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Why are Doberman's tails undocked but not German Shepherd's considering that both are war dogs?

Hi everyone,

I've been curious about something for a while now and I can't seem to find a satisfying answer. I've noticed that Doberman Pinschers often have their tails undocked nowadays, but German Shepherds still have their tails docked. Both breeds have been used as war dogs in the past, so why is there a difference in the tail-docking practice?

I'm considering adopting a dog in the near future and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about different breeds and their histories. I think it's important to understand the reasons behind certain breed standards and practices in order to make informed decisions.

If anyone has any insights or information on this topic, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

All Replies


Hi there,

As an owner of a German Shepherd, I would like to share my experience regarding tail docking. When I was looking for a breed to bring home, I found out that tail docking was a common practice in German Shepherds. However, I knew that it is no longer necessary in many countries.

After doing a lot of research, I decided to bring home a puppy whose tail was not docked. She is now almost four years old and I have never faced any problems because of her long tail. In fact, her tail is one of her most distinctive and beautiful features, and we often get compliments about it.

I believe tail docking should be eliminated for all breeds, as it causes unnecessary pain and can lead to complications later in life. I am happy to see that more and more breeders are raising undocked puppies, and I hope this trend continues.

In conclusion, as an owner of a German Shepherd who has experienced life both with a docked and undocked tail, I would strongly recommend not to dock the tail of your furry friend.


Hi everyone,

I have experience with both docked and undocked dogs as I grew up with a Rottweiler that had a docked tail and now have a Border Collie with an undocked tail. From my experience, there are pros and cons to both.

For my Rottweiler, docked tail was a trait that was synonymous with the breed. She was originally bred for her abilities as a herding and guard dog, and a cropped tail was a necessary trait for protection as it made her less vulnerable to attack by intruders. That being said, I did notice that she was more prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and arthritis, that are commonly associated with larger breeds like Rottweilers.

Now with my Border Collie, I appreciate his natural appearance and the added benefit that he has a full range of motion with his tail. He is very active and enjoys activities like hiking and swimming, and his tail helps to communicate his emotions and balance.

Overall, my personal preference is to have an undocked breed because it feels more natural and allows the dog to fully express itself. However, I understand that there are certain breed standards and traditions that require tail docking, and respect other owners' preferences.

In conclusion, tail docking is a personal decision that depends on a variety of factors, including breed history, cultural norms, and individual preferences. As owners, we should prioritize our dogs' health and well-being, and choose what is best for them as individuals.


Hello everyone,

I want to provide some insight into why tail docking is still done for some breeds like the German Shepherd. As a breeder of German Shepherds, I can tell you that it's mostly an aesthetic preference, so it's important to choose a breeder who is transparent about their practices and values the welfare of their dogs.

In my case, I do dock the tails of my German Shepherd puppies, but only because it's still part of the breed standard in my country. I take great care in the process and make sure it is done by a licensed and experienced veterinarian. I also provide my clients with resources and information on tail docking and make sure they understand the procedure before they commit to adopting one of my puppies.

That being said, I do believe that the decision on whether or not to dock a puppy's tail is ultimately up to the owner. As other users have mentioned, there are no significant benefits to tail docking and it can cause unnecessary pain and complications. It's important to keep in mind that dogs are living beings with feelings, so their well-being should always come first.

In conclusion, I would recommend that you research thoroughly and find a breeder who values transparency and the welfare of their dogs, regardless of whether they dock their tails or not. It's important to make a decision that aligns with your values and the best interests of your future furry friend.


Hi all,

I would like to provide my perspective as a veterinarian. First, I want to say that any surgical procedures, including tail docking, should only be performed by a licensed veterinarian and done with proper anesthetic and pain management. This ensures the procedure is as safe and painless as possible for the dog.

In my personal experience, tail docking does not provide any significant benefit to the dog. While it may have been necessary in the past, modern dogs do not need their tails docked to fulfill their roles as guard or hunting dogs. Furthermore, tail docking can lead to potential issues such as chronic pain, sensitivity, and difficulty communicating with other dogs.

As others have mentioned in this thread, there are a lot of cultural and breed standards associated with tail docking. However, it's important to keep in mind that the pain and potential complications from the procedure should be considered from a veterinary perspective, and the dog's well-being should always be the top priority.

In conclusion, as a veterinarian, I do not recommend tail docking as it doesn't provide any real benefits for the dog's health or welfare. If you are considering adopting a dog, it's important to choose a reputable breeder who values transparency and ethical breeding practices, and to prioritize the dog's well-being over any aesthetic preferences.


Hello there!

I can provide some insights into this topic based on my personal experience. I have a Doberman Pinscher and when we were considering getting him, we did a lot of research on the breed. We found that tail docking used to be done for practical reasons - to prevent injury when the dogs were working as guard or hunting dogs. However, in modern times, many countries have banned tail docking for animal welfare reasons.

We decided to get our Doberman from a breeder who did not dock their puppies' tails. We found that his tail adds to his overall appearance and personality - he is very expressive with it and we love seeing it wag when he's happy. He has not had any issues with it getting injured or causing problems in any way.

I'm not sure about German Shepherds specifically, but I've seen other breeds with docked tails and I think it really depends on personal preference and cultural traditions. I'm glad that more and more breeders are choosing not to dock their puppies' tails and are allowing them to keep their natural appearance.


Greetings everyone,

I too have a Doberman Pinscher that I adopted when he was six months old, and his tail is undocked. When I was considering adoption, I had in mind that I prefer dogs with tailed and untrimmed ears, because I believe that's how nature meant them to be.

I have seen Dobermans in the past with docked tails, and I find it upsetting because I feel that it's a cruel method of cropping that could potentially have negative effects on the dog. As the previous user said, the practice has been banned as it causes unnecessary pain and can lead to other issues in the long run. Choosing an undocked puppy was also a decision I made out of respect for the dog's well-being.

My Doberman's tail is one of the most expressive parts of him. It wags with vigor and signals his excitement – it adds to his vivid personality. His unaltered appearance is also one of the reasons he stands out from other dogs that I meet on our walks or visits to the dog park.

In conclusion, from my personal experience, I would recommend that you consider an undocked breed if you're thinking of bringing home a furry pal. It's not necessary to put them through the pain of a surgical procedure to meet an aesthetic standard.

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