Despite opinions to the contrary, there is no good reason for non-therapeutic tail docking in dogs.
The idea that because the procedure is preformed on very young puppies, and because their nervous system is immature, it is "virtually painless", has been disproved. A puppy's immature nervous system actually makes the experience MORE painful, not less.
The idea that because a puppy does not act as a human would if subjected to a similar amputation, it must not be in pain, is based on the mistaken belief that a dog reacts to pain as a human would. This is not the case. Dogs are stoic by nature, having evolved where displays of weakness and distress could attract predators.
The fact that this procedure is done for cosmetic purposes and WITHOUT the use of pain-killers or anesthetic is cruelty plain and simple. A dog's tail is used to communicate with other dogs, as a counter-balance and to aid in defecation. Both urinary and fecal incontinence have been associated with the procedure.
The idea that injury is often the result of not having docked the tail of a hunting dog is unsubstantiated. There are absolutely no statistics to support it.
As a citizen, I am ashamed that the US should allow the needless mutilation of dogs when almost 30 other countries have banned it outright.
I propose we correct this now.
For more information: http://www.hellolife.net/dog-health/b/the-whole-truth-about-tail-docking/