Can a Dog Get a Prosthetic Tail? (and docking issues)

The tail is one integral aspect of a dog and is used to help with balance, general movement, and communication. So what happens when they get cut? Can you replace it with an artificial one?

Prosthetic tails may not be beneficial to the dog because it would be out of his control, not to mention the difficulty of correctly attaching them. Replacing it with anything is purely cosmetic and may negatively impact their balance.

white dog standing next to fence with big tail

Do Artificial Dog Tails Exist?

Although practical prosthetic dog tails are not yet available, people have attempted to design and market them. I’m sure someone makes dog tails, but we’re still waiting to see how they would be useful. Generally, a dog’s tail cannot be replaced with something else that serves the same purpose.

The concept of requiring a prosthetic tail is a human need, not a dog need. Dogs can communicate without a large tail, although it might affect their ability to communicate effectively with other dogs. Still, uncontrollable artificial tails can be worse than having no tails.

The idea of a prosthetic dog tail sparks debates, as dogs rely on their natural tails for a slew of subtle body language cues; an artificial one might not convey the same messages.

The tail is only one aspect of canine body language. Prosthetic tails may exist only to make the owner feel better and not to offer any kind of real tail functionality. While innovations in animal care have brought about prosthetics for limbs, creating a truly functional prosthetic tail that mimics natural movement remains a challenge.

Some breeds are born without a tail or with a very short stub. They’re doing fine. Some dogs must have their tails cut, and while many people think this is a terrible thing to do, canines will move on.

I can see someone producing prosthetic tails since there is a buyer for everything. However, it still isn’t a real tail, and you can’t explain to the dog that it’s their artificial tail to utilize it as such. It’s not like they can feel or perceive it as a tail.

In terms of prosthetics, there are unique products for practically any animal with wounded, deformed or missing limbs—however, no artificial tail as of now.

Can a Dog’s Docked Tail Grow Back?

A dog tail that has been cut off will, unfortunately, not grow any longer. It will get thicker as the dog grows, but it will not grow in length. Once a dog’s tail has been docked, the bone and major structure won’t regenerate, much like how a tree doesn’t regrow a branch once it’s been cut.

Consider a dog’s tail to be a limb. If a human’s arm were severed, it would not regrow. The same goes for a dog’s tail. Therefore, dog tails do not regenerate independently.

Some dog owners who’ve docked tails in the past often search for ways to help their dogs compensate, not realizing the permanence of the docking procedure.

Why Do People Cut Dogs’ Tails?

Some must be amputated owing to excessive tail-chasing, “happy tail,” trauma, cancer, abscesses, and other factors. Some dogs damage themselves by whipping their tails too hard and too quickly against objects, resulting in blood everywhere and painful fractures. That is generally acceptable for docking their tail.

There are other reasons. Pointers and other hunting dogs may injure their tail tips in the underbrush. A guard dog could be seized by the tail to thwart its attack. Long-haired dogs with drooping tails may become dirtier. Finally, some breeds have their tails docked or ears cut because people believe it makes them appear better.

In some cultures where dog fighting is still practiced, cutting off a dog’s tail is said to make it more aggressive and prevent the other dog from biting it. 

However, most people oppose doing it for aesthetic reasons. Some argue that it is out of date and that most people do it out of habit. Furthermore, if the docking is done incorrectly, they will need to have it repaired later in life since it will begin to affect the dog.

It’s essential to consult with a veterinarian about the actual medical needs and implications before considering tail docking. Their expertise provides a clearer picture of the procedure’s aftermath.


Do vets still dock tails?

Even for cosmetic reasons, some veterinarians still dock tails. While it’s difficult to say why, some vets do it because if they don’t, the owners might try to do it themselves, which is dangerous.

Will hair grow back on a docked tail?

Mostly the hair grows back, but it depends on the dock. Their hair should regrow if they’re young, but it may not be the case if they are older. The dog may be stuck with a hairless tip if it does not. Some docked tails may cause scar tissue where the hair may not grow back in rare situations.

How much is a prosthetic leg for a dog?

A single prosthetic canine limb costs roughly $1,500. Because each dog’s amputation is unique, their new limb must be created to fit them properly. You should budget around $100 for annual maintenance.

  • Alex

    Alex, a passionate animal lover, has experience in training and understanding animal behavior. As a proud pet parent to two dogs and three cats, he founded to share insights from animal experts and expand his knowledge of the animal kingdom.