How do you feel about cutting the tails of dogs or cats?

@krayzee (1161)
Romania
May 22, 2007 8:33am CST
I see very often dogs or even cats with stubs instead of tails. Some people consider their animal more beautiful this way, but I find it downright cruel. What it's your opinion on the topic?
4 people like this
13 responses
@ElicBxn (60894)
• United States
23 May 07
We have 3 dogs, & only one of the dogs has a "docked" tail. I'm guessing that when the dog was aquired she already had the "docking" done since the owner has never even spayed her. I'm working on her to get spayed. She has also never had any puppies since her owner did keep her in when she was in heat. When you see a cat with no tail or a stub, it probably wasn't done for cosmetic reasons. There are the Manx & the Japanese Bobtail that have short or no tails. The only reason a vet will remove a cat's tail is because of injury & I had a cat with nerve damage in her tail so she had no use of it, but since she held it out of the way due to the injury the vets refused to remove it.
2 people like this
@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
23 May 07
What you said about cats it's good to know :) Good luck with spaying your dog. Thank you for your comment :)
1 person likes this
• Philippines
24 May 07
the dogs which come with no tails from birth are fond to touch at the point where the tail is supposed to be. it is so soft. softer than most that i have ever touched. we had one dog with such a tail before.
@sunshine4 (8708)
• United States
22 May 07
I breed Jack Russell Terrior for a while and we always had the tails cut when they were first born. Within days we would take them to the vet. I never watched the procedure, but they were fine. The reason is because they would chase animals down holes in the ground and their tails would be in the way if they didn't get cut. Also, the saleability is a big factor for me cutting them...no one wants a Jack Russell with a long tail. It really isn't cruel..it makes their lifes a lot easier.
@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
23 May 07
I do understand your reasons (especially when it comes to terriers whose tails get in the way). However it makes me a bit sad that people wouldn't think of buying a Jack Russel (or some other breed of dog) with a long tail. After all that's how they were born with, that how every dog normally looks. Thank you for your comment.
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 May 07
First this is called tail docking... and to do so in show dogs is cruel but there are some instances where it is necessary The practice of docking dogs originates in the old Roman empire when the worm-like muscles in the tail of the dog were thought to cause rabies, leading to the tradition of cutting off the tail as a preventive measure For dogs who worked in fields, such as some hunting dogs and some herding dogs, tails could collect burrs and foxtails, causing pain and infection; tails with long fur could collect faeces and become a cleanliness problem; and particularly for herding dogs, longer tails could be caught in gates behind livestock. These arguments are often used to justify docking tails for certain breeds, although the same rationale is not applied to all herding or to all hunting dogs with long or feathered tails. Many hunting dogs’ tails are docked to prevent them from becoming injured while running through thickets and briars while fetching hunters' prey. The few hunting breeds that are not docked, including English Pointers and the Setter breeds, may have chronic injuries to the tips of their tails. Such injuries cause continuing pain and discomfort and are at risk of infection throughout their lives. Docking is usually done almost immediately after birth to ensure that the wound heals easily and properly. An old belief said that newborns hardly felt the injury, but now reputable breeders have cropping and docking performed only under licensed veterinary care. Today, many countries consider cropping, docking to be cruel, or mutilation and ban it entirely. This is not true in the United States, and the breed standards for many breeds registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) make undocked animals presumably ineligible for the conformation show ring. The AKC states that it has no rules that require docking or that make undocked animals ineligible for the show ring, but it also states that it defers to the individual breed clubs (who define the breed standards) to define the best standards for each breed. To do so just for "show" is cruel but I understand when it comes to work animal because their tail can become a liability for them
1 person likes this
@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
22 May 07
I also understand when it comes to working animals. Thank you for your comment. There were a lot of things I didn't know about :)
1 person likes this
22 May 07
I guess it depends on what you are going to do with the dog. Dog shows in the states require docked tails on some breeds. If you are not going to show them, they you can just leave the tails as they are. I never saw a rottie with a tail before I came to the UK. I noticed that you didn't mention anything about sheep. They dock their tails all the time and no one says anything about it. Might as well mention ears as well. Dobie's aren't born with their ears standing up.
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@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
22 May 07
I had no idea about the sheep. I find it as cruel whatever the animal involved. And I do know that dog shows require docked tail and I find it downright silly. I mean the dogs should be admired for the qualities they were born with, including their tail. I don't quite approve "adjusting" them like that. :( Thank you for your answer.
1 person likes this
@feralwoman (2199)
• Australia
24 May 07
I don't agree with this practise at all. I have a Jack Russell Terrier and they traditionally have their tails docked, for what reason I don't know. Thankfully my litte doggy still has his tail - what would he wag if he just had a stumpy thing? It just seems odd that people would subject their pets to such a thing.
@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
25 May 07
I feel exactly the same way (especially about tail wagging :) ) Thank you for your comment :)
1 person likes this
• Australia
25 May 07
You're welcome! As for sheep having their tails docked - well yes I agree with that. It may sound a bit hypocritical for those not knowing about sheep, but it will save their lives if they have this done. What happens is that flies are obviously attracted to the rear end of sheep, you see it in most animals, but sheep have a real problem with this because they are so woolly. Flies lay their eggs and the sheep becomes "flyblown". It's a sorry sight indeed to see a flyblown sheep.
@breepeace (3027)
• Canada
25 May 07
Well first, for the record - since most people dock the tails of a dog prior to 3 days old, let it be known that the tailbone of a puppy is still soft and their nervous system isn't yet fully developed, so they don't react as much as one would think. I've seen many puppies of various breeds (Schipperkes, Dobermans, Bouviers, etc) have the procedure performed, and I will tell you, that you get more of a reaction taking them away from the nipple when they're feeding. :) Second, many breeds of dogs, especially a lot of sporting breeds, have naturally weak tails that are thin and whiplike and in danger of snagging on the underbrush they typically work in if they perform their original purpose (which a lot of breeders enjoy seeing). Docking a viszla's tail at 2 days old is preferable to putting a 2 year old dog through the hardship of anesthetic and amputation after a horrible accident in the field. It's not always purely cosmetic. As for cats with docked tails, the only breed I'm aware that the practice is performed in is the Manx (my original breed) in the Longie or Tailed variety in order to make the cat fit the show standard, but it is heavily frowned upon as there is literally no reason for it in cats.
@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
25 May 07
I do believe there are some circumstances that justify docking some dogs tails. I'm also glad you agree the procedure is not that justified when it comes to cats. Thank you for your comment :)
1 person likes this
@sandwedge (1341)
• Malaysia
25 May 07
very very cruel. the tail is there for a reason. people who cut tails of dogs and cats gouht to have their appendages removed and see if they like it. beauty is a poor excuse to be cruel to animals.
@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
25 May 07
"beauty is a poor excuse to be cruel to animals."
@gizmo528 (732)
• United States
24 May 07
I know that some breeds have a reason for having no tails whether it's because they are hunting animals, show animals, etc. Personally, I wouldn't do it because it doesn't matter to me whether they have a tail or not. Now, if something was wrong with animal's tail then I would have it removed.
@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
25 May 07
I totally agree. Thank you for your comment :)
@rhinoboy (2129)
22 May 07
It used to be practical for hunting and fighting dogs, to stop it being bitten and chewed up, but that isn't necessary these days. Of course dog-fighting is illegal, and so (I think) is tail docking across most of the UK, but some people still hunt rabbit with dogs here, and docking small dogs tails enables them to go through rabbit runs (through brambles etc) without their tail being damaged. Having grown up with a few dogs who's tails had been docked, I still find it really weird to see dobermans and some other breeds with long tails. I'm not in favour of the practice personally, but I have seen it done and don't think it's quite as cruel as people believe. It's done within a few days of birth and the pups don't cry any more than when you pick them up to just hold them. They hardly bleed, if at all and are completely healed up within a week.
@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
22 May 07
I must say I never seen the procedure performed and I am glad it doesn't bother the pup that much. Thank you for your comment.
29 May 07
I have a cocker spaniel and he has his tail docked. I would have preferred it not to be but he belonged to the breeder then and she had them all done. In fact, I can't remember now but it might have already been done before we enquired about having one of her puppies. I think it is sad and unnecessary now but understand that since it is still a requirement of show dogs and hers are champion pedigree she thought it was for the best. It has never bothered him and prevents the problem of things being knocked off tables by a swinging tail in a house.
@VotreAmie (3037)
• United States
28 May 07
We have a little dog who is half chiwawa and half tibetan spaniel. He is very adorable with his full tail. I would feel miserable to cut a tail of a dog or a cat. Oh you said cats? People cut the tails of cats? I have not seen that yet. My brother in-law got a boxer dog and her tail was already cut. But he said he would never do that himself. I don't see the point from doing that. I agree with you it is cruel. And what about those who dress them up? Well at least that's not cruel but I find that very funny. The cat or dog don't care about how they are dressed! They don't even notice it. Now if you use a coat for them in winter to avoid rain or to keep them warm when you take them outside, that's another story... Have a good day krayzee.
• Kottayam, India
24 May 07
What God made let it be like that,man should not do anything.
• Philippines
24 May 07
maybe it is just fine that they do that. otherwise it would not have been tolerated. i have never done this to any of my pets. if i want one with a stub tail, i will just simply look for one who has it naturally. our present dog has a stubbed tail. she had it from birth. i believe that there is a good 6 inches of it only that she carries.