Rottweiler Tails: To Dock Or Not To Dock?

rottweiler with tail

A Rottweiler with a tail, maybe you’ve saw one? Tail docking has raised some major controversies alongside similar procedures like ear cropping, debarking and dewclaw removal.

What exactly is tail docking and why do some people do it to their dogs?

Tail docking is a surgical procedure in which a breeder or veterinarian removes a portion of an animal’s tail.

Usually when they are 2 to 5 days old. Out of all the breeds of dogs that people usually clip tails on, the Rottweiler typically has the shortest nub. The closer to the base the more appealing they look. Tail docking has its roots all the way back to Ancient Rome. They believed tail docking would protect from Rabies. Rabies was a disease that terrified human civilization for centuries. Especially when it became obvious that if the rabid animal bite you, you will die in a horrible pain. Even today, in modern India, rabid dogs are the cause of death for 20,000 people each year.

Later reasons for tail docking included more functional reasoning grounds. It was thought that hunting and herding dogs were at risk of being seriously injured. This is because they walk through the dense woodland where briers and other objects could injure the tail.

The tail can be injured during a fight. This could cause abrasions or other serious injuries to the dog. Even though without considerable scientific support, there was a widespread belief that the bones in the tail could break, causing spinal injury.

In the years to come, the reasons became more cosmetic rather than practical 

If you ask people to imagine an American Rottweiler, a majority of them will describe large black dog with muscular body and short tail. Maybe you are also among those people who never wonder, do Rottweilers have tails? 

According to the rules set by the organization American Kennel Club, some dog breeds have to look certain way in order to perform in shows and competitions. These breeds have to meet their breed standards and must undergo a cosmetic procedure to fit within the required framework. Such breeds include Boxers, Rottweilers, Pit bulls and Schnauzers. AKC made tail docking very popular. Since AKC made it apart of their breed standard many people who desire to show dogs complied with the standard and from then on its been an American tradition. 

AKC Rottweiler breed standards states “Tail – Tail docked short, close to body, leaving one or two tail vertebrae.” short tail is a desired look in the AKC show ring. 

AKC has recently been under pressure abandon the practices

Also, The Rottweiler club of North America recently announced that “Rottweilers born after January 1, 2019 must have a tail to enter the RKNA event. RKNA follows FCI Breed Standard.”  The German ADRK and the FCI standard is to keep the uncropped natural long tail. Are we starting to see the tide shift here with American Rottweilers?

Tail docking is banned in almost 40 countries.

Back in Germany where it all started it has been illegal to dock tails for many years. The German Rottweiler has to have a natural tail to be in compliance with ADRK and FCI rules.

Some supporters of tail docking say that the procedure is harmless and painless for the puppy. However, the nervous system is fully developed at birth.

Despite begin performed at a very early age, it is a very painful procedure. The American Veterinary Medical Association does not approve tail docking. Most of the veterinarians refused their clients’ inquiries considering tail docking as they believe dogs preform and are much happier with a tail than without a tail. 

Tail docking can be painful and dangerous to the little puppy. As it means cutting through muscles and tissue without anesthesia, puppies experience pain. In the following days, the tissue can have a sever reaction to the surgery and there is a significant chance of an infection. In addition, some dogs can develop a chronic health issues, which can be painful and traumatized for the rest of its life.

Why are Rottweilers tails docked?

One good reason some people choose to dock the tail is because they want their Rottie as a protection dog. When a protection dog goes up to a stranger wagging his tail the big bad Rottweiler image is diminished. By cutting off the tail it’s hard for anyone to determine if the dog is friendly or about to defend his family. Let’s be honest, a big dog like a Rottweiler wagging it’s tail or not, should make anyone hesitant to enter the property uninvited.

Is something wrong with a Rottweiler with a tail?

Champion Rottweiler with a tail

There is nothing wrong with a Rottweiler with a long tail. A Rottweiler’s natural tail is usually hanging while at rest and over the back when dog is excited. Docked or natural, Rottweilers are a beautiful dog breed. who will love you for who you are with or without their tails. Today most dogs are pets, companions, and service dogs rather than working dogs. Do they need a docked tail?

What about bobtail Rottweilers?

A natural bobtail is a type of an animal’s tail, which is short or missing due to the gene mutation. Rottweilers aren’t normally born with short tails. Boston terriers are normally born with bobtails.

Rottweilers with cropped tail – Reasons for tail docking

Some people just like the look and that’s a good enough reason. 

Lots of hunters will dock the tail in an attempt to keep the dog safe from future accident that may occur during hunting expeditions. They argue that they are preventing potential damage and suffering. And while there are studies that show Rottweilers with docked tail have less injuries than ones with long tail, you have to keep in mind that those studies only included working type of dog. 

Rottweilers are at no greater risk of a tail injury than other pets. If its ok for other breeds why isn’t it ok for a Rottie?

Rottweilers with a long tails – Reasons for keeping Rottweiler’s tail length

The best reason for keeping the tail as it is lies in the fact that it helps with balance. Dogs run more efficiently, and work in a more streamlined manner with their tails. Could it be that when a Rottweiler has as cropped tail that it has an adverse effect on the hips and elbows?

Sadly, there are numerous false claims that state the Rottweilers with docked tail are faster or more balanced and stronger. This is just propaganda.

Tails are also a communication tool between dogs (and dog and an owner). A Rottweilers natural tail can potentially send a prompt message of happiness, sadness, aggressiveness or playfulness.

To sum up the Rottweiler tail docking controversy issue!

The tail or absence of it should not be the reason to love your Rottweiler less or more. However, you should be aware of the pros and cons of these two options.

It is legal to dock your dogs tail in America but it is restricted or banned in almost 40 countries. That should say something. There are some legit reason to dock the tail but If you don’t have a good reason for docking the tail then why do it?

Which do you prefer, what do you think about docking Rottweiler puppy tails?

Mississippi Rottweiler tail docking policy

We no longer offer tail docking.

You can have your vet remove the tail after you take possession of the pup.

I have been breeding Rottweilers for many years and in my search to find the best of the best, looking all over the world, I have grown to like the look of a Rottweiler with a tail. All international and world Champion Rottweilers have tails.

If you are interested in purchasing top quality Rottweiler puppy, drop us a message or call us via 601-590-1663. Mississippi Rottweilers is a locally owned breeding kennel working with German and European Rottweilers. You can choose between male or female puppies, young or adults. We have Rottweilers from some of the best Rottweiler breeding kennels from all around the world.

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