Why did humans start cutting dogs' tails?

Why did humans start cutting dogs' tails?

At present, there is a strong fight to try to eliminate the cut of the tail to dogs for aesthetic reasons, as it turns out to be an unproductive practice that can harm the animal only by reaching a standard of beauty.

However, why did this practice begin?

A little history

Even though dogs have been among humans for thousands of years, you do not have a clear record when the tail of dogs began to be amputated, but some data, such as texts or paintings, showing dogs with their tails cut from ancient civilizations are preserved.

But nevertheless, the purpose in these cases was very different to that of simply responding to the standards of the breed, having a much more functional reason depending on the breed and the uses that were given to the dogs.

Hunters dogs

In the case of dogs that were used to track, chase and catch prey, their tail was cut off avoid being injured during the activity.

The tail was one of the most exposed and vulnerable areas, so much so that, for many of the breeds used to hunt, the traits of dogs with short tails during the crossings were privileged. Such is the case of the Fox Terrier.

War dogs

Both the tail and the ears were amputated to fight dogs or dogs used for war to avoid being taken by a rival from these areas. Also, the ears were cut to give it a fierce appearance.

Dogs with different uses

For dogs that were given different uses, it was best to cut off their tails and ears. you never knew what kind of activities he was going to do.

For example, Boxers were used for numerous tasks, whether they were messengers, guardians or assistant dogs. So they cut their tails and ears so that they could perform their tasks optimally (for example, with the cut of the ears the listening range of the dog was extended).

Class differentiation

Some dogs with specific characteristics were considered exclusive of royalty. For example the Bobtail with long tail were very desired by the nobles, who had to pay a tax to have them.

In order to differentiate the luxury specimens the tail of the puppies that did not comply with said standard was cut.

Farmer dogs

To the dogs specialized in taking care of farms, especially those that lived in the granaries or mills to take care of the grain and to hunt rats, their tail was amputated to avoid being bitten for these and contract diseases.

In modernity

Beginning in 1839, with an essay by Sir William Youatt, the first protests against of the amputation of parts to the dog, because in modern life they are completely unnecessary.

While at one time they were used to safeguard the integrity of the can (in most cases), currently they are only made in order to maintain racial standards, for which dogs are mutilated exclusively for an aesthetic criterion.

In fact, in some European countries the amputation of tails and ears for aesthetic purposes is regulated and it is qualified as animal abuse.

Today it is increasingly common to see caregivers who do not subject their dogs to these harassments, demonstrating that more and more people treat their pets more as living beings and not as mere objects.

In which cases it is good to amputate the tail

While it is not good to submit the dog to these procedures for aesthetic purposes, there are very specific situations in which it is appropriate to do so.

For example, for serious infections or severe injuries, which put at risk the animal's health or its quality of life and in which this type of intervention is necessary.

According to the legislation of some countries, only in these cases are amputations allowed and the caretaker must keep the veterinary evidence to avoid problems in the future.

Image courtesy of The Instant Collector Photography & Video.

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