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How can I tell if my dog's tail was cropped at birth or is it natural?

May 1st, 2009, 01:21 AM
I have a wonderful 3 year old rescue who is a mixture of Collie/English Springer Spaniel/Daschund/Cocker Spaniel/Newfoundland (I had her DNA tested out of curiosity).

She has no tail - well, I should say - her tail is about an inch and a half long. I can feel the "bones" and then there is about an inch of fleshiness. It's all covered with fur. I wonder if there's a way to tell if it was cropped? Would there be scar tissue? Would the tail end right at the last bone? Why would someone crop a mixed-breed's tail?

I don't know why I feel so compelled to know this. I'm really hoping it's natural since I can't bear the thought of my girl having her tail cropped at birth. That's gotta hurt! None of her "ingredients" are natural bob tails so I'm really curious.

Are there any canine physiology experts out there that might know?

May 1st, 2009, 09:02 AM
There will be a scar if it is docked and the last vertebrae may feel larger and less tapered then a naturally bobbed tail. There are not many breeds with naturally bobbed tails, the most popular is probably the Aussie shepherd.

May 1st, 2009, 10:22 AM
look right through the fur down to the skin at the tip of the tail, there will be a bald spot or scar there if it was cropped.. Sounds like with her breeds it probably was cropped, but you never know! Good luck on your quest to find out! have any pictures of the tail??

May 1st, 2009, 04:40 PM
I wouldn't really trust those DNA things, people have brough DNA from registered purebred dogs and got mix breed results. Can you post a photo of your dog?

May 2nd, 2009, 12:02 PM
Here's some pics of my dog. I can't get a close-up of her tail stump because it's covered in long hair. It feels like a boneless finger. I don't know how else to describe it. The tail tapers to a bit of a pointy nipple-like bump.

It's interesting that Aussie Shepherd was mentioned. She's a rescue and everyone involved, including the vets, figured she was an Aussie Shepherd X. I even had a breeder tell me should could be a purebred miniature Aussie because they sometimes will have a blonde gene. But the DNA test showed no Aussie at all.

Are the doggy DNA tests not that reliable? I would have thought DNA testing would be definitive since it's such a widely recognized tool in human forensics now. Now I am confused! It might be interesting to have another DNA test, maybe from another lab, and see what comes of it.

Thanks for your input, everyone. Very mysterious!

May 2nd, 2009, 03:56 PM
I wouldn't know how to answer your question but I just wanted to say that you dog looks like a real sweetie !!!

May 2nd, 2009, 07:08 PM
The issue with DNA testing dogs is that there are different breeds within the same species and each of those breeds stems from the lines of other breeds so say for example the Doberman Pincher is made from rottweilers, greyhounds and german pinchers with some other breeds mixed in to refine the temperment and look. So if a dog was a doberman pincher mix, theoretically it could show a a rottweiler mix or a greyhound mix, because the genes from those breeds are also present. When a breeding occurs the DNA donated from both parents is combined and mixed up so accuracy is not guarenteed, espeically if there are many mixed being donated.
With humans they use DNA usually to try and match it to another DNA sample, which is very simple you just have to run the sample DNA and basically see if it lines up. The dog and human genome are not perfected so you can not take a peice of human DNA and be able to say it belonged to a 5'9 white male roughly 39 years old, and balding. I personally wouldn't bother with the dog DNA test there is too much variation within once species for it to be accurate enough and they are kind of expensive.

May 2nd, 2009, 10:59 PM
yeah, my sister just told me that the DNA dog tests are a scam. She said that you cannot know your dog's breed history unless you also have the parents DNA.
Too bad because I would love to find out about Molly. Oh well, I guess she's just as loveable no matter what she is!!!

May 3rd, 2009, 12:51 AM
She sure is a beauty with a real sweet face.