Dog Tail Docking Controversies Examined

The dog tail is a part of his body. Some breeds get their tails docked, which involves removing a big part of the tail. The tail docking doesn’t have any medical advantages, but some dog breeders consider that some breeds look better without a tail, so the procedure is performed for cosmetic purposes. The issue of tail docking raises a lot of controversies, as the procedure is not considered humane.

Tail Docking in Dogs

Tail docking is a procedure that is most common in dog breeds such as Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher or Jack Russell. According to certain dog breed criteria, these breeds have a more aesthetic appearance if they have a shorter tail.

The procedure is performed when the dog is a few days old, as the bones are not fully developed and the procedure is less painful. Typically, the procedure is performed by tying a string around the dog’s tail; this string will stop the blood flow in the tail and the tail will dry and fall off.

However, given that the procedure is painful and has no medical or health advantages, there are a lot of people who consider this procedure inhumane. The tail docking has a few benefits, but may also have a few drawbacks.

Drawbacks of Tail Docking

One main disadvantage of having your pet’s tail cut is that the dog will no longer be able to use his tail to communicate with other dogs and even with humans. Dogs use their bodies and tails to communicate with other dogs. For example, when the dog wags his tail, this is a sign of excitement; if you see your dog with the tail between his legs this means that the dog is afraid of something.

Without a tail, the dog will have to adapt to transmitting messages using the rest of his body or use vocal signals.

The tail docking procedure has no health advantages. In some animals (i.e. sheep), the tail docking can keep the animal clean and prevent certain infections; however, in dogs, the tail docking doesn’t have any health advantages.

The tail docking is a painful procedure and may have complications. A large part of the tail is removed and the tail contains a lot of nerve endings; if the cut affects a nerve, the tail docking can lead to paralysis.

The procedure may also leave scars, so choosing an experienced vet is essential.

Tail Docking Benefits

Even if tail docking doesn’t have medical benefits, a lot of dog breeders consider that certain dogs look better without a tail.

Dogs belonging to certain breeds that attend dog shows may need to have their tail docked.

Also, hunting dogs may be more efficient without a tail; the tail can slow down the dog and it may also get caught in bushes or tree branches. The tail may also cause more noise, so the prey may hear this and run away.

Some vets refuse to perform tail dockings due to the controversies of the procedure. You should decide if the procedure is needed in your dog.