Rottweiler Guide

Rottweiler Tail: The Debate Between Natural Vs Docked Tail

Many people believe that rottweiler tail should be docked, but some excellent reasons to keep them natural.

Natural rottweilers can use their tail as a form of communication. It also helps to protect against the cold in colder climates.

They also suffer less from health conditions such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. It is common among docked dogs because they cannot move around freely and take on different positions when resting or sleeping.

Although some people may consider natural rottweiler’s tails more attractive. Many argue that docking prevents any potential discomfort caused by “rodent-like” wagging and makes for a more straightforward grooming process (although this is debatable).

Ultimately, whether you choose a natural or docked tail on your new rottweiler is up to you. But you must know both sides of the argument before making a final decision!

Rottweiler Natural Vs Docked Tail

The debate between a natural or docked tail in rottweilers is a longstanding one. There are two sides to the discussion.

The first side is for those who believe that tails should be docked as an act of cruelty, as it deters from the animal’s natural beauty. The other side is for those who view docking to prevent an animal from potentially experiencing discomfort due to “rodent-like” wagging and for an easier grooming process.

Both sides have their cons – docking can be seen as cruel by some people. Others may consider natural tails less attractive. Ultimately, it’s up to you which side you choose!

The decision between a natural or docked tail in Rottweilers is also personal preference. Some people simply prefer the look of a naturally tailed Rottweiler, while others view a docked tail as more manageable.

Its Effect On Rottweiler Health

However, another important factor to keep in mind is the health of your dog. A naturally tailed Rottweiler may be healthier than a docked one because it can use its tails to communicate and stay warm in colder climates.

At the same time, docking can lead to arthritis or hip dysplasia (an uncomfortable condition that causes the thigh bone to slip out of place).

No matter what side you take, both sides of the argument must be given thought. Once you’ve made your final choice, learn how to take care of your Rottweiler’s tail to ensure it remains healthy and happy!

The Debate Between Natural and Docked Tails in Rottweilers

The debate between natural and docked tails in rottweilers is very heated, with both sides providing some very valid points.

Natural tails are longer than average, but they are also more fragile. Requiring special care to keep them healthy. Docked tails are shorter than average, but they are very sturdy and don’t require much attention.

Owners of natural-tailed dogs have reported that their pets need their tails brushed every day to prevent mats from forming on their tails.

Rottweiler Tail (1)


Is It Caused Injury To Your Dog

They also need to be checked often for injury or infection because the tail is so long it’s difficult to see the whole thing quickly. With docked tails, you usually never have to worry about any of this!

It isn’t just about the length, either. Natural tails are very active during playtime with their owners and other pets, often wagging vigorously back and forth.

Because they move so much more than docked tails do, natural tails run the risk of catching on furniture or getting stuck indoors. Suppose your dog does manage to get its tail caught in something. It could cause injury or require surgery which can be very costly. For those reasons, docked tails are the most common type seen in rottweilers.


Its Effect On Dog Personality

Natural tails also have a lot more personality than docked ones do! Natural-tailed dogs will signal to you what they want using their tail and ears. If a natural-tails dog is angry, it may thrash its tail back and forth, while a happy dog may wag its tail excitedly when it’s time to go outside or play with you.

Docked tails aren’t capable of making the same movements as natural tails, so dogs with docked tails are often not quite as expressive. They still need their owners’ help in learning what their tail movements mean. A docked-tail dog’s ears are how they communicate with people.

Docking a rottweiler at birth is not cruel because the puppies don’t feel pain while it’s happening. They also do not associate the removal of their tails at any point in their lives with their parents.

Many people get rottweilers with natural tails because they are more common. Not because of any attachment to the look or feel of a long tail. Unfortunately, although it’s technically legal for you to own a dog with a natural seat in most areas. Some landlords may discriminate against natural-tailed dogs and require you to have your pet docked.

Rottweiler Natural Tail Pros

A natural rottweiler has a full tail with the same length as its body. This gives them a more natural appearance and may make them seem warier than strangers.

They also have a better light detection system due to increased size. The downside of having a natural tail is that they may snag on things, giving them infection or an injury.

When this happens, the dog may have to have the tail removed, which means it will never grow back.

Rottweiler Docked Tail Pros

A docked rottweiler has an average length tail of 3 inches, which may make it seem less aggressive because it can’t wag its tail to show dominance.

The downside of this is that the dog may be mistaken for a puppy or not fully grown. They also miss out on the benefits of having a full-size tail, like increased sound detection and light detection systems.


Rottweiler Natural Tail Cons

In some countries, it is illegal to have a natural rottweiler’s tail docked. In the United States, natural rottweilers are required to be docked, or they can’t compete.

If a child were present in a home with a great dane and a natural rottweiler. The great dane would pose less of a danger to the child because it would not be able to use its tail as a weapon.

A full tail on a Rottweiler provides an extra target for attack from another dog.


Rottweiler Docked Tail Cons

Docked rottweilers, if not done correctly, can be painful for the dog and lead to infection and trauma due to incomplete amputation of the tail.

It is also possible that improperly made docking could lead to pain, infection, and trauma.

If the skin around the tail fails to heal correctly, it could lead to various complications such as neurogenic pain (pain causing dysfunction), lacerations, and bleeding.

“When we didn’t dock their tails, it would cause problems because we couldn’t tell if they had any fecal matter on their tails.” Walking on a docked tail can cause discomfort.

“Dogs with fully intact tails are at risk of permanent injury to the tail.”

The Decision Between a Natural or Docked Tail

Are you a big fan of the look of a short tail on a rottweiler? If so, there is no need to feel bad about your decision. It is a personal preference, and there are pros and cons to both.

A natural rottweiler has a full tail with the same length as the rest of its body. A docked rottweiler has had its tail cut off at birth to an average size of around 3 inches.

Both types of rottweilers have their pros and cons. The natural rottweiler is more prone to injuries such as fractures to the tail. However, they are less likely to get infections.

The docked rottweiler has a higher chance of getting a disease but is less likely to fracture a tail. If you would like to see some visual representations of both types, go ahead and view the pictures below.

Rottweiler Tail (2)

Why Tails Are Docked

  1. The tails are docked to avoid injuries to the tail, back, and hind quarters that could occur if the tail were to get caught in something. As a natural tail can grow up to 4 feet long, it also can be harmful to others if not kept clean.
  2. For those who wish to raise their rottweilers as working dogs, the docked tail is an advantage because it helps avoid injuries during rescue missions.
  3. The docked tail can also help to prevent injuries during dog-fighting sessions because the rottweiler’s opponent will be less likely to bite down on the rottweiler’s tail and cause damage or breakage, as well as to avoid potentially fatal consequences such as paralysis of the hind quarters.
  4. The natural tail is advantageous for those who plan to keep their rottweiler as a pet because it adds to the dog’s overall appearance.
  5. For those with children who may be around the rottweiler often, having a natural tail will prevent injuries should a child attempt to pull the tail by accident. Some people also believe that a docked tail encourages shyness in the rottweiler because it limits their communication ability.
  6. For those who wish to show their rottweilers in competitions, the natural tail is an advantage over a docked tail because it gives judges a better idea of the dog’s actual proportions when compared to others with docked tails.

A Quick Question People Usually Ask

Q. Why do they cut a Rottweiler’s tail?

The tails are docked to avoid injuries to the tail, back, and hind quarters that could occur if the tail were to get caught in something. As a natural tail can grow up to 4 feet long, it also can be harmful to others if not kept clean. For those who wish to raise their rottweilers as working dogs, the docked tail is an advantage because it helps avoid injuries during rescue missions.


Q. Is it illegal to cut off a Rottweiler tail?

Some countries have banned the practice of docking tails. However, it is still legal within certain US states to do so, except California. A new bill was passed in the US to make it illegal for vets to dock tails (2013).


Q. Is it painful?

When the tail is cut, it will be coated in a numbing agent. However, there is still pain involved.


Q. How long does it take for a rottweiler to recover from the surgery?

It takes roughly 1-2 weeks for healing and up to 10 days for the scab to heal into a “pennic.”


Q. Are there any risks involved with cutting off a Rottweiler’s tail?

Risks include excessive bleeding, infection, and paralysis.


Q. What is the average length of a docked tail?

The average size of a docked tail tends to be around 2-3 inches long depending on who does it for you (veterinarian or breeder) and how old the dog is when it happens.


Q. What is the average length of a natural tail?

The average size of a natural tail tends to be around 4 feet long (depending on how long the rottweiler’s mother and father tails are) and 2.5 inches wide.


Rottweilers are one of the most popular breeds in America, but there are two different types to consider when adopting. A natural rottweiler has a full tail with the same length as the rest of its body, while a docked rottweiler has had its tail cut off at birth. The decision between which type you want is personal preference, but there are some pros and cons for both sides that should be considered before making your final choice. Ultimately, whether or not you choose natural or docked will depend on what matters most to you. Appearance, ease of use by children or dogs during playtime, safety concerns for dogs who may fight other animals over territory or because of their breed, or how good the tail will be for working dogs.


Meet the Author ADAM HOSSAIN, As an owner of Rottweiler for 10 years, I motivate and encourage people about this lovely breed. We’re dedicated to providing you the detailed researched articles about Rottweiler, with an emphasis on Rottweiler Health, Training, and Exercises. I started my journey with Rottweiler Time in 2021 and it has come a long way from its beginnings. Thanks for Your Support.

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