We do not dock our tails. It is no longer allowed in all countries. Findings have shown that it is not healthy to crop the tails and is also cruel to the animals. We follow, as everyone should, the mother country of our breed which the German standard for the Rottweiler breed where it is against the law to crop a tail. The Rottweiler needs the tail for better movement and balance. It is also important to note that dogs with cropped tails cannot be shown in most countries.
Evidence indicates that puppies have similar sensitivity to pain as adult dogs. Docking a puppy’s tail involves cutting through muscles, tendons, up to seven pairs of highly sensitive nerves and severing bone and cartilage connections. Tail docking is usually carried out without any anesthesia or analgesia (pain relief). Puppies give repeated intense shrieking vocalizations the moment the tail is cut off and during stitching of the wound, indicating that they experience substantial pain. Inflammation and damage to the tissues also cause ongoing pain while the wound heals. There is also the risk of infection or other complications associated with this unnecessary surgery.
Tail docking can also cause unnecessary and avoidable long term chronic pain and distress to the dog. For example, when a chronic neuroma forms at the amputation site. Neuromas are often very painful.
The dog’s tail serves a critically important role in canine social behavior. The tail is a major communication tool between dogs. The tail’s position and movement can indicate friendliness, a desire to play, submission or a warning signal, among many other messages. Thus the tail also serves as a protective mechanism for dogs, part of the various strategies employed by dogs to communicate with one another; establish boundaries and to avert aggressive encounters.
The tail also communicates important messages to humans during human-dog interactions. The action of the tail can help humans to interpret a dog’s body language and to determine what sort of interaction is appropriate for a particular dog. Thus the tail plays an important role in public health and safety.
Removing the tail impairs a dog’s ability to communicate properly, leaving them highly vulnerable to being misunderstood by other dogs and humans and placing them at a distinct social disadvantage. The docked tail is something of the past. America is the last country to change this maniac tradition.