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Aussie, Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail The Australian Shepherd is a very smart and loyal companion, but they are also a very active dog who needs to be kept occupied. This site is owned and operated by Jenco Digital LLC. According to an ASHGI data survey in 2010, roughly 47% of naturally bobtailed Aussies have tails a quarter length or longer. Although this may not be the best reason, it’s still an important reason among owners. First, a lot of Australian Shepherds born with a tail have a blunt tail without any tapering. The Survey Some problems include spina bifida and other lower spinal cord mutations. They may be 4 inches (10.16cm) or less, but they may also be longer; sometimes much longer. Defects associated with very short NBTs include spina bifida, closure failures of the perianal area, and varying degrees of paralysis in the hindquarters. Puppies with two copies of this gene can put them in a fatal situation. However, would it be so bad to spend a few more minutes a day wiping the tail/anus area of your Australian Shepherd? By Tiara Maulid November 15, 2018. These kinked tails are viewed as a malformed tail among Australian Shepherds. It is possible that respondents were unclear about the term “typical” as applied to tail carriage, misinterpreting social body language for the dog’s tail position when relaxed. Do Australian Shepherds Get Along with Cats. We asked about tail curvature, carriage, and feathering in order to determine what tail conformation is typical for the breed. It’s important to know that two naturally bobtailed Aussies should not be bred with one another. Breeders in countries with docking bans can expect that some of their puppies out of an NBT parent will have tails short enough to be consistent with the breed’s pre-ban appearance. This mutation is when the tail/anus area fails to properly develop. If you just want a great companion family dog and you live in a more favorable environment, these points aren’t as valid. Coming to the point Even bobtailed Aussies can vary in length of their stub tails. Tail injuries can be very painful for the Australian Shepherd. This specific gene to cause the genetic mutation is what’s called an “incomplete dominant gene.” It works similar to how Australian Shepherds come in merle colored coats. The survey collected data on 612 purebred Australian Shepherd born within the survey birth date range of 1990 through 2005. Useful Tips, Smart Owner’s Guide to Australian Shepherds. The counter argument is that there are a lot of puppies that get their tails docked while asleep. display: none !important; RECOMMENDED: The Dog Owner’s Guide to Australian Shepherds. © 2021 Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute. These dogs were bred to be skilled herders in the western region of the United States. The most popular method is by cutting the tail off with a pair of scissors. The Dog Owner’s Guide to Australian Shepherds, Statistics of Bobtailed Australian Shepherds. The data on offspring of breeding dogs conformed with the above. Australian Shepherds come in merle colored coats, one of the many Australian Shepherd mixes here, Do Australian Shepherds Shed? People have started to argue that puppies actually do develop at least a basic nervous system post birth. Minor deviations, like equal-length feathering along the length of the tail or a slight “hook” in the end shouldn’t be penalized too heavily. 51% of NBT dogs were reported as having “very short” or “absent” tails. In my opinion, the dog is definitely feeling discomfort at the very least. Regular Aussies stand at a height of about 25-32 inches, but mini Australian Shepherds for sale in Boston are only about 15-16 inches in height. But the three main reasons are to avoid damage to their tail, to … This risks fragmenting the breed gene pool if tail types are deemed “correct” or “faulty” depending on the country in which the dog resides. This risks fragmenting the breed gene pool if tail types are deemed “correct” or “faulty” depending on the country in which the dog resides. It is probable that the other parent of these puppies was also NBT but the survey data so not provide this information. Roughly one in five Australian Shepherds will have a natural bobtail, meaning they were born without a tail. tail. Once formal consensus is established by way of breed standard revisions for the correct Aussie tail type, breeders should select toward the preferred tail. Natural bobtail (NBT) is a naturally occurring mutation in the T-box gene resulting in a shortened tail. Clubs in countries with docking bans need to determine whether longer natural bobtails are or are not acceptable and if not, how much they should be faulted. Doing so would not necessarily change the numbers of longer NBTs produced; little is known about the genetics of length variation in NBTs. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Welcome to A&K’s Aussies! Since knowledge of how Australian Shepherds are born without tails is available, one question come to mind. Not only can it cause a lot of pain, but it’s relatively difficult to treat. The Heeler is a naturally bobtailed or tailless, medium-sized cattle dog similar and/or related to the Australian Cattle Dog (aka, "Queensland Heeler"). 5 For dogs with tails, the length can vary considerably depending on the dog and bloodline. The AKC, for example, sets the Aussie tail length breed standard at a maximum of 4 inches. It also indicates that some breeders are mating NBT to NBT, though the survey data did not answer that particular question. In fact, 1 in 5 Australian Shepherd puppies are born without a tail. The Aussie, as they’re nicknamed, are happiest when they have a job to do. Why don’t breeders breed natural bobtailed Aussies instead of cutting them off? With that said, the percentage of breeding two natural bobtails together is certainly much higher. The bobtail gene, otherwise known in the scientific world as the T gene mutation C189G, can determine whether a puppy is bobtailed, but doesn’t determine the length of the tails. If you want to learn more about spina bifida or other problems that come with breeding bobtails, you can read about it here. There’s been a lot of debate on this topic in recent years. The vast majority of US-registered Aussies have papers with the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) or the American Kennel club. Do Australian Shepherds Have Tails The Truth On Bobtailed Aussies. This continues as the professional is patching up the wound of the tail. Breeding two NBTs together is unwise. Since tail docking is prohibited in some countries, we see Aussie tails in all shapes and sizes. Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - The preferred height for males is 20 to 23 inches, females 18 to 21 inches. Australian Shepherd Tail Docking Why do Australian shepherds get their tails docked? Mini Australian Shepherd puppies for sale WITH tails! As Australian shepherds keep to the side or back of the herd while herding, so their tails are almost always out of the live-stocks way. Whether they actually feel pain or not, they’re not likely to remember their tails being docked at such an early age. By doing so, you’d be limiting the variety of different genes in the pool. Typical tail feathering was also clear, with 61% having feathers profuse at the base and shortening toward the tip. This is especially true if the dogs have short bobtails. The Australian Shepherd's history is vague, as is the reason for its misleading name. The highly variable answers to this particular question may be because dogs will alter their tail carriage in response to social interactions with other dogs or people. Australian Shepherds have also been called Spanish Shepherds (which makes more sense, given their place of origin), Pastor Dogs, Bob-Tails (more on that later), Blue Heelers, New Mexican Shepherds… NBT-related defects First published in Double Helix Network News, Winter 2014. The mini Australian puppies have their tails docked and declawed within their 1st week of life. While these don’t address full tails they do give some guidance for breeders outside the US as regards kinked tails. It is believed by some that the breed has Basque origins in Spainand was used there by shepherds. Breed standards should contain wording that addresses curvature and feathering of full tails. In fact, some suggest that puppies and adults have a similar sensitivity to pain. Because Aussies were originally bred for a role where this process made more sense, this has become the standard for the breed. However, the appearance of normal full tails is a cosmetic issue and minor deviations should not be given precedence in selection over more substantive issues of structure, health, disposition, and performance or work attributes. Kinked tails rarely present any health or soundness issue for the dog but they are unsightly. Mini Australian Shepherd puppies for sale in Boston are sometimes known as Mini American Shepherds. The debate on whether these puppies feel pain has been ongoing with no definitive conclusion. Owners indicated that 32% of the dogs and 24% of the offspring typically carry their tails slightly below the topline. In terms of farming and herding livestock, organizations such as the U.S. Australian Shepherd Association argue that Aussies with longer tails run the risk of developing infections as they go about their work. Aussie puppies only need one copy of this gene to be born with a naturally bobbed tail. 24% of the dogs and 28% of the offspring carry them slightly above the topline. Now that we know Aussies both have tails and don’t, let’s dive into why this is the case. It doesn’t look aesthetic because its not a normal looking dog tail.  =  Why Do Australian Shepherds Need to Cut their Tails? Many newbies always ask the question: do Australian Shepherds have tails? One, for example, is spina bifida. In addition, 10% of these dogs had a kink in their tails (curved tail). Red Dog son Toby is his registered name. In addition, this process is carried out without any anesthesia or pain killers. Confusing, right? Tail Dock Australian Shepherd Length. You cannot look to country of origin standards to answer this question because docking remains standard practice among US Aussie breeders and both clubs adamantly oppose anti-docking legislation. Well they actually do it for numerous different reason, some of them are tradition, identification, cosmetic, and function. Born in our living room and raised with our 3 small children. Another big reason why breeders don’t specifically breed bobtailed Aussies is because of the potential negative effects on the gene pool. They typically don’t make it. In addition, the gene doesn’t determine whether the tail is straight or curved. And although it’s possible to breed for natural bobtail dogs, it’s impossible to breed for a specific length. Responses to the tail carriage question were less definitive. Doing so can come with a lot of potential health problems and in some cases, death. 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