Does the above image disturb you? It should. Imagine the pain and discomfort the pup whose tail lies mutilated on the newspaper next to them feels. No choice, no say in what happens to their body, and no understanding of why their tail was just snipped off with a pair of scissors,or maybe even gardening sheers.
The act of shortening or removing a dog's tail is referred to as docking or bobbing. Tails are most frequently docked shortly after birth with the belief that soft tissue, nerve endings are not yet fully developed so less pain will be felt. The tail is an extension of the backbone and houses anywhere between four and seven pairs of nerves and nerve endings. So, the idea that tail docking is painless is absurd, especially since the procedure is performed using absolutely zero anesthetics. Plus, however short lived the pain may be, dogs can suffer from phantom pain and even develop painful neuromas, or nerve tumors, on the end of their tails. Not to mention the possibility of infection, and long lasting socialization handicaps all in the name of owner vanity.
With over 10 years of experience through ownership and rescue work, I hope to share my knowledge and insight to happier, healthier fur kids. Have a question, feel free to ask!