Rottweiler Tail – Tail Docking and related facts 

Rottweilers are excellent pets, and are more commonly known for their sturdy and muscular body frame. These are durable dogs, and often come in their iconic black and rust colors. They are intelligent, and are apparently attractive. However, one of the significant things about them is that you will notice that Rottweilers almost never own tails. Yeah, this is indeed a mystery, and today, we would be covering info related to it. 

Rottweiler Tail
Rottweiler Tail


Do Rottweilers Have Tails ? 

Just like any other dog, the majority of the Rottweilers are usually born with a tail. However, there are a few naturally bob-tailed rottweilers too! The latter is quite rare, though! It has been a common practice now, wherein the rottweilers’ tails are docked since several generations. This is done to assure better practice of herding and guarding jobs.  

In general circumstances, rottweilers are born with tails, but due to some or the other reasons, their tails are being docked. Today, we would be discussing more about the history of tail docking in Rotties and how the procedure works! Read on… 

Rottweiler Tail docking

Rottweiler Tail
Rottweiler Tail

Canine tail docking is basically a procedure in which a portion of the dog’s tail is removed. This practice is quite popular among the rottweilers too! A lot of other dog breeds also get their tails docked at regular intervals. Some of those varieties include Yorkies, Aussies and Pembroke Welsh Corgis and more.  

Well, tail docking is just a procedure, but in case you are concerned about your dog, make sure that it does absolutely no harm to your dog. The best thing about tail docking is that it does not change the personality or temperament of the dog by any chance. Also, if you are concerned about your pup’s physical and mental health, it’s not a part of the process by any circumstances. So, be stress free!  

Origin of Tail docking in Rottweilers 

The origin of tail docking in Rottweilers is traced back to the times of Ancient Rome. It has been an age-old belief wherein the Romans user to say that docking the tail of a dog would prevent the canine from getting viral diseases, particularly, ‘Rabies’ – which was no less than a pandemic among the dogs then!  

There is no doubt in the saying that Rottweilers happen to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They have a really long history and a lot of dog breeders say that their ancestors first appeared in the ancient Rome. When I heard about this ‘tail docking’ practice, I, too, was equally surprised as you! May be, that has been a tradition among the Romans of that time.  

The tradition of tail docking is prevalent even today. People continue to dock the tails of their Rotties till date. However, the reason of tail docking has now shifted from a preventive measure of diseases to different other factors now! 

Rottweilers mostly don’t have tails since they were titled as “the most loyal working dogs.” They are still faithful and obedient, and thus, the custom that once stemmed from the ancient Romans is still working among the people.  

They were commonly represented as the most popular all-purpose dogs in Rome and were used by the Roman Legions. These dogs were extensively used to guard and protect the troops at night, as well as, they used to assist the Romans in herding livestock.  

Dog tails used to be considered as an extra “handle” while they are on the field. It may happen that a cow may accidentally step on to it, thus, injuring a rottweiler. As a result, it may put the Rottie out of commission till its wound gets healed. This has been the former belief! 

Now, relating it to today’s purpose, it is said that removing the tail of Rotties that are meant to guard homes is better since it would become harder for robbers and criminals to hold the dog’s tail and end up hurting and injuring it in return. 

rottweiler tail
rottweiler tail

Does tail docking hurt? 

Well, there’s a lot of debate about it! It is usually said to dock a Rottie’s tail as early as when it is just 2 days post birth. There are a lot of other people who say that it is rather great to have the tails docked 3 to 7 days after birth. The reason behind it is that the pup is too young to have developed a full-fledged nervous system to recognize the pain during the docking procedure.  

On the contrary, there have been people who say that they shriek immediately after the tail is cut off. Well, there’s no clear evidence whether it is due to a temporary discomfort or if it is all because of the pain caused.  

Rottweiler tail docking procedure 

The most common way of tail docking is with a good pair of scissors, particularly the surgical scissors. It is usually done when the dog is asleep. However, it is rather recommended to go to a vet who is well equipped with the process, and makes sure that the tail is cut right through the muscles, cartilages, nerves and tendons without injuring the dog by any chance.  

Natural Bobtail (NBT) Rottweilers 

Although the parents of Rottweilers had naturally long tails, studies and researches in the Oxford University revealed that the puppies can still develop NBT at birth due to spontaneous developmental abnormality or sporadic mutation.  

Should you go for a Rottweiler with a docked tail? 

Well, the American Kennel Club’s breed standard set in the late 19th century says that the tail of a Rottie should be short and close to the body. Now, breeders are abiding by this suggestion and tail docking has been a part of cosmetic process. Well, it doesn’t affect much. Thus, as a buyer, it depends absolutely on you, whether you want to go for something that’s normal and natural, or go for a cosmetically appealing docked-tail Rottie! 


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