Australian Shepherds have countless wonderful traits that contribute to making them one of the most charming and beautiful breeds of dogs out there. When I began researching this particular breed, I was immediately struck with how beautiful they looked with their long, natural tails. Even though docking tails is the standard in the United States – After much research we became very passonate about not docking their tails and removing the dew claws and decided to allow our puppies to keep their natural tails and their dew claws. If you are interested in learning more, here is some further reading about the dew claw debate.
Romans initially thought that their tails were linked to the cause of rabies, which has obviously been disproven in current times. In the 1800’s, working dogs tails were docked in order to obtain tax exemptions. In later years, in the western Unites States, Aussies were used as work dogs and it was believed that keeping the tails short prevented them from higher risk of injury while herding in the fields. The prevalence of working dogs has shifted dramatically over the past several years, with more people choosing to have Australian Shepherds as pets as opposed to putting them into the fields for labor.
We do not believe that these reasons are strong enough to continue docking tails. Its great to know that the breed standard for Miniature Australian Shepherds now allows for un-docked tails and ASDR will allow you to show your Mini Aussie with its natural tail. Additionally, it is important to recognize the significant role a tail plays in a dog’s life. It facilitates communication with humans as well as other animals in its surroundings. It plays a vital role in providing counter balance and helps with agility. And it allows for a greater expression of the beauty and playfulness that captures our hearts.
My hope is that we will see a continued shift in standards in the near future, and that more people will choose to step away from the traditional practices and love Aussies just the way they are.
~Written by Tandra P.
All About Your Favorite Breed. Information and resources for Australian Shepherd Lovers about history, health, genetics, temperament, training and agility with directories of Aussie rescue organizations and clubs.