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By the way, is it just me or someone too finds it weird that cats never have their tails docked while dogs have? I don't mean people should dock cats tails too, god forbid. I'm just wondering why on Earth dogs were put under this cruel practice.
The dog can accidentally bruise his own tail, and cause bleeding and nerve damage. It's a term called, "happy tail." Most veterinarians would solve the problem by amputating the tail. Amputation of a tail in the adult stages is a severe procedure and a long difficult recovery. Docking of a tail as a newborn is a simple procedure because the bones of the tail have not fully formed and the animal is oblivious. I don't think anyone would dock a tail because they themselves are afraid of being bruised. That would just be ridiculous.

To be completely honest I'm purchasing an Airedale puppy who's almost 8 weeks old. The only reason I haven't received him is because the breeders should have docked his tail w/in days of being born. Now it will require a surgical procedure/ follow up appt., not to mention more trauma for him and debt for me. Honestly, I'm still undecided but don't want to traumatized or affect his natural balance/ gait. I appreciate most of the concerns posted so far. I have no interest in Showing or breeding for profit.

The breeding itself is not natural bud

Many dog breeds that are meant to work such as on the farm, hunting, etc. naturally have long tails. This can be a problem since they can actually wag thier tail so much when performing their job that if can break when it hits trees and brush. Not only would this be extremely painful for the dog, but when this is the case will most likely happen again causing a re-break and even more pain, or even injury before it is fully healed. Many times specifically when in the outdoors the dog can also be far away from medical help, so a docked tail avoids uneccessary injury and pain for the dog over its lifetime as a working animal. However, when its for show purposes its a different story.

Tail docking is not cruel. It's actually beneficial for some breeds. Some working breeds need the tail docked to prevent injury when hunting, herding, and other activities. Usually tail docking is done to super young dogs and is a painless procedure that the pups never remember. If done by a certified vet docking can be super helpful. But to be honest its up to the owner and everyone has their own opinions. People shouldn't hate on people whose dogs do have docked tails because its the owners choice and not for anyone else to decide.