Pros and Cons of Docking Doberman’s Tail

Dobermans are highly energetic, strong, and powerful dogs. This dog breed was developed by a German named Louis Doberman in the late 1800s. Dobermans are specially bred to work as guards or police dogs. They have a reputation as sharp and even sinister dogs, but they are also the most loving and loyal companions of humans. So, if you are planning to get a pet who can protect you and be a good companion, then Doberman Pinscher is a perfect choice.

Whenever you buy or adopt a Doberman, you must have noticed that most of them don’t have a tail, or their ears are cropped off. After witnessing it, you must be wondering what the need to dock a Doberman’s tail is, is it necessary, and what are the pros and cons of docking a Doberman’s tail. Keep on reading to know more about this.

What Is Tail Docking?

 It is a procedure in which the tail of the Doberman is cut or removed to shorten it. This process is often performed between the age of 2 to 7 days after the birth of the Dobie. There are several ways to dock the tail of your Doberman; you can do it by utilizing a scalpel of scissors or placing a rubber ligature around the tail where it is supposed to be shortened. The second method is more comfortable and effectively cuts off the blood flow until the tail falls off in a matter of days.

Why do they dock a Doberman’s tail?

There are several reasons for cutting the Doberman’s tail off. Still, the most common reason for cropping and docking their tails is to give them a certain look. Many Dobermans have their tails cut to conform with breed standards, protecting and preventing them from future injuries, and boosting their working abilities. However, this is a controversial procedure, and many people consider it unnecessary and painful.

Do you have to dock a Doberman’s tail?

Docking a Dobermans tail through surgery is a process that is often considered normal. Tail docking of Dobie is believed to have arisen for three reasons at different points in history.

  • In the ancient period, Romans believed that amputating the tail tip and parts of the dog’s tongue could prevent them from rabies.
  • According to old traditions, people do tail docking of working dogs to prevent tail injury during activities such as hunting.
  • It is often argued that tail docking boosts the dog’s strength or speed. 

However, because these procedures have continued for years, that doesn’t mean they need to be carried out even today. In recent years, many organizations and breeders don’t perform this; they believe it is cruel and unnecessary.

Pros and cons of tail Docking?

There are a few pros and cons of tail docking; a few of them are given below.


  • Every breed has standards that are considered an ideal example of what a particular breed should be. There are two major breed standards for Doberman: one breed standard mostly used in the US says to dock the tail of a Doberman. Whereas another breed standard followed in Europe, America, Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, and Oceania says that the tail should be left natural. You should be aware that these breed standards are only required if you plan to compete in breed conformation shows. But if you are getting a Dobie to keep as your household pet, then you don’t need to follow the standards set by these associations.
  • In the USA, Dobermans are mostly seen with docked tails and cropped ears; you will hardly see any Doberman with tail and ears. And people who don’t know much about Dobies believe that Dobermans are born with short tails and upright ears. So, if you leave a Doberman natural, people may misidentify it as a type of hound dog, mixed breed, or something else. Hence, it is necessary to dock the tail and cut the ears of the Doberman for easy recognition.
  • Doberman’s long and thin tail is considered to be his body’s weak point, and it could easily break in a fight. It can also be used as a handhold to gain control over the dog by an attacker. All these issues can be resolved by docking the tail of a Doberman. Besides this, the docked tail will also help the attacker quickly identify the dog as Doberman and prevent an incident before it even occurs simply because of Doberman’s reputation.
  • Dobermans have a long, thin tail that can easily break if it hits too hard on a table or door frame. And a broad tail is very painful for an adult Doberman. Additionally, removing the tail of an adult Doberman is not a simple tail docking process compared to a Dobie puppy’s tail docking process.
  • The long, dense fast-whipping tail tends to smack kids hard in their face, swipe drinks off the table and may create other issues. Hence people prefer to dock the tail for more practical functioning in daily life.
  • Many people want their Doberman to resemble the traditional & classic Doberman, so they dock their tails.


  • Removing the tail of a Doberman is unnecessary, and many people consider that cutting through the skin, muscle, and cartilage is always painful for the dog. Some studies also indicate that Dobies may experience increased sensitivity to pain in their tail stubs or even phantom pains as adults.
  • In the dog world, tails play an important role, as it helps the dog to communicate. And docking a tail reduces their ability to communicate properly.
  • Long tails always help maintain balance while running, jumping, or performing complicated maneuvers. A dog with a docked tail can learn to balance with time, but it is not clear how much time it will take and how this will affect them as an adult. Many also argue that docking a tail interferes with a Doberman reaching its full potential with balance and agility.
  • Docking tail can result in loss of pelvic diaphragm muscle. This creates a certain type of hernia known as a perineal hernia. Dobermans with the docked tail are prone to this disease.
  •  It increases the risk of urinary incontinence in female dogs.
  • It also negatively impacts Dobie’s ability to defecate hygienically.

How to dock a Doberman puppy’s tail?

There are mainly two methods to dock the tail of a Dobie Puppy, such as

Banding Method

In this procedure, a rubber ligature is wrapped tightly around the puppy’s tail. This band restricts the blood flow to the tail, and in a few days, the tail falls off.

Surgical Method

This procedure includes using a scissor and scaple to remove the tail. A small clamp is often used for pinching the tail before removal to prevent bleeding. And after removing the tail, a stitch or surgical glue is used to keep the wound closed.

Bottom line 

For years we have seen Dobermans with short tails and upright ears; however, just because it is a tradition, that doesn’t mean it must be continued further. It is up to you whether you want to remove it or not. After analyzing all the pros and cons of tail docking of a Doberman, take your decision wisely.


Is it legal to tail docking a Doberman?

Many countries don’t allow tail docking. Tail docking has been completely banned in Australia and some parts of Europe. Similarly, some states, including Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, have imposed restrictions on the docking procedure in the USA. In most other areas of the US, it is legal to dock puppies’ tails at home without steril equipment or anesthetic. Some experienced breeders are also doing it by themselves. But it is still recommended to bring your puppy to a professional veterinarian.

How much does it cost for tail docking?

A tail docking procedure on a newborn Dobie puppy may cost around $33.75 for a single puppy, and the price can be as low as $4.57 per puppy if an entire litter is done at once. However, a tail docking procedure for an adult Doberman is a little costlier. It costs around $ 550 to $900, with an average cost of about $600 depending on the weight and anesthesia needed for the dog.

What is the length of the Dobermans tail?

The length of a Doberman’s natural tail is approximately 18 inches. And the Dobermans tail should be docked at the second joint. The resulting nub will be approximately 2 to 3 inches long when they are adults. A Dobermans tail is usually docked between 3 to 5 days after its birth. However, it is often done as late as seven days after birth.

What are the disadvantages of tail docking?

There are several disadvantages of tail docking, such as inflammation and damage to the tissue, and docked tails also develop a nerve tumor which can cause pain and make your puppy snappy if their tail is touched.

Does tail docking have any benefits?

Yes, tail docking has a few benefits, such as providing a pleasing appearance to your Dobie, preventing injuries, and boosting their working ability.

Does docking a dog’s tail affect balance? Yes, it does affect balance, but dogs with short or docked tails can still balance if they have had a short tail since their puppyhood.

Jason Morgan

Jason Morgan

I'm Jason Morgan, founder and author at I just love Dobermans - they're the best dogs in the world! I got my first Doberman, Max, when I was just a pup myself. Max was my loyal friend and protector for over ten years. Since then, I've been working hard to learn everything I can about these amazing dogs. I started DobermanWiki as a place to share all that knowledge with other Doberman enthusiasts like me. My goal is to help every Doberman owner have the best possible relationship with their dog. I'm always happy to chat with other Doberman owners, so feel free to reach out anytime!

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