The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent, active herding breed with a rich history in the United States. But despite their loving and friendly personalities, they have one distinct feature their other canine counterparts do not – they do not have tails.
This highly sought-after breed came to North America in the late 1800s where it quickly became popular among farmers and ranchers as a working dog. Since then, the Aussie has grown in popularity around the world and is now a common fixture on farms and ranches as well as in family homes. But why don’t they have tails like most other canines?
It turns out that there are several possible reasons behind this unique physical attribute of Australian Shepherds, from taxonomy to evolutionary adaptation. This article explores these possibilities, along with what this lack of tail means for this wonderful breed.
Do Australian Shepherds Have Tails? – The Truth Revealed
The Australian Shepherd is a beloved breed of dog, known for its intelligence and loyalty. But one thing that has caused confusion among potential owners is the presence or absence of tails. While most Aussies have their tails docked at an early age, some are born without them. This has led to the question: do Australian Shepherds have tails?
The truth is that both options exist in the breed. Approximately 1 in 5 puppies are born without a tail, while the remaining 4 out of 5 have their tails docked shortly after birth. It’s important to note that this practice is not done for cosmetic reasons, but rather to prevent injury due to the breed’s active lifestyle and propensity for herding activities. Ultimately, it’s up to you as an owner whether or not you want your Aussie to have a tail – just make sure you understand why it’s done before making your decision.
Statistics of Bobtailed Australian Shepherds
Bobtailed Australian Shepherds are a unique breed of dog that have a naturally bobbed tail. Roughly one in five of these dogs will be born without a tail, which is caused by a genetic mutation. However, many owners choose to cut their tails for aesthetic purposes or to comply with the “standard” of the breed. This means that not all tail-less Aussies have a naturally bobbed tail.
For those dogs with tails, the length can vary considerably depending on the dog and bloodline. For example, some may have very short tails while others may have longer ones. However, for the Australian Shepherd, the number of vertebrae should vary by just one or two regardless of the length of their tail. This is because this breed has been selectively bred over time to produce dogs with shorter tails than other breeds.
According to an ASHGI data survey in 2010, roughly 47% of all naturally bobtailed Aussies have tails a quarter length or longer. (Source: thesmartcanine.com)
According to the Australian Shepherd Health and Genetics Insittute’s breed survey, 10% of Aussies have kinked tails while almost half have quarter-length or longer tails. (Source: herdingdogzone.com)
The Controversy About Breeding Bobtailed Australian Shepherds
The controversy surrounding the breeding of bobtailed Australian Shepherds is a complex one. According to the Australian Shepherd Health and Genetics Institute (ASHGI), having two copies of the dominant T-gene can result in fetal deaths in Australian Shepherds, as well as serious health defects such as spina bifida or other lower spinal cord defects. In addition, minor defects such as kinked tails can occur, which don’t pose much health risk but could be unsightly for Aussies to have.
Furthermore, it has been reported that about 2% of Aussies born with natural bobtails developed NBT-related defects that are bad enough to require euthanasia. This means that there is a risk of small litters due to reabsorption of fetuses when breeding bobtail Australian Shepherds. As such, pet health organizations cannot simply ignore this issue and must take into account the potential risks associated with this type of breeding before making any decisions.
Bobtailed Australian Shepherd Health Issues
Bobtailed Australian Shepherds are a unique breed of dog that have become increasingly popular in recent years. Unfortunately, due to their unique physical characteristics, they can be prone to certain health issues. One of the most common is Spina Bifida, which is an inherited congenital abnormality in the spine that can lead to an incomplete vertebrae formation in the developing embryo. Depending on its severity, your Aussie can have a completely malformed and even exposed spinal cord. Another health issue commonly seen in bobtailed Aussies is Imperforate Anus, which is a type of atresia ani wherein their anal opening does not form fully. This condition can cause severe discomfort and pain for your pup and should be addressed as soon as possible by a veterinarian.
It’s important to keep these potential health issues in mind when considering owning a bobtailed Australian Shepherd pup. If you do decide to get one, make sure you are aware of any signs or symptoms that could indicate one of these conditions so you can get them treated quickly and effectively. Regular check-ups with your vet are also recommended to ensure your pup stays healthy and happy for many years to come!
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