If you are looking to add an Aussiedoodle (also known as Aussiepoo) to your life, you may have seen some Aussiedoodles with and without tails. Now you may be wondering if Aussiedoodles are supposed to have a tail or not. In this article, we’ll explore why some Aussiedoodle dogs have tails and others might not. Read on to find out more.
Aussiedoodles can have tails of varying lengths. Previously the most commonly seen is absolutely no tail at all, but this is due to docking. Natural Aussiedoodle tails are being seen more often due to the increased illegality of docking.
Do Aussiedoodles have a tail naturally?
Aussiedoodles have tails of varying lengths. Tail length is determined largely by their parents and the generation of Aussiepoo.
Australian Shepherds are herding dogs and thus more prone to tail injuries. Tail injuries are incredibly painful for dogs. As the tail is an extension of the spine, nerve damage can also occur.
Depending on the location of the injury, this can result in the dog becoming incontinent, or lame in the hind legs. Australian Shepherds are often docked for this reason, but selective breeding has resulted in a far shorter tail in some. A longer tail can still be seen in non-working lines.
Poodles, on the other hand, were developed for hunting waterfowl. They were also docked often, but their tails could be kept longer while still minimizing injury risk.
Naturally, the Poodle has a very long tail with coarse, curly hair that matches the rest of the Poodle.
So, do Aussiedoodles have a tail?
An Aussiedoodle’s tail is a direct result of the parents that are selected. If a long-tailed Australian Shepherd and a long-tailed poodle are bred together the offspring will have a far longer tail. If a working line of Australian Shepherds, with selective breeding for shorter tails, is used, the results are varied. Some Aussiepoo puppies will have their mother’s tail, and some their father’s.
When an Aussiedoodle is later bred with either an Australian Shepherd or a Poodle, the results are similar. Some second-generation Aussiepoos will get the mother’s tail, some the father’s.
Aussiedoodles can be born with no tail. Although it is rare, in some cases Australian Shepherds have been bred to have no tails. If one of these is used, it may pass enough genetic material along that the Aussiepoo is born with no tail.
The generally accepted appearance of an Aussiedoodle is that of no tail. However, this occurs largely due to docking, rather than selective breeding. There is no AKC (American Kennel Club) standard for the breed because it is a hybrid, but there are generalized ideas that dogs should have no tail.
In many countries, docking has become illegal or is restricted to working breeds. This includes all of Australia and many parts of Western Europe, with some exceptions such as France and Portugal. Surprisingly, the US has yet to implement any restrictions, although some states are considering it.
There are many reasons why some are against docking. Largely, this is due to the process of the docking itself. However, it also affects the dogs negatively in some ways.
Dogs use their tails to increase balance and agility. The Aussiedoodle, a highly active breed, is no exception. These dogs would be at a clear disadvantage without the important appendage which may result in other injuries that could have been avoided.
Dogs communicate through their tails. This is not just through movement but through scent glands. With the removal of the tail, they lose an important element of their communication with other dogs. This means other dogs might be more cautious of them, and interactions may result in aggression more often.
The Aussiedoodle has been docked for a long time, just like the Australian Shepherd and the Poodle. Although there may be several arguments for keeping the tail, there are also some reasons why you may want to consider docking.
As briefly discussed above, tail injuries can have consequences beyond pain and temporary immobility. It is also important to note that tails are especially susceptible to gangrene due to the lack of flesh between the bone and skin. This means that simple cuts can turn into something more serious very quickly.
It is not recommended to dock a dog later in life due to an increased prevalence of complications. Depending on the location of the required amputation, the vet might even recommend putting the dog down instead.
There are some injuries that adult tail amputation cannot fix either. Some time ago, I had a dog that broke its tail while playing with another animal. The dog was in an incredible amount of pain. Although the injury healed with time and careful monitoring by the vet, the dog became incontinent thereafter. Early docking would have prevented the injury entirely. Amputation after the injury would have been ineffective.
Aussiedoodles have long hair. This means that things can get stuck in it, and you need to pay special attention to maintain its coat. A tail is just more that you have to keep track of. Whether your dog has a propensity towards an upset stomach, or whether it’s running around in a field, the tail can get filthy.
Some of this can be mitigated by keeping the hair trimmed, but it will never be as clean as it would be if the dog did not have a tail.
As mentioned above, Aussiedoodles have always been docked. As have Poodles and Australian Shepherds. Because of this, people have developed an expectation for what the breed should look like.
Many people are after the ‘fluffy-bum’ look of the Aussiepoo, and may not be interested in one with a tail at all. Because of this, a lot of breeders just take all their puppies to be docked before they even find potential owners.
As we have seen, Aussiedoodles do have a tail. In the past they may have been docked, giving the illusion that Aussiepoos do not have one, but as laws on docking become more strict we are starting to see them more often.
However, many people may not like the look of an Aussiedoodle with a tail. This is due to the expected appearance of the breed, which has been cemented over the past few years. Some people may also worry about preventing injury in their Aussiedoodle if they intend on using them as working dogs. For this reason, I doubt that tailless Aussiepoos will disappear entirely any time soon.
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