Do Pitbulls Have Webbed Feet?

You’ve noticed a membrane connecting your Pitbull’s toes and you’re surprised! Do Pitbulls have webbed feet? The short answer is “no,” but the longer version is that it’s not impossible.

If all you noticed was the relative thin membrane between the toes, that’s something that all dogs have.

True “webbing” consists of a much sturdier join between the toes and it’s generally found in dogs that were bred to swim or move over mud and snow. 

Pitbull With Webbed Feet


It’s an interesting phenomenon, and there are rare instances in which Pitbulls’ feet are, indeed, fully webbed.

However, the presence of webbing may mean that your dog has certain genetic issues and webbed paws can cause problems that mean you have to exercise a degree of special care.

So, what do you need to know if your Pitbull really does have webbed feet? Let’s find out more!

Why Most Pitbulls Don’t Have Webbed Feet

Understanding why Pitbulls don’t normally have webbed feet is as simple as taking a look at their lineage and the purpose for which they were bred.

A labrador retriever, for example, comes for a long line of dogs that were initially bred to work with owners who practised the sport of duck hunting. 

Once the hunter had hit his mark, it was up to the dog to swim out and retrieve the trophy.

As a result, strong swimming abilities were an advantage, and labrador retrievers are among the dogs known for having webbed feet. Other water dog breeds also show this genetic adaptation. 

Pitbulls Webbed Feet

Pitbulls, on the other hand, do not have this type of water-dog lineage. They were initially bred for fighting, and at the time, it was regarded as a legitimate “sport” too.

With no need to walk over soft surfaces or swim in water, the lineage of the pitbull doesn’t include water dogs and true webbing (as opposed to a thin membrane) between the toes is therefore absent. 

So, which breeds do Pitbulls originally come from? Originally, they were bred from a cross between terriers and bulldogs.

And although terriers are originally hunting dogs, they weren’t used as retrievers or required to swim.

Bulldogs, on the other hand, were bred for fighting, and once again, there was no need for them to be strong swimmers. 

Of course, dogs without webbed feet can still enjoy swimming, but without the webbing, they aren’t as agile or as fast in water. 

Why A Very Small Percentage Of Pitbulls Do Have Webbed Feet

Pitbulls Have Webbed Feet


The most benign of the reasons for webbed feet in Pitbulls is quite simply that they were crossbred with water dogs at some point in their history.

Pitbulls are actually very variable, and since they aren’t recognized by most kennel clubs, the standards are less rigid than they are for other “pure breeds.”

This means that your Pitbull really could have breeds other than terriers and Bulldogs in his genetic makeup.

Only the United Kennel Club and the American Dog breeders’ Association recognize the American Pitbull as a breed, and other authorities see a range of “bully” type dogs as Pitbulls.

This means that your Pitbull may still be seen as a Pitbull while still having a water dog in its ancestry. 

It isn’t currently usual for a Pitbull to have this type of lineage, but dogs will be dogs, after all! In addition, people may have had a hand in adding these genes to the mix.

The cross between labrador retrievers and Pitbulls is gaining popularity, so perhaps we can expect to see more web-footed Pitbulls appearing on the scene in the near future. 

Are You wondering which breeds of dogs typically have webbed feet? Maybe you’ll spot other characteristics of theirs in your Pitbull crossbreed. 

Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Poodles (yes they were originally hunting dogs), Portuguese Water Dogs, American Water Spaniels and Pointers are all examples of dogs that have webbed feet.  

Arctic dog breeds like Huskies also tend to have some webbing to help them over the snow. However, the webbing is not as well-developed as it is in the water dogs.

Interestingly enough, Dachshunds also have webbed feet – although it’s rather unlikely they’ll come up in your Pitbull’s ancestry!

Genetic Abnormalities

Unfortunately, webbed feet can also be caused by a relatively rare genetic abnormality that’s been linked to certain health problems and deformities in Pitbulls.

If you have a web-footed Pitbull, you may not encounter these linked health problems at all, but you may want to have your dog checked out by a veterinarian. 

Pitbulls And Webbed Feet

The genetic mutation causing webbed feet has been linked to scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine.

Other skeletal problems also occur together with webbed feet and a combination of webbed feet and cleft palate has been encountered with sufficient frequency to be linked. 

You can spot scoliosis by following the line of your dog’s spine. If it has an unusual bend to the side, your Pitbull may have scoliosis.

Consult a veterinarian about it. It may be treatable. Shortened tibia-fibula can also occur in dogs with webbed feet.

This happens when the growth plate between the bones fuses up too soon when they should still be growing. 

While these unrelated problems may seem weird, they aren’t the fault of the webbed feet as such. It’s just that with one genetic abnormality expressing itself, others may show up too.

It could be the result of a genetic mutation, or it could simply be the expression of a recessive gene in the absence of the gene combination that would ordinarily suppress a certain trait.

Extra Care For Pitbulls With Webbed Feet

Whether it’s from a genetic abnormality that we will hope doesn’t indicate other genetic issues that cause real weaknesses or because your Pitbull has some water dog in his background, truly webbed feet mean that the owner must pay a little extra attention to their dog’s feet. 

Pitbulls Paw

Watch Out For “Passengers”

First up, be sure that your pet’s tick meds or dip are up-to-date before walking in areas where they might encounter parasites like ticks. 

After your walk, check your dog’s “webs” carefully for signs of unwelcome guests. It’s a favorite place for parasites to hide away and it can be easy to miss these bloodsuckers if you aren’t alert.

A Greater Chance Of Paw Injury

Over and above that, the webs can increase the chances of paws getting injured. After all, more surface area means more chance of hitting a hidden obstacle and getting hurt.

Watch out for limping, and clean and inspect your dog’s paws if you suspect an injury. If it looks serious or badly inflamed, consult your veterinarian. 

Fungal Infections

By the same token, fungal infections between the toes are more common in dogs with webs.

Once again, be vigilant and get the right kind of medication from a veterinarian. Redness, swelling, itchiness and crusting are among the symptoms to look out for. 

Pitbulls And Webbed Feet

You May Have To Trim Fur Around The Paw Pads

It’s unusual for Pitbulls to need trimming of paw fur. However, it’s quite common for dogs with webbed feet to need a bit of extra attention here.

If there’s a lot of hair between the paw pads, it can grow too long, folding over the pads and making it difficult for the dog to get traction on surfaces. 

Apart from that, the long hair bunches up and matts, becoming very uncomfortable for your dog.

If your Pitbull really has webbed feet, it’s possible they’ll need this extra bit of attention to keep them comfortable. 

Web-Footed Pitbull Bonus: Fun In The Water

There’s an upside to everything, and your unusual, web-footed Pitbull is going to be a top-class swimmer!

With the possibility of having a touch of one of the “water dog” breeds in his background, you might just find out that your fur baby is a natural water baby too! 

Keep swimming as a fun part of your Pitbull’s supervised playtime. It’s a great way to let off steam, especially on hot summer days. As a fun activity, don’t force him to swim if he doesn’t want to. 

Dogs usually figure out swimming pretty quickly, but they may need some time to get used to the idea. If you want to “teach” your Pitbull to swim, let him start in shallow water, just getting his feet wet. 

Then, encourage him to move into deeper water under his own steam. If he doesn’t want to, don’t force the issue. Positive reinforcement is always the best way to get your Pitbull used to new activities. 

Never just throw him into the pool, since it may give him a fear of water, and don’t allow him to swim in water that you might think is too cold for yourself.

Your Pitbull will be quite happy to go into very cold water, but it can cause all kinds of health issues, so test the waters yourself before deciding it’s safe for your dog to swim. 

If your Pitbull swims in a chlorinated pool, be sure to give him a good rinse in fresh water afterwards to keep his skin healthy.

If swimming in the pool is something he absolutely loves to do, you can get a spray on coat conditioner that will help to keep his skin moisturized. Use it before the dip and remember to rinse him off afterward.

As a side-note, topical tick and flea meds will wash off if your dog swims frequently. Use oral parasite prevention if your dog is a keen swimmer. 

Do Pitbulls Have Webbed Feet? The Bottom Line

Let’s sum all of this up. Pitbulls don’t usually have webbed feet, but it can occur in certain dogs owing to their lineage or to genetic abnormalities.

It’s not a serious “fault,” at least, not unless it comes together with other abnormalities, but you will have to pay a little extra attention to your dog’s foot health. 

Remember that a thin membrane between the toes is not “webbing” as such.

Many people mistakenly think their dogs have webbed feet, so if you aren’t sure, get advice from an expert. 


Hi there, my name is Blake and I have an American Bully named Rocky. I fell in love with the breed around ten years ago after seeing some of my friends adopt a Bully. I love the combination of the muscular physique and calm, loyal companionship that the American Bully breed has to offer. My enthusiasm for the breed has led me to train as a dog behavioralist and trainer. Over the last ten years, I have supported many households in raising their American Bully and maximizing the potential of the breed. I’m delighted to share my knowledge and expertise on this site.

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