I am receiving several emails and calls from people wondering why some of our dog's tails are  docked, some are natural. Why and what is the reason? 

Those are great questions and I have an answer!

I had a litter of puppies born July 4, 2012. I had one male puppy of the litter promised to my very dear friend in Sweden. It is not legal to dock tails in Europe, Many breeders here in the US, just pick one puppy and leave the tail. Docking is done when the puppies are 3 days old. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to see them grow up and then make the decision on which puppy would go to Sweden. So, I left all the tails on the males and had my vet, like usual dock the females.

I watched them grow and play and really fell in love with the natural tails. They are so much more expressive. Again, if you know me...time to let the research begin and try to find out the reason for docking in the first place.

I was given a gift, my beautiful female Australian Terrier, Nellyson's Yippy Yippy Yay "Loretta" all the way from Sweden. I flew to Chicago to pick her up. When she arrived she had a natural tail. Of course she did, it is not legal to dock a dog's tail in Europe. One of the first things I noticed was her very excited wagging tail. 

The natural undocked tail serves a purpose, it helps them balance, it expresses emotions, similar to the ears. It is great for dogs doing agility and there is not reason to dock it. The exception is the breed standard states a docked tail. Therefore, we expect there may be a few judges that will choose to look at only the tail and not evaluate the "whole" dog when we show our dogs with the natural tails. I guess time will tell. 

The US breed standard was established by what was set for their native country, Australia. At the time it was determined the tail would be docked. Several years ago, Australia changed their standard, the same standard which the US set their standard for the breed, to natural tails, undocked. One might conclude that if the originating country for that breed, in which we set our standard changed, we would adopt accordingly. That is not the case.

I also think as a breeder it is important to know what kind of tails you are producing, should the standard change as it has in most of the world, to not accepting docking or other alterations just for appearances.
 
I have decided for me, I will no longer dock my Aussie's tails. I hope for the breed standard to change to read "breeder option". I think it should be the choice of the breeder, not a law. But I also believe that once a breeder has experienced the natural tail of the Aussie, they will likely choose to keep it natural.