Are there any medical reasons for people having their dog’s tails removed? Or is it just for cosmetic reasons. Still, in this day and age this brutal surgery goes on.
Originally, back in Georgian times, the idea for docking a dog’s tail was to avoid diseases such as rabies. It was also meant to help strengthen the back, help with hygiene and to prevent damage to the tail when fighting and working.
Apart from working dogs such as farming, police dogs, armed forces or search and rescue dogs, these excuses aren’t really valid anymore. The main reason this mutilation continues is purely for cosmetic show. Scotland completely banned it in April 2007. England and Wales also banned it in 2007, the exception being working dogs or if there is a genuine medical problem. The tail of a working dog can only now be docked by a vet before a puppy is 5 days old. The vet then has to have proof that this is a legitimate case for docking. Once the surgery is completed the puppy has to be microchipped either straight away or when the vet feels it’s appropriate. It is illegal for the owner to give false information on the status of the working dog. There is supposed to be a certificate of exemption given to the owner that will be with the dog for its entire lifespan. If someone is found guilty of unlawful docking they can face a fine of up to £20,000, 51 weeks in prison or both.
Of course there are possible problems such as extensive bleeding, infections and death. Wouldn’t you be worried about these possible complications if you were about to have a limb amputated? A dog’s tail is so important for them to communicate with other dogs as well as humans. Have you seen a dog with a docked tail wag it? It looks sad and pathetic!
There are studies that have shown that a dog can become more aggressive with a docked tail and other dogs will respond cautiously or become antagonised when coming face to face. The reason this happens is that in dog language a wagging tail means play. Where as a tail that is still and upright is a sign to stay away or approach carefully. So in a dog’s social world they may be seen by other dog’s as volatile, when in actual fact they just can’t show their natural emotion with their tail. Balancing is also another tail function for a dog and they also use them for direction when running and swimming. If a dog has a tail there’s a reason for it!
Luckily, decency and humanity is becoming ever present with vets and there are many veterinarian clinics that refuse to carry out this cruel, brutal and unnecessary amputation. However, there are now a lot of cases of breeders doing it themselves. This is a frightening reality. Not only is the obvious lack of surgical training a massive problem but also the unhygienic and unsterilized instruments and surroundings. Hopefully as time goes on the human race will stop interfering with how they want animals to look and will love them just as nature intended.