Dog tail docking

The procedure for stopping some breeds is most often carried out with a cosmetic purpose - to preserve the exterior fixed for the breed. And if stopping the tail from hunting or service dogs is justified by necessity, then in relation to representatives of small breeds, such as a dwarf poodle, griffon, toy terrier, Yorkshire terrier and some others, this excuse is at least ridiculous.


A brief history of the operation

There are many historical documents confirming the antiquity of the practice of stopping tails. In his notes on agriculture, “de re rustica”, the ancient Roman writer Lucius Junius M. Columella describes the practice of removing part of the tail in shepherd dogs. Peasants believed that such a measure would save the animal from rabies .

Dog tail docking

Hunting dogs had their tails cut off so that they would not hurt them when they met with a predator about the undergrowth, during the pursuit of prey. The tail of bred dogs is removed so as not to interfere with movement in a narrow hole, etc. The reasons are clear. But is the practice of stopping only limited by these considerations?

It turns out that besides the safety of hunting dogs, the financial issue was the motive for stopping. In Old England in the 18th century a tax was imposed on all dogs, except for service dogs. The short tail was a sign that the owner of the animal was exempt from tax. To save money, tails were cut to dogs of other "professions". Poachers stopped their dogs' tails in order to avoid responsibility in case of capture, because in those days it was believed that a long tail was a sign of a hunting dog.

Shepherds stopped the lush tails of the shepherd so that they would not be injured during the fight with the wolves, but another reason was the reluctance to clear the tail of the fierce defenders of garbage and thorns. A dog without a tail was considered a shepherd, and its owner was also exempt from tax. This is evidenced by D. D. Wood in his Illustrated Natural History. And when in the XVIII century. this law was abolished, the practice remained, since there was a stereotype of the exterior of some breeds.

Docked dog

Cosmetic tail docking in dogs is currently prohibited in some European countries. The permission applies only to dogs that serve in:

  • law enforcement agencies;
  • armed forces;
  • emergency services;
  • disinfestation services (extermination of rodents, in particular rats).

The Law on the Protection of Animals (2006) stipulates that the tail should be stopped by specialists, and the operation should be carried out within 5 days from the moment the puppy was born.

See also: stopping the ears of a dog .

At what age to stop the tail from the dog

  • 3-10 days . Veterinarians recommend stopping the tail of puppies in the first 3-10 days from birth. During this period, ossification of the vertebrae of the tail has not yet occurred and pain sensitivity is lower than in older dogs. Such puppies are operated without anesthesia and without suturing. The breeder or owner is required to ensure that the puppy mother does not lick the wound, so it will heal longer. In this case, the operated animals are isolated and brought only at the time of feeding.
  • from 10 days . In dogs 10 days and older, surgery is performed under local or general anesthesia. The animal is placed on the operating table in the "on the stomach" position. Tie the hind and front legs, allowing access to the operative field. Across the body pull the fixing braid. Jaws tightened with a bandage or put on a muzzle.
  • 3-4 weeks . If the animal is more than 3-4 weeks old, then a tourniquet is applied to the base of the tail.

How is the stopping procedure

1 way

If the operation is carried out under general anesthesia, then alcohol chloroform - ether anesthesia and neuropleptic + vagolytic are inhaled. Vagolytic is usually used for short-nosed dogs to reduce salivation and normalize the heart reaction when inhaled anesthesia. Also, animals with a short muzzle are intubated to avoid tongue retraction and to provide free circulation of oxygen and anesthesia.

The length of the removed tip, as a rule, depends on the breed and the exterior. Hair is removed from the tail, the skin is pulled to the base of the tail as much as possible and amputation is performed using bone scissors or a scalpel, making an incision between the vertebrae. The skin is pulled over the stump and sutured with a skin suture. The wound is treated with an antibiotic, and the skin around it with an antiseptic. A sterile dressing is applied.

2 way

The second method of stopping is pulling the tail with an elastic band for a period of 2 to 7 days. In this case, the access of blood to the tip of the tail is blocked and, after a certain time, it falls off. This technique is considered more humane than surgical removal, but in the absence of objective data on the sensations of the dog, it is difficult to agree with this statement.

The method of stopping by pulling the tail with an elastic band

The method of stopping by pulling the tail with an elastic band

Although it is believed that the puppy’s undeveloped nervous system protects him from pain, studies show that the animal is in pain. After amputation, the puppy whines strongly for another 15-20 minutes and only then calms down. The older the dog, the harder it is for the procedure. The owner should consider whether to expose the animal to such an injury.

The healing process takes a long period. During this time, the stump must be treated with antiseptics. When stopping in the conditions of a veterinary clinic, postoperative complications rarely occur. Opponents of stopping argue against the procedure.

Read also about the breed of dogs Alabai and Kurtshaar .

How does tail docking affect an animal

The effect of the relief operation on pain sensitivity in puppies in the future does not have scientific confirmation, but:

  • sensitivity Experiments in rats showed that nerve injury when crossing it at an early age negatively affects the sensitivity of the stump.
  • motor skills . Some scientists claim that removal of the caudal vertebrae can weaken the motor skills of the animal.
  • urination . Anatomically, the tail is a counterweight and, having lost it, the dog not only acquires a violation of the functions of the musculoskeletal system, but also the pathology of the function of urination.
  • lumbar and pelvic . An abnormal, from a physiological point of view, load distribution on the lumbar and pelvic region leads to muscle atrophy and deformation of the fingers of the hind limbs, the formation of intervertebral hernias.
  • communication with relatives . Certain problems are caused by the absence of a tail when communicating with other dogs. It is noted that fellow tribesmen do not react to bobtail dogs like they do to normal-tail animals. Experiments were conducted using a robot dog. It was found that dogs with a short tail were less likely to approach, were more aggressive. It is believed that the absence of a tail, as a means of communication, makes communication between animals difficult.
  • aggression . In addition, statistics claim that individuals with a docked tail are more aggressive, not prone to communication, and suffer from behavioral disorders.

Although scientific studies of this problem are absent, it can be established that the amputation of the tail does not pass without a trace for the animal.

Photos of various breeds before and after stopping

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One comment
  1. The moral of this fable is that dogs do not need to cut off parts of the body, except for some moral considerations there is no justification for this, with a tail the dog is no less beautiful.

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