Should I Have My Boston Terriers’ Tail Docked?
Posted by Lu
I bet you thought that Boston Terriers naturally do not have a tail and in most cases this is true. I have had a female Boston Terrier with a nice straight tail and a male with a short kinky tail. Which is right and natural? According to breed standards, the short kinky tail or a short straight tail is right. So if a Boston Terrier is born with a long tail…… Should I have my Boston Terriers’ Tail Docked?
Few dogs now work for their living, yet some breeds still have their tails docked as a matter of course. Isn’t it time to end the cruelty?
Tail docking is common practice with more than 50 breeds of dog, including poodles, yorkshire terriers, Jack Russells and cocker spaniels. Around 48 hours after birth, the tail is either sliced off with a scalpel or banded, which stops the supply of blood and causes it to fall off after about three days. No anaesthetic is used. Tail docking of dogs by a vet is perfectly legal – for now.
So why do people want tailless dogs? The Council of Docked Breeds believes there are three main justifications for docking: to avoid tail injury (particularly in working gundogs, such as spaniels); for reasons of hygiene (long hair, bottoms, say no more); and to maintain breed standards.
The solution seems simple enough – if the Kennel Club were to ban docked dogs from competition, this canine cosmetic surgery would end overnight. But it is a traditional institution, resistant to change, and breeders are fanatical about standards – a boxer with a tail inspires sheer horror in the show ring. Under siege by campaigners from both sides, the Kennel Club has opted for compromise: it supports the case for choice, and has instructed its judges to give a fair shot to fully tailed dogs. But do they? Journalist and dog trainer Carolyn Menteith took her fully tailed Polish lowland sheepdog to Crufts, but not everyone could cope with Digby’s unorthodox anatomy. “I’ve had judges holding one hand up in front of their eyes, so they can block out the offending appendage,” she says.
Given that most dogs never hunt or enter Crufts, why is docking so widespread? Milne says that some of her clients are unaware that their dogs had tails in the first place; many people assume that certain breeds just come that way. On the whole, it’s breeders who keep the practice going, but anyone who wants a dog with a tail can simply ask the breeder to leave it on. Grouse and rosette hunters will stick to their guns, but pet owners should learn to love a thrashing tail.
Should I have my Boston Terriers’ tail docked? My belief is no. It is cruel and unnecessary. If they are born with a tail, leave it and if they are born with a short kinky tail, love it and the tailed ones equally.