Question: Should dewclaws be removed?
Answer: Dewclaws, both front and rear, can cause a bit of worry in dog owners. Fear that nail will catch on something during a run and be torn off and cause injury to the dog is a valid fear. Some breeders will have them removed before the pup is of age to be placed, but many dogs are left with their dewclaws intact. Dewclaws can be removed from any dog that is eligible to be anesthetized, and it is often done during a spay or neuter (it's cheaper done at this time too). Dewclaw removal involves removing the entire toe, not just the claw, and cost may increase if the toe is firmly attached.
Should I have my dogs dewclaws removed?
It is entirely up to you, as the owner, if you want to have the claws removed. Some dewclaws are held in tightly against the leg, and with regular nail trimming, will likely never catch on anything. Others can be loose and floppy, presenting a clear hazard, especially for dogs who like to romp in Nature, where roots, trees and other hazards abound.
Breeds with double dewclaws (front or rear) often have the toes extend past the leg, as legitimate fifth and sixth toes. Often these toes are also mobile, and controllable. If your dog has double dewclaws, you may want to check with your breeder first, before removing them. It is also important to understand that the double dewclaws are part of the breed standard, and may interfere with a showing career.
A Personal Note:
I have two Beaucerons, with hind double dewclaws. One dog will keep his on both legs (firm, and controllable), but my other has had one set removed already, and will likely have the other removed as well (loose, floppy, and a clear hazard).