We DO NOT dock tails or remove dewclaws from ANY English Jack Russell Terrier puppy.
For more information: WSAVA Position on Docking
At Toomevara, we believe that a terrier's tail is an expressive and beautiful part of their body. We leave our English Jack Russell Terriers tails and dewclaws intact and unaltered, the way nature intended.
We stumbled upon this blog post in our research on tail docking, which includes a 3-part video of a Jack Russell puppy having it's tail docked. If you are curious as to whether a puppy actually suffers pain when it's tail is being docked, we encourage you to watch the videos and judge for yourself. Retrieverman's Blog Post on Tail Docking
In any dog, their tail serves many functions:
- Communication, by looking at the position and movement of the tail, you can often tell what dogs are thinking.
- Counter balance, especially with activities such as leaping, walking along narrow structures or climbing (think agility).
- Functions as a rudder while swimming (water breeds especially have long thick tails to help guide them through the water).
- Insulation (as seen in Nordic and Artic breeds, their bushy dense tails can be pulled around to cover their face to protect from the cold.The skinny on tail docking. What is tail docking?
Tail docking today is the amputation of a dog's tail at varying lengths to suit the recommendations of a breed Standard. Docking involves the amputation of the puppy's tail either with scissors, a knife or with a rubber band. The cut goes through many highly sensitive nerves in the tissues including skin, cartilage, and bone. This procedure is usually performed without any anaesthetic at between three to five days of age. The procedure can be performed by either a registered veterinary surgeon or by an experienced dog breeder. In many countries veterinarians are declining to perform this unnecessary procedure, meaning that breeders are now docking more dogs.Do dogs need their tails?
Dogs have evolved into their current shape over many thousands of years. If a tail were not useful to a dog, natural selection would have eliminated it long ago. Indeed, tails have many useful functions and are important for balance and body language among other things. Some breeds today have individuals that are occasionally born with deformed or short tails. This is a genetic abnormality, not usually found in the wild and is caused by intensive inbreeding of selected strains of dog to refine certain inherited characteristics.Is tail docking painful for the puppy?
Yes, there is strong evidence that this is the case. The puppy has a fully developed nervous system and a well-developed sense of pain. While the puppy cannot tell us that it is in pain, many biological markers show that pain is occurring.Can docking cause problems in later life?
There is considerable scientific evidence that docking can lead to complications, including occasionally death of the puppy. In later life the stump of the tail may be painful due to the formation of neuroma (nerve tissue scar) in the stump. This also occurs following amputation of limbs in people and causes considerable discomfort.