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The Truth About Dog Tail Docking

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.

Left undocked, Rottweilers unveil the most stunning-looking tails.

Left undocked, Rottweilers unveil the most stunning-looking tails.

The Truth About Tail Docking in Dogs

When I first started working at an animal hospital, I was given a booklet with all the prices and services our animal hospital offered. As I read through the extensive list, I noticed the term "tail docking." Being relatively new to the practice, I asked my training supervisor what that terminology meant. She replied, "It's a tail amputation, done in certain breeds for aesthetic reasons."

I already knew that breeds such as Rottweilers, Boxers or Dobermans were tailless to adhere to their breed standards, but what really shocked me as I read about this procedure was the fact that this procedure was done when the pups were really small—and worst of all, without anesthesia!

Tail Docking Is Not Painless

As I did further research, I learned that the tail docking procedure was done when a puppy was just days old (generally between 3 and 5 days old). The amputation process necessitated pretty simple equipment such as scissors, a knife or a rubber band. It appeared that there was the belief (or perhaps let's consider it a myth) that the procedure was painless, but as I read on, there was also strong evidence regrettably suggesting the total opposite. You can read more about pain in puppies being docked here: Studies Reveal Tail Docking in Puppies Is Painful.

A puppy has a nervous system just like many living creatures and is able to properly perceive pain. While a puppy may not necessarily squeal or vocalize from pain during a tail dock (even though most do), there are other ''tell-tail" signs known as biological markers that can suggest pain and even lots of it. Ignoring these signs is unacceptable in today's modern society that features advanced empathetic veterinary care, especially when carried out for cosmetic purposes.

It May Lead to Complications

One must consider as well that tail docking also comes with a good array of considerable complications. Infections may follow or, even worse, extensive bleeding and death. If we think that risks from such complications could arise for the sole purpose of pleasing a client, it is understandable why more and more vets are refusing the procedure—while on the other hand, more and more breeders are taking over the task using rubber bands and knives in an unsterile environment.

The History of Tail Docking

If we look at the history of tail docking and ear cropping (another inhumane and unnecessary procedure), we will notice that both procedures took place in the past as means of protection in working dog breeds. In other words, tails or ear portions were removed because they often were injured and even torn while hunting or working in the field. In fighting dogs, these body parts were snipped off to prevent the opponent dog from using them as "grips."

These protective measures could have been valid centuries ago, but nowadays, with the majority of dogs kept as pets, these practices are totally out of place.

Justifications From Advocates

Many tail docking advocates will strongly defend their view by justifying the procedure as necessary and even beneficial for some dogs. They will state that a lack of tail will mean fewer injuries and inconveniences. These statements may sound valid but are often unfounded. If we take off tails, limbs or anything else, of course there are fewer injuries to those parts, because the dog doesn't have them anymore!

Inconsistent Standards

Also, there's a lot of controversy on some breeds; for instance, the German Pointer standard wants the breed docked, and breeders claim it's to prevent tail injury, but then the English Pointer (which performs similar tasks) is not. The short-haired Weimaraner is docked by standard, and then the long-haired ones are left intact.

A dog's tail has many functions, such as helping them communicate with other dogs and maintain their balance.

A dog's tail has many functions, such as helping them communicate with other dogs and maintain their balance.

Tails Are Important

Tails are very important for dogs. If a dog has a tail, it means that it has a function.

Dogs Communicate With Their Tails

A very important function is communication. We all know well how dogs wag their tails when they are showing happiness. Dogs use their tails to communicate with other dogs. Dogs without tails may encounter problems in communicating fear, play or aggression when around other dogs. This could cause serious miscommunications and eventually fights.

Undocked dogs may approach dogs without tails with caution as they cannot interpret their mood effectively. Docked dogs, on the other hand, may not communicate aggression properly and may upgrade to a bite if the other dog does not back off when needed.

Dogs Use Their Tails for Balancing and Swimming

Another drawback in dock-tailed dogs is the fact that they lack the important balancing function of the tail. Tails also play an important role in swimming.

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Read More From Pethelpful

Docking Has Been Banned in Some Countries

Luckily, more and more veterinarians are refusing this practice and so are some countries that have started to ban it. Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland are some of these countries; hopefully, many others will shortly follow. So far, the most common practitioners of tail docking seem to derive from the breeders.

Tail Docking for Cosmetic Reasons Is Unacceptable

Tail docking should be only justified if backed up by medical reasons. Having a puppy undergo a tail docking procedure for just cosmetic reasons is unacceptable. The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes tail docking for cosmetic reasons.

Dogs were made with tails, and dogs should have tails. We are not to decide what is unnecessary in a living animal. Should a tail become unnecessary, nature will take over—just as we humans lost our tails throughout our evolution. In dogs, however, tails remain long and lively, with no sign of atrophy, suggesting that tails are here to stay once and for all.

Mysterious Tail Problems

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: I don't think your article helps any breed. Have you seen how nimble the tips of a dog's tail is under all that fur? Do you know anything about the development of the nervous system and how much faster it heals in a pup? Docking can also be traumatic to an adult dog.

Answer: Yes, there have been anatomical studies demonstrating that pain in day-old puppies is quite intense due to the way impulses are sent through the puppy's unmyelinated fibers. You can read more about this here:

I do not suggest docking any dog's tail. Dog tails have many important functions that are sadly underestimated.

There are many good reasons why many countries have banned this procedure and why it's deemed for the most part cosmetic surgery for dogs.

Question: I agree that for purely cosmetic reasons it is wrong. However I work Cocker spanials for beating, flushing and retrieving. Often in thick briar. I have seen a number of dogs damage the thin end of tail and docking as an adult is far worse than as a puppy. Do you think it’s wrong?

Answer: In the case of a working dog, where there are truly high risks for tail injuries due to working with a thick brush, I can see the reason for docking. Although I must admit that I sometimes struggle to understand why there are inconsistencies among certain breeds, for instance, the shorthaired pointer is traditionally docked, but the German longhaired pointer is not.

Question: How old do blue heelers need to be before I can cut their tail off?

Answer: Australian cattle dogs (blue or red heelers) generally do not have their tails docked. Indeed, the American Kennel Club breed standard for heelers calls for an undocked tail.

The tail performs an important function in allowing this breed to do what it knows best "herding." The tail allows these dogs to maneuver themselves and is therefore important for balance. Without the tail, Cattle Dogs find it harder to maneuver themselves, and same goes when participating in the sport of agility or when simply playing games such as frisbee and tennis ball chasing.

Don't confuse the Australian cattle dog with the Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog which is a naturally bobbed dog breed. Many make the mistake of confusing these two dogs which leads to the misconception that heelers must be docked.

© 2008 Adrienne Farricelli


Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 17, 2018:

King Evan, your comparison to other useless things we do to dogs such as dressing them up and painting their nails is valid. Only thing is that dog tails are an important means for communication, defecation and balance, removing a tail can't be compared to a retractable roll of skin. It's more like chopping off a finger.

King Evan on February 17, 2018:

I have the pleasure of owning a miniature Schnauezer. A fantastic breed whos tails are generally cropped similar to many other German and European working breeds. She was cropped prior to my family inquiring about purchasing her and we know from the breeder that her tail was docked with a method that involves a rubber band. The rubber band is placed in the area where you want to dock the tail and after a few hours or so circulation will cut off and you clip it there. Painless! This explains why her tail is a bit longer than other schnauzers you will see in a dog show.

I think if humans continue justifying cosmetically altering THEMSELVES than people wont stop cosmetically altering dogs.

I mean at a base level is painting dogs nails or dressing them in costumes or sweaters different from an unnecessary procedure such as tail docking. Costumes and nail painting are useless procedures done by humans that have no benefit to the dog and may actually hinder their ability to balance, interact, and communicate. Docking you could argue is painful, but i do not remember being circumcised.....

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 09, 2017:

Let's try a human comparison: if a super model gets a nose job, will her children automatically be born with perfect noses? No, unless the father is a man with a better nose compared to the model. Plastic surgery does not change the DNA of the cells. If it was that simple, we would prune a tree and expect any future cuttings from the tree to be automatically pruned!

Wee Willy Winky on October 07, 2017:

We have an ongoing argument in our house that cannot be resolved by the all-encompassing internet. One side argues that some breeds bear pups with bobbed tails due to long-practiced docking of that breed's tail which eventually caused the breed to bear bobbed tails. While the other side of the family does not believe any breed can be inherently affected by human intervention and that it's simply an anomaly. To be clear, they are not referring to starting a breed or altering a breed by introducing/mating with an already naturally bobbed canine. Is it possible that docking a tail can cause a breed to be born with bobbed tails? Any chance someone there knows the answer?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 06, 2017:

CJ BOX, you make many valid points and I understand your points. The matter of fact is that there are several discrepancies (and oddities, if you will!). For instance, why is the short hair Weimarener docked when the long variety is not? Both are hunting breeds and the risks in the field should be equal. Why is the German short haired pointer docked when the English pointer is not? Both breeds are used for hunting. These raise some doubts that it all boils down to cosmetics and that the prophylactic measures of docking are just an excuse to preserve a certain "look" that many fanciers are emotionally attached to. Also, many breeds that are not docked (because it has become illegal in many countries) are living happily with their tails. Even the excuse to crop ears for prevention of infection does not hold much, statistically, one breed notorious for getting ear infections is the German Shepard which ironically has erect ears! So statistics and studies do not seem to suggest that cutting body parts are a valid point for disease prevention. To the contrary, docked tails have been actually linked to manyacquired additional disorders such as urinary incontinence!

CJ Box on July 29, 2017:

Okay, I am going to start by saying I respect your opinion. However, 83% of baby boys receive forced circumcisions and 96% do not receive any kind of anesthetic. While some make that decision based on religion most of the time it is done to prevent future risk of infections and pain. My point with this is that it is the same situation. The owner/parent making a decision to address a possible future health risk by preventing it from occurring in the first place. Have you ever tried to teach a puppy not to nip or chew on people? If so then you know that they need to be constantly reminded because they forget. No man remembers what it felt like to be circumcised and no dog remembers having its tail docked. Again its the same as parents choosing to circumcise their babies to prevent the possibility of future issues occuring. The dog doesn't remember it and they are medically better off. (Also, the dog still has a nub and when they wag their tails their entire back half wiggles too lol the dogs communicate just fine without their full tail.)

These are expensive breeds. For a Doberman pup the least you can expect to spend (purchased from a respectable breeder) is around $500 and they go much higher based on where your from and the blood line. When you have that much money put into your new family member making sure they stay healthy is extremely important. Dogs of these breeds actually are more susceptible to ear infections and they are more likely (I know it doesn't necessarily mean they will) to develop soars on their tails that also lead to infections. It is easy to say that owners shouldn't make these alterations to thier animals but if you don't dock the tail as a pup and later on your dog gets an infection at that point it is considered a surgery. It is a more complicated task and the healing process takes longer and is harder on the dog due to the fact that all the nerves and bone in the tail are fully developed. Dew claws have to be removed. Those often get hung up and accidentally ripped off by the dog.

To treat an ear infection you are looking at anywhere from $200-250 per vet visit. In breeds where ear infections are common it is practical to crop the dogs ears and saves your baby from having to go through that situation. If you are the type of owner that makes sure your dog gets proper flea and tick treatments along with regular vet visits then your already spending a little over a thousand a year and thats not including their daily living expenses. Don't get me wrong I do this with no second thought or complaint (my dogs are my babies) but for some people their unaltered dog having complications leaves the dog suffering while the owners try to find some way to afford the care. Financially all can be fine at the time the pup is purchased but life happens and three years down the road you may not be in the same financial situation. So if you are in a financially sound situation when you get your pup then going ahead and preventing these situation saves you and the pup from experiencing the possible consequences.

I grew up in a family that took care of dogs of all types of breeds (some we kept some we found forever homes for) I agree that infections may not occur if you don't alter your dog but I can promise from personal experience that the risk is costly and the dog will feel much worse having their tail surgically removed as an adult. I will never say that someone who chose not to alter their pups is wrong or misguided for doing so because it is their personal choice and they are making the decision that they feel is best for their pup.

(I apologize ahead of time if my response seems all over the place but it is sometimes difficult for me to write out my thoughts.)

Ashley on May 30, 2017:

It is cruel to dock/crop a puppy/dog! NO reason whatsoever to do it! I saw an ear cropping on a puppy at my old vet when I was job shadowing. The pup had anesthesia, but it was still bad! A cat neutering had less blood! Remember, ppl, a dog has MANY blood vessels in their ear to help cool the animal down in hot temps, they ALL bleed when cut. When you cut a dog's ear, you are basically amputating a way for the dog to regulate their internal temp, which can lead to heat stroke and possibly death!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 23, 2017:

Katie, thanks for your insight.

Katie MacCombie on May 22, 2017:

Does a Poodle have to have a docked tail to be in a conformation show? It really depends on where you live. In the United States, the answer is yes.

In Canada, while either docked or undocked can be shown, most winners in the ring have had docked tails.

However, overseas in Europe and Australia where tail docking is not legal, it's a different story. In fact, the FCI breed standard clearly states that the 'absence of tail or naturally short tail' is a disqualifying feature.

It should be noted that in many places where docking is illegal, it is okay to own a dog with a docked tail but it is against the law to actually be the responsible party that had the procedure done.

Katie MacCombie on May 22, 2017:

We ordered our poodle from Kateisha Poodles in New Zealand we were extremely annoyed when she arrived in Australia at 8 weeks to see that they had docked her tail. I believe it was damaged in the process, as her tail sits up and to the right instead of straight.

In addition, she has trouble wagging it, she kind of wiggles it in a few times on 1 side and then the other. Really weird, abnormal and disfiguring. I believe Poodles are not meant to be docked in Australia. Very disappointed for our puppy. Also the girl that we had ordered was not the one that arrived. Different birth dates and it's too late when you've picked them up at the airport and brought them home. For many reasons. Buyer Beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 17, 2017:

Katie, in your case you will have to weigh the pros and cons. If she is suffering from limp tail every time she goes outside then most likely she may be happier without the painful tail. This is something to ultimately discuss with your vet. Medically necessary tail amputation is often done for a good reason: to improve the dog's quality of life. However, in my experience, limp tail tends to happen mostly when the tail is wet or the dog is not conditioned properly for exercise. There may be exceptional cases though, but it's important to figure out why this is happening in the first place with the help of your vet. Therefore it's important to consider whether the amputation is really needed before proceeding. There may be underlying causes that can be addressed without the need for an amputation. Best wishes!

Katie on April 17, 2017:

I have a Queensland heeler border collie lab mix that is 3 years old she has been getting limp tail Every time she goes outside Iam thinking about docking her tail because every​ time it goes limp it hurts her and I was wondering does a dog go depressed and very sad after they get their tail docked

Annette Craig on February 05, 2017:

What is the age range to clip Aussies tail?

Marie Kane on January 12, 2017:

Hearing that puppy's agonizing cries (in the video) while having its tail amputated without anesthesia BROKE my Heart!!! The procedure of docking tails should be outlawed!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 22, 2016:

Emma Chan, thanks for sharing your thoughts on tail docking in dogs.

Emma Chan from Auckland, New Zealand on August 28, 2014:

We are going through the docking debate at the moment, the NZKC wants it to remain legal, the Veterinary Council see docking for cosmetics (breed standard, since it can be changed, included) as unnecessary. You have hunters who claim that their dogs get injured in the field, other hunters, using the same breed and often the same lines, don't have that issue. However, humans have interfered with dogs for centuries, that is why there is over 300 different breeds, what of those bred to be tailless? Australian cattle dogs and pembroke welsh corgis can be practically tailless (disregarding cases such as the sudden spate of litters of 'naturally bobtail' rotties that appeared once Australia bit the bullet and made cosmetic docking illegal)

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 21, 2014:

Dogs can be kept indoors if they are properly exercised and given mental stimulation. Think about hunters out in the field all day and then coming home with their happy, tired dogs dozing off in front of a crackling fire. If these dogs are hurting their tails in confined spaces they are not being properly exercised and are housed in inappropriate quarters. I know many active breeds who are happy indoors because their committed owners are exercising them enough during the day and have no problems of hurting their tails.

Kelly on March 21, 2014:

These docks are hurting their tails in confined spaces because they should not be kept inside. Dogs belong outdoors.

Donald on January 18, 2014:

Docking of a dog's tail is so inhumane and i for one totally hates it, i see many here agreeing to docking tails because another dog tail is injured, why don't you people go and chop of your own hands because someone else hand was injured or rip off your nails because someone else's nail was split? Why don't you? Puppies feel pain just as an adult, who tells you they don't? And people saying they looks badder, so what? They not bad while their tails are on? Is some illiterate owners like these taking dogs and causing dogs to get bad raps and have society blaming the animals, you want animal to be hurting just because they looking bad, people like you so shouldn't even be owning an animal, causing the animal pain just for to have a mean looking dog, this is the same foolish and stupid mentality is what have given the pitbulls and doberman a bad rap..steups

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 30, 2013:

Steve, I do not see this arrogance you mention. If you read through the comments, you'll notice how pro-dockers have attacked me repeatedly. I have been called names and some comments I had to remove because they were full of bad words. I want to make it clear that I don't have anything against the procedure when done for medical reasons and a reasonable matter. I offer all my support to those who have to dock because of medical causes. The problem with communication in docked dogs is not from us not being able to read them, but mostly from other dogs who approach docked dogs with more suspicion. As a dog trainer/behavior consultant I have seen this happen, and there are even some studies on this. See the "robo-dog"study if you have time. I am not against spaying and neutering, and I have worked for shelters and was horrified by the amount of pets put to sleep because of bad choices. I rather see more dogs spayed and neutered than pups put to sleep because nobody wants them. I wished some people spent money more to help shelters rather than docking dogs for cosmetic reasons, but that's something I can't do anything about it. Back to your case, yes, please do what the vet recommends if your dog's tail is such a bloody mess and please don't feel bad or guilty for it as you have a good reason for it. I do occasionally blame domestication for causing this sort of injury, since it's sometimes seen when people over-crate their dogs, keeping them all day home in a small room, which is not the life for an active dog bred to work. I was really angry once when a person told me his Boxer had "happy tail" and then he told me his dog was crated like 10 hours a day. But in your case you have acreage, sounds like your dogs lead an active, happy life and you're taking very good care of them. Your vet is the best option to consult in this case; some vets are conservative and will do what it takes to save the tail, others will dock it, especially if the wound is constantly re-opening. See what your vet recommends. Do what's in the best interest of your dog, best wishes.

stevek503 on March 30, 2013:

Alexandry, your arrogant tone in your article and comments is very annoying. I can see your point, but your point is not the only one, nor is it the only correct one.

I have several dogs, two of them in particular relate to this article. Both are mutts, shelter dogs, so I don't know their whole history. One is a lab mix, her tail had already been docked when we took her home. She is perfectly happy and has been a terrific dog. We were sad that her tail was gone, but we could still tell when she was happy because her nubby was wagging. So no problem with communication there. The other dog is a mix that we still can't quite figure out, but I am pretty sure there is some pointer in her. Every wall in our house is streaked with blood and the tip of her tail is perpetually injured.

You mentioned hunting dogs should be kept outside, and if we were utilizing them for what they were bred for, this problem would not exist. Basically, every one of these dogs in the shelter should be left there to die if they are not going to be used for what they were bred for. I don't feel that way. I do not hunt, I have animals, I don't kill them. My dogs have a full half acre to run around, to play, and wear themselves out. She still has a bloody tail, and she has actually injured a smaller dog and a cat with her baseball bat-like tail. There are other animals in the house that you probably did not even consider when you wrote this.

We were sad about our lab, and wished she still had her tail. Now we understand that there might be other reasons besides what we think look pleasing to us.

We spay and neuter all of our pets. They were born with those parts and they served a purpose. We do it to stop unwanted breeding and the health benefits that come with altering a animal. Sometimes removing things are in the animals best interest.

We have not docked the tail, we really don't want to, we would really rather not. But in the end, we will do what is necessary.

So, tell me, how do I keep my dog away from walls and doorways, how do I keep it away from trees and fences. Is having a constant open wound a good thing?

Try not to sound so arrogant and holier than thou.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 29, 2013:

Justine, my experience with cats and the manx breed is limited when it comes to docking. Perhaps it's best to ask your vet about this when you have them checked out or your breeding mentor if you have one.

Justine on March 28, 2013:

Alexadry, i have a very serious question, that being i have two pure manx cats, one with a long tail the other with a short tail (natural not docked). My long tailed manx is pregnant and im looking into getting the long tailed kittens docked. i am in no way wanting to get this done because of cosmetic reasons, i have reads in a few different places that long tailed manxs can develop pains in the tails that can lead to serious problems. Im have a very difficult time deciding what to do here, i really dont want to cause my kittens any unessisary pain. PLEASE HELP!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 31, 2012:

FYI, I am familiar with happy tail, we have treated one -two cases when I worked for the vet and all we did was bandage along with giving discharge orders of keeping the dog away from walls and avoid crates. Management was all it took to prevent relapses just as you would with a dog with an injured leg. As you may know "Happy tail", also known as "kennel tail" because it's seen in dogs that are often confined, can affect any breed of dog. The one we treated was a lab. For the sake of argument, would you be comfortable advocating docking for labs, goldens and just about any breed of dog for a slim chance as such?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 31, 2012:

Also, please understand that I am totally with you on docking when medically necessary. I just don't agree, nor I think it's correct to assume that 500 dogs should have this done as a preventive measure if the chance is only 1 may get tail injuries. I find this appalling being that there there are also countless risks in tail docking as the article published in the Australian Veterinary Journal above points out. Also one consideration: if the procedure was so harmless and tail injuries were so common, why would you think respected veterinary organizations such as AVMA and WSAVA would be against it?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 31, 2012:

There are two sides of the story. Please google phanthom pain, the implication of tails in dog communication and the studies suggesting that tail docking in young pups is done without anesthesia and the pup feels pain despite what many breeders say. Not to mention urinary and defecation implications and locomotion. There is ample of proof out there that tail docking has many health and psychological implications. For me all of these are enough to make the procedure not worth it. Add to that the 500 in 1 chances and then you see where I come from. You also haven't witnessed seeing the docking first hand which I have with the pups shrieking in pain, and worst of all some pups getting infections- and all of this in breeds with perfectly strong tails such as Rottweilers. Here is a great read for the other side of the story many do not want to know or pretend not to know. There's much more going on that thought!

Tony on December 31, 2012:

Again, I just think this is going a little too far. I can't tell you how many people told me how amputating Lucy's tail this late in her life was going to be such a strenuous and tumultuous and major surgery. It took 45 minutes for the actual surgery. She was out cold and when she came to, showed no signs of pain or anything. The most bothersome thing has been the ridiculous e-collar she has to wear. She hates it, and I can't really blame her :)

I just have to admit that after going through this first hand, I definitely envisioned it to be much more difficult than it actually was. I was expecting this to be like open heart surgery on a human. That's one of the main reasons we waited until this option honestly became our last resort. However, after seeing how easy this whole process actually was, I wish we would've done it years ago.

Also, as to your question about docking 500 tails in order to save 1. I would absolutely answer that question with an emphatic yes unless there was proof that tail docking actually hinders the dog's life. I have this same approach towards humans as well. If altering something on 500 human bodies as baby's could better the life of 1 individual without altering the lifespan for all 501, I would gladly do this.

I agree with you that the breeds that dock tails solely for cosmetic purposes is wrong. I just don't agree that cosmetics is always the only case. A quick Google search will show you that Happy Tail is alive and thriving. If you ever experience it firsthand, which I certainly don't wish upon you, maybe you would see the other side as well.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 31, 2012:

Tony, I am well aware about happy tail syndrome as that is also known to happen in boxers. And I am sorry to hear about your GSP tail, yours is an unfortunate case, but there are still many things that are not convincing. One thing is that this syndrome seems to happen due to keeping sporting breeds in confinement. If a GSP would be kept outdoors hunting and doing what it was bred for, it would likely not develop such a thing. In the past, this breed was worked all day, and then once in the home it would settle in front of a crackling fire and sleep. There was no opportunity to bang the tail against the walls. I know many GSP breeders in Europe who keep them undocked cause it's illegal there, and they seem to not have any issues both in the field or at home.

I personally have an issue on the study you posted from Sweden: it was conducted under the auspices of an organization known for advocating tail docking. I therefore believe it is biased. Another study conducted in England actually concluded that approximately 500 dogs need to be docked in order to prevent 1 tail injury! Is it worth it? In my opinion it's like saying, let's take away a baby's tonsils or an appendix to prevent future problems even if the chances are very low. It wouldn't make much sense!

Another controversial issue, is why is the German pointer docked when the English pointer can go happily with a tail and has done so for eons? And most importantly, why is that the long haired German pointer which is also a working dog allowed to have a tail while a short haired cannot? The criteria seems more based on a human nature's whims on what's OK and what is not more than based on concrete facts. So there are many things I just don't buy. Yes, you occasionally get the dog that gets injured, but it's not the norm. It's just unjust to go ahead and justify across-the-board that all dogs must be docked because several years later in life, a handful of them may wag their tails hard enough to do damage:(

Tony on December 31, 2012:

This is a very interesting study that was performed after Sweden banned docking in GSPs.

Tony on December 31, 2012:

Alexadry, I think you are taking this way too far. Some breed's tails are built entirely differently. Some breeds need to have their tails cropped. I, like you, used to be blind to this fact as well. Here's a little story about my life as a loving dog owner...

We have a 5-year-old GSP that we just had to amputate her tail last Friday. GSPs, as I'm sure you are aware, usually have their tail docks. Many people believe this is due to cosmetic reasoning, but please pay attention...

Our vet told us from Day 1 after we rescued her that she NEEDED to have her tail cropped. He said most GSP breeds suffer from "Happy Tail Syndrome" and that is the reasoning behind their tails being cropped. My wife and I had never heard of this syndrome before, and we decided against it because we honestly had the same feelings as you about tail cropping.

However, after seeing our house look like a murder scene numerous times over the years due to her getting excited and smacking her tail into everything in sight, after years of bandaging her tail, years of worrying about her health and her little "nicks" opening back up or becoming infected, after years of thinking 'what can we do to stop this?', after literally lining our ENTIRE house with bubble wrap to help cushion the blows and PRAY her cuts wouldn't return ... My only wish is that we would've listen to our vet the first time. Our vet was right, her tail NEEDED to be cropped to protect her from herself. We were too blind to the fact because we thought the entire idea was solely for cosmetic reasons. The fact of the matter though, after talking with our vet, is that in many, many, many cases cosmetics has nothing to do with it.

I don't know the specifics from breed to breed, and I honestly don't care to, but in our case, tail cropping would have made a huge difference. Had her tail been cropped five years ago, it would've saved us -- and more importantly her -- a lot of stress.

I think with everything in life, things need to have a varying perspective. We are not, and refuse to be labeled as, bad dog owners. Or not caring for our dogs, or be told that we are egocentric. I know it's tough to do sometimes, but I think it may be beneficial for you to research "Happy Tail Syndrome" a little bit. It may open your eyes to many of the reasons why the practice of cropping is done in some cases.

I'm not saying I always agree with the practice, because I am definitely not schooled enough in the many breeds of dogs that have their tails cropped. However, the idea that cropping GSP's tails is solely for cosmetics reasons and for simplicity with hunting, is a myth. I love our GSP, and would happily own another ... only if it's tail was cropped FIRST ;)

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 12, 2012:

My article is not on dewclaws.. anyhow, the fact the dog remembers or not the pain is irrelevant. what is relevant is the fact that this is done for cosmetic reasons only and for personal egocentric reasons. Dogs are not fashion accessories. Circumcision to tail docking is like comparing apples to oranges. How can a piece of tissue be compared with cutting through skin, nerves, bones? and how can it a piece of tissue be compared to an important means of communication as a dog's tail.

Ike538 on August 12, 2012:

Having a dogs tail docked is no different than have a baby boy circumcised. Both procedures are done to newborns without using any anesthesia or pain meds and neither remember the procedure. Just ask any Guy that's been circumcised if he remembers being in pain when he was 2 days old. As for dewclaws, yes they most definitely should be removed. After working at a vets office for several years I have seen to many dogs come in with there dewclaws grown into the pad. Tell me what's worse a quick 5 second procedure when the dogs 2 days old or a painful several weeks?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 15, 2012:

In my experience there are breeders and breeders. Backyard breeders, care less, they actually want to save money so docking is more of an inconvenience than anything else. Reputable breeders most likely show their dogs and wish to have specimens that adhere to the standard mostly because they wish to show if they have show quality puppies.

Kristin on July 15, 2012:

All I wanted to say is, you mentioned that breeders dock because it is their clients wishes. I would disagree. Most pet owners of docked and undocked dogs would be just fine and would even prefer their dogs to be undocked.

Unfortunately due to "breed standard" set by the likes of AKC and such breeders dock. I have personally asked about if breeders would not dock (because we are looking for a corgi) and I always get the response of due to breed standard, and because they dock at such a young age, the breeder can not yet determine which puppy has show potential and which ones would make good family pets. So what if they left one undocked and then that turns out to be the best "show" dog in the litter etc.

It will only change when dogs who are normally docked are allowed to enter the ring with a tail and succeed.

Docking became a practice for working animals, to protect them breaking the tail by being stepped on by cattle etc. But most dogs bred today are not working animals in the slightest.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 09, 2012:

I don't think they were trying to make it look worse, there are countless reports of backyard breeders doing this at their home "cut shop". Some were even reported for animal cruelty for banding at home. I really do not like comparing human procedures with tail docks as they are two totally different procedures.

Mary on May 08, 2012:

The puppy was way too old to be doing that to in the first place.It should have been doone at 2-3 days old.They should not have blunt cut it either or put a band on it.Were these vets or someone trying to make it look worse than it should hav been?I have done tails and never even had to stitch it with little or no bleeding.

I think they did this to show people what they want you to think.Ban it because it was done,not done wrong.My son was circumcised without an anesthetic at 2 days old.No one seems to care about that.Look at all the people who get their faces redone.I guess that's ok to them and they are probably some of the people complaining about it being done on an animal.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 20, 2012:

It's not me saying not to dock; it's the AVMA, WSAVA, the Antidocking Alliance, more than 20 countries who have banned this practice, Banfield vets, and the thousands of people like me who think its unethical and cruel. It's not about your right to raise dogs, it's about the dog's rights we are talking about here, which apparently sadly don't count much:( Sorry to say but docking dogs just for cosmetic purposes (and spanking kids while we are at it) makes us closer to monkeys than God:( yes, we should be progressing not regressing:(

Lissa on March 20, 2012:

Excuse me evolution lady. you may have come from monkeys but I was wonderfully created by Almighty God!!! Docking the tails and the other things is strictly pet owners decision and prerogative. I had both my sons circumcised because of my Christian beliefs. Some parents believe in spanking (not to be confused with beating) as a punishment. I being one of them. We all have different feelings and different beliefs. It is not your right to tell me i'm wrong nor is it my right to tell you your wrong however I would appreciate people to stay out of my business and let me raise my children and dogs according to my own wishes.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 08, 2012:

There are countless owners of boxers with tails and they have no problem whatsoever. I personally would keep it instead for the sake of the dog. Injuries due to excess wagging are a result of domestication (ie wagging against walls, crates, furniture)we should not mold dogs to our lives but our lives to our dogs. Just my thoughts.

mo harvey on March 08, 2012:

my first boxer had his tail, but due to his excess wagging of tail and bottom he split his tail so many time and had considerable pain out vet who was totally against docking had to amputate his tail, which im sure was worse than if he had had it docked as a new born, he never missed his tail at all and he was two when we had it done so it wasnt something we went into lightly, i personnally would rather have a docked tail and not for cosmetic reasons but for the sake of the dog.

Greg on March 01, 2012:

just an FYI, Tail docking is not relatively new.. it's been done since the 1700's(probably even earlier). Something about working dogs having tails.. non working dogs not. and a tax was involved too.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 21, 2012:

That's great! Thanks for sharing. I like the UK's reasoning, it really makes sense.

joinkent on February 21, 2012:

Our English Springer Spaniel is expecting her first litter in 3 weeks and she is not docked and we will not be docking the puppies or allowing anyone to pay up front and go dock a puppy either. Our dog is a pet and although categorised in the UK as a gun dog (sporting dog in USA) we do not hunt - she is a family pet and therefore I see no reason to dock. In the UK you have to have a certificate and other paperwork to prove that your Gun Dogs are to be workign dogs before any Vet will dock. It is otherwise against the law here in the UK - and thank goodness it is. Has been since 2007 and it is lovely to see Springers and Cockers with their beautiful tails.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 09, 2012:

I loved reading that book.. I think the best bet for breeders is to breed for stronger tails if they fear working/sporting dogs are prone to tail injuries. There are however lots of controversies and it all seems to boil down to cosmetics, for instance why do Weimareners have to be docked when the long-haired Weimarener is accepted with its tail? In a similar fashion, why are German Short Hair Pointers docked and then English Pointers are not? Why are Australian Shepherds docked and then Border Collies and Retrievers are not? These are all working/sporting dogs as well and seem to do just fine with their tails..go figure..

Rachel on February 08, 2012:

I have read "How to speak Dog", thanks. I should have reread that chapter before posting here. The statistics about dogs being twice as likely to attack Docked dogs,(Coren 132) has now convinced me that only Sporting Dogs should be docked. I still love my Poodles as they are, however.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 08, 2012:

The communication issues are not towards you but other dogs. In my daily interactions with dogs I have noticed how other dogs are more ''tentative'' when approaching docked dogs in respect to un-docked dogs. This was confirmed in a book published by Stanley Coren and by a study conducted by Stephen Leaver. Docked dogs are ''handicapped'' when it comes to conveying emotions such as fear, caution, aggression and playfulness. The balance issues does not mean your dog will literally and constantly fall over or walk oddly. A tail works as a rudder when a dog is swimming and possibly aids in balance when running, putting them at a disadvantage compared to their tailed peers.

Rachel on February 07, 2012:

Hello. I admit to coming in to this argument with no knowledge of the process. I have had four poodles over the course of my life, and all of them have had short tails.I think poodles are one of the usually dock tailed breeds. I have noticed that my dogs have plenty of tail to communicate with. I've never notcied balance problem with them. I have noticed that the claws can break and bleed all over the place and cause the dog horrific pain, but Its possible to clip the nails when they get too long. While I remain on the fence about Tail Docking, because of the injury possibility, Ears should never be cropped, that's just cruel.

sammeewolf on January 26, 2012:

KnowMoreIdiots, that's not matter-of-fact, it's RUDE. Your whole attitude is extremely rude, and not just because you personally attack Alexandry. I just joined this hub pages thing, and I'm already blown away by how rude people think they should be just because they disagree with something.

It is an interesting thread, and I have learned some things.

why_me on January 18, 2012:

in switzerland docking tails and clipped ears are illegal, this includes the importation of any dog with such modifications.

i have seen on tv that young brains, including humans ones, have a delayed reaction to pain. This has been interpreted as no reaction. However, the reality is a painful trauma with a slight delay between cut and sensitivity.

stop doing this cruel action now. Great site!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 16, 2012:

Science, realistically speaking studies and research should not be needed for something like this, simply because it is common sense! First, I am a CPDT-KA that trains and deals with dog behavior on a daily basis so I know the effects of tail docking on inter-dog communication as I see it every day with mutilated dogs, second many of my links already go to veterinarians and studies. I understand that a Google doc may be more reliable, but really is it necessary? Only a minimal percentage of pro-dockers would really read them and many do not understand the technical lingo. If you read an article about ''cutting a baby's finger at birth'' would you need research to back up its deleterious effects? Puppies are babies equipped with a nervous system and a tail is even much more than a finger ( it helps in balance, communication and much more!) I could fill my article with studies to back everything up but is it needed? Would it really make a difference? Would people understand the lingo? And about the youtube video: it's an eye opener, many people do not realize what a real tail dock is, this is to educate them about what is really happening. I did not know until I saw the vet do it in front of my eyes...

Science! on January 16, 2012:

I'll add to that: If you have read the actual studies, you should link to them, or if not available online, post the authors and the abstract so that other's can get more information from them. Many sites like JSTOR and even google docs can provide access for the public to published papers in peer reviewed journals.

Science! on January 16, 2012:

Please please please, do not say "here are the scientific facts" and then throw a link to a newspaper article. As someone who has family working in media: They get things wrong all the time. Even direct quotes. Newspapers are not a source of valid scientific information. Also, this was a single study, and it was done with a stuffed dog. You have to understand that there are HUGE extraneous variables here that could have influenced dog responses, and you do not know what the controls were. Anyone in the scientific community would not take this as proof of anything, but rather a step into deeper questions with a more refined approach. I'm not saying docking has or has not been shown to be detrimental to dogs' behaviour, what I am saying is that you cannot offer youtube videos and a newspaper article as academic sources.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 15, 2012:

I find your post very interesting and would like to go more in depth into this. It sounds like you are claiming that the actual tail docking is what is causing whip-like tails? That sounds like a good argument, however, Rottweilers which I own which have also been docked for many years, when left un-docked exhibit a pretty good darn thick and sturdy tail, so perhaps the theory would work for dogs with already thin tails to begin with? (ie Boxers and GSP)

On the other hand, there are Weimarenars and GSP claimed to be docked to ''prevent injury'' and then there are English Pointers with thin whip-like tails left undocked and hunting with no problems. I see a lot of controversy in this, and the more I notice these controversies the more it is convincing to me and those against docking that tail docking is more cosmetic than anything else.

I just was reading a post made in a forum by a Weimarener breeder claiming ''I had an undocked Weimarener who qualified for Crufts and was very successful in working trials before I lost her to torsion. Her tail never suffered any damage even when working in the thickest cover of places such as Ashdown Forest.''

Liesl on January 15, 2012:

I have been around Weimaraners and pure bred dogs my entire life. My mum breeds Wei's and so growing up, tail docking was always a part of the process that they went through. Seeing it done many times, it was never the horrible, life-threatening event I have been reading throughout this blog.

When tail docking was banned in Australia I spent a long period of time figuring out which side of the debate I was on, as my entire family is very invested in the ethics of animals - all of my family members having studied a zoology or veterinary science degree. Over the years, I have heard many arguments - some with strong underlying reasons and some without. I have also built conclusions of my own from my own dogs and my exposure to the dog breeding and showing world.

My understanding of the debate is that for breeds like weimaraners, their tails were originally docked because of what they were bred for; being gundogs and working dogs. This worked its way into the standard of the breed and the reason evolved to be more cosmetic. For years Weimaraners, Rottweilers, German-Shorthaired Pointers, Dobermans and many other breeds mentioned throughout this blog, had their tails docked early on in their lives to adhere to their breed's standard.

Growing up in the home of a breeder, I always noticed what my mum looked for when breeding two dogs - she would take into account the strength and weaknesses of each dog, always looking to breed the most Weimaraner-like Wei's. For example, if a dog had a dip in it's topline, she would not breed it, or breed it with a short Weimaraner or one with a great topline.

The way that this relates to the tail docking argument, and one problem that is occurring today because of the ban is that for years in these breeds, such as Dobermans, Weimaraners and GSP's, breeders haven't been taking into account any safety issues of their tails. You will notice in breeds like Labradors who have always had long tails, they have huge, thick and sturdy tails that don't cause much tail damage. Weimaraner's tails are now, after being ignored for so long - often thin, bony and very susceptible to tail damage.

This is the reason for the debate, not because people like the look of a short-tailed dog, but because ethically, docking their tails can also cause damage as breeding strong, sturdy tails wasn't necessary when they were going to be docked. Maybe the solution is that we accept this and breeders work to breed more resilient tails, but there is a lot of truth to the tail docking debate, and this blog only covered some of it.

Also, Speaking for the breeders that I know, breeders LOVE dogs, and the arguments they hold is what they think is right for the dogs. They breed good top-lines and thick tails and correct eyes because they want to decrease spinal problems, tail damage and eye disease. There is a lot of reason and understanding in why breeders do what they do, and all of it has to do with what is ethical and right for the dogs. At least, with the breeders I know.

mike on January 13, 2012:

this article is a little ignorant, i hope you know that sometimes humans are born with tails... If a human is born with a tail, the tail gets amputated...

i have docked rhotweilers tails for as long as i can remember, benefits??? Many ex... a 130 pound rhotweiler as a housepet with a huge tail wagging around knocking over lamps, tables, chairs, even whiping children in the face when they get really exited, its no big deal, i say dock the tail!! and if the dog gets too horny, cut off his balls too!!!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 30, 2011:

It is not only the pain, it's the futility of the procedure and depriving a dog of an important means of communication. Yes, all dogs have pain, but this is totally unnecessary. And yes, I have seen working dogs cry from getting injured legs, shoulders, paws and so forth, all body parts are prone to injury, it's a fact of life. The video is not misleading at all, breeders do this on a daily basis all over the world. It's an eye opener and it would be irresponsible on my part to ignore what is really going on when a breeder does a DIY tail dock in their basement ''chop shop''. Videos of tail docks done by vets are equally gruesome if that is what you wanted me to post.

Weimster on December 30, 2011:

So, it's ok to breed dogs in all the shapes, sizes, colors, dispositions, coat lengths and such for our personal needs or likes, but it's cruel to dock their tails because as a newborn they feel some pain? Shots cause pain. Blood tests cause pain. Having a dog neutered causes pain. Have you ever seen an adult Weim crying and howling with a broken tail? I have and so did his "docking is cruel" thinking owner. That sight sure changed his mind. I'm sure there are some breeds out there there that docking is totally unnecessary. However, to be a responsible owner and caregiver of some breeds, I think it's absolutely necessary. For you to put video of some hillbilly butchering a dog on here as a representation of the practice is completely irresponsible and misleading of you, in my opinion.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 29, 2011:

Andre, depends on how widespread the infection was, if you took him promptly, very likely the antibiotics will kick in and soon make him better, hoping for the best, I send best wishes

Andre on December 29, 2011:

Hey guys, i was given a puppy by a friend who couldn't have him and his tail was docked (I'm against this sort of things)and apparently it was cut off incorrectly and the puppy has contracted a fever and infection because of it, i took it to the vet already and I'm just wondering can it survive?

B on December 13, 2011:

I love short and bobbed tails on dogs, but I understand that today dogs are bred as companions and these procedures have become merely an aesthetic link to their (sometime horrifying) heritage. I would not have my dog or puppy cosmetically altered just because it looks nice, as it is unnecessary. I understand there are a few breeds of dogs which have naturally short tails and if short tails are so important to rotts,dobermen and the like then perhaps breeders should try to breed that trait into them (cross-breeding promotes genetic diversity and healthier dogs anyway).

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 01, 2011:

Yes, I guess so. As a dog trainer, I often encounter the term ''guard dog'' used incorrectly. Most dogs are watch dogs unless they are specifically (and hopefully professionally!) trained to guard. It takes a certain temperament and loads of training to obtain a stable minded authentic guard dog, you can read more here:

John on December 01, 2011:

"In my neck of the woods, -I live in the country- most dogs are watch dogs, none of these dogs would attack or was trained to attack as real ''guard dogs'' normally are."

WOW, We must be talking about a different species... I'm done.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 28, 2011:

Since you continuously claim I post ''erroneous information'' please provide me with the source that 99% of the not-apartment house has a dog to guard. Truthfully, I find the term ''guard dog'' a bit misleading and ambiguous, perhaps you may wish to say ''watch dog?''. In my neck of the woods, -I live in the country- most dogs are watch dogs, none of these dogs would attack or was trained to attack as real ''guard dogs'' normally are.

I said most dogs are kept as pets, and have derived this information from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association: quoted ''. Today many working breeds of dog are kept as house-pets. When tails are allowed to remain intact, there are no more tail injuries in breeds that are customarily docked than in other breeds of dog.'' Source:

Neutering/spaying dogs is a blessing and a must in today's unfortunate irresponsible society. I worked for a shelter and if you would see how many dogs were put to sleep simply because NOBODY wanted them proved to me what a disgrace it is to keep dogs intact and allow them to breed. Litters of pups were put to sleep because the owners did not have the diligence to spay and neuter! When you see so many dogs killed you understand why neutering is a blessing. Comparing something important as neutering to a cosmetic surgery to me is like comparing apples to oranges.

John on November 27, 2011:

Obviously if you work in a city vet you will think that "the majority of the dogs are pets", but once again you are failing to see the reality as it is.

99% of the not-apartment house that has a dog, has it to guard not only to pet, and that is a working dog, it's guarding (not that this has anything to do with the tail docking, but it's just to show you that sometimes you really need to think to get to valuable conclusions).

Once again I do not agree with most of what you said, and as my opinion was said before I will not repeat it.

One more thing I would like to add, specially directed to the people that use the "that's mutilation" argument against tail docking, is that chopping nuts of (neutering) is also mutilation and animal rights organizations even seem to defend it.

Conclusion: Stop with the erroneous information.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 26, 2011:

Well first of all, the great majority of dogs are used today as companion pets, and I can grant you that a great minority are actually being used as working dogs.

I can say after working for a vet that the great majority of working dogs admitted at the hospital developed leg injuries, I probably saw only a couple of tail injuries in hunting dogs, but a bandage and TLC took care of it. I also saw a litter of pups developing infections due to a DO IT YOURSELF tail dock gone bad.

Now, for the sake of argument let's assume ALL working/hunting dogs did actually develop tail injuries...Are you therefore suggesting that we shall dock Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Border Collies, Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain dogs and all the like? They are heck of working dogs and some even work harder than the average docked dog! I am sure a big no would sound off and people would want mandatory tail banned ASAP. So what gives?

Countries where thousands of dogs are left un-docked due to bans are happily wagging their tails and living a normal life! I was in Europe last year, and asked a vet in my hometown and she claimed that she did not see an increase in tail injuries at all!

I agree wholeheartedly about dogs living in apartments. I live on 2.33 acres and prior to this home had 5 acres. I cannot imagine my dogs living in an apartment and I think that would be egoistic on my side because they are not used to it. Hopefully those who live in apartments are able to find an alternative such as doggy day care, pet sitters, and lots of romps at parks and long walks.

As per my article, this was published several years ago, when studies on tail docking were not up to date as of today. My article is under construction with the most up-to-date veterinary facts and sorry, to say, they mostly back up my facts or what you call ''opinions''.

John on November 26, 2011:

Ok, most of your comment was a recital of your article, so I will not bother to refute your arguments again.

I will just comment about the false new argument used, you said:

"Happy tail is something I will never get a grip on. It is something that is human created. I have noticed it is often due to dogs who are kept for too long under exercised and their tail is banged against walls causing it to split open. A dog who is allowed outdoors and exercised properly should stand a zero chance to develop such a man-made condition."

Like you said it is more probable to happen to dogs that have short hair and live in apartments, so even if the owner gives the dog 2 hours/day of exercise the dog will still be 22hours/day in an apartment having great probability of hiting his tail NOT only in walls but mostly on table legs, cabinets, furniture, etc. (which you wisely didn't refer).

In fact, I actually believe that if you only have an apartment then you shouldn't have a dog in the first place, but the reality is different, because most of the so called animal rights aware people live in city apartments and have their animals there!

Finally, the prove that what you said is wrong is that many dogs that get injuries in their tails are working dogs, and obviously they don't work inside a small room.

I love country side and I have seen horrific injuries in hunting dogs, some of injuries were in their tails (just for the record always in non-cropped dogs with short hair, wire or long haired dogs seem to be less prone). I actually witnessed one of the injuries, the dog tail got caught in a fence and the dog panicked and started pulling he made a huge cute and lost the skin in the tip of the tail.

At least on one thing we agree, happy tail is definitly a man-made condition!

I'm obviously not against people not wanting to cut their dogs tail, I'm against the ones that intend to make it illegal to everyone. And of course you guys are free to publish this type of articles but a warning should always put after an opinion article referring that "This article is purely based in my opinion and isn't intended in no way to represent reality."

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 24, 2011:

John, I will have to correct you on several things. Ear cropping is a far cry from circumcision: in circumcision, you are only cutting through tissue, in ear cropping we are cutting through skin, nerves, blood vessels and bone. For the heck of comparison it is far closer to cutting a digit of a finger than a circumcision. Of course, tail docking is nothing close to ear piercing, so I will not go even into that. Of course, it is not like open heart surgery without anesthesia and I never claimed that, but again for the heck of comparison, it can be similar to cutting a new born baby's digit of a little finger, and I think nobody sane of mind would do that.

I am perfectly aware of humans selectively breeding dogs for no tails, but nature still plays a prominent role. Truth is, dogs need their tails, and nature would have got rid of tails if they had no function just as it happened to humans eons ago, yes, humans had tails.

Happy tail is something I will never get a grip on. It is something that is human created. I have noticed it is often due to dogs who are kept for too long under exercised and their tail is banged against walls causing it to split open. A dog who is allowed outdoors and exercised properly should stand a zero chance to develop such a man-made condition.

I am with you about focusing more on dog well being, so why instead of spending thousands on tail docks and ear crops, don't people just accept the animals as is, give them the unconditional love they deserve, and perhaps make a donation to an animal shelter?

John on November 23, 2011:

[b]Pain is part of life, obviously every unnecessary pain should be avoided, but you make tail docking look like and open heart surgery without anesthesia, which is not! I tail docking bet is not more painful than male circumcision done by the hundreds in U.S. or ear piercing, and none of the kids come out physiologically traumatized by those practices.

Also, the "nature choice" argument isn't true at all, and a vet should know it, if it was nature choice dogs would exist, they are a product of human selection and there are many breeds with very small tails because they were selected for it, not because nature wanted to. Also there are breeds that have short hair because man wanted to, and unlike the animal that nature put a tail on, the wolf, and many of those short haired dogs will have their tails with a permanent open wound at the tip (and I bet that isn't a nature choice), search happy tail syndrome.

Seems like politic correctness will inevitably take over logic, but until then I will fight to try to avoid it. Tail cropping procedure will not traumatize your dog, you should instead be worried of giving him a healthy diet, loving home and cared for long life![/b]

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 20, 2011:

I also own two rotts and they are docked. But after becoming a dog trainer I realized how important tails are in dog communication and many other functions. I really do not think there are medical reasons for docking in Rotts, can you be more detailed as to what medical conditions exactly these are? The Rottweiler has a pretty tail that is quite thick compared to whip-like tails so I cannot see how tail injuries could happen. I am not aware of any medical problems connected to keeping the tail in Rotts, but I have heard of incontinence problems and phantom pains associated with docking. I have been in Europe at a dog show and saw hundreds of Rotts with tails, and I was impressed as how lovely they looked. My next batch of Rotts is definitively going to be with a tail...

C-Walk on November 20, 2011:

I have two rottweilers, both have their tails docked. There are certain medical reasons that rottweilers need to have their taials docked, but not only that docked tails are a breed standard. Rottweilers docked tails is what gives them their buff characteristic. I love it and I don't think there is anything wrong with tail docking.

stopthecrops on November 12, 2011:

WOW,I actually read through the whole article up to your post and honestly found the writer used a lot of facts to back up her opinion. Her facts also appear to come from reliable sources and reputable vets. I think alexadry did good research if you have the patience to read through the posts. I also see no fanaticism whatsoever, just facts.

wow on November 12, 2011:

Start at the top! Maby your site should be called Alexadrys opinion on tial docking! Or do all fanatical types preach the truth, the one and only true path?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 07, 2011:

Gosh, I still can't believe you are still posting here and thinking what I wrote are my opinions! This came from vets, now do yourself and me a favor and go argue with the vet's studies not me. I have no fault here other than educating people that tail docks are not painless as assumed and that the latest studies show that puppies are capable of pain perception.

And FYI, the definition of gangrene I gave came from Mayo clinic. If you think you know more than Mayo Clinic, fine. Gangrene does not necessarily mean infection, it can just mean death of tissue. Gangrene results when blood flow to a certain area of your body is interrupted. Go see it yourself it is here:

Still not convinced? According to CNN:''Gangrene refers to the decay and death of tissue resulting from an interruption of blood flow to a certain area of your body.''

The choice of the word ''gangrene '' you are accusing me of, did not even come from my mouth, it came from my source ''In defense of animals'' I will QUOTE it for you:

''Tails are usually docked on 2-10 day old puppies, without either general or local anesthesia. If the procedure is done by a veterinarian, the tail is clamped a short distance from the body, and the portion of the tail outside the clamp is cut or torn away. Many breeders dock their pups themselves using a method that has been proven to be FAR MORE PAINFUL - "banding," or tying off the tail. This stops the blood supply, which results in DRY GANGRENE. The dead portion of the tail usually falls off about three days later. This can be likened to slamming your finger in a car door - and leaving it there.''

Want to read it for yourself? It is in the first paragraph right here:

Note: I never ever called you idiot. Actually, you are the one if you re-read all your posts that has implied from the get-go that I am just a dumb receptionist and you are the smart breeder, you never even read my whole bio and my newest qualifications:( Your choice of user name alone is just an offense in itself :( But it's ok. I am a pretty tough skinned gal;)

KnowMoreIdiots on November 07, 2011:

No really,I could give two craps less what you think. I've just come to enjoy your high and mighty delusions. I really do! Not only does one thing you say or "prove" not matter one bit to me,but it's also painfully clear (no pun intended),that anyone who even so much as slightly disagrees with you,or challenges you,you're very quick to call them "idiots",or tell them "they don't have the facts". I on the other hand,respect that some people don't like tail docking,and some do. There's no right or wrong answer here. Tail docking causes pain for the pup for a moment? There's no lasting effects on the dog,and THAT is fact. You can express your opinion,yet others who don't agree with you,cannot? HA...quite the hypocrite aren't we? And I'll state it once more,banding does not cause gangrene. You are beyond misinformed. Gangrene means infection. The tails don't become infected,they have blood supply cut off,and THAT'S a fact. My career and experience proves that. Where's you get your medical degree? Lithuania? You don't have your facts straight,that's all. You should BEFORE you preach to people.

George on November 07, 2011:

Alex, don't give this nut a second thought, you've provided plenty of verifiable facts, while this backyard breeder just went for petty personal attacks, rambled on about what they find aesthetically pleasing, and then made it a point to shoehorn in their irrelevant religious beliefs. Bringing up abortion in this context is so retarded it's hard to fathom, and the 'skank' comment to refer to anyone who gets an abortion shows what kind of ugly, ignorant person you're encountering here.

Docking is really only acceptable if you're dealing with a breed *extremely* prone to tail injuries (thanks to selective breeding, not nature; these dog show people and their nutty ideas of what they find "aesthetically pleasing" have resulted in such horrible health problems for so many breeds, it's disgusting, but I suppose that's for another discussion). Outside of boxers, though, this is almost never the case. It's just nuts like the nut above think mutilation is justifiable if they find it aesthetically pleasing. Real pet lovers don't have to mutilate their pets to love them, but then again the whole dog show culture contains many strange people with strange egos that I don't think I'll ever understand, despite my best efforts. And the whole "banding must not hurt, I mean, they keep nursing!" line is such flawed logic it would almost be funny if it wasn't so indicative of the lack of critical thinking skills exhibited so often these days. If more people were capable of critical thinking, this clipping/docking/banding nonsense would be over. But unfortunately, someone who actually says things like "skanks who are too lazy to carry their baby to term" to describe a woman who has an abortion, well, they'll never read all your factual sources and respond accordingly, they'll just sling insults and unfounded accusations and pride themselves on their stubbornness and ignorance (they like to call it 'sticking to their guns'). Calmly discussing (and being open to other) ideas is a sign of weakness to these people who pride themselves on their inflexible beliefs that are rarely backed up by anything more than "well that's how I feel dammit!". Its discouraging, but at least we know they don't account for everyone. Plenty of us can still have intelligent discourse grounded in truth, where ignorant phrases like "...and if you don't like it, too bad!" won't be encountered.

Now, some people have brought up circumcision here. That's an interesting one. Frankly I'm glad I was circumcised, but plenty of people feel otherwise and wish the choice had been left to them. I'd say the big difference is, in the US at least, anesthesia is used any time a circumcision is performed. Presumably because we realized it was wrong to inflict that kind of pain on an infant. Maybe we should just tie a rubber band around the foreskin and wait for it to die and fall off instead? /sarcasm. Frankly, though, this topic goes into different and stranger issues than tail docking, so I'll try to avoid derailing this topic.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 07, 2011:

Ok, where do I start. Ok gangrene...

1) Gangrene: according to Mayoclinic the definition of gangrene: ''Gangrene refers to the death of body tissue due to a lack of blood flow or a bacterial infection.'' Now rubber band on tail= no blood flow. No blood flow= death of tissue, right? tada! tail comes off.

2) You claim docking is painless, sorry but you must again read what several veterinary associations have to say about it. I have seen pain exhibited many ways but heck, I am a stupid former receptionist/vet assistant so my opinion does not count, right?

It is a myth that day old pups do not feel pain, and suckling is done to receive endorphins which makes them feel better (because they are in pain). Sorry you have to stop being lazy and read the studies they are long but they are STUDIES not my opinions! Again, puppies are NOT underdeveloped at birth as you think!

Breeders erroneously ''assume'' that just because a pup goes back to nursing it means they are fine and are not in pain post -docking. This is wrong and we must debunk the ''non-pain myth'' once and for all.

These studies come from veterinarians which I will quote -they obviously know much better than me (poor receptionist who knows nothing!) and you (very knowledgeable breeder)

There is a common belief that docking a tail in a three day old puppy is not painful simply because puppies are an altricial species and therefore have an immature nervous system. While there has been belief that lack of myelination was a sign of immaturity, today new research has demonstrated that actually newborn born puppies not only feel the pain, but even more than expected.

According to Australian veterinarian Robert K. Wansbrough, the pain is intense and will be greater than an adult dog because the inhibitory pain pathways are not developed and therefore the painful stimuli would be greater. The whimpering exhibited by most docked puppies is evidence of pain, even though some pups may appear stoic due to an inherent preservation instinct''.

Many docking advocates claim that puppies are not harmed when docked due to their immature nervous system and to prove this they claim that there must be no pain, since most puppies go back to nursing in no time. However, Jean Hofve explains that nursing causes the release of endorphins which are natural pain relievers''.

More details about pain by ROBERT K WANSBROUGH

MYTH 2 - Lack of myelination is an index of immaturity in the neonatal nervous system and therefore

neonates are not capable of pain perception. We know this is no longer correct, in fact the contrary occurs.

Anatomical studies have shown that the density of cutaneous nociceptive nerve endings in the late foetus and newborn animal may equal or exceed that of adult skin (Anand and Cart 1989).

Nociceptive impulses are conducted via unmyelinated and thinly myelinated fibres. The slower conduction velocity in neonatal nerves resulting from incomplete myelination is offset by the shorter interneuronal and neuromuscular distances that the impulse has to travel. It has been shown, using quantitative neuroanatomical methods, that nerve tracts associated with nociception in the spinal cord and brain stem are completely myelinated up to the thalamus during gestation (Anand and Cart 1989).

Further development of the pain pathways occurs during puppyhood when there is a high degree of 'brain plasticity.'The development of descending inhibitory pain pathways in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and the sensory brain stem nuclei also occurs during this period, therefore painful and other experiences during this period may determine the final architecture of the adult pain system.


Tail docking involves the removal of all or part of the tail using cutting or crushing instruments. Muscles, tendons, 4 to 7 pairs of nerves and sometimes bone or cartilage are severed. The initial pain from the direct injury to the nervous system would be intense and at a level that would not be permitted to be inflicted on humans. The subsequent tissue injury and inflammation, especially if the tail is left to heal as an open wound will produce the algogenic substances, the 'sensitising soup' and the 'dorsal horn wind up' required for peripheral and central sensitisation and the development of ongoing pathological pain. Puppies are usually subjected to this pain and trauma at 2 to 5 days of age when the level of pain would he much greater than an adult would experience because the afferent stimuli reaching the dorsal horn from a greater density of sensitised cutaneous nociceptors will exceed that of the adult and the strength and frequency of painful stimuli reaching the brain will he greater because inhibitory pain pathways will not be developed. The whimpering and the 'escape response' (continual movements) exhibited by most puppies following tail docking, are evidence that they are feeling substantial pain.

Animals tend to be more stoic than humans due to an inherent preservation instinct.Because some puppies do not show signs of intense suffering, it does not mean that the pain inflicted on them has not registered in their central nervous system.''

3) I did not make any anthropomorphic assumptions at all. I hope you know what anthropomorphic means, because so far you have compared tail docking to circumcising babies!

4) My closest vets in my neck of the wood are in Petsmart and they are Banfield. Banfield stopped tail docking a while ago. Smart and ethical vets I applaud!

Now please, stop trying to promulgate the ''no pain'' myth. Even my vets were honest enough to say it was painful. This is often why we did not allow clients first place to come in and see the procedure. I have seen it done with my eyes and it is no walk in the park. Looked more like a nasty butcher job (and I have assisted major surgeries) but at least it was done in sterile conditions by somebody licensed and knowledgeable to do it.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 07, 2011:

Nomoreidiots, your comment was not removed it is on hold because it contains opinions and not facts. You continue to say it is painless when I posted ample of studies (which of course you did not read because you were too lazy or perhaps it was totally inconvenient for you to accept)that claim the contrary. Posting your comment would mean I would have to re-post all my studies to correct your misleading and biased thoughts once again. Again, all I wrote comes from vets, it is not about you knowing more than me because nothing I posted was really my opinion they were 99% statements from vets. Compete with the vets if you want and think you know more than them.I will get to your post later this day as it will take too long for me to adjust all your misstatements. I am too busy at this time to take care of it so bare with me.

Commonsense on November 05, 2011:

This breeder sounds so very much like a backyard breeder (especially the attitude). Reputable breeders have this professionally done by veterinarians under sterile conditions. A breeder worth a billion dollars that does this is just as cruel as a backyard breeder. Tail banding is done to cut corners and save money. While professional tail docking by a vet is legal, doing it at home is illegal (aka backyard breeder chop-shop) and should be reported to the police or humane society. We had a case in our neck of the woods and the owner was fined and risked having the dogs removed. I personally would put a rubber band around these people's necks they are so ignorant.

KnowMoreIdiots on November 05, 2011:

No,you're right,I didn't read your first posting all the way through,nor did I with this one. I have better things to do than listen to someone drone on and on,and on,and on about something they've never even done.

I'm pretty sure I know a lot more than you not just animal health,but human health since I worked in a laboratory (using animals,for 6 years before I decided to stop working all together (and know,unlike what your kind thinks,we do not torture animals,or keep them in small confined cages,in fact some of our lab animals live better than some people).

Thew point here is,as I really quickly scanned through you barrage of droll musings,I saw your lack of knowledge several times.

So,let me get this straight...banding causes the tail to go GANGRENOUS,and fall off? You sure you want to stick with that,or would you like to use a lifeline?

You have very little actual knowledge of both human and animal body anatomy,biology,and nervous system. The tail does NOT go gangrenous. There's a stark difference between closing off the extremely small amount of blood supply to an appendage,and having an appendage become infected and turn gangrene. So,come back when you have your facts straight.There's no pain,no muss,no fuss,when done correctly. No blood,nothing. Banding is painless,period. Not sure where you live,but around here all of our vets offices to tail tail docking,removal of dewclaws,and and about half of our vets do ear-cropping. It's common,it's normal,and depending upon the method,it can be completely painless. As for the dewclaws,I can't say it's painless,I'm a dog. But I can say it saves a lot of pain as they are older,and get their dewclaws ripped off during play or exercise,as I've seen it time,and time,and time again.

And I'm not "angry",not at all. However "people like us",get tired of "people like you",running around flapping your gums about how "horrid" it is to dock a dogs tail. It's just obnoxious,and makes anything you might have to say on any other animal related subject,moot because it's clear that you have an agenda. I don't run around telling everyone that they should or must dock their dogs tails. I can give helpful information,and allow people to make their choices,based on ACTUAL,scientific biological information....not on your anthropomorphic assumptions and feelings (which are wrong).Dock,don't dock, I could care less. But blasting a practice that has been done for centuries,isn't productive. Now,we have greatly improved our animals standard of living,health and longevity over the same said centuries.But some things don't change. Like the fact that even if you chose to do the surgical docking (as opposed to banding),and pain or discomfort is minimal,and lasts mere seconds. You can try to argue that the pain lasts,does on and on,but the real truth just doesn't. Dogs feel pain when they get their vaccinations,especially rabies vaccines,because of how their bodies react to it. But that doesn't mean we don't vaccinate them. An we circumcise babies,and they cry for a minute,it hurts,and then it's all done. Because a babies nervous system (be it that of a human or of a puppy),is completely undeveloped/underdeveloped. Minutes after "the cut",it's done,the puppy remembers nothing,doesn't feel anymore pain,and moves on,just like a baby does.

Now I myself prefer banding for a few reasons,but also because it lessens the stress to the mother an puppies,to do in the comfort of their own home,among other things. Not only have I ever yet to have one little issue with tail docking,but I have also had many issues with grown dogs,coming to me as rescues,with tail injuries. Not the breed I breed,but breeds like boxers (which is why it's done,people didn't just pick random breeds to chop the tails off of),it's a real necessity.And no,it's not of a result of "lack of exercise" (where do you people come up with this stuff from?) It's because of the vigorous wagging and the way their tails are constructed. Adult amputation (even with anesthesia)is more painful,and the pain lasts a long longer.

The really funny thing is,that we just had a new litter born last night,and while looking to see if my nearest farm/animal supply store had the bands I need in stock,so I can band the pups tomorrow,that's when I came along this little ditty (among others),and I just decided to pop in and add some real factoids to the plight of a secretary at a vets office.

And you know,perhaps I can fetch more money for pups in my breed with docked tails,I've never thought about it,or worried about it. But in that case,it gives me even more incentive to do so. You see,painlessly removing a pups tail by banding them,produces more money for me to help animals out there who are ACTUALLY suffering,as it's all out of my pocket. So,I'm gonna have to go with my way.See,it's not all about profit for some of us breeders,it's about preference and profit,being used for the greater good of hundreds of other animals.

So,I'll think of you tomorrow morning while I'm painlessly docking the tails of our 7 new little pups,knowing (thank God),in this country,we can do it as we please,and not have to kowtow to people like you.

And THAT...does make me happy!

Farkle on November 05, 2011:

I sincerely never heard about ''banding'' but googled it and am shocked at what terrible things are done to the pups! Try putting your finger in a rubber band and keeping it there and see if it hurts! It sounds like something done by ''do-it-yourself'' morons and that it is prevalent in areas short on education and modern pet care. To the breeder; where do you live? I so badly would want to report you.

KnowMoreIdiots on November 05, 2011:

A receptionist at a vets office huh?

Now normally,I just ignore you type of people,there's no point in arguing with you. You are entitled to believe as you wish. But you are wrong on SOOOOO many levels. I run a private animal rescue AND I'm a dog breeder. I don't really give a crap if you don't like that.

I do not cut the tails off. I band them. If done correctly it causes NO PAIN to the pup,none. Banding simply slowly cuts off blood supply to the end part of the tail,and it falls off. 90% of the time,the puppies either sleep right through the procedure,or are nursing,and just keep nursing through the procedure (gee,they must be in extreme pain seeing as how they don't even wake up during the procedure.

I don't breed boxers,but educated people know it's necessary for the breed,their tails are different from other breeds,and left undocked,there's almost always injury. I know that first hand,I've seen it a million times,so don't bother arguing about it.

My breeds tails are docked because that's the standard. I once left one with his tail undocked (we kept him as out own,and it's doesn't cause any issue for him (toy breed). HOWEVER,his dewclaws DO. Dewclaws need to be done on many breeds. You can do it as a puppy,or pay a hell of a lot more at a vets office,while your dog is under anesthesia,AFTER,it's gone through the pain of having their dew claw ripped.

I band my pups tails because that's the look I prefer. The breed also calls for ears cropped,but I don't do that,it's just preference,and 99% of the time,they stand up all on their own by the time they are 6 months old,so it's not even necessary.

I do it purely out of look and preference.The reason my breeds tail were originally docked,no longer apply (they were "ratters",going into small animal holes to flush out rats and other small animals,so their tails were docked to prevent bite injuries from rats and other small animals).

That's not longer what the breed is used for. That being said,I'll continue to dock their tails,because that's what I prefer. Banding causes NO PAIN. It makes no difference what you think,as a secretary at a vets office. I think I've got quite a bit more knowledge than someone who answers the phone at a vets office. Banding does not hurt the puppy,and is aesthetically pleasing.

I run a private rescue out of my own home,out of my own pockets,100% My life is animals,and no one loves animals more than I. I have many dogs,cats,ferret,rats,tarantulas as pets of my own. I love all animals. So there's also no point in the "well,you don't really love your animals that much then".

Believe it or not,many of people like myself,love animals more than most people,but are also aware that we are speaking about animals here. We are removing part of tail folks,not sucking them out in-utero and killing them,like they do with HUMAN BEINGS,when they perform abortions. It's quite pathetic,sad,and very telling of this countries current values and morals,when people are all up in arms about a small procedure done on an animal,but don't flinch when some skank decides she's too busy to carry her baby to term,and decides to kill it instead.

Your priorities are not only way out of whack,but you are also misinformed. Again folks,this is coming from a receptionist at a vets office. She's not a vet,not a breeder,and knows little to nothing about each individual breed of dog (I judge dogs in the rings at confirmation shows,and dog shows). And by all means,continue to feel as you do about tail docking. I'm not here to change your mind,just here put the REAL facts out there. Got it? Good. Don't like my matter of fact attitude? TOO BAD.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 04, 2011:

Saying that tail docking ''shouldnt hurt your dog one bit!'' takes some courage and is not telling the whole truth. There is ample of literature and studies suggesting that the pups perceive the pain. I never said it was crime but it remains what it really is: cosmetic surgery for dogs. Is it cruel? try to have your finger cut and see if you like it. We are talking about cutting through nerves, muscles, and bones. Is it necessary? Most likely not.

Raul on October 31, 2011:

lord do what you want to your dog. speak to your vet know the consequences and go from there. dont torture it but if its the breed standard go ahead make sure you speak to your vet and make your appropriate decision.. i have a mini schnauzer and she is undocked and uncropped but i refuse to yell torture or make a reference to docking as a crime. show docking done correctly i think its a dis service to anyone trying to make up there minds about doing this to their dogs. nature didn't intend for humans to reach 7 billion im sure. if you speak with a professional and do things right this shouldn't hurt your dog one bit! now if you want to pay 50 cents for a tail docking with a machete yes that torture. thats wrong.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 26, 2011:

Sure, I already did that, but realize that you cannot compare a cosmetic practice with something medically necessary and that helps keep down the pet overpopulation problem. If you ever worked for a shelter I am sure you would understand the sadness of countless perfectly healthy and happy pets being put down every day because of irresponsible owners..anyway here is my article, blunt pros and cons of spaying, and I think I wrote one about neutering too.

Jazzy on September 25, 2011:

While you are at it. Can you post a topic on how spay and neutering is a more dangerous procedure.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 25, 2011:

Comparing circumcision with tail docking is like comparing apples to oranges. Circumcision involves cutting tissue whereas in tail docking you are cutting through tissue, muscle, tendons and bones. It's more like cutting a finger for the sake of comparison but tails have much more functionality than a finger in dogs.

Truth-Made on September 23, 2011:

Calm down people!! Gosh its like baby boys getting circumsized

Talisha on September 23, 2011:

Lets worry about human abortions and circumcision being without pain relief before we start worrying about an animal. When baby boys are born they get circumcised without pain relief so why is it any different for a dog..... an "animal".

lakshithashree from Bangalore on September 21, 2011:

I understand tail docking is cruel. But few breeds may require it to stay healthy. However, I have not cut my little friends tail!

Turrón on September 12, 2011:

I seem to agree with some of the other points people are making,though. But for the most part it seems like a very painful and unecessary procedure - from experience I can "tail" that my dog's tail wagging was of an odd matter , since his tail was CUT OFF -somewhat- too short ... everytime he wagged his tail his whole body would move as if it were the tail ,..(

Turròn on September 11, 2011:

@miranda: Me too ... I had two, but both are gone - even though I didn't want to watch the video above- just reading the article makes one soooooooooo saaaaaadddd ... it is mean and cruel and I wish I knew this when I was little - makes me really sad to think how bad my dogs -one of them more in particular- probably felt ;..( I wish I could hug them ... Sorry Turrón y Caramelo (the doggies)

Miranda on September 11, 2011:

OMG!!! I have a minture pinscher and his tail was docked before I got him but may god my heart just broke watching that video. It is so mean and creul! I would never consciously do that to a puppy.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 10, 2011:

UrDum, I left your comment as is so every body can see it and realize what type of people post here and how easy they are to call names without even realizing that most of my statements are backed up by scientific facts or at least, MERE common sense.

UrDum on September 09, 2011:

Some of you people are seriously ignorant and will believe anything textbooks or things on the internet tell you. "alexadry" is the ringleader for the blind leading the blind.

alydog on August 29, 2011:

well i curently have 3 dobermans all with docked tails and cropped ears...2 of them are currenly healing from there cropping on sunday so what!

Sondra on August 12, 2011:

I already thought it was horrible to do, but didn't realize how many problems it causes throughout the dog's life. Thank you so much for educating people about this major issue!

ADA on July 29, 2011:

Alexandry is to be commended on her facts and information. The thread has in some instances been spoilt though by a few who have only cursorily read the substance and references and then have posted misleading as well as inaccurate statements which have no scientific standing.

Sally Branche from Only In Texas! on May 30, 2011:

Tail docking is very bad and completely unnecessary for a family pet. Really, I can't see any practical reason to do it. Just vanity on peoples' part. Voted up and Useful! :)

bri on May 27, 2011:

I have an English mastiff and she gets so happy to see us she breaks it open and blood goes everywhere but I love her tail and the vets want to amputate. We put foam around the tip of her tail and tape it so its cushiony until she heals again.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 25, 2011:

Brittni, from a medical point of view, I find it superfluous comparing a tail docking to a circumcision. In tail docking we are cutting through vertebra, muscles, nerves and several supporting tendons and cartilage, it is therefore definitely more like cutting a toe than a flap of skin as done in a circumcision. Sincerely, if a mom cut a toe to a baby with no anesthetic for the heck of cosmetics, that, uhm would qualify as cruel and highly abusive..

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