Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Docking The Tail

Just got an Aussie, who I think is great. However I did not realize how important a tail was for dog communication. I really miss seeing a good wag. I also must have been naive, but I didn't quite get it that the tail is docked.

Anyone else have strong feelings about tail docking? I'm so sad I wont have a wag for 12 years - and my dog won't be able to communicate through his tail to other dogs and to me.

Anyone else out there have really strong feelings about tail docking?

Comments for Docking The Tail

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Love the nub
by: Norma

I didn't get mine docked; he was born tailless, however, I absolutely love the little nub wiggle. I bet you will grow to enjoy it too.

Docking the tail
by: Anne

Have you ever heard of the term "Wiggle-Butt"??
I thought the same thing when I got my 1st aussie.
They communicate with their tail and their butts.
Don't be sad...they can still wag their little nub.
The tails are docked to the breed standard for ASCA/AKC. There is a good reason for it. Those Aussies that work in the field and farm, really get dirty and if wet and mud are on the tail it is a mess. Some breeders elect not to dock and in Europe it is not allowed.
Hope this help

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

don't dispair
by: Anonymous

I felt the same way, when we got our first boy. I hadn't even realized it, until I brought him home, then I thought, "maybe his tail has to grow in", but after a while, I realized that wasn't the case, so I asked around, and I was told that, that breed's tail is either docked, or are born that way. hmm, I have seen some with their tails, and they are so pretty. like you, I felt sad to think he wouldn't have a tail to communicate when he's happy or sad...but I learned that, that IS NOT the case. this breed is a very happy breed, and they smile all the time. they are great communicators, and they show it all in their faces, and body language. I was told the tail can be a problem for this breed of herders, if a cow,or bull, should get a hold of it, so I understand that, and their "wiggle butt" isthe cutest thing. so ...though I felt the same as you at first, and a tail would have been nice, we learn to adapt, and appreciate them just as they are.
enjoy your wiggle butt. :)

Wiggle Butt
by: Debbie

From what I know the docking of the tail is a breed standard...I read somewhere that these dogs when herding could beak the tail easily so they would dock them to stop this.

Not having a waging tail is different but I guarantee that you will fall in love with the wiggle butt. I have had four dogs previous to my Aussie all with tails but the wiggle butt is something else !!!

Enjoy your new addition.

by: Anonymous

I never really notice the docked tail.... my dog has the best wiggly butt ever.... he has no problem with communicating to other dogs or to me... Try not to sweat the small stuff... just enjoy your baby dog.... they are a wonderful breed. May you have many years of "wiggly butt" to come. <3

Wiggle butt!
by: CAgirl718

I have a 10wk old Aussie. When we went to pick him up I didn't notice he was tailess. After reading other comments I watched for the wiggle butt. Sooo cute!! I notice him communicating through his eyes!!

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