The short answer is yes, Beagle dogs have webbed feet. That thin layer of skin between their toes is considered webbing. This physical quality supports their active lifestyle and provides stability for activities they enjoy like running, hunting, and playing outdoors.
When someone mentions webbed feet we instantly think of ducks or frogs with their toes spread like a fan. This is not the same with canines. The American Kennel Club (AKC) defines webbing as the skin membrane connecting the toes, providing swimming support, especially to water-retrieving dogs.
You may wonder how your happy jumping Beagle has webbed feet and you never noticed? This is because the webbing on your dog is not as pronounced as it is with other animals. Beagles do have webbed feet and paws although not as prominent as with other dog breeds. All canines have that webbing on their feet but to varying degrees depending on function. Swimming dogs are usually the ones with this physical feature.
Now that you know that your dog has webbed feet, what’s in it for your Beagle? We’ll dish out more info about this marvelous trait so keep on reading.
Purpose of Webbed Feet
Dogs are wonderfully made creatures. Each part of their physical being plays a role in its existence that’s why different dog breeds have distinct qualities and characteristics.
An often overlooked physical attribute is the webbing on the feet that works pretty much like flippers. It transforms the dog’s paws into pseudo paddles with its flat and wide surface area, enabling them to move in the water easier. For canines, varying degrees of webbing correlates to how well they can swim in the water.
While this is a usual feature for water dogs, not all webbed feet canines use them to swim. Others use their webbing for digging around. The connecting skin helps dogs achieve stability which is useful for active breeds who like moving around different places.
Are Beagles Good Swimmers?
Since this is usually found in water dogs, does this make Beagles good swimmers?
Beagles can swim but that doesn’t mean they’re good swimmers. The webbing membrane on their feet is thin compared to water dogs who swim well. Once in the water, their natural instinct is enough for them to swim safely although some Beagles don’t like to be in the water.
While they may need some coaxing to get them to swim, they usually warm up to it quickly. If you want to swim with your Beagle, start exposing them to the water early to get their feet wet.
Advantages of Webbed Feet
While Beagles have less prominent webbed feet than other dogs, they have enough webbing to help them carry out activities they love doing.
Playful and always happy, Beagles are at their best when engaged in physical movement. They pack a lot of energy and you’ll tire yourself way ahead of this energetic dog. Behind their amazing stamina is their good balance on their feet. With the webbing between their toes and paws, they can go on and on with running, playing fetch, Frisbee, and other outdoor fun.
When they’re by themselves they like to dig. Beagles can be notorious diggers excavating wherever they feel like it, whether in or out of the house. This pastime is made easier for them with the webbing on their feet which acts like a shovel for the dirt.
As a member of the hound dog group, the Beagle breed has acute sniffing skills and can sprint fast when following a scent. Their form supports their function. Apart from their full nostrils and floppy ears that help them in the hunt, their webbed feet give them the foot power to go around hunting trails.
Born hunters, Beagles have a curious nature and they love roaming around using their powerful noses and formidable paws. The pads on the bottoms of their paws offer grip, their toenails provide them traction, and the webbing provides them stability. They can walk on uneven or slippery surfaces tirelessly without sinking. Beagles are confident strolling just about anywhere from swampy, muddy, wet ground, and even snow. They love exploring new places and they’re physically born to do so.
Disadvantages of Webbed Feet
Dogs with webbed feet enjoy a lot of advantages with the steadiness it provides making them agile and adaptable to different environments. However, this connecting membrane also has few disadvantages to watch out for.
- Foreign objects – Dogs with webbing have that space between their toes where small objects can get lodged in. Anywhere from thorns, pebbles, bits of glass, even stuck snow can be resting there without you knowing it. Check their paws every day, especially after a walk. Use tweezers to gently remove any foreign object stuck in between the toes.
- Parasites – The skin between the toes can be prone to parasites like ticks and fleas. Often unminded, these parasites can take home base in your dog’s webbings without you noticing it. They like to hide between the dog’s webbings and can stay there a long time if unchecked. Regularly clean your Beagle’s paws to ensure there’s no infestation.
- Abscess – Painful blisters may occur in the webbing of your dog’s toes. This occurs when the short, bristly hairs on the connecting skin are forced back into the follicles, causing a localized infection of the skin. Be mindful if your dog suddenly starts to lick its paws, especially if it’s on one paw as there might be an abscess.
A Beagle’s webbed feet equip it to do many things. As responsible Beagle owners, we have to take extra care of it so they can continue doing the things they enjoy.
This physical feature contributes to the personality and temperament of the dogs who have it. Apart from the Beagle, there are other breeds with more prominent webbing that make them unique in their own way.
Other Dog Breeds with Webbed Feet
On a scale of one to five, the Beagle is a three when it comes to its webbing membrane. Other dog breeds have more pronounced webbing and they are often great swimmers. Here are some of the other dog breeds with webbed feet:
Portuguese Water Dog
This water dog is bred to help herd fish into the nets. The webbing between their toes is soft, covered with hair, reaching up to their toes which makes them great paddlers. They also have curly waterproof coats that keep them warm after a dive.
Lab owners know that this breed loves water. Some refer to them as canine mermaids with webbed feet. They are tireless swimmers and talented retrievers. With the webbing on their paw paddles and thick water-resistant coat, they can swim anytime anywhere.
This gentle giant breed is known as a rescue dog and can double up as a lifeguard. Their large webbed feet propel them to open water quickly, making them natural swimmers. They were bred to help fishermen haul nets in cold waters which is no big deal with their furry coats.
Another member of the hound group like the Beagle, Dachshunds are also born for hunting, chasing, and digging. They may be small but their webbed feet enable them to take on short-distance swimming.
Very few know that poodles are initially bred for duck hunting. It’s equipped with webbed feet for paddling and a moisture-resistant coat for warmth after a nice dip. Aside from swimming, the webbing on their toes keeps them steady when walking on different surfaces.
These are just a few breeds of a longer list of webbed feet dogs. This common characteristic that they share helps them keep an active lifestyle and makes them great water companions.
More than knowing that Beagles have webbed feet, it’s interesting to learn that this overlooked trait is the reason behind loads of fun and playtime with your dog. It keeps your Beagle steady as they explore, hunt, jump, even swim.
It’s a nice thought that this thin skin connecting all their toes together plays a part in making your Beagle that playful and curious dog that everybody loves.