Rottweiler With Tail vs Without

Last Updated on February 7, 2022 by Marco C.

Tail clipping is popular with some breeds of dogs, which is why Rottie owners wonder which is better – a Rottweiler with tail vs without. Clipping the tail of a dog is a procedure, after all, which is why it needs to be taken seriously by owners. Lately, however, some authorities have been advising against it. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at what’s better for Rottweilers and what is tail clipping in general.

Proper Rottweiler Tail

A Rottweiler’s tail is going to grow unless you dock it when your puppy is still very young. “Docking” is the name for cutting a puppy’s tail very short. Now, according to the AKC standard for Rottweilers, a dog’s tail should be docked with only one of two tail vertebrae. It should act as just an elongation of the top line of the dog’s back.

If we take that information as a standard – your Rottweiler’s tail should be docked. However, keep in mind that this is only important if you want to take your dog to dog shows! If not, your dog’s tail is actually useful, and docking it might actually do more harm than good.

Purpose Of A Tail

There are essentially two purposes to a dog’s tail. As already explained – it’s important for dog shows. Some breeds, like the Rottweiler, should have a short tail for a dog show. Other breeds, the German Shepherd, for example, need a long tail to fill AKC’s standards.

Showing isn’t the only purpose of a dog’s tail, though. Keep in mind that Rottweilers were bred to be fighters – defending the herd, the estate, and the family from wolves and other predators. Because of this, the dog’s tail is very useful when it comes to showing alertness and concern. Interestingly, many owners decided to dock their Rottweilers’ tails for this reason. If they get in a fight with a wolf – the wolf won’t be able to bite their tail.

Purpose of a Tail

Learn more about: Why Do Rottweilers Attack?

To conclude this, the tail has its purpose, and docking it makes little sense unless you’re taking your dog to shows.

If you do dock it – the dog won’t be able to communicate with you. There’s also some use of the tail when it comes to balance, and you’ll see that your dog is struggling with keeping its balance because of the lack of tail.

Tail Docking

Tail docking is a procedure that many dogs are put under when they’re very young. There have been many debates about the ethics behind it and just how okay is it for owners to do this, though. Some owners blame the AKC for requesting that a dog’s tail should be docked when they’re aware that it’s a painful procedure.

The Procedure

Docking is usually done when the puppies are very young. The idea behind it is that nerves in the tail aren’t fully developed and they won’t feel it. This is actually somewhat true – the nerves aren’t fully developed. However, that doesn’t mean that the poor puppy doesn’t feel it.

The owner usually takes a simple pair of scissors and literally cuts the tail off close to the dog’s back. Cutting right through the muscles and the skin is very painful and the puppies can definitely feel it. This is the primary reason why some vets have started to refuse to dock dogs – if it can’t be done with anesthesia (and puppies shouldn’t be put under anesthesia without good reason), then it shouldn’t be done at all.

Expert Opinion

Even though it’s legal to do this in most countries around the world – vets recommend that you don’t dock your Rottweiler’s tail. Even if you’re going to take your dog to dog shows, it’s an inhumane procedure that can end up much worse than just some bleeding and pain. The wound can easily get infected and the puppy can get harmed.

Since it’s too dangerous to put a puppy under anesthesia, vets will avoid following through with the procedure of docking if they can. It should be noted that there actually are instances when you should dock your dog’s tail. An injury can occur when the vet has no other option but to amputate your dog’s tail. However, if this does happen, it’s a more complicated procedure and it can’t be done by just anyone.

Read more about: Dogs With Naturally Short Tails; A-List


Unless you absolutely have to – it’d be best not to dock your Rottweiler’s tail. This is a dangerous and unnecessary procedure. It’s difficult for vets to do it to puppies because they don’t take anesthesia well and doing it without anesthesia is unethical.

You could dock your Rottweiler’s tail to compete in dog shows, but keep in mind that your dog feels pain.


Should A Rottweiler Have a Tail?

A Rottweiler has a natural tail and you shouldn't dock it without proper reason. Vets sometimes have to dock it because of injury. Otherwise, you might have to dock if you want to compete in dog shows since the AKC demands that Rottweilers have docked tails.

Why Do They Cut a Rottweilers Tail?

Earlier, people used to dock the tail so a predator doesn't bite it in a fight with the dog. Nowadays, people cut the tails off for dog shows.

Is Tail Docking Painful?

Yes, puppies can feel their tails being cut off and it hurts them. This is why vets remind us that this procedure is unethical and some vets refuse to do it.

Can A Rottweiler Be Born Without a Tail?

This is possible, however, it's extremely rare and it's usually a genetic condition.

In Conclusion

To sum up, a Rottweiler natural tail is long, but some owners dock it when they’re still puppies so they could compete in shows. This practice, however, is both unethical (since the dogs can feel pain) and dangerous. It’s necessary to dock the dog’s tail to compete in dog shows, but some owners would also dock them for safety reasons. If you do dock your dog’s tail, it won’t be able to communicate with you and it could also develop problems with balance.