Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
There are definite benefits. The dew claws help dogs grip on turning while running. They also help dogs hold objects they are chewing. On occasion a dew claw gets injured and may need removal but I wouldn¡t do it prophylactically.
I have a labradoodle that had her dew claws removed shortly after birth and two that still have theirs--I see no difference in their behaviors or their abilities. Luckily, my two with dew claws have not had any injuries, but I have heard that they do get caught on things--also if they are not trimmed regularly, sometimes they grow in a circular fashion (and form a "cheerios" shape) making it hard to get a clipper inside to trim them-- and they can even grow right back to the leg and irritate it. But, regular nail clipping when grooming will take care of that.
Dew claws are basically your dogs thumb, they are used for holding and manipulating objects as well as gripping the ground when turning or decelerating. Without dew claws there is a risk of developing increased arthritis in the carpus (wrist), or potentially developing a shoulder injury. The problematic dew claws tend to be the floppy dew claw seen in breeds that have a double dew claw.
For me, this is one of those things I would never consider doing. This also includes docking tails and ears. Declawing cats is on the list too. I know people have their reasons for doing these things like breed specificity, but it seems unnatural and unnecessary to me.