Is there a reason why weimaraners tail are cut short?

Written by on Friday, September 5, 2008 – 4:20 am -


Pretty much all dogs that have docked tails or ears, they were originally done to protect them in the job they were bred for. Hunting dogs with thin, whip-like tails (like Weimeraners) usually have the upper parts of their tails docked because they are very thin and easily injured by heavy brush, etc. Guard dogs and fighting dogs had ears and tails docked to keep them from getting ripped by their opponent. Herding dogs had tails docked almost completely to keep them from getting stepped on by livestock.

Today, most of them are continued for aesthetic or traditional reasons, but in every breed there are those who still work at what they're bred for and will benefit from the procedure. This is proven because the incidence of tail injuries in locations where docking is illegal have skyrocketed in working dogs.

It is healthier and better for the working dog to have their tail surgically docked as a puppy than to have it shredded, broken, or ripped off as an adult. For the family pet? That's something each person has to figure out ethically for themselves.


Posted in weimaraners | 9 Comments »


9 Responses to “Is there a reason why weimaraners tail are cut short?”

  1. By Tim on Jun 25, 2007 | Reply

    Cause they tend to tuck their tail between their legs and it makes them look like pansies. So people started bobbing them.
    References :

  2. By Kristen K on Jun 25, 2007 | Reply

    It's so they do not break them when hunting.
    References :

  3. By Kayleigh B on Jun 25, 2007 | Reply

    It's called docking. They are hunting dogs and the tails would get in the way.

    "Tail
    Docked. At maturity it should measure approximately 6 inches with a tendency to be light rather than heavy and should be carried in a manner expressing confidence and sound temperament. A non-docked tail shall be penalized."
    –AKC

    As history is reckoned, the Weimaraner is a young dog, dating back only to the early 19th century. The Bloodhound is believed to be among its ancestors, if not in direct line of descent, then certainly in a collateral way. The Weimaraner that we know today is the product of selective German breeding, and it came from the same general stock which has produced a number of Germany's hunting breeds, including the GSP. In fact, in its early days, the Weimaraner was known simply as the Weimer Pointer, its name deriving from the court by whom the breed was sponsored.

    "Throughout its early career, the distinctively gray Weim was propogated by nobles in the court of Weimar who sought to meld into one breed all the qualities they had found worthwhile in their forays against the then abundant game of Germany. In short, they sought speed, good scenting ability, courage, and intelligence. Formerly, the Weimaraner was a big-game dog used on wolves, wildcats, deer, etc. By the time these became rarities in Germany, the breed was supported by a club originally started by a few fanciers. It was extremely hard to obtain a Weimaraner at this point, since one had to be become a member of the club prior to purchase of the dog in a strict attempt to keep breeding and lines pure. However, when the American Howard Knight became a member and imported two specimens to the US, he helped found the club in this country and served as its first president in 1929. Meanwhile, the Weim grew to become a bird-dog rather than a big-game dog due to shifting priorities and rarity of big game, leading to its use as a personal hunting dog. The AKC granted recognition to the breed in 1943, and curiously enough, the Weim has seen more actual competition of various kinds in America than it ever saw in Germany. "
    –AKC

    See, their history is Hunting.
    References :
    http://www.akc.org

  4. By PackLeader22 on Jun 25, 2007 | Reply

    "The usual reason for docking dog breeds is to prevent injury to working dogs. For instance, it has been stated that a vermin's bite to the working dog's flop ears can lead to a systemic infection, a serious medical problem that wouldn't occur were there no flop ears to be bitten."
    References :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docking_%28animals%29

  5. By agilebxr on Jun 25, 2007 | Reply

    Many of the cropping and docking procedures we do on our dogs today are rooted in history and the purpose of the dog. Most sporting dogs with docked tails were originally docked to prevent injury for the most part. Same for most dogs with cropped ears, they were more prone to injuries with their ears "au natural" and so the ears were cut off early in life to prevent problems later.

    Now — most of us are used to the look of docked tails and just prefer them that way. I have seen undocked Weims and their tails tend to be kind of bony looking and whip like. Really kind of up to the owners/breeders now. Some states have outlawed some "cosmetic" procedures.
    References :
    long time dog owner, amateur breed historian

  6. By Behaviorist on Jun 25, 2007 | Reply

    Nowadays there is no good reason. It's traditional.

    Originally it was probably done to keep it from being caught or broken while hunting.

    Tail docking is a cosmetic procedure done to please humans who are more interested in how the dog looks than in his wellbeing.
    References :

  7. By Firekeeper on Jun 25, 2007 | Reply

    Pretty much all dogs that have docked tails or ears, they were originally done to protect them in the job they were bred for. Hunting dogs with thin, whip-like tails (like Weimeraners) usually have the upper parts of their tails docked because they are very thin and easily injured by heavy brush, etc. Guard dogs and fighting dogs had ears and tails docked to keep them from getting ripped by their opponent. Herding dogs had tails docked almost completely to keep them from getting stepped on by livestock.

    Today, most of them are continued for aesthetic or traditional reasons, but in every breed there are those who still work at what they're bred for and will benefit from the procedure. This is proven because the incidence of tail injuries in locations where docking is illegal have skyrocketed in working dogs.

    It is healthier and better for the working dog to have their tail surgically docked as a puppy than to have it shredded, broken, or ripped off as an adult. For the family pet? That's something each person has to figure out ethically for themselves.
    References :

  8. By ADA on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    ….’This is proven because the incidence of tail injuries in locations where docking is illegal have skyrocketed in working dogs. ‘….

    Where is it proven – actual facts and figures needed to justify this statement. If this should be referring to the Swedish GSP tail injury study. This was done at the instigation of the GSP Breed Clubs to get the docking ban overturned in Sweden. It wasn’t and the fiigures used in the study compounded by being added on from one year to the next. It must be borne in mind that 12 young dogs died for reasons not stated in this study – a somewhat worse outcome than injury. Hounds and various other gun dogs are not docked.
    In the UK they have not been that well known as gun dogs. The Weimaraner is believed to have developed from the Talbot Hound which was not docked. Its longer ears could be said to bear this out.

  9. By Justsayin' on Nov 29, 2012 | Reply

    Had stock dog/family pet for 15 years with docked tail and I can’t imagine if he’d had a tail how many times it would’ve been stepped on by people & livestock or had trailer/truck doors shut on it etc. He was much better off.

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