Hey, It Won't Ever Get In The Way
1. To avoid tail damage - This is the most
important reason for docking a tail. Australian Shepherds were raised in the rought Western areas of the United States, which,
if you have never visited, have tough weeds, tall grasses, and plenty of other hazards. Working in this condition will easily
lead to torn and bleeding tails. Which, of course are very painful and hard to treat. If the tail is docked, it eliminates
the risk of injury.
2. For reasons of hygiene
with thick hair have a good chance of getting feces on themselves and caught in the tail. Docking can greatly reduce the hygiene
3. To maintain breed standards
the docking of tails be eliminated? Hundreds of otherwise good breeding animals would be removed from gene pools and this
could be a huge downfall for the breed.
There are numerous other minor reasons, but these are
the BIG THREE. :)
How is Docking done?
two methods of docking. The majority of breeders used the technique known as "banding", in which a ligature, normally
an orthodontic band, was placed over the end of the puppies tail at 24-96 hours old. This effectively cuts off the blood supply
to the end of the tail, which comes away within 3 days.
Most vets use the cut tail method
with surgical scissors, using hemostats, to cut off blood supply. There is generally no need for stitches, but on occasions
these can be used, especially with the larger breeds. ~We use this method~
Does it hurt?
Docking is carried out when puppies are tiny. Their eyes are not
yet open and long experience indicates that if carried out correctly, the procedure causes little discomfort or pain.
After docking, puppies will immediately return to their dam to feed, and there is no evidence that development or weight gain
is in any way arrested by the docking procedure.
Nor does a dog which has been docked as a puppy
have any problems with balance or communication.
If, however, tail damage occurs during adulthood
and docking has to be carried out for therapeutic reasons, normally under anaesthetic, a dog can be seriously distressed and
the healing process can be painful and protracted.
Can I get an Aussie with a tail?
There are occasional Aussies available through Aussie Rescue with tails. However, most breeders dock
no matter what. But what if you ask before they are docked? If you ask before tails are docked the breeder
usually asks for a full payment of the puppy before the tail is left on. I'm sure there are breeders who will
not dock. If you want a dog that looks like an Aussie with a tail, try out American Farm Shepherds or English Shepherds.