Is cutting off (docking) a dog’s tail necessary?

As I looked back at the history the docking of the tail’s of the dogs was done on herding breeds. In ancient days Roman shepherds believed that removing the top of the dog’s tail on the puppies’ fortieth birthday prevented a horrible disease called rabies. Although many countries have now banned the practice of docking, and the Animal Welfare Org. has kept mandatory rules that even if it has to be performed it should be done in the first five days of the puppies’ life.

Now, docking of the tails has nothing to do with Rabies at least we know that now. What still amuses me is it was supposed to be performed in herding breeds according to the history or working breeds.

Later on, the hunting breeds had to be docked so that the injury during the epic hunt can be less. This also doesn’t make sense to me. If so then the tails of the lions shouldn’t be there or any other big cats.

Then in Europe in the 18th century, history suggests there was taxation on all the dogs owners unless they were working dogs. All the working dogs were docked to distinguish non-working dogs. This led to owners having their non-working dogs docked as well to avoid the tax they had to pay. This one makes sense to me.

So till now, the docking of the dogs was performed in the following type of breeds

  • working dogs-boxer, bull mastiff,Doberman pinscher, great dane, Rottweiler, saint bernard to name a few among many classified.
cropped and docked tail of a doberman
natural posture of the doberman

This one makes a little bit sense to me as it is not about the pain that the dogs had to go through or their inability to communicate well for the rest of the lives. Docking separated and classified the types of dogs we own.

I am not quite sure if herding dogs fall under this category such as border collie, german shepherd, or pumi. I haven’t found much of these breeds docked off.

As time passes by so do the rules are modified in the country. I believe somewhere along the 18th to 19th century all these taxations for certain breeds were eliminated.

Then in 1891 a book was published called “the American book of a dog” where it idolizes that docking off and cropping the ear gives the dog a proper victorian look. That trend is still followed today, as per my knowledge but definitely, as people are becoming more aware of the conscience docking and ear cropping towards the dogs and its life, things will change and are changing.

For me personally, it’s not about the look of the dog by docking or cropping matters. The most important is I can understand what the companion is trying to communicate. They can’t speak but superpower has gifted them with these to communicate through tail being one. Suppose you have a retriever and i bring great dane to your house. At first, if the tail of the retriever straights up, it indicates they are alert and are watching the approaching stranger. So, I must stop and let them introduce me by the ease of taking the time. If your dog then starts wagging I must understand that they are being friendly. But, if suddenly your dog’s tail is down I must understand that he is anxious or being fearful. In that case, I must let my great dane apart from your dog.

Tail tells a lot of things if there it is much easy to understand for us what the dog is trying to tell us. So, personally I don’t think docking is necessary and should be outlawed. I have experienced first hand a 6-month-old Tibetian mastiff being docked simply placing the tail in the wood and cutting it through a sharp knife. It was horrible to watch. Then the dog was left on its own with the pain and weeks of licking to cure the wound. Afterward, the dog was very aggressive, it had to be chained and was biting anyone who would come near it. Maybe things could have been different if it was not docked.

The country I live in Nepal, people are still not aware of the emotions that the dogs go through, the tragedy they feel about being chained. Just across my bedroom and through my bed, in the next neighborhood, I can see a pomeranian kinda breed that is chained and locked up in a tiny cage 24/7. It gets its food in the tiny cage made of leftover wood and it pees and poops inside. I saw them cleaning probably every two to three days. And sometimes, if she is lucky while cleaning the cage she runs around, with the chain still around the neck. I can’t express the happiness and emotions she feels just running around the few houses and later on returning back to her prison. She hasn’t been anywhere after three houses so she doesn’t know. I tried to speak to the owner of the pathetic condition they are keeping the dog. But to the deaf ear.

Anyway I was just sharing some things that happen to some countries and yes docking is one of the issues to be resolved and apart from that, there are many that are still to be faced. It is not just about docking the tail but respecting every species on this earth as they have the same right as us to live freely and as they are. I understand and respect that the dogs serve us the purpose and they have to be trained for that. If it can be done in a harmless way, then why modifying and changing the look of someone. If you don’t like it, maybe the dog doesn’t like you too. And if it can speak it might say cut off your ears and nose, they are very big and you look ugly and like a clown with those.

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