Last Updated on July 12, 2021 by Marco C.
Why do Rottweilers have no tail? This popular breed seems to have a curious and notable feature: a missing tail! How did this popular look come to be? Read on to discover the mystery behind the Rottweiler’s tail.
The Rottweiler is a playful dog. Happiness in dogs is usually communicated by the wide sweep of a wagging tail. It’s an amusing sight that all dog lovers adore. Unfortunately, this little gesture can’t be seen done by certain dogs that don’t have tails.
Are Rottweilers Born Without Tails?
Or you might even ask, are Rottweilers born with short tails? The stubby little tails on some Rottweilers might lead you to believe they are a tailless breed. They might be among the ranks of dogs with bobtails, like Schipperkes, Jack Russel Terriers, and the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.
Rottweilers have been observed to carry a gene mutation for natural bobtails, among 20 other breeds. However, this is a hereditary trait that is very rare. Natural bobtails are less likely to turn up in purebred Rottweilers. More often than not, they are born with a tail that grows long, in the same shiny black coat.
Read more about: German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler Size Comparison Guide
Why Do Rottweilers Have No Tail?
When you see a Rottweiler without a tail, it’s likely the dog went through the process of tail docking. This might have been when they were younger as a pup so that the painful procedure would not be remembered. This could also be in adulthood, where some vets and breeders carry through with the process.
Tail docking is the removal of a dog’s tail, for various reasons. This can be done surgically. It can also be done by cutting the blood circulation off the tail, letting it fall off naturally.
There are various reasons why Rottweilers have docked tails, and may even look like they don’t have any.
Tail docking is meant to make certain breeds look even tougher. You can see this on other intimidating guard dog breeds. Some people think it looks better for guard dogs to have a less friendly look. A wagging tail is a tell-tale sign of a friendly dog, so this might have been a factor in the decision to remove it.
To some owners, it also looks cool. More hardcore owners want to make their dogs look like rebellious fighters.
Tail docking is often accompanied by ear clipping. These two processes together are common in Pit Bulls, Dobermans, and German Pointers. While this practice remains popular, there is pushback from the dog-lovers community that the painful and unnatural process must be stopped.
Worker Dog Purposes
Rottweilers descended from powerful dogs of the Ancient Roman Empire, have a lot of jobs to do. They are also happy to do them as well! They were used to pull sleds, cart objects, and even guard money. Today they are great rescue dogs, police dogs, and seeing-eye dogs.
A long tail can get in the way of such responsibilities. This is a popular notion that led to the docking of Rottweiler tails, so much that it became such a popular look. It was easier to outfit the working Rottweilers with necessary materials if there is no tail that could get stuck in machines or mechanisms. Tail docking is treated as a preventive mechanism.
Unfortunately, this idea also extends to the world of dogfighting rings. Tails are docked so that they can’t be bit and get in the way of a win.
Dragging a long tail around can lead to dirt trailing the floor. When a dog runs through the dirt, concrete, grass, mud, trash, and what have you, their tails are likely to be caked in foreign material. Imagine having to clean the carpet that has paw and tail prints all over it!
Some owners find this inconvenient and hazardous to the health of the household. So, they would prefer pet dogs that do not have tails or those with shorter tails. Those with docked tails could also be on their radar.
In the modern home, especially in the city, there isn’t much open space for a dog to roam around. Worse still, is when their tails knock around everything in the house. An active dog can make short work of a small apartment with its limbs and tail!
In order to prevent this potential hassle, owners prefer a dog with no tails. Rottweilers usually have a medium-sized tail, but they could be docked to be more friendly to the household.
Is Tail Docking Required For Rottweilers?
No, tail docking is not required for Rottweilers. Today, it is most likely a cosmetic or aesthetic procedure.
It is interesting to note that the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub (ADRK) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) have different standards when it comes to Rottweilers. Where they stand the most different is their stance on tail docking.
The ADRK completely bans the practice of tail docking for Rottweilers. On the other hand, the AKC includes “Tail docked short, close to the body, leaving one or two tail vertebrae” in the standards for the Rottweiler. While they do not necessarily enforce the tail docking rule, participating Rottweilers may be at a disadvantage if they do not follow these standards.
Is Tail Docking Legal?
In many countries, including the Rottweiler’s origin country of Germany, tail docking is illegal. You can be charged with a criminal case if you participate in tail docking procedures in certain countries. This includes countries like Australia, many countries of Europe, and various countries in Latin America. In the United States and Canada, there are no federal laws addressing the tail docking practice.
Currently, there is an animal rights movement that is trying to get rid of this popular practice. It has been observed that there is significant harm that an animal goes through during the docking process.
So there you have it – Rottweilers have a popular look and aesthetic that has a big impact in popular culture. But now you know that a naturally tailless Rottweiler is a rare phenomenon. Rottweilers are meant to have a long tail.
Have you seen a tailless Rottweiler? What do you think about tail docking? Let us know in the comments below.