Docking a Dog’s Tail
When tails are “docked” it means that they are shortened. Sometimes this type of tail is also known as a cropped or bobbed tail. However, when pertaining to dogs, the term docked is most often used. Certain breeds have traditionally called for docked tails for a number of different reasons. However, the procedure is becoming less and less common. Many people are against the docking of a dog’s tail, and with good reason.
There are two general methods for the docking of an animal’s tail. The first method is done by cutting off the blood flow to the tail. A rubber band like device is tightened around the tail to prevent blood from reaching that portion of the body. As the blood supply is cut off, the tail essentially dies. Over time, it dries and shrivels and eventually falls off of the dog completely. This procedure is a gradual one, and requires the dog owner to pay attention to site injury to be sure it does not become infected. Talk to your veterinarian about this method for your dog.
The second method is more intense and involves a surgical procedure. A veterinarian will surgically remove the tail from the dog. If you choose this method, be sure that your veterinarian is experienced and reputable in this procedure. Otherwise, it may be painful for your dog.
The docking of the tail was thought to provide physical benefits to dogs in the past. For example, dog owners thought it would take strain off of their backs, and prevent injuries from the tail getting caught in doors or gates, and prevent debris from getting caught on the tail. However, most people agree that it is an unnecessary procedure today. In fact, many regions of the world ban the docking of the tail, insisting that it is inhumane and downright detrimental to a dog’s well-being.