How To Dock Puppy Tails?

Many dog breeds, including bulldogs, boxers, and Blue Heelers, are easily identifiable by the shortness of their tails; yet, the majority of these dogs were originally born with longer tails. During the first few months of a puppy’s existence, some dog breeders and owners make the decision to cut off the tails of their dogs for a variety of reasons. How To Dock Puppy Tails?

This may be necessary for medical reasons, like as damage caused by frostbite or a fracture that may occur if the pup’s tail gets caught in the door. Some breeds of dogs, including Labrador retrievers, are known as “tail beaters,” and this behavior causes them to be in a perpetual state of injury because they strike their tails against various surfaces. There are instances in which a puppy is born with a “crook” in the tail. Because this “crook” has the potential to get caught on things and cause damage, it is routinely removed for the sake of the puppy’s safety.

The majority of puppy tail docking, however, is done for aesthetic reasons in order to shape the dog’s appearance in a certain manner. The tails of most terrier and hunting dog breeds are docked as a matter of course.

What Exactly Is Meant by Docking Tails?

Historically, animals’ tails were removed (sometimes called “docked” or “curtailed”) so that they would not sustain injuries while working. When only members of the nobility were permitted to possess specific breeds of dogs many centuries ago, a commoner’s “cur” dog would have his tail docked so that he could be clearly distinguished from the purebred dogs held by the aristocracy. More than 40 of the dog breed standards used today by member organizations of the American Kennel Club involve the practice of docking the tail.

How To Dock Puppy Tails?

The Procedures Involved in Docking

The length of the tail that is left after it has been docked varies from breed to breed. Some of them are chopped off quite short and sit very close to the body. The tails of Pembroke Welsh Corgis are expected to be docked “as short as practicable without becoming indented,” according to the breed standard.

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Other breeds have coats that are maintained much longer, but the Wire Fox Terrier standard requires that they have just a three-quarters length dock. If a puppy of a breed that is typically “tailless” is born with a tail, the problem may be fixed using a procedure called docking. The procedure is often carried out on pups that are between three and five days old, and it is frequently carried out without the need of anaesthetic. Puppies experience the full extent of the procedure’s agony and stress, which is one of the reasons why this practice is seen as cruel.

After taking a measurement of the puppy’s tail, an incision is made between the proper vertebrae to perform the amputation. Instead of just cutting off a piece of the tail, a more cosmetically appealing recovered tail may be achieved by using absorbable stitches or tissue glue.

This allows the skin to be closed over the bone stump. This procedure should be carried out in a sterile environment by a veterinarian who is knowledgeable with breed standards.

Procedure That Is Subject To Controversy

The custom is more of a tradition at this point rather than a matter of concern with regard to one’s health. In point of fact, dog registries in Europe do not allow tail docking since it is considered cruel. Even in the United States, the practice is met with some degree of resistance.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) voted on a policy in November 2008 that states, “The AVMA condemns ear clipping and tail docking of dogs when done merely for aesthetic reasons.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association supports the removal of practices like as ear clipping and tail docking from breed standards. Soon after that, several veterinary hospitals, including Banfield Pet Hospitals, made the decision to completely discontinue the practice of tail docking and ear clipping.

When you acquire a puppy between the usual ages of eight and 12 weeks, the likelihood is high that the tail has already been docked. Even while it’s possible that the vast majority of pups may never have any recognized medical issues, some vets feel that docking can make dogs more likely to develop urine incontinence when they become older.

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Docking a dog’s tail prevents the dog from using its tail to communicate with other dogs to a significant degree, which has the potential to lead to difficulties in canine social communication. There is no difference in the lovability, trainability, or attractiveness of purebred pups with their natural tails and ears.

How To Dock Puppy Tails? Source: Youtube

Why is the practice of docking the tails of dogs that are not used for working still common?

The practice of docking the tails of dogs of certain breeds may have originated from the mistaken belief that even non-working members of the breed were subjected to dangers comparable to those faced by working dogs. More commonly, however, tail docking occurs in order to conform to a specific breed standard or appearance.

According to the findings of a survey, tail docking as a preventative measure for dogs kept as pets is not essential. 18,21 Therefore, the docking of the tails of dogs that are not used for working is deemed to be a cosmetic treatment, even if the breed in question was originally designed for working reasons, unless there is proof to the contrary. Breed standards for dog breeds that typically had their tails docked have been changed in nations like the United Kingdom, where the practice of docking a dog’s tail is illegal (with a few exceptions). 22

Should dogs really be expected to have tails?

Due to the fact that most dogs are descended from other animals with tails, possessing a tail comes naturally to them. On the other hand, there is no compelling evidence to suggest that naturally bobbed or surgically docked dogs are at a disadvantage either physically or mentally. There is some preliminary evidence, although it is not definitive, that raises doubts as to whether docking hinders a dog’s ability to communicate with other dogs23 or if it may increase the likelihood of the dog having incontinence. 24

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Is the procedure to dock the tail painful?

Tailing docking is unpleasant.

25 It is impossible to put a number on the degree of pain or the length of time it lasts when conditions are normal or optimal. Procedures that are painful and carried out during the newborn period, which is a time when the nervous system is particularly susceptible to damage, might result in adverse long-term alterations that influence the way pain is processed and interpreted in later life. 26,27

Why is the AVMA so opposed to the practice of cosmetic tail docking?

Not “How dangerous is the procedure?” but rather “Is there adequate rationale for executing it?” should be the primary issue. When a surgical operation is done for purely aesthetic reasons, often known as for the sake of one’s looks, this indicates that the surgery is not required for any medical reason. It has been demonstrated that dogs do not experience an increase in their sense of self-esteem or pride in their appearance as a result of having their tails docked, which are both common reasons for performing cosmetic procedures on people.

As a result, there is no obvious benefit to our patients in performing this procedure. The only advantage that seems to be gained from the practice of cosmetic tail docking of dogs is the perception of a more aesthetically attractive look that is left with the owner. The American Veterinary Medical Association considers this an inadequate basis for undergoing a surgical operation.

Which types of tail reduction are not included in the category of aesthetic procedures?

The term “docked” cannot be used to the animal because of its natural bob. There are several pedigreed breeds (such as the Old English Sheepdog and the Australian Shepherd17) that have bobbed genetics, and bobbed genetics have been been introduced into other breeds (e.g., Boxer28). Some breeders, both historically and historically speaking,

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