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Border Collies & Webbed Feet: (Fully Explained)

Border collies are a popular breed of dog known for their intelligence, energy, and athletic ability. One question that sometimes comes up about this breed is whether they have webbed feet.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at this question and explore the unique features of border collie paws and how they may or may not be suited for certain types of activities.

The simple answer: Border collies do not have webbed feet. Border collies were never used in the water throughout their history, so they never evolved to have webbed paws. Only water dogs like the water spaniel have significant webbing between the toes.

What Are Webbed Feet Anyway?

border collie webbed paws

First, it’s important to understand that webbed feet are a physical characteristic that is found in some animals, including some species of birds, amphibians, and fish.

Webbed feet are characterized by the presence of thin membranes or skin that connect the toes or “digits” of the feet.

These membranes help to increase surface area and provide added propulsion in the water, making them well-suited for swimming and diving.

So Do Border Collies Have Webbed Feet?

Border collies do not have webbed feet. In fact, most dogs do not have webbed feet, as they are not a characteristic that is typically found in canines.

Instead, border collies (and most other breeds of dogs) have what are known as “digitigrade” feet. This means that they walk on their toes, with the pads of their paws making contact with the ground.

Is It a Disadvantage Not Having Webbed Feet?

Despite the lack of webbing, border collies are still highly athletic and agile dogs that are capable of a wide range of physical activities.

They have strong, muscular legs and paws that are well-suited for running, jumping, and climbing. However, the obvious drawback would be swimming.

Webbed feet help the most when swimming and walking in snow, which border collies were never used to (hence the lack of webbed feet). So in this department, yes, they are at a slight disadvantage compared to other “water” breeds.

Other than this, not having webbed paws doesn’t really hold them back…

Border Collie Paw Pads Explained

One such feature is the presence of their extra thick pads on the bottom of their paws. These pads provide cushioning and support, helping to protect the joints and bones of the feet when the dog is running or jumping.

The pads also help to give the dog a better grip on various surfaces, making it easier for them to navigate slippery or uneven terrain.

In addition to the pads, border collies also have nails on their paws that are slightly longer and thicker than those of other breeds.

These nails are well-suited for digging and can help the dog to maintain a better grip on the ground when running or climbing.

11 Breeds That Have Webbed Feet

Webbed feet are typically found in dogs that were developed for water-based work, such as retrieving game or assisting in water rescues. Here’s 11 of them…

  1. Newfoundland
  2. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  3. Portuguese Water Dog
  4. Standard Poodle
  5. Labradoodle
  6. Irish Water Spaniel
  7. American Water Spaniel
  8. Otterhound
  9. American Eskimo Dog
  10. English Setter
  11. Curly-Coated Retriever

These breeds are well-suited for swimming and diving thanks to their webbed paws, which help to increase surface area and provide added propulsion in the water.

Last thoughts

In conclusion, border collies do not have webbed feet. Instead, they have digitigrade paws with thick pads and strong nails that are well-suited for running, jumping, and climbing.

While they may not be as well-adapted for swimming or navigating through deep snow as some other breeds, they are still highly athletic and agile dogs that are capable of a wide range of physical activities.

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.