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A Tail of Two Collectives… Medical Mayhem

Tail docking in dogs started as early as the Roman Empire, when it was thought that by amputating the tip of the Tail and or tongue, that it reduced the chances of contracting rabies. As time progressed so did the reasons for tail docking change from the poor having to dock their dogs’ tail to indicate that they were not allowed to hunt, to docking the tail because it is a working dog. Totally contradicting the previous purpose. And finally today after all these bizarre motives have been debunked the tail is purely amputated for cosmetic reasons. This a practice marred by flawed thinking and gravely lacking tangible data to support their traditions.



The only current decisive medical complication resulting from tail docking in dogs is pain. As to how much pain is exacted, no one could say for certain. The experience of pain in the neonatal phase of a puppy’s life could have extensive long-term effects on the puppy’s ability to assimilate pain. At the age of amputation the sensorium is at its most sensitive and fragile juncture, therefore early trauma is inevitable in most cases. As a dog trainer I take exception to this one fact, distress during the critical period of social development will inevitability have behavioural ramifications later in life. This creating a dog that could potentially end up in a shelter due to no fault of his/her own.

There have been several studies done on the potential negative impact on body language and communication in dogs, as well as possible nerve damage that could be suffered leaving a dog incontinent and even paralyzed. All these studies have been inconclusive, and therefore I will not mention the detail.

Although equivocal, the studies done on body language should have resulted in some form of negative reflection on tail docking. In my professional as well as personal experience a dog that has had its tail docked suffers a communication barrier. There are several tail gestures of a dog especial in the case of fear and aggression that unquestionably indicate the specific emotions. A dog with a docked tail will not have this autonomy.

I do hope you enjoyed this installment, please stop by often and check what is new and interesting.

Have pawesome blessed day!


This post first appeared on Dogs Basically! | Dogs Basically Whimsical And Wis, please read the originial post: here

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A Tail of Two Collectives… Medical Mayhem


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