Some dogs have naturally short tails. Other breeds, however, have their tails shortened through a procedure called docking. The practice has existed since at least Roman times for a variety of reasons.
This hotly debated topic rarely sees middle-of-the-road positions. People are either for or against docking. Let’s explore docking so that you can form an opinion on this surgery.
Introduction to Tail Docking
Owners of at least 70 breeds look to tail docking to achieve the breed standard. The procedure is done at two to five days of age using one of two docking methods. Neither is done with anesthesia as the pups are too young to risk being put under.
One tail docking procedure uses sharp scissors to remove part of the dog’s tail. While quick, the procedure cuts through a significant amount of tissue, bone, cartilage and nerves including seven highly-sensitive nerves. The other procedure starves the tip of the tail of blood. A rubber band tightly wrapped around the tail does the trick.