Declawing a dog is not a common practice, according to The Daily Puppy, and not all breeds can be declawed. Some breeders choose to remove a puppy's dewclaws shortly after birth, and some owners choose to have the dewclaws removed when the dog is older.
Declawing in dogs refers to the process of removing the dewclaw. The dewclaw has evolved to move up the side of the leg; while the issue in controversial, there are certain instances where dewclaw removal is a sensible course of action — or even an essential one. Every breed and every dog is different, and some dogs have dewclaws that sit close and tight against the body. In this instance, just trimming the nail should suffice, according to The Daily Puppy. They also describe that dogs with loose, floppy dewclaws that serve no purpose are at significant risk of injury if the digit snags on something and tears, so these dogs are good candidates for dewclaw removal.
Gun dogs and working dogs commonly have the dewclaws removed to reduce risk of injury in the event of running through undergrowth, while sporting dogs, such as those who participate in agility should not be declawed unless absolutely necessary, as the dewclaw provides an advantage, aiding in turning tight corners to achieve a better course time.