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Should we really be bobbing dogs' tails?

Friday, 25th January 2013

Bobbing dogs' tails is a common practice in the UK, particularly for 'working dog' breeds such as Boxers, yet the implications of docking a pet's tail could be more significant than us humans realise.

Science journalist Emily Anthes conducted an experiment using a robotic dog with an adjustable tail in order to study how other animals react to tail length in social situations.

The study seemed to reveal that dogs with a long tail are able to communicate their mood to other animals, using it to express whether they want to interact and play or be left alone.

However, those who have no tail are unable to convey these feelings, which can lead to confusion among other pets who are left unsure over whether or not a dog wants to be approached.

Pet owners should consider their options carefully when deciding whether or not to bob their dog's tail, and should always consider the happiness and wellbeing of the animals when making decisions.