Back in the days of yore, tail docking and ear cropping in pooches were a common sight! While short tails may look cute and cartoon-like, we can’t help but wonder if there truly is a legitimate reason behind these surgical procedures.

What's The Point?

This was because most of them were used for work purposes rather than for companionship, and it was believed that these surgical procedures would help them in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Prevention of rabies
  • Strengthening of their backs
  • Increasing their speed 
  • Avoidance of injuries when certain breeds were used for once legal dog fights
  • To give off a look of ferocity, especially for guard dogs
  • Tax avoidance. There was a law in the U.K once where tax was levied against owners of working pooches with undocked tails. 

However, with many pups being valued for their companionship these days, one can only wonder why these surgical procedures are still being performed.

Most of the time, it’s done for aesthetic reasons. Certain breeds like Corgis and Jack Russells tend to look more adorable with docked tails, so many breeders have them docked in order to meet buyer’s standards! 

Will It Hurt?

To a certain extent, yes! Though it will not put Fido’s health in any danger, his tail is an important part of his body that he uses for balance and communication.

The movement of his tail conveys messages and feelings that us paw-rents rely on to communicate effectively! Some breeds also use their tails to aid them in activities such as swimming or running, so docking their tails might put them at a disadvantage. 

* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.

*This article was updated on 18 Nov 2020. It first appeared in on 22 Jun 2016.