshunds Have Webbed Feet Bred Into Them? 

Dachshunds tend to be highly in tune with their owners. They appear to be gentle lap dogs, but their breeding did not have this in mind. Their German name attests to that, as the combination of the German word for dog and badger make up the dachshund name

It is widely believed that German foresters crossed the Pincher and French basset hound at first then adding spaniel and schnauzer. Each one of these had specific characteristics that made up the dachshund as it is today.

When trying to answer the question of: do dachshunds have webbed feet specifically bred into them, the answer is most likely yes. The dachshund’s webbed feet were a desired feature for digging as much as its highly sensitive nose. With its sensitive nose, a dachshund can follow a trail even after it’s gone cold and dig it out in seconds.

Health Problems

Whenever an additional characteristic to a dog becomes evident from their breeding, health concerns arise. As such, the spade-like webbing of a dachshund might pose some questions of health. Some dogs with pronounced webbing in between their toes do develop health issues. 

Cleft palate is one such issue common among webbed feet dogs, but that is due to chromosomal mutations. Dachshunds don’t seem to have too many health problems derived from their connected feet. Ticks may find a spot on the membrane in between their toes, an issue easily resolved with tick treatment beforehand. 

Final Thoughts 

The little sausages dog has a lot going for it. There is a simple answer to the question why do dachshunds have webbed feet, for one to hunt badgers. But it comes with other traits complementary to the temperament and personality in its small body. 

Doxies are not tremendously powerful swimmers, but their webbed feet give them traction for chasing and digging holes. The more developed membrane makes their paws perfect shovels that allow them to dig holes very fast. They will have a great time either paddling in some water or trekking after the scent of prey on land. 

Read more about: Do Dogs Get Altitude Sickness Or Is It Just People?

Leave a Comment!