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Tails - Why Mini Aussies have docked tails

A hallmark of the Australian Shepherd and Mini Aussie breeds is a short bobbed or docked tail in countries where docking is permitted. Most Australian Shepherds and Mini Aussies are born with full long tails while some are born with short bobbed tails (NBT), and  others are born with natural partial bobs, where the tail is mid length and appears stubby. Breeders have historically docked the tails when the puppies are born. Even without a tail, the wagging movement of the hind end still occurs.

 

Why Dock Tails?

According to internet research, there are numerous minor reasons to dock a Mini Aussie's tail, but following are the "BIG THREE" .....

To Avoid Tail Damage ~  This is the most important reason for docking a tail. Australian Shepherds and Mini Aussies were raised in the rough 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, the risk of injury is eleminated. 
For 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 for Aussies and Mini Aussies.  It also lessens chances of matting.
To maintain breed standard  ~  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 breeds.
 


How is Docking done?

There are two methods of docking. Many breeders use the technique known as "banding", in which a ligature, normally an orthodontic band, is 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 Veterinarians cut the tail with surgical scissors, known as hemostats. There is generally no need for stitches, but on occasions these can be used, especially with the larger breeds.
 


Does it hurt?

Docking is carried out when Mini Aussie puppies are tiny.  Their eyes are not yet open and long experience indicates that carried out correctly, the procedure causes little or no pain or discomfort.  Some puppies which are docked while they are asleep do not even wake up. 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 affected by the docking procedure.

Miniature Australian Shepherds that have been docked as puppies do not have any problems with balance or communication.  However, if tail damage occurs during adulthood and docking has to be carried out for therapeutic reasons, a dog can be seriously distressed and the healing process can be painful and protracted.

 

What if I want a dog with a tail?

Let us know if you are interested in purchasing a Miniature Australian Shepherd with it's natural full length tail.  One of our goals is to provide our buyers with exactly what they have dreamed of when it comes to their Mini Aussie.  We are more than happy to supply anyone with a puppy that has it's natural tail, howeve,r certain conditions must be met in advance. Also, it must be stated here that t not all of our puppies are born with full length tails as some of our dogs do carry the gene for natural bobbed tails (NBT).  

Since tails are docked around 3 days of age, please be sure to discuss this issue with us prior to the puppy's birth.  The puppy must be paid for in full, including shipping if required, before the 3rd day.  Sorry, we cannot hold a puppy back from the procedure without full payment which is non-refundable.