Docking of tails and ears in dogs
Care and Maintenance

Docking of tails and ears in dogs

Docking of tails and ears in dogs

Docking is the removal of part or all of the tail or pinna through surgery. Today, docking is prohibited for most breeds in many countries of the European Union, USA, South Africa and Australia.

Where did this tradition come from?

The first mention of cupping is found as early as the XNUMXth century. BC. Then the Romans cut off the ears and tails of their dogs, as they believed that this was a reliable remedy for rabies. Later, for several centuries, this procedure was used for fighting and hunting breeds, since these parts of the dog’s body are too vulnerable in battle. Such a long period of docking has led to the fact that people have lost the habit of the real appearance of many dogs, so the standards began to be based on the changed appearance.

How and when does cupping take place?

The tail is docked for newborn puppies. Depending on the breed, this is done on the 2-7th day of life, while the vertebrae are still soft. The procedure is carried out without anesthesia – at this age it is contraindicated. Doing the operation yourself is not worth it, unless you are a breeder with a very long experience. The ears are cut into special shapes, and then they are monitored to see if they stand up correctly. Since it is very important to keep the proportions, this procedure is performed under anesthesia – the ears are stopped for 2-3-month-old puppies.


There are many misconceptions that justify the need for cupping:

  • Cupping reduces the susceptibility of the ears to various diseases and inflammations. It has been proven that the shape of the auricle does not affect this in any way. With regular cleaning, the pet’s ears remain healthy, regardless of their shape;
  • Cupping is painless. The postoperative period is painful for all living beings. Moreover, ear cupping operations are carried out under anesthesia, which negatively affects the body;
  • A dog can do without a tail or ears. These organs are responsible for communication. Their absence can negatively affect the social life of the pet. For example, studies show that the side that the tail leans more towards (to the right or left) when wagging shows the dog’s mood.

Is it possible to buy?

At the end of the XNUMXth century, the European Parliament adopted a convention prohibiting cosmetic cupping, which was reflected in most standards. Only those breeds whose homeland is a country that has not adopted the law have not been affected.

For example, the standard of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog remained the same. However, if you have a Doberman, it is no longer possible for your pet to compete at European shows with a docked tail and ears. A complete list of such breeds can be found on the FCI (Federal Cynologique Internationale) website.

Depriving a dog of part of the tail or ears is harmful to the animal, since they are responsible in her body for showing emotions and communication.

13 2017 June

Updated: July 18, 2021

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