Tail Docking: Cruel or Not?

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People cut dogs tails for aesthetic reasons, but there is more so let’s find out!

Tail amputation is also called ‘Tail Docking.’

Doberman with docked tail Pic courtesy: Mills et al. 2016


Doberman in its natural form. Pic Courtesy: Mills et al. 2016

It is sometimes done for cosmetics, but mostly to prevent injuries on the tail. This is done because injuries take longer to heal than any other body part of a dog. But, all breeds don’t need tail docking. It really just matters on the basis of what the dog’s breed is supposed to do. It also depends on whether the dog is working on the farm or a barn.

When the dog wags its tail it against any abrasive surface it could get injured. The tails of hunting dogs are cropped to help them do their jobs better.

Sometimes, tail docking is done for sanitary and hygiene reasons. Like in the case of the Yorkshire Terrier, and the Old English Sheepdog it is done for avoiding the feces.

However, tail docking for cosmetic purposes should be banned! It is unnecessary and is done for no good reason.

But why do dogs even need tails?

Dogs need tails for the purpose of dog-dog communication, and tails also act as a rudder for balancing in water. We all know that tail up is different from a tail down and is a form of communication.

Another interesting fact is that a dog seen wagging more to his right-side is perceived as more positive than a dog wagging more to his left.

Most people believe that tail docking makes the dog more aggressive and better hunters. It may be true but it could be happening because of the personality changes the dog undergoes after the loss of its tail.

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