April 4, 2014

What Is Dog Tail Docking?

Until I had Alle my Boxer, I was unaware of how rare it is for her tail not to be docked.  When she was a puppy I had so many people say how they loved her tail, or ask if she was a full Boxer which led me to learn what I could about Alle's Boxer Breed.

The docking term is referred to the living flesh of the tail, where the animal's tail hairs grow.  Tail docking is the removal of a portion of the dog's tail.  This is done by constricting blood supply to the tail with a ligature without anesthesia for a few days until the tail falls off.  If docking is done later on when the dog is older it is considered tail amputation, which is done with a scalpel or surgical scissors.
Docking in canines can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire.  And, was done for multiple reasons threw history like they thought it prevented rabies, increased speed, helped strengthen the dog's back.  Also, tail docking was practiced to avoid taxes in working dogs with tails.

It is now done by people for cosmetic or prophylactic reasons.  Breed owners feel pressure to dock their dog's tail because of the kennel clubs.  The American Kennel Club may not have rules requiring docking but for not dock tails in breeds like boxers they will be "severely penalized."  Even though this practice is opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

It is believed that a dog with a docked tail is a disadvantage in many ways from balance during running and swimming to social interaction.  A docked tail could cause fear or caution in people because the dog can't communicate their feelings & emotions with their tails which can cause the dog to be anti-social and more aggressive.


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