Tail Docking

My newest dog, an American Cocker Spaniel, has what was obviously a poorly done tail dock.  It was chopped off way too short and while I don't know his whole history, he is 11 and I don't think he ever learned to (or possibly was able to) wag it.  He's been getting acupuncture and VOM (Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation) for the last few weeks and he now can move his tail, but only does so accidentally so far.  It's pretty clear that he definitely would have been better off with his natural tail - besides, Cocker tails are beautiful!  (Photo of Undocked American Cocker)

Honestly, I really don't see any reason to crop a healthy tail, and Jing Men is not the only dog I've seen with a poorly done crop.  While injury prevention might sound reasonable,  most of the cropped dogs I've seen in my lifetime are not worked in the field (heck, Jing Men has trouble sniffing out his food dish, he'd never make it in the field!) and I've seen plenty of field dogs with long tails.  Since the point of this blog is to talk about dog body language, I'd like to point out that tail docking affects dogs ability to communicate.  Other dogs are unable to read the body of language of dogs with docked (and likely natural bob) tails.

American Veterinary Medical Association FAQ on Canine Tail Docking

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Greed- lots of working dogs (retrievers, for example, and hounds) don't have docked tails. It is pointless and borders on cruelty.