Out of my 6 chis, I only have one that has had his dew claws removed. I really have never had a problem with dew claws remaining in these small dogs. I have a litter of pups right now and I did not remove the dew claws and do not intend to. Yes, it does have to be done a short time after birth, or if they are older, then it is a surgical removal. I have seem my chis use them when holding a bone or chewing on something. But you do have to remember to cut the nail on the dew claw. I think if the nail gets long that is when they catch them on something and pull them. But when I asked my vet, she told me that during her entire time in practice she had only seen once that a dew claw was torn. In my opinion, that was not enough to removed them. Some larger dogs have quite large ones and some have them on the rear legs, too. That might be the situation to remove them.