To dock or not to dock?

Update 2014: It is DoneDeal’s policy not to place advertisements for dogs whose tails have been docked. If you are considering tail docking, you should take the needs of your dog into account before deciding on the best course of action If you were asked to draw a picture of a dog, what are the main features you would include? After four legs, the chances are you’d pin a tail on it. Now, what if you were asked to draw a picture of a certain breed of dog? The chances are there might not be a long wagging tail attached to it. For centuries, the tails of many different breeds of dogs have been docked (amputated) for a variety of reasons. However, in many cases, tail docking is undertaken for completely different reasons than those for which it was introduced in the first place. Certain breeds of dogs often have their tails docked because that’s the way it has been done for as long as people can remember or because they just think that dogs should look a certain way. There are many different stories as to how and why certain breeds of dogs’ tails are docked. Tail docking has been around since Roman times, but has it a place in modern times? In Roman times, apparently, there was a link to rabies. People thought rabies was caused by worms in the dogs’ tails so they had the tails cut off in the belief that it would prevent the disease. Others say that, during this era, people were taxed if their dog had a long tail so they had it docked to avoid paying the tax. Today, quarantine exists to prevent rabies from entering Ireland or the UK and dog licences are a way of collecting money from dog owners. So there’s no reason to dock tails, is there? Well another story goes that tail docking was introduced in Roman times to prevent injury to dogs’ tails. This is still common in working dogs. However, if you’re a dog owner who keeps your dog on a lead in public places and let’s them be free to roam your home or garden, the chance of injury is greatly reduced. So maybe it’s time to let go of a tradition that’s only been around for less than two millennia and give your dog or a new litter the chance to wag their full-length tails. There is nothing as cheering as seeing a dog welcome you with a wagging tail, is there? Official Terminology There are a number of official terms to describe the reasons behind tail docking. They are cosmetic, therapeutic and prophylactic. Cosmetic tail docking is where the tails of certain breeds of dogs are amputated so that the dog conforms to the ‘breed standard’ and/or what the breeder may consider ‘normal’ for that breed, according to Veterinary Ireland. Prophylactic tail docking is where the tails of working dogs are docked as a precaution against any possible injury to their tails during the course of their working lives. Therapeutic tail docking is where a tail is docked by a vet, while the animal is under anaesthesia, for legitimate medical reasons, for example due to injury. #Animals