Make Dog Tail Docking Illegal in Washington

mini schnauz

Target: Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee

Goal: Stop the unnecessary trend of tail docking

Tail docking – chopping off most of a dog’s tail at birth – was once a procedure with purpose. However, as the years progressed the procedure that was originally done to aid in work tasks became a procedure done for aesthetic purposes. Tail docking is no longer necessary for household pets. Nevertheless, many breeds are trademarked by their docked tail. Tail docking is illegal in many countries; if Washington were to ban tail docking many states would follow suit.

Tail docking is common in the history of many breeds. The miniature schnauzer originally had a docked tail because it was thought to increase agility, protect from rabies and strengthen the back. The breed was created to hunt rats; a tail would have been a perfect grip for an angry and startled rat. Miniature schnauzers are now bred as companion animals, though tail docking is still commonplace. The procedure is currently done only to uphold a certain image.

Many argue that tail docking is not a painful procedure. Docking is performed when the puppy is two or three days old; the nerve endings are not fully developed in the tail and anesthetic is not allowed for safety reasons. Any resistance or apparent discomfort is due to being held down. However, trouble may follow a dog with a cropped tail for its entire life. A couple of scientists, whose study was published in the European science journal Behaviour Magazine, concluded that dogs tend to be more cautious and skittish around other dogs with docked tails. The tail is an important communication tool for dogs; without this necessary communication a dog’s behavior could be compromised. A docked dog may feel defensive or outcast.

Tail docking is no longer practical. Dogs that are meant to be companion animals should keep their tails. Washington is a trail-blazing state. The rest of the country is interested in what happens in Washington, and will often follow its lead. Tail docking needs to be made illegal in the United States, as it is in countries like Germany and Australia. Urge the governor of Washington to start the ban in his state.


Dear Jay Inslee, Washington State Governor,

Tail docking used to have a purpose when dogs were bred to work. In today’s society tail docking is performed strictly for aesthetic purposes; most dogs are bred as companion animals and no longer perform as their breed was intended. Tail docking is illegal in many countries including Sweden, Germany and Australia. The procedure is unnecessary and may have negative consequences.

Scientists that were published in Behaviour Magazine, a European science journal, concluded that dogs with docked tails have a more difficult time socializing with other dogs. Dogs approach other docked dogs with cautious uncertainty because an important means of communication, the tail, is no longer prevalent. This lack of communication can hinder a dog’s development, causing it to be more aggressive. Many breeds that already have an unfair negative reputation, such as the Rottweiler or pit bull, typically have docked tails. These breeds do not need any more reasons to be misunderstood by people or other dogs.

While tail docking may not be painful for a puppy who is two or three days old, crucial socializing skills may be compromised without a natural long tail. Washington is a trail-blazer state. The country notices and respects what Washington does. Please consider banning tail docking in Washington; pave the way for the rest of the United States to do the same.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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  1. infantile persons make their dogs to cripples .

  2. Christine Stewart says:

    Puppies indeed scream when their tails are docked, and it is NOT just because they are being restrained!

  3. Put bulls are not docked. You may want to substitute another breed for that reference.

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