Docking is the amputation of portions of an animal’s tail or ears. While docking and bobbing are more commonly used to refer to removal of the tail, the term cropping is used in reference to the ears. Tail docking occurs in one of two ways. The first involves constricting the blood supply to the tail with a rubber ligature for a few days until the tail falls off. The second involves the severance of the tail with surgical scissors or a scalpel. The tail is amputated at the dock.
At least 17 dog breeds, including the Corgi and Rottweiler, have naturally occurring bob tail lines. These appear similar to docked dogs but are a distinct naturally occurring genotype. The issue of docking is not relevant to these natural bob tails (also known as NBTs).