Tail docking... is it cruel and barbaric?

March 18, 2007 12:35pm CST
I personally see this as an unnecessary act. In some working dogs it might be a neccesity. But for cosmetic and show reasons I think it is awful. Apparantly it prevents the tail being damaged; so lets chop off it's legs because at some point most dogs will hurt their leg! I really do agree with a total banning of this except in exceptional circumstances. What do you think?
2 people like this
8 responses
@dlkuku (1936)
• United States
18 Mar 07
Tail docking in some breeds is for safety, hygeine and health reasons. Working class dogs such as hunting dogs can have their tails severely injured while out in the field and in thick brush, often this can lead to infection. Other breeds such as Yorkshire terriers are docked because feces gets trapped around their tails causing severe hygiene problems and can lead to flystrike and even maggots. Docking is done when the pups are very small, under two weeks old, they are usually put to sleep and there is no evidence that it causes them pain; in fact they often upon waking go right back to nursing. There is also no indication that it effects the health of the dog in negative way.
18 Mar 07
This sounds very much like the reasons for circumsizing baby boys! Is that acceptable too... because an infection might be caused? In some active working dogs I see the need for it. But domestic household pets I see no reason for it. If a proper level of hygene is maintained then faeces around the tail should not be a problem.
2 people like this
@dlkuku (1936)
• United States
18 Mar 07
This is apparently a subject that you feel strongly about, and you have a right to your opinion as I do mine. I have three hunting dogs, English Springers, they have their tails docked, for the reasons I stated above. They are often taken out in the field to hunt, they go through thick brush, and I wouldn't want to risk injury. I don't see it as cruel, but necessary. But like I said, we all have right to our opinions, and if we all agreed about everything then life would surely be boring.
3 people like this
@Galena (9123)
26 Mar 07
what about the working labs then? they don't get docked. working lurchers are not docked. just in case is not a reason to sever part of the spine.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Mar 07
My family has a Vizsla, and his tail was docked when he was a very small puppy - before we owned him. The way it was explained to us was that without docking, he would be likely to break and injure his tail. If it were only for show/cosmetic purposes, that would be one thing, but if it helps my dog not get hurt, I'm all for it. Also, my dog still has a long tail - probably 7 or 8 inches? I can't imagine how long it would be if it hadn't been docked.
3 people like this
@seamonkey (1981)
• Ireland
26 Mar 07
Having grown up around Rotweilers and Dobermans I never thought anything of it. Their tails were docked, and for the Dobies, their ears were clipped. I assumed it was breed standard. When I got older, my sister also had Rottweilers nd she explained to me that their tails are so thick that when they hit them up against things they can do themselves damage. Sometimes their tails will even split. I have seen it happen to a cat and it was horrible. I don't know if her statement was true or just a justification. Rotts are big, thick boned dogs, so from that respect it makes sense. Dobermans are a different matter. Docking and taping have been outlawed here in ireland nd you rarely see a Dobie that looks like what I grew up seeing in the states. It's kind of funny actually when you see them, because to me they look like they are mixed breeds, but they are just in their batural state. If it isn't necessary, I wouldn't do it.
27 Mar 07
Thank you for your opinion.
• United States
25 Mar 07
I used to work at a vet's office and had to hold the poor puppies while this was being done. Because it is normally done before they are a week old there is no pain medication, they are totally awake during the entire procedure. It is so sad to hear them cry when they take the scissors to their tail and then the vet has to suture the end closed. To make matters worse for the poor pup, the dewclaws are normally done at the same time so it's a very painful day for them.
2 people like this
25 Mar 07
And yet people for this procedure claim that the pups feel no pain! Did you know that many years ago, babies used to be operated on without sedation also? Based on the claim that babies couldn't feel pain! I think that says it all really!
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5956)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Mar 07
I also see it as a cruel thing to do to a pup. I wish it was banned, but as it is a popular thing to do I do not see that happening. When I see a pup that has been docked, I want to take the owner and dock a part of their anatomy. I find it particularly inhumane when it is done with a rubber band by some young punk that doesn't even care enough about the pet to take it to vet.
18 Mar 07
That is a horrible thing to put an animal through.
1 person likes this
@Dumpertaker (1188)
2 Apr 07
I read in this conversation that working dogs should get tails docked...but I cannot understand this to be honest. I have worked in security as a canine handler and we never docked dogs tails. I must agree though that docking the tails of a pet is wrong, and I do not really see the reason for this apart from cosmetic reasons.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Apr 07
I don't agree with it either. I don't agree with the clipping of ears either. Then again I don't believe in circumcision or female mutilation. I guess I just feel "this" is how we were created and this is the way we should be.
1 person likes this
@jenalyn (675)
• United States
19 Mar 07
I love seeing a dog wag it's tail. I feel bad when I see that it had been docked. I know that for some dogs it is necessary for thier hygiene. The people that do it for cosmetic reasons I think are cruel. I have a dog that I adopted that has her tail docked. I feel that whoever decided to do that had no good reason to, and it is so short it almost isn't there. We call her nugget butt, because her tail looks like a little nugget attached to her butt. She knows that is her nickname, and even comes to us when we call her that. I wish it wasn't a common thing for dogs to have done. If they have to have it done for safety or hygiene reasons, that is one thing, otherwise I think it is cruel.