A wagging tail can convey many messages to humans including friendliness, submission, warning signals, and even a desire for play.
However, research has shown that docking can impair a dog’s ability to communicate properly. It can also lead to unnecessary and avoidable pain and distress for your pet.
1. It’s a breed standard
A breed standard is a document created by a dog organization that describes the ideal physical structure and behavior for a particular breed. The standards are important to the health and welfare of purebred dogs.
A breeder must follow these requirements to produce sound, healthy purebred dogs that meet the requirements of their breed. This is to protect the breed from losing its original purpose and identity and becoming something else entirely.
Because a tail is an integral part of a dog’s body, and it plays a vital role in communicating with other canines, docking a dog’s tail is not a natural or ethical practice. The AVMA opposes this practice for both cosmetic and medical reasons.
2. It’s a medical necessity
There are many reasons why you may need to dock your dog’s tail. Some of them are cosmetic, while others are medically necessary.
The most common reason for docking is to make a dog conform to a certain breed standard. In some cases, it can also help prevent injuries.
For example, some hunting breeds may be prone to tail injury when running through thick brush. However, if you dock your dog’s tail, it is less likely to get injured.
Other reasons for docking include preventing ear infections or other injuries. These are usually minor but can be harmful if they go untreated.
3. It’s a cosmetic necessity
Some purebred dogs undergo surgical procedures, such as tail docking and ear cropping, shortly after birth. These procedures have long been considered normal in certain breeds, but many experts and animal organizations argue that they’re not necessary.
The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes cosmetic tail docking. The AVMA considers it an unnecessary surgery and an ethical compromise to the dog’s welfare.
In addition, the AVMA believes that dogs do not derive self-esteem or pride from having their tails docked.
It is generally a very painful and traumatic procedure. Puppies are especially vulnerable during this time because their nervous systems are not yet fully developed. They also do not have the inhibitory pathways that normally reduce pain experienced by adult animals.
The tail of a dog is used for several different purposes: It’s an essential communication tool and acts as a rudder when swimming. It also helps a dog stay afloat and navigate rocky shorelines and other obstacles.
In the past, docking a tail was often a social necessity, particularly for working dogs. This was because the tail could be dangerous for a working dog, such as a guard dog or hunting dog.
It was also believed that a shorter tail could help reduce hygiene issues. This was because long-haired breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier or Old English Sheepdog can become fouled by feces, which is a real problem.
Today, docking a dog’s tail is an unnecessary and potentially harmful procedure for pets and working dogs alike. It’s mutilation, causes pain and bleeding, and can have long-term consequences. This is a reason why docking a tail has been banned in many countries. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association have all called on breed organizations to remove tail docking from their standards.