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Hey, It Won't Ever Get In The Way

Why Dock Tails?

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

Dogs with thick hair have a good chance of getting feces on themselves and caught in the tail. Docking can greatly reduce the hygiene problems.

3. To maintain breed standards

Should 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?

There are 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.

**Our Puppy Tails are docked at the SECOND Vertebrae.

"We believe in Wiggle Butts!"