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Tail docking is a common practice among JRTs and it is something that not everyone agrees upon. The following is some information about why JRTs tails are commonly docked and some health facts associated with it.
Why Do It?
Tail docking is practiced with JRTs for a variety of reasons. One reason being that it is easier for them when they are hunting. Tails can often get in the way when attacking or digging, and they are easy to get injured. If a JRT is specifically being a hunting dog, its tail will typically be cropped. Also, injuries of the tail in general is another reason people give for docking tails. And finally, some people say it just doesn’t “look right” for a JRT to have a long tail and therefore they get it done for purely cosmetic reasons.
When Should It Be Done?
When JRTs are about 3-5 days old, that is the ideal time to dock their tails if you chose to do so. It should always be performed by a licensed veterinarian. The best length is take off one third and leave two thirds, but it should be proportionate with the JRTs body. It is better to leave it too long than too short, because it can always be re-docked.
Problems Associated With Docked Tails
People often chose not to get a puppy’s tail docked because it is a painful and traumatic surgery. It can also be dangerous for the young puppy. One other factor is that dogs use their tails for balance, and without it the dog can be very unbalanced. Whatever the reason, tail docking is at the discretion of the owner and there are arguments for both sides of whether it should or should not be done.