So… you want to rescue a dog… with no tail?

I did and here’s what I think you should know

Jessica Russell
7 min readMar 20, 2022


Author’s dog Sadie with her brown stump no tail

When I say ‘no tail’ I don’t mean a dog that never had a tail. I mean a dog that has had their tail traumatically removed by a human.

For reference, there are a handful of breeds that come without tails naturally. According to other sources, these are the:

  • Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog.
  • Boston Terrier.
  • Braque du Bourbonnais.
  • Brittany Spaniel.
  • English Bulldog.
  • French Bulldog.
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Now we’ve got that straight, if you see a rescue dog needing a home please bear in mind that it’s more than likely been through a traumatic event.

But if you see a rescue dog without a tail needing a home please bear in mind it’s most definitely been through a traumatic event. This means that, no matter how loving, patient and understanding a home you provide, the dog comes with trauma that can’t always be entirely resolved.

Time is a wonderful healer thankfully. But if the trauma was severe and losing a tail is, you can expect that the distress of the event will sometimes manifest itself in your home.

Because you love and care for your pet, this can be distressing for you to witness. It can be difficult to know how to handle.

Whilst every dog is different, I am going to describe our situation in the hope it will help someone now or in the future. I’ll cover the behaviour that we have to deal with, what we think triggers it, as well as the strategies we’ve learned to use to minimise and manage the frequency of the outbursts.

The dog

Sadie is a beloved pet. We mainly got her for my youngest daughter as a companion. She has fulfilled that role devotedly, albeit with some funny little quirks we have learned to live with. That’s aside from the not tail thing. Sadie was a rescue from Spain. The vet estimated she was aged approximately two years old when she came to us.

She had been living on the street, eating scraps she could find before the shelter took her in. Despite their…



Jessica Russell

Freelance writer. ADHD PhD research student. Educator. Author of The Life of Louise Norton Little, Mother of Malcolm X