What Is Doberman Tail Docking? Here's Everything You Need To Know! | Kidadl

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What Is Doberman Tail Docking? Here's Everything You Need To Know!

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Dobermans are guard dogs, and even if you thinking of adopting a Doberman just as a house pet, its instincts are to protect you and be of service.

This breed of dog was created in the late 19th century by a German named Louis Dobermann, which shows the origin of the name of this dog breed. A Doberman pinscher can be often spotted at work as a guard dog for security purposes, and they are one of the most energetic breed of dogs.

These animals are known for their loyalty and their ferocity. Their high energy levels make them a good family dog too as they keep a lively environment around them. However, at the same time, Dobermans aren't the most social breed of dogs, and they should be carefully socialized and properly trained from a very young age. Physical activities and exercise is a must for this dog breed as it has been noted that Dobermans often become aggressive if not exercised properly. Every Doberman breed, irrespective of the color of the fur, has markings all its body including its chest, muzzle, legs, underneath its eyes, and tails as well. The most common fur color for Dobermans is black but at times they can be seen in some other fur colors as well. The striking features of a Doberman are its ears and tail.

Doberman dogs have naturally floppy ears which at times become a topic of worry. Dobermans often get into fights with other dogs or even with humans when they sense danger. These encounters can often end up hurting the ears of a Doberman, thus, many owners decide to crop the ears of their Doberman to protect it from further injuries. A similar issue takes place with the tail of a Doberman. In comparison to various other dog breeds, Dobermans have a thinner tail which is much more susceptible to injuries due to accidents. All dogs in general and Dobermans in particular often suffer from painful damage to their tails as their tails can be fragile. Therefore, these days we see Dobermans with docked tails to prevent them from suffering painful injuries but this is opposed by various institutions and isn't practiced in many countries.

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Why do they cut the tails off Dobermans?

Tail docking in Dobermans and various other dog breeds has been on going for several years. Earlier, dog owners docked the tails of their pets to reduce the chances of rabies, increase their running speed, strengthening their back, and reducing the chances of suffering tail injuries. However, lately, many dog owners decide on tail docking for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes. Thus, organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have greatly criticized these practices. Docking and cropping of the tails and ears of dogs inflict a large amount of pain on them, irrespective of whether it is a puppy or a fully grown dog.

In the earlier years, the breed standard of Kennel Clubs of various countries was dogs should have their ears cropped and tails docked, but lately there has been a complete turnaround. Kennel Clubs no longer accept dogs which have cosmetic alterations such as tails docked, ears cropped, and disallow them from participating in competitions. Although the United States still allows cropping and docking of dogs' ears and tails, veterinarians all across the country discourage operating. The reason behind cropping and docking was to avoid ear infections and minimize the risk of tail injuries. Although there has never been any concrete evidence of ear infections that have been avoided owing to cropping of ears, the floppy ears of Dobermans often get injured while they are at work. Similarly, docking of tails is carried out to minimize the risk of injuries but there has is no data which shows a decline in accidents owing to docked tails.

The Doberman is one breed for which it is essential at times to get the tail docked. Dobermans by nature are guarding dogs and it is their instinct to protect their owner even if they sense any sort of danger. In such a situation, Dobermans can end up hurting their tails, the chances of this injury is higher if they are trained dogs working with some security organization. Even though the docking of a tail has been banned in many countries, the procedures are still legally carried out in various countries by professional veterinarians. The sole purpose behind dog owners cropping their dog's floppy ears is to make them look better by making them stand upright.

Do you have to dock a Doberman's tail?

Docking a Doberman's tail via surgery is a practice which is often considered as a norm. In the past, it was a part of a routine to perform tail docking surgery on a Doberman puppy, months within its birth. The procedures were carried out weeks after its birth as when puppies are very small, they do not need to be given anesthesia, and owing to their young age, do not remember anything later on. However, just because the procedures have been carried out for years in the past, it doesn't mean that they need to be carried out even today.

Various scientists at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) are against ear cropping and tail docking procedures carried out on a Doberman pinscher as they do not consider them to be very necessary. Some Kennel Clubs and agencies believe the process of ears cropping and tails docking to be cruel as it is not the natural way how some breeds are born. We alter these changes to some breeds for cosmetic reasons. On the other hand, some do not consider it cruel as they are done for the benefit of a dog. They may not even feel the pain owing to their age when operated on but can suffer from injuries later on in life if not taken care of in earlier days. These associations vouch for keeping the dog as natural as possible rather than carrying out procedures just to make its appearance fit some certain pre-established criteria. The procedure of chopping ears is carried out to keep the ears stand upright, usually it is done when puppies are 6-12 weeks old but it takes some considerable amount of time to heal and often there are tumors which form in the later years. The fact that these procedures of cropping and docking on dogs are banned in some countries such as Australia and the UK says that it is not absolutely necessary to carry out such a procedure on these dogs. It is elective unless it is a dog which requires this procedure to improve its health and to save itself from injuries it will probably suffer from in the future. Moreover, it is natural for a dog to use its tail for communication purposes, a procedure can quite possibly restrict a dog from communicating with other animals. There are very few health benefits of such a practice but they are usually outweighed by the infections and the other cons of not having surgery.

It is not worth it to risk infections in puppies just for the sake of cosmetic reasons.

How to dock a Doberman puppy's tail?

The process of docking the tail is carried out only on puppies when they are around five to seven days old on average. Unlike ear cropping procedures, tail docking doesn't require anesthesia. In some cases, dog owners themselves have attempted to dock the tails of their dogs but it has resulted in their dogs experiencing more pain than normal.

It is always advisable that if you want to crop the ears or dock the long tails of dogs, you must go to a certified veterinarian. A vet who is experienced and has operated on our canine friends before knows how to reduce the amount of pain the animal might feel during the surgery. During the docking process, the dog's tail is clamped a short distance from the body and the part of the tail which is outside the clamp is either torn or cut away. It is better to carry out the process if needed in the early days of a dog's birth as delaying it would lead to more and more complications. Additionally, with an increase in the age of the dog, there will be an increase in the amount of time the tail would need to heal completely. Keep in mind that when the tail is docked, there will be some amount of bleeding and your dog will experience some pain, it is natural and you should not panic. Moreover, stay alert and keep an eye on your dog that it doesn't chew the area around its tail, as it might feel irritated due to the stitches. Ideally, cropping a Doberman's ears must be carried out when it is seven to nine weeks old. This can be extended to as late as 12 weeks, once this period is crossed, a Doberman can be considered too old for the practice to be carried out.

Do Dobermans break their tails?

Precaution is better than cure. Cropping the ears and docking the tails of a Doberman are wholly preventive measures, and up to certain a extent, necessary too. The tail of a Doberman is quite thin. It isn't the strongest and can be damaged at any point of time in the future. Dobermans are known for their ferocity and the service they provide to their owners or to the agencies they work for. Dobermans are work oriented dogs that need to exercise to be kept healthy. It is the instinct of a Doberman to protect its loved ones and in this process, this dog end sup hurting its ears or tails and inflicting permanent damage to them at times.

Operating on damaged tails when the Doberman is grown up can be very difficult as it would feel all the pain during the procedure which it wouldn't have if its tail had been docked when it was five to seven days old. Additionally, the healing process takes longer duration once the Doberman is all grown up. To be on the safer side, it is at times better to dock and crop the tails and ears of a Doberman but if you are undertaking these measures for fitting the appearance of your dog according to the breed standard, then it is not a good step. Cropping and docking inflict pain on your dog and you wouldn't want them to experience it just for cosmetic purposes. Some veterinarians too avoid cropping or docking breeds of dogs for cosmetic purposes or charge unrealistically high amounts to discourage such practice in the future.

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